Year’s End 2012

This post is dedicated to YouTube user: MrCalu24 whose upset mindless fanboyism inspired me to write this. Without people like you, I’d have no-one to upset on principle by telling the truth about over-rated pablum. Thank you.

Actually, the real reason I was tempted to skip this post this year is that I haven’t had the opportunity to play several of the few big releases that haven’t been postponed to next year. No Dishonoured, no Xcom, no Assassin’s Creed III. The reason for this is switching from buying games and then re-selling them to renting them from LoveFilm. The advantage of LoveFilm is the volume of games I can play and review, the disadvantage is that it is harder to get the more up to date games. I do also game on my PC of course, but due to injury it has been easier to simply use the PS3. So instead of this being a Game of the Year style article concentrating on new games, its going to be a simple round-up of games I’ve played and what I thought of them. Luckily the title lets me do either – which is handy.

Let us (EAT LETTUCE!) start at the beginning.
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Why Hideo Kojima’s Fox Engine Can’t Save Silent Hill

Hideo Kojima would have to have a lot more involvement than a recent interview indicated he’d be interested in. If he directed Silent Hill, was involved in the writing for Silent Hill, and did the Quality Assurance of Silent Hill, it could once again be the crowning achievement of horror as it was in its heyday. Rather than the hit and miss sometimes quite-good series it has become.

On the other hand, with respect to Hideo Kojima – any competent treatment could save Silent Hill. We’ve already had quite good recent Silent Hill’s that were well received by the critics, and I think, with more polish, a chance at the HD consoles (and PC), and the needed support and talent, that Climax Studios could make a great Silent Hill. But that’s another article (specifically, this one).

Instead we’ve had Silent Hill farmed off to new studios who make glitchy badly running games, regardless of whether or not you think they have any other redeeming features or whether or not you think they’re any good (and the critics in general, myself included, do not), we can all agree they don’t run as well as they could or should.
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Possible Vatra Closure & The Future of Silent Hill

I feel the same way about the possible closure of Vatra as I do about the possible closure of any other producer of sub-standard products that work poorly.

Here’s an idea.

Give the next Silent Hill game to someone with a proven track record, whose optimised code works perfectly, has produced games that stretch what hardware they’re produced on. Remember how poorly Homecoming and Downpour ran? Imagine a Silent Hill for the HD consoles that pushes the limits of the hardware the way Silent Hill used to. The company that has the highest Silent Hill aggregated ratings both from users and critics of the post Silent Hill 4: The Room era. The company that made the games that prove they understand both how traditional Silent Hill works and also how to reimagine it in interesting ways. How much promise would a third game hold?

Maybe it’s time we gave it back to Climax Studios?

Silent Hill: Downpour – In Depth Review

Well, it’s time for another Silent Hill game. This time we’ve changed developers again (more on that another time).

Downpour. As usual with games I look forward to getting a hold of, I read absolutely nothing about this game before I played it. The reason for this is two-fold; I hate spoilers, and I didn’t want to come into it with any other expectation except the ones created by the name itself. With Silent Hill, that bar isn’t set particularly high after Silent Hill: Homecoming.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Downpour is even as good as Homecoming in the end, but it does have several things going for it.
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