Sweet Home is one of the greatest horror games of all time and is the title that inspired the entire Resident Evil series. Even if you’re not a fan of horror, this is an incredible game, all about discovery, exploration, and some of the best RPG mechanics around to be experienced. The game still haunts me and I marvel at all Capcom was able to achieve with their limited 8-bit palette (in a slight coincidence, it also shares initials with Silent Hill). I’ve often had discussions with friends about what makes truly great horror, and Sweet Home I think embodies it.
Just as the frescoes reveal hidden text with photographs, each time I’ve played through the game, I’ve found an element I hadn’t noticed before, a deeper meaning in a title with limited exposition. I am still in awe of the level design and the way the designers help you discover the story rather than to just be told it. I also love the fact that the game takes place entirely in the mansion. The house is, in essence, one big, convoluted and surreal level, the perfect allegory for the tragedy that is Sweet Home.
Very few games from the Nintendo era featured different endings based on who survives among your team, as well as the ability to save anywhere, a gracious allowance considering the difficulty. That strange melding holds up even now and feels as natural and comfortable as going home. Just don’t get too comfortable, no matter how sweet a home it seems.