The 7 least-scary moments in scary games

Even the creepiest survival-horror loses its edge eventually - we'll show you how

2. Clock Tower 3 (PS2) - Scissorman and Scissorwoman
Imagine this: You're a frightened, fragile teenage girl who's been kidnapped by supernatural forces you don't understand and thrown into the past to confront dead serial killers. You've so far evaded, faced down and destroyed a lumbering man-hulk with an executioner's hood and a sledgehammer; a maniac in a gasmask who hunted you with a hose full of acid; and a shirtless Marilyn Manson lookalike with a hatchet.

Now think: what's the scariest thing that could top off that experience? Whatever it is, it sure as hell isn't this:

So Clock Tower 3's most horrific killers are a pair of acrobatic samurai-harlequins with no pants on? Maybe goth makeup and high-pitched voices trigger some deep, primal fear in the Japanese psyche. We couldn't say. Whatever the case, we couldn't bring ourselves to be afraid of these two Dynasty Warriors rejects, no matter how hard we tried.

Considering that these preening clods are followed up by a giant, foppish musketeer of a final boss, Clock Tower 3 stands out more than any other game not only for having shot its scare wad too early, but also for having no idea how to clean up afterward.

But its sins are still minor compared to what comes next.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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