Everything That’s Wrong with Silent Hill and Video Game Horror in One Statement

“How do you make Pyramid Head scary when he’s seen from a topdown perspective? You do it by having him SHRED through your HP with every swipe.” – director of WayForward (Silent Hill: Book of Memories), Adam Tierney.

Getting killed quickly in a videogame is not scary or horror – it is inconvenient and annoying.

Otherwise Mega Man is one of the greatest horror games of all time.

We Deserved Amy

Amy was a promising new release for 2012’s promising first quarter in which we were to be treated to several horror games. It was universally panned. Did it deserve to be so? Well, probably, but lots of games are praised for the very same things that Amy was slammed for.

IGN’s Colin Moriarty starts by calling it “a supremely muddled mess of controller-throwing frustration and piss-poor game design choices”. The poor game design choices? “Want to pick up that item on the ground? You better be positioned in a pixel-perfect fashion … How many times can a gamer possibly be expected to do the same few things over and over again? … Amy’s checkpoint system wouldn’t necessarily be so unforgiving if the game was even remotely playable, but since so much of the game requires insane amounts of trial and error — and a myriad of unfair deaths due to terrible controls both in and out of combat — this might be the most frustrating aspect of the entire experience … replaying the same 20-minute segment of a chapter a dozen times as you try to figure out what you’re actually doing wrong … gave up out of sheer anger and frustration”. Continue reading

Screw Survival Horror

There is a reason that when ‘Survival Horror’ and horror games when placed together and conflated with each other, don’t seem to fit. A game like Silent Hill 2 doesn’t really share much in common with Dead Space 2. Perhaps that’s an unfair comparison, since Silent Hill 2 is highly regarded as a classic, whereas Dead Space 2 was beloved for the first week of its release. How about a game like Siren: Blood Curse compared to say, Resident Evil 5? They don’t really go together, and I really don’t think it has anything to do with how good any of these games are. Continue reading