Banned Memories: Yamanashi resurrects lo-fi PS1 horror

Party like it’s 1999

After spending a couple of years writing for relyonhorror.com, I became fairly jaded with horror games in general. You can only cover so many games where you explore dark corridors with naught but a flashlight while watching out for super spooky pop-up scares without feeling fatigued.

That’s why Noah Pauw’s Banned Memories: Yamanashi gets me all hot and bothered. Set in 1993 at Yamanashi Academy, you play as Hideo Ueda, a student returning after the school was shut down due to some horrific crimes occuring within. Crimes including torture and mannequins, because of course they do.

To match the setting, there’s an early PlayStation vibe: hardwood floors that aren’t even close to having straight lines, fixed camera angles, and blocky character models. It’s still a prototype and won’t take you more than twenty minutes to complete it, but Pauw plans to keep working until it’s about two hours long.

I can’t say whether it’s the magic of nostalgia at work or that the lower fidelity of the graphics lend themselves better to an uncomfortable environment, but this prototype was enough to put me in a state of unease. The grungy synth pads help establish the atmosphere too (which Pauw also made by himself). Whatever it is, I’m hoping to see more of this, and soon.

[Thanks, SeymourDuncan17!]

Zack Furniss