This week I’m going to be talking about survival horror and scary videogames. I’m probably going to be citing Yahtzee‘s reviews a lot during this series. He and I are very different gamers with different tastes and backgrounds and ages, but despite all this our opinions on the Silent Hill series are very nearly identical. I could probably just link him with a, “what he said” and save myself the aggravation of trying to re-word my own opinions in an attempt to avoid plagiarizing him, but that would be the coward’s way out. And this isn’t the week for that sort of thinking.
Both of us rate Silent Hill 2 very highly. (My SH2 review is still one of the longest posts on this site.) I’m not a Yank-hating Brit and / or Aussie like Yahtzee, but I emphatically agree with him about how badly the series has been mucked up in the hands of bungling idiot American designers. They have gone completely James Cameron on the games, making them faster, louder, shallower, better looking, and (most importantly) about a thousand times less frightening. You could argue that perhaps it’s not that survival horror sucks these days, but that the genre has ceased to exist. Cameron turned the thrilling sci-fi horror movies Alien and Terminator into over-amped sci-fi action movies Aliens and Terminator 2, and I think that’s what’s happened to survival horror. The new Resident Evil and Silent Hill titles aren’t bad games on their own, but they’re a non-sequitur in terms of mood and pacing when compared to their predecessors.
I wasn’t able to play Silent Hill Homecoming in time for this series. (Thank you so much for that, City of Heroes, you crack-laced, productivity-murdering monster.) But I will be looking back on Silent Hill 2 & 3, as well as Silent Hill Origins, and doing that armchair game design thing which everyone is so inexplicably willing to tolerate.
I’ll also be commenting a bit on Homecoming, even though I haven’t played it. I’m sure this will enrage a few fanboys and cause them to “lose respect for me”, which is what fanboys do when you tell them the sky is blue without going outside to check first.
Do you like electronic music? Do you like free stuff? Are you okay with amateur music from someone who's learning? Yes? Because that's what this is.
The Loot Lottery
What makes the gameplay of Borderlands so addictive for some, and what does that have to do with slot machines?
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round
I'm not surprised a fighting game has an absurd story. I just can't figure out why they bothered with the story at all.
Starcraft: Bot Fight
Let's do some scripting to make the Starcraft AI fight itself, and see how smart it is. Or isn't.
The Best of 2014
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2014.