Kind of interesting that there is a blog today about retiring the Silent Hill
series. My girlfriend picked up a copy of Silent Hill 3
and we started into it last night, the latest of our creepy adventures through the series after tackling Downpour
earlier this year.
I've always had a kind of love/hate relationship with the SH
games. I love the ideas and themes they deal with. Heavy topics like guilt, selfishness, sexual frustration, parental abandonment, themes that you don't see explored much in other games are brought to the forefront in SH
. The creature design is some of the best in the business. Creepy, threatening, and loaded with symbolism. I've always loved Silent Hill as a town, the foreboding atmosphere is spot on.
But then there is everything else.
All the usual irritating survival horror suspects rear their grotesque heads - movement, camera, combat, all crazy awkward and not a lot of fun. It would be churlish to harp on SH3
for these problems if not for the fact that the same difficulties persist right up through Homecoming
. C'mon guys! I can understand the original PS and PS2 games having some rough edges, but the fact that Konami has never bothered to really address any of those problems is aggravating. You do start to wonder if the team behind these titles really care about making a game
. Maybe they just want to make creepy places and ideas? Maybe they would be better suited to making movies or books? That's cool, no problem. But maybe they should just go make those instead then.
I'd love to get the creative team of these games hooked up with a different studio. Take the beautiful music, the nuanced themes and symbolism, the familiar hooks of the series (which I believe are still relevant and worth further entries) and pair them up with gameplay that is actually fun (or at least not blatantly frustrating).
Or maybe just change the direction of the series. If combat is always going to be this begrudging afterthought, just get rid of it. There are plenty of horror games out there that do just fine with a minimum or absence of fighting.
And I know my girlfriend will hate me for it, but if I were in charge of the Silent Hill
series, I might start edging away from the Alessa/cult/demon back-story. To me, that story seems to have run its course. Already a convoluted and confusing tale given the number of retcons and alternate character interpretations (Shattered Memories
really throws some wrenches into the works there) adding anymore stuff
might just make the whole thing cave in on itself. Besides, to me, that story was never the star of the show anyway.
To me Silent Hill
works best as an allegory for mental distress. A kind of personal hell manifested by the protagonists trauma and issues. A torn open wound on the psyche that takes all the nasty things you try and hide from yourself and puts it on display, forcing you to deal with your shit. Maybe Silent Hill is a type of purgatory, a trial a person has to pass before moving on. Let's get some Jacobs Ladder
stuff going here!
I want to see the series continue. I think these games occupy a place in the industry that needs to be filled. I just want to see them become something I would rather play through then watch on YouTube.
* - Mass Effect 3 left the series in a weird place. There is a huge audience out there that would love more ME adventures, but following up that ending seems problematic for a variety of practical reasons (not to mention the giant shit storm of hate it kicked up). Is a prequel the best thing for the series, or a lame cop out? * - "You will not desire to give your company foods poisoning!" Says who? This is the best piece of spam I've ever seen on Dtoid. Wonderful engrish, nothing to do with gaming, but not actually selling anything as far as I can tell. Just a helpful little reminder from our ESL friends who peddle boner pills and fake Gucci bags to properly cook our turkeys this Thanksgiving. A - The Silent Hill series has seen it's share of duds and screw ups lately. Is it time to end the series? Find a City thinks so, but I can think of a few people who would disagree. A - Spentchicken has been working through the BLOPS Online grief experience. I totally understand getting frustrated at an online game (BELEIVE ME) but try not to rage guys, and if you have to, mute the microphone. Nobody on your team wants to hear you stomp your feet and punch the cat because you lost in a videogame. A - Elves, mods, and choices. CaimDark is still enjoying his time in Skyrim. P - I never thought Taco Tuesdays would be a junkie because photography and heroin are so passe. T - In a grassy knoll across from a Gamestop, Ocelot waits for his target to enter his cross-hairs. Soon he'll have his chance to prove himself as the greatest Hitman of all time. T - B-But, persistent tiered unlocks are the FUTURE of online FPS games! Also, present and past. T - Lostleader's 60 game year challenge is almost complete! T - More scorn and derision for RE6. I almost want to play it just to see what all the fuss is about. T - Speaking of, xBulletx has some quick ideas/questions about what to do with RE7. T - BlinkingPixels takes the new DmC demo out for a spin. T - OlUncleWedge wants smarted Hitmen free to play in their murderous sandboxes. Is that too much to ask? L - I'm not sure I get this, but turtle wants to make a MiiVerse William Dafoe movie pitch land... and keep it PG-13? Good luck with that man. C - The future is billboards. C - "Overall I give Metroid a 5.5 out of 10 because it has decent controls and graphics for the system it originally was released " GRRAWW FUCK! Why do you do this?! Metroid is a fucking museum piece. You don't write reviews for museum pieces, and if you do you don't come at it from a perspective of critiquing them based on current stuff. It's like slamming The School of Athens because it isn't like Mark Rothko's No. 14. These are works from different times that had an impact on the cultural landscape when they hit and say something about the people and events of their respective times. Why not talk about how Metroid's design helped inform an entire genre of games? Why not talk about the super progressive gender twist ending and how that progressiveness has since been highjacked by later games in the series? Nope, just say 5.5 out of 10, great. F - Maybe I've taken my bitch pills today, but what the fuck is this? I can't make heads or tails of what exactly TheKodu is trying to say here. I got to the part where he references Roger Oppenheimer before I threw up my hands and started skimming. This thing reads like a crazy man's diary. Keep in mind this is his second nonsensical novel length response to the "Fake Nerd Girl Controversy" non-issue, I think that is telling. Maybe you need to sort out some issues dude. S - Hightowers double posts to bring you this important news – he doesn't like Hitman Absolution much. It's cool to not like a game, no prob there. But maybe wait till you've had some more time with it before blogging your rage? Also, not being trying to be a dick here because I haven't played the game, but it sounds like some of the problems might be more on Hightower's end than the games. Jus' sayin.
LOOK WHO CAME: