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Konami

Konami is bad photo
Konami is bad

Creator blames Konami for end of popular 27-year-old series


Love to work for Konami
Jun 03
// Steven Hansen
Momotaro Dentetsu isn't a household name in the states, but in Japan the series has sold tens of millions and long predates Mario Party as a popular (train-themed) video game board game. The Hudson series has seen dozens of e...

The Silent Hill Retrospective: Silent Hill

May 30 // Stephen Turner
Silent Hill was as much about crumbling economics as it was about night cries and picket fences. Much like Resident Evil’s Raccoon City, the dilapidated lakeside town was undone by greed. America losing its values to modernisation was a recurring theme in survival horror. It was a warning from those whom had lost their own traditions to capitalist growth, not that far removed from the J-Horror zeitgeist at the time. But more often than not, Silent Hill takes its inspiration from days gone by. Old Silent Hill's influences are worn on street names and ledgers, from Stephen King to Sonic Youth to Psycho. Even the intro pops to the sounds of vinyl, its theme song in equal parts Eastern tremolo and Western twang. These influences come together to create small-town America on the slide, full of “mom & pop” stores and tight-knit suburban mazes. But rather than a tourist, you’re a trespasser. Horror in all its forms has this element of invasion. Here, Harry Mason breaks into homes, schools, and hospitals, as he searches for his missing daughter. Though the overall plot ends up becoming more about the Otherworld, his parental fears are always at the forefront. Essentially, it's not Harry's story, but Alessa Gilesspie's. As the player, and as Mason, we're the outsiders looking in. Perception is the key to the story and scares. Memories are skewered to point where friendly faces are misjudged and emotional attachments lead to narrow-minded decisions. Harry falls through the layers of reality, like the waking waves of a bad dream, and sees the town for what it really is. The Otherworld is an abstract place, clearly a concept that reflects its tortured conduit. What could’ve possibly been a new paradise takes a horrific form because of Alessa's abuse and lack of care by her mother, Dahlia Gilesspie, and Dr. Michael Kaufmann. Later games would force the perspective onto the main protagonist, and at times would suffer for it, but few would capture that “traveller in a foreign land” feel of their predecessor. It's because of the Otherworld that Silent Hill is relentless and oppressive. It constantly toys with the audience, waiting to take shape, and gradually stripping away the safety nets. Harry is shown to be extremely vulnerable, early on. He stumbles off steps, puts out his hands as he crashes into walls, has to catch his breath, and is a terrible shot. Our first contact with the Otherworld ends in seemingly death. It’s a far cry from the shrug-it-off antics of S.T.A.R.S. or Edward Carnby P.I. Every attempt is made to obfuscate the audience, either by claustrophobic gaze, location, sounds, or virtual threat. Radio static is both friend and foe; warning us of monsters beyond the flashlight's reach and ramping up the tension just by letting us know that something's there. Ominous, hollow synths give way to industrial noise, punishing and overbearing. Akira Yamaoka’s soundtrack is comparatively brutal to his later work, the kind of unsettling cacophony that would give a pre-Grammy winner John Congleton nightmares. Even at its most calm in the Fog World, the music still sets your teeth on edge. And yet, by the final act, where reality is in actuality nothingness, Silent Hill does an amazing job of drawing sympathy out of horrific circumstances. To many, Lisa Garland is the human face of Silent Hill (both town and title), and our perception of her stems from Alessa’s own memories. She’s seen as this kind and selfless nurse that only wants to help, but as we delve deeper, endure and learn, we discover what lies beneath. The bright smile, the homely uniform, and her position of warmth and care, are all her “picket fences.” By the end, we find out Lisa was a drug addict, terrified of her only patient. Through Harry, she finds the strength to push onwards, only to realise her own fate was already set in stone. Truth shatters the façade, breaks down her body, and we’re confronted with yet another disturbing subject of horror. For Harry, it's too much and he runs away. But for once, instead of the oppressive percussion of Yamaoka’s themes, we’re treated to the melancholic Not Tomorrow. These were people, not monsters. [embed]292927:58733:0[/embed] In a time of hi-five heroics, Silent Hill offered no such compliments. The best ending closes on a bittersweet note. The town is still lost to the Otherworld, though probably not as powerful as it once was, and Harry doesn't quite get his daughter back. In a shot mirroring the intro, and with his cop friend, Cybil Bennett, standing in for his deceased wife, there's the nagging suspicion that for all we've done, it might just happen again. Sure, we saved a young girl's soul, but we didn't really win anything. Only lessons and traditions were learned. Maybe that was the point, considering the start of this article. As a game, the first and only PSX release has undoubtedly aged in the last 16 years. But much like the low-budget horror movies and low-fi recordings it emulated, Silent Hill overcame handicap through inventiveness. The Otherworld, the town, the storytelling, they were all informed by thinking outside the box. Everything we know about Silent Hill – every fan theory, every femme fatale characteristic, run-down aesthetic, social commentary, urban quest, childhood memory, occultist lore, and personal demon – stems from this very title. So it might be a little frayed around the edges, and certain conveyances are needlessly obscure, but for a mainstream horror game that was intended, quite cynically by Konami remember, to chase after that sweet Resident Evil success, it really was a very unique and artistic beast. It's still wonderful to think how something like that could be produced by such a small group of rag-tag developers, left alone to their own devices in a fairly corporate environment. Of course, though we had survived our first trip through the dark side of Americana, the world had been left open for more lost souls and more horrific layers to come…
Feature photo
What's going on with that radio?
Western horror, Eastern eyes. That was what made Silent Hill memorable for a generation. It was visceral and relentless, oppressive and paranoid, and underlined with a tragic tale that hadn’t been seen on the normally e...

Silent Hills Rumor photo
Silent Hills Rumor

Rumor that Microsoft is buying Silent Hills for billions is ridiculous


Push the truck and get a Mew!
May 29
// Jed Whitaker
[Update: Xbox boss Phil Spencer has confirmed that this rumor isn't true. My history of being right at all times about all things continues.] There is a rumor getting posted on basically every gaming website saying Microsoft ...
Bloodstained photo
Bloodstained

IGA's whip gets cracking on Bloodstained level design as Ayami Kojima joins project


$3M bucks later, development gets going
May 26
// Steven Hansen
What with all the excitement around Castlevania: Symphony of the Night assistant director and subsequent series producer Koji "IGA" Igarashi's Kickstarter project, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, it's easy to forget that ...
Yu-Gi-Oh! photo
Yu-Gi-Oh!

Konami's releasing a new Yu-Gi-Oh! game


Sensible hair will come as DLC
May 26
// Joe Parlock
IT’S TIME TO D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-delve in to the German ratings board’s latest classifications, as they include something of interest to those rare few who’re still in to Yu-Gi-Oh!. Konami have apparently h...
Bloodstained photo
Bloodstained

Bloodstained will now have a PC beta, similar to Mighty No. 9


$60 or more
May 20
// Chris Carter
If you backed Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, you may want to take a look at your contribution level. IGA and his team have just added another bonus to the $60 tier, which includes access to a PC beta by way of Steam. Whil...
Gambling, man photo
Gambling, man

Konami backs Nevada law allowance for 'skill-based' gambling


Gambling, man
May 18
// Steven Hansen
United States state Nevada's newly passed, plainly named Senate Bill 9 "allows for variable-payback percentages in slot machines." What that means is that previous games of chance can be augmented with, for example, bonus rou...
Mobile Gear Solid photo
Mobile Gear Solid

Konami proves mobile is the future of gaming with Metal Gear Solid V iOS port


Apple Watch version under consideration
May 18
// CJ Andriessen
Last week, Konami announced its intention to focus on mobile gaming going forward, saying the platform is the future of the industry. This morning the company proved that even the most complicated console game can feel righ...
Silent Hills photo
Silent Hills

Guillermo del Toro is torn up about Silent Hills' cancellation too


He's 'been in touch' with Kojima
May 15
// Steven Hansen
Director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) is sad about his second big video game project, Silent Hills, falling by the wayside. Konami recently canceled the del Toro x Kojima joint, presumably a victim of Konami's break w...
Konami photo
Konami

What is your favorite Konami game of all time?


Man that's tough
May 15
// Chris Carter
With the new CEO of Konami focusing on the mobile arena, many people out there have called this a death knell for the publisher as we know it. Although it comes as a surprise for some, Konami has been experimenting with mobil...
Konami photo
Konami

Konami plans to focus on mobile games from now on


Mobile is the future, says CEO
May 14
// Kyle MacGregor
To the surprise of absolutely no one, making console games is no longer Konami's priority. Moving forward, Konami plans to turn its attention to the mobile space, new company CEO Hideki Hayakawa recently told Nikkei Tren...
A poem for Kojima photo
A poem for Kojima

Movable Breasts: A poem for Hideo Kojima


I hope he likes it
May 12
// Jed Whitaker
I was inspired to write a poem for the father of Metal Gear Solid, after reading our very own Kyle MacGregor's A Gardevoir for all Seasons poem. I tried to make it about something he likes: movable breasts.  Kojima, senpai, won't you love me too?
Devs Play photo
Devs Play

Watch IGA play Symphony of the Night with Double Fine


#whip
May 08
// Jordan Devore
I hadn't really thought about it until now, but man, I would like to spend two hours today watching designer Koji Igarashi play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night alongside Double Fine senior gameplay programmer Anna Kipnis ...
P.T. taken off PSN photo
P.T. taken off PSN

P.T. is no longer available for download, even if it's already in your library


Konami has gone full Flappy Bird
May 06
// Nic Rowen
If you thought the story surrounding Konami's falling out with Kojima, P.T.'s delisting off the PSN store, and the cancellation of Silent Hills couldn't get worse, I have some gross news for you. As of now, P.T. has been comp...
Konami photo
Konami

Konami teases something Metal Gear related on Twitter, and people are pissed


What's happening with Kojima, guys?
May 05
// Chris Carter
Konami has been having a bad couple of weeks. Rumors have been flying around of Hideo Kojima's departure for some time, with no solid confirmation of what's actually happening with his employment. Then, Silent Hills gets...

What would your Silent Hill look like?

May 03 // Nic Rowen
I'm preoccupied with dementia. It runs in my family, both my grandparents have it, their parents had it, and so on. It's a terrible disease, a spiritual vampire that sucks the light and life right out of its victims while dooming them to shamble on as shadows. I've written about it before, but I tend to read into games and movies that deal with instability and uncertainty as allegorical to Alzheimer's. The darkest thoughts that creep into my mind when I can't sleep are about my own parents someday showing symptoms of the disease, or the looming threat that it may (likely) happen to me as I age. Which is why my Silent Hill would have to be a shitty, confusing, dump of a place. A maze that was always fading and rebuilding behind you, filled with asshats you don't recognize, or recognize as someone else. It couldn't not be. Silent Hill as a series has always leaned heavily on the psychological aspects of horror. Sure, there are jump scares, dark corners, and sharp rusty blades like any other horror game, but the real terror of Silent Hill has always come from within. The town, or realm, of Silent Hill is a crucible of sorts that directly confronts its visitors with whatever nasty shit they have floating around their head. It tips the subconscious over and lets all the sticky neurological puss ooze out. Out of all that guilt, anger, fear, and trauma, the city rebuilds itself into a brand new personal hell for whatever unfortunate soul happens to be trapped within it. Silent Hill 2's James Sutherland had to deal with his sexual frustration and the guilt of resenting his ailing wife. These issues physically manifested as Pyramid Head and the grotesque/sexy nurse monsters. Heather in Silent Hill 3 had to deal with her split identity as the poor, tortured Alessa and her messed-up, unstable life on the run. Shattered Memories, a reimagining of the events of the first game, finds Cheryl struggling to reconcile her idealized memories of her father with the bitter reality of their lives. Murphy Pendelton had to fight weird ghostly blow-up dolls in Downpour (still not sure what the deal with that was). Those games offered a look into the minds of their protagonists, but I bet they also crystalized some of the deepest fears and uncertainties of the creative minds on Team Silent (and the lack of that honesty is probably why the series has fallen off so hard in recent years). It's one of the reasons I'm upset that Konami took the promise of a Silent Hill headed by Kojima and del Toro and dunked it in a bucket of horse piss. With auteurs like those two at the helm, I bet Silent Hills would have let us peek behind the curtains of their psyches. I bet they would have brought their own personal fears with them to Silent Hill; they would have brought back the honesty of terror. Yes, P.T. wasn't even a demo. It was a teaser, a shadow of a reflection of what Silent Hills might have been. But when I look at the themes and ideas in P.T. and I look at del Toro and Kojima's past work, I can see connections, overlapping ideas to work they've done before. P.T. was set in a home turned into hell. It hinted at dark family trauma -- domestic abuse, fathers committing murder-suicides on their entire family (and worse). Del Toro is no stranger to those horrors, and he's blurred the lines between the unfortunately all too real and common trauma of domestic abuse and the supernatural before. I look at his movies he's directed like The Devil's Backbone, and Pan's Labyrinth, or as an executive producer on Mama, all of which swim in similarly murky waters. There are also glimmers of Kojima's trademark post-Cold War paranoia to be found in P.T.. The unsettling voice from the radio, constantly repeating a sequence of digits over and over like a haunted numbers station, hypnotically spurring the listener to violence. There are possible allusions to mind control and manipulation, themes found again and again in his games. YouTuber RagnarRox recently posted a video exploring links between some of P.T.'s most disturbing elements with the real-life (and extremely chilling) MKUltra experiments conducted by the C.I.A in the 1960s. It may seem out there, but the material would certainly jive with other ideas Kojima has dove into with the Metal Gear series. [embed]291456:58421:0[/embed] We have no idea of knowing exactly what Kojima and del Toro's Silent Hills would have been like, in the end. However, I look at what those two men have done before and what we saw a peek of in P.T. and I feel like I can make out its shape behind the fog. Something disturbing and vulnerable, a Silent Hill that is at once deeply, uncomfortably personal, but also shrouded in conspiracy. How could either of them resist the chance to clean out their mental cellar spaces with the psychological dust broom of Silent Hill? It makes me sad to think of what we missed out on thanks to Konami's bungling, but it also makes me curious. I wonder about what other people's version of Silent Hill would look like. If you wandered into Silent Hill and the Otherworld was being built on top of the fault lines of your psyche (or if Konami lost its shit and suddenly tossed you the reins as the next creative director of the Silent Hill series), what would it look like? What would your fears made manifest be? Maybe I'm the only one who thinks of this kind of stuff, but I'd be super interested to know what kind of Silent Hill some of our community members would create. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments, or better yet, write a blog about it. We might never see Kojima and del Toro's Silent Hills but we can still speculate on our own dreams, or in this case, nightmares. They might be all we have if Konami keeps up like it has.
Your Silent Hill photo
Konami could probably use some ideas
My Silent Hill would be a place you couldn't trust. Doors would disappear behind you the moment you turned your back, hallways and staircases would loop back in impossible ways, main streets would abruptly end or lead to a pa...

Shout out to P.T. photo
Shout out to P.T.

P.T. scared me more than any other videogame


Don't look upstairs
Apr 28
// Jordan Devore
There was a moment in P.T. that terrified me. I mean truly terrified me. Between the endlessly looping hallway and the haunting cries of a disfigured fetus in a sink, I knew strange things were afoot. It's a disorienting game...
P.T. photo
P.T.

PSA: This is your last day to download P.T., the playable teaser for Silent Hills


For free
Apr 28
// Chris Carter
P.T. was one of the most entertaining games I played in 2014. Even though it was just a demo, the "playable teaser" for Silent Hills was a perfect horror experience, nailing a lot of elements that current horror games complet...
Dementium photo
Dementium

Dementium: The Ward could have been a Silent Hill game


'Konami said they wouldn't let a 'team like us' handle the Silent Hill property'
Apr 28
// Vikki Blake
As the Internet continues to blink with incredulity at Konami's decision to spike one of the most exciting E3 teasers of all time, Silent Hills, here's another head-scratcher of a decision made by the Japanese ...
Silent Hills, loud tears photo
Silent Hills, loud tears

I can't stop crying about the cancellation of Silent Hills


RIP sweet prince
Apr 27
// Jed Whitaker
I often film myself at random times during the day just in case anything cool happens -- like a funny joke or catching a ghost on film. Yesterday, I found out live on camera that Silent Hills was cancelled, and boy has it hi...
Konami photo
Konami

Konami voluntarily delisted itself from the New York Stock Exchange


There are a lot of possibilities here
Apr 27
// Brett Makedonski
[Update: Konami provided us with an official statement. It can be found underneath the original story.] Japanese publisher Konami (KNM) has delisted itself from the New York Stock Exchange. The removal took place before ...
Silent Hills photo
Silent Hills

Konami talks Silent Hills and it's not good news


Looks like the game we were pitched has had its throat slit
Apr 27
// Laura Kate Dale
[Update: It looks like the game has been outright canceled, but there's this tidbit -- "In terms of Kojima and Del Toro being involved, discussions on future Silent Hill projects are currently underway, and please stay tuned ...
Konami done goofed photo
It breaks his 'greasy heart'
[Update: this has been confirmed by Norman Reedus, who was supposed to appear in the game.] Looks like the pending delisting of P.T. was a bad omen after all. According to a quote procured by photojournalist Matt Hackney...

P.T. delisting photo
P.T. delisting

You only have a few days left to be spooked by P.T.


There was a Playable Teaser here, it's gone now
Apr 25
// Nic Rowen
It's time to “shit your pants,” get off the pot, and download P.T. if you haven't already. Because come April 29, its going to disappear from the PlayStation Store.  P.T. may only be considered a demo or teas...
MGO photo
MGO

Metal Gear Online: 16 players on PC/PS4/Xbox One, 12 players on PS3/360


Player counts detailed
Apr 21
// Steven Hansen
Konami's Japanese Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain website has detailed the player count for The Phantom Pain's online component, Metal Gear Online. The PC, PS4, and Xbox One versions of Metal Gear Online will support up...
Suikoden III photo
Suikoden III

It looks like Suikoden III is coming to PlayStation 3


PEGI rating foreshadows digital release
Apr 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Suikoden III appears to be on its way to PlayStation Network, as PEGI, Europe's videogame classification board, has issued a rating for Konami's acclaimed PlayStation 2 role-playing game.  Unlike the first pair of S...
Bayou Billy photo
Bayou Billy

Forget Metal Gear, Konami readying Adventures of Bayou Billy re-release


That's not a knife
Apr 07
// Steven Hansen
As Konami is seemingly intent on giving Metal Gear's Hideo Kojima the boot (this is a Simpsons Australia joke despite Bayou Billy being from Louisiana), many are mourning one of the most memorable videogame companies falling ...
Metal Alan Grier photo
Metal Alan Grier

Square Enix comes up with two new Metal Gear Solid V Venom Snake dolls


Metal Alan Grier
Apr 07
// Steven Hansen
Square Enix has two new Play Arts Kai Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Venom Snake dolls for all you collectors out there, one of which is exclusive to Amazon Japan. The difference in the two is the camo. The "Splitter" mode...
Metal Gear lore photo
Metal Gear lore

Brush up on all of Metal Gear's history before MGSV: The Phantom Pain comes out


It's what Kojima would've wanted
Mar 27
// Brett Makedonski
Whether you're a complete newcomer to Metal Gear or a seasoned vet just shooting to glaze over a few things that you probably already know, it's not a bad idea to take a look at this top-secret document. Okay, it doesn't...
MGS V photo
The Buffalo Bills are the best team in the NFL
Earlier this week, rumors of Hideo Kojima leaving both Konami and the Metal Gear series surfaced, thanks to a report from GameSpot. Not to be undone by excellent reporting from The 2nd Street Jerks (The 2nd Street Jerks is a...


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