Surround sound and Youtube

The conventional wisdom is that you cannot get surround sound out of Youtube.

This is not strictly true.

Pro Logic is a method of matrixing surround sound into a stereo signal for later fetching out into the surround field by a Pro logic decoder. The easiest way to do this is with a game already in Pro Logic, such is the case with our Eternal Darkness Let’s Play. However, you can also create a Pro Logic downmix from a 5.1 discrete signal with fantastic results, which is how we did our Silent Hill 2: Born from a Wish Let’s Play.

However, recently, I found an interesting snippet on Google Support. To me that looks an awful lot like they have the ability to store and probably play back proper discrete 5.1

I’m uploading tests to determine, and perhaps it may only work on the rather experimental HTML5 version of Youtube, but this is still quite exciting for me.

I could, if this is possible, provide the best of both worlds. Pro Logic surround for the stereo channel which sounds equally fantastic in stereo or decoded into surround, and a discrete 5.1 surround for whatever that will work for.

Idea

Replace the public voice of Silent Hill with someone who doesn’t want to rewrite classic Silent Hill games and doesn’t use YouTube-level arguments like “The sad part is the people saying Downpour sucked never even played it.”

How about that?

I find Tomm to be neither the good natured saviour of Silent Hill, the powerless figure-head who just wanted to do the right thing, or even the straight villain people have … accused … other people of … accusing them of … its complicated … anyway.

He is a terrible public speaker who says very silly things. He shouldn’t be the public voice of anything.

Goodbye Tomm, its been … interesting I guess?

Yes, that is an actual quote.

Don’t You Hate It?

When a Let’s Player will talk about how they’ve played the game before, yet they’ll then, one sentence later, pretend they’re seeing a monster or a scenario for the first time?

We don’t do that.

And our footage looks better.

For the discerning Silent Hill fan:

Our Let’s (not) Play of Silent Hill 2 (Blind) is complete. So if you’re one of those people who have been waiting for the playthrough to finish, then now is your time.

7 hours, 58 minutes, and 53 seconds of videos. With a combined size of 25.2GB in ‘Nigh Lossless’ quality, it’s the best looking Silent Hill 2 footage we’ve seen. 1080P widescreen, no stretching, PC version. We’ll add the Maria scenario probably some time next year.

Please, enjoy, and spread the word. It would be nice if a high quality Let’s Play without the usual screaming reactioncam can also do well.

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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A Time, A Place, A Book of Memories.

Reviews are coming in very slowly for this game, and it isn’t even coming out until early November here, so obviously early days yet.

GameRankings: 78.67%

MetaCritic: Critic: 62% User: 64%

Gamerankings-wise, that’s pretty good, but only based on three critic reviews. That puts it in a similar place as Silent Hill 4: The Room, Shattered Memories, and Silent Hill: Origins. That’s above Homecoming and Downpour, but below 1, 2 & 3.

Metacritic-wise, with only four critic reviews, and 132 user ratings, Book of Memories is now tentatively below the lowest performing Silent Hill: Downpour.

Book of Memories is in the strange position of having been released (at least in some areas) yet without review from many big industry names.

Not actually a handheld gamer myself, so you won’t be seeing a review from us unless it receives a port.

Let’s (not) Play Silent Hill – Now Complete

For the discerning Silent Hill fan:

Our Let’s (not) Play of Silent Hill is complete. So if you’re one of those people who have been waiting for the playthrough to finish, then now is your time.

5 hours, 28 minutes, and 13 seconds of videos. With a combined size of 10.7G in ‘Nigh Lossless’ quality, it’s the best looking Silent Hill footage we’ve seen. The only change to the playlist is that there’ll be a new video advert for our next Let’s Play in it tomorrow.

Please, enjoy.

Horror is all about fun!

Silent Hill Book of Memories is looking to be a very fun game as I expected. Remember folks, games are meant to be fun as well as enthralling. They can encompass a whole range of emotions -not just despair and darkness. Sometimes, fun is just fun.” – Jeremy Blaustein.

Games are meant to be fun!

Except of course, when they aren’t.  Unless you stretch the definition of fun to include Schindler’s List.  Please don’t do that, it’s annoying.

Games are sometimes meant to be fun, and sometimes, games have lots of fun (fun!) sections and setpieces, and you know, that’s all fine.

Horror on the other hand, isn’t all about the fun (fun fun!).  Silent Hill never really used to focus on creating something fun, it used to be about creating an engaging experience.  It used to be a horror series.  Horror defies the usual gaming tropes, horror games both need to not be about fun to create the right atmosphere, and they also need to take themselves seriously.

Please, go ahead and argue that it doesn’t matter because it’s not a main title, or that it’s really a great game because it’ll bring more people to good horror and great games in the end, but please, don’t tell me games are meant to fun.

Films can be fun, but some of them aren’t, some of them engage.

Books can be fun, but some of them aren’t, some of them take us on an emotional rollercoaster.

Games can be fun, but some of them make us morose for two weeks after witnessing the breakdown of a man’s sanity.

Games can be made, that aren’t meant to be fun, and there is nothing wrong with it.  In fact, it should be celebrated.  Most of my favourite games (and films, and books) are ones that aren’t meant to be fun, but are meant to be engaging, or sad, or uplifting, or to say something about the human condition.

Once again, thanks to Silent Haven for once again bringing something to my attention.

YouTube and Copyright

Whilst they’ve gotten a little better over time, they are still rather corporate friendly, and the options aren’t very good.

At the very least, they’ve stopped arguing that a fair-use dispute is an admission of copyright infringement, whatever that meant.

The first option that comes up for when some copyright claim is made on your video is ‘acknowledge claim’, when it should something more like ‘accept claim as valid’. I do acknowledge when someone owns the copyright, but I should still be able to argue fair use, whereas if you select the acknowledge claim option, that’s you saying the claim is right. This is just misleading – even clicking the question mark for explanation on the acknowledge button gets YouTube to say, “Acknowledge to confirm that you have reviewed the claim(s) on your video.” Review, not accept the claim, just click to say that you have reviewed the claim(s). This will result in you accepting the claims as valid in one step.
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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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