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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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Avith wrote:
This is one of the most not constructive things I have ever read.

By your logic, the biggest books of literature are just books, nothing special about them really; or the biggest musical pieces are just music, a combination of sounds, nothing more.

Your ability to extrapolate and articulate my position from such a meager string of words in my post is astounding.

Of course there are things that are special about art. That is the reason why artists and their work are remembered far longer than almost any other profession, position, or person. That said, you speak of the first four titles as though they have somehow transcended their medium, no longer being bound to the chains of the label "video game." They aren't that amazing. Don't get me wrong, I am quite fond of the series, and I consider some of the games in the franchise to be my favorite of all time. However, they are not without flaws, and the areas they stumble in the most are repeated numerous times in separate titles (controls, camera, voice acting/performance, npc escorting, etc.).

Konami doesn't "feed" off of the silent hill franchise, because they would be near-death or starving if sales equated to food. Their bread and butter lies in football games, gambling machines, and whatnot. They aren't "whoring" the series out, they are trying to find a capable group of people that can drive the franchise forward so it remains a part of their lineup, instead of taking a gamble on a new ip (though, with the new generation of consoles coming up, that point is basically irrelevant at this time). Of course, it is all about money in the end, but that doesn't mean they can't be thinking about both.

Those first four games you (and so many others) like so much are video games, but there's nothing wrong with that. They do/did some things that were unique to the medium, and a lot of people recognized that, latching on to them in a powerful way. The creators and creatives behind the works could have chosen any avenue to tell and present these stories in, but they chose the medium of video games. I think that's pretty cool, and I think that should be something embraced, rather than trying to avoid.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?

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^ Well said. When all is said and done, they're still video games. And the stories. while entertaining and with clear effort put into them, are ultimately a pastiche of other literary works. They're not this breathtaking new innovation in storytelling. It only seems that way to some people just because the bar for narratives in video games is incredibly low.

It's why I really tend to dislike the SH fandom. They take the stories of the games way too seriously to the point they forget these are video games in addition to how to just having fun playing them. There's no denying there was talent among the Team Silent crew. However, many SH fans seem to almost deify them as if they were a clan of Michaelangelo clones. They're not infallible.

Just because one person looks at a video game as this artsy farsty little expression piece doesn't make him or her any better than someone who simply plays them to have fun. After all, that's the whole point of this interactive medium.


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My Bestsellers Clerk
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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Yes...Konami has whored out SH since 4 and the creative depth has been lacking & trying to replicate what they think will sell rather than what can they come up with to fuck with the human mind. I always played SH for the mind-fucking and imo that no longer exists in recent titles. To each their own, if you enjoy the new games more power to you for having the ability to be more open minded than I am.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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I always played SH for the mind-fucking and imo that no longer exists in recent titles.


How can something keep mindfucking you after four times of doing so?

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My Bestsellers Clerk
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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AuraTwilight wrote:
Quote:
I always played SH for the mind-fucking and imo that no longer exists in recent titles.


How can something keep mindfucking you after four times of doing so?


Simply because for me personally the original installments were just more unsettling. I felt as though there was more left to the imagination which works for me because my imagination is dark.

People who are afraid of snakes are not less scared if they see the same snake 5 times. People with arachnophobia are still mind fucked by the 5th, 6th, and 7th spider they see.

They are scared of something because it is what it is, not because something changed.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Mar 2010
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HeresJohnny wrote:
Yes...Konami has whored out SH since 4 and the creative depth has been lacking & trying to replicate what they think will sell rather than what can they come up with to fuck with the human mind.

Video Games suddenly became a business with a model for making profits post-silent hill 4. It's common knowledge.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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HeresJohnny wrote:
AuraTwilight wrote:
Quote:
I always played SH for the mind-fucking and imo that no longer exists in recent titles.


How can something keep mindfucking you after four times of doing so?


Simply because for me personally the original installments were just more unsettling. I felt as though there was more left to the imagination which works for me because my imagination is dark.

People who are afraid of snakes are not less scared if they see the same snake 5 times. People with arachnophobia are still mind fucked by the 5th, 6th, and 7th spider they see.

They are scared of something because it is what it is, not because something changed.


What I mean is, the horror of the original games is, as you said, because a lot of things is left to the imagination; but after several games, we know the rules of the series. We know Silent Hill is connected to another dimension that manifests people's minds, and that it draws in people with guilt. We know there's a cult trying to summon an evil god, so on and so forth.

Before the newer games came out, people treated SH4 as the black sheep purely on the basis of it not taking place in Silent Hill. And, at the same time, games like Shattered Memories and Downpour atleast TRY to mix things up and take away our certainty of knowledge for how the SH universe works.

Could it not atleast partially be the case that the setting can't scare you since you understand it too well, while simultaneously you're not comfortable with them changing things too much from what you had before?

Even if that's not you, specifically, a huge, extremely loud portion of the fandom has this exact, contradictory attitude, and so the producers have to be conservative-leaning with their newer games to preserve the brand.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Nov 2010
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I keep hearing about speculation on the hypothetical next SH's otherworld.
I personally think the otherworld concept needs an extreme metamorphasis, or a replacement (interchangeable I guess).

That's the most predictable part about the games. Predictability is obviously not scary.
If we can remove the conventional otherworld yet retain that illusive "SH feel" that I'm not sure entirely exists, then SH can make a huge leap towards being fresh, exciting, and of course scary (if pulled off right).

I adore the themes and stories of the franchise, but it really needs to get back to HORROR. Not above everything, but horror needs to be one of the most prominent elements.

The design should be based around being able to really freak the player out.
Well executed jump-scares, great slow burners, and tense moments of uncertainty where everything can go to hell... or nothing could happen.
And of course we need great music :)

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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Horror is subjective. It'll never return to the 1-4 formula. I think it's time to forget about it and focus on different approaches to how horror tends to work nowadays.

In other words, focus on atmosphere.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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I agree. I wasn't saying "return to the roots." I was saying that SH needs to change up its conventions rather than emulate and evolve the old formula.

We need new, surprising mechanics. If it's a well made & scary game the chances are it'll be picked up by a decent audience and thus could practically ignore that chunk of people who would lose their minds if it wasn't a carbon copy of SH 1-3.

This has been talked about before as well: I think perhaps SH should go to the digital-only realm. As far as I've heard, digital games can shine in innovation and unique ideas compared to boxed games.
We can get the next SH as a $20-$40 digital download.

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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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AuraTwilight wrote:
How can something keep mindfucking you after four times of doing so?


Wow... you mean the first four Silent Hills exhausted every single possible way of fucking with the player's head? I guess they were even better games than we gave them credit for.

Mephisto wrote:
Horror is subjective. It'll never return to the 1-4 formula. I think it's time to forget about it and focus on different approaches to how horror tends to work nowadays.

In other words, focus on atmosphere.


But the first 4 games already had an excellent focus on atmosphere. That would be nothing new.

I don't necessarily think it needs to break from the "1-4 formula," whatever that is. It's a waste to just throw out everything that worked so well in the old games. It's better to mix old ideas with new... using old ideas that worked well and mixing them with new fresh ideas. Each Silent Hill game after 1 did a pretty good job of walking that line up until 4.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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^ What I said is that today the horror is IN the atmosphere and you could add the enemy threat. It's not present in sound effect, the soundtrack, in the story... Nothing of the sort, you know? They tend to focus on the action and sometimes they mess around with the atmosphere. But that "eerie feeling" present in the little things... That most had with the past games seems to be gone. Or we grew up. Whatever your choice.

But of course I'm talking about the mainstream console titles. I don't really look in the PC/Digital releases. But I know Amnesia uses their resources to the maximun.

If they (developers) can't think of something then perhaps they could borrow (or steal) some ideas. Don't think someone with a mind in the right place would complain...

But if all else fails then old ideas usually are good ideas. But since they don't (or can't) use them properly then shape them into the new era and think, think, think. It's not that hard. I seriously can't believe a conversation of the sort happening:

"Finally! Today was a productive day! Let's work on what we learned, folks."
*Some weeks later*
"Nothing works. Scratch EVERYTHING."
"What do you mean nothing works?"
"That's what you heard! Find something better!"
*Re-do the entire process*

Really? I mean, seriously? C'mon... Can't believe everything's crap.

And when I say ideas I'm aiming towards the story, character development, atmosphere and soundtrack. The core of most horror games. Not gameplay mechanics and graphics...

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 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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Wow... you mean the first four Silent Hills exhausted every single possible way of fucking with the player's head? I guess they were even better games than we gave them credit for.


Unfortunately, too many people think that repeating that same approach forever is the only way horror even works as a concept.

Love them or hate them, but at least the newer games tried to break molds and keep the experience fresh. I don't want Silent Hill being like Mega Man. Four more games that were just like the highly overrated 3 and 4 would have made me give up on this series years ago.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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Wow... you mean the first four Silent Hills exhausted every single possible way of fucking with the player's head? I guess they were even better games than we gave them credit for.


Ryan beat me to it; the four games basically use the exact same formula and methodology to 'mindfuck' you, to the point that you can predict it now. How can it do its job without changing?

I elaborated on this point in posts above yours, so you either didn't read them or you were being disingenuous.

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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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AuraTwilight wrote:
the four games basically use the exact same formula and methodology to 'mindfuck' you, to the point that you can predict it now. How can it do its job without changing?


The first *four* games use the exact same formula? Where are you getting this from? That's a really strange thing to say considering that the formula didn't start to feel stale until Homecoming and Origins. There is still creativity and invention in the first four games, and I'm amazed that you're lumping Silent Hill 4 in with the first three considering how different it feels from the rest of the series.

And also, exactly who is saying the Silent Hill games shouldn't change? I don't see anyone in this thread saying that.

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 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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Nobody ever says, outright, that the games should never change. But, what are we to take away from it when virtually every element about the new games that does not resemble elements from the first three or four is criticized to hell and back and the sentiment from such critics tends to be that the older games are the only ones that got it right? That implies, to me, a desire to see new Silent Hill games that have the same style of Otherworld and the same game engine and the same combat system and the same atmosphere and the same approach to more or less telling more of the same story involving the same series mythos and the same this and the same that and the same other thing.

I don't want that. I don't want more tank controls. I don't want more gameplay which consists of scouring every room of a huge building to find a bunch of random objects that solve a bunch of moon logic puzzles which ultimately only serve as pointless obstacles between points A and B. I don't want predictable enemy formations. I don't want doors that render me instantly safe from whatever monsters were int he room I just left. I don't want the same rust and blood Otherworld, certainly, and I sure as hell never want to see the stupid cult again. What I want is for the writers and developers to really throw off the shackles and explore more of the implications of a reality that is influenced by the thoughts and emotions of the people in it. I want every game to mix it up. I want every new game to completely throw out the Otherworld rules other games established so that I have no idea what to expect.

I know you hate Shattered Memories, because you never miss the chance to tell everybody that you hate Shattered Memories, but the reason I fell so in love with it was precisely for the reasons I noted above. There was no combat. I couldn't make myself safe by killing the monsters. I couldn't go through a door and be safe from them. I didn't know what the Otherworld represented at first and it had new rules for me to learn. It was fresh. It was new. That I really loved the story and characters was fine, but another story altogether. I loved it because it wasn't Silent Hill 1-4 and it wasn't trying, at all, to be those games. And, in terms of imagery and atmosphere, I found Downpour's Otherworld to be unparalleled, a totally oppressive, tension-filled mindfuck full of things to gawk at which never let me feel like I was safe for a second. Because, that's what I actually want from a horror game.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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^ Damn Ryan. That was a superb post. Especially this bit:
Quote:
I don't want more tank controls. I don't want more gameplay which consists of scouring every room of a huge building to find a bunch of random objects that solve a bunch of moon logic puzzles which ultimately only serve as pointless obstacles between points A and B. I don't want predictable enemy formations. I don't want doors that render me instantly safe from whatever monsters were int he room I just left. I don't want the same rust and blood Otherworld, certainly, and I sure as hell never want to see the stupid cult again. What I want is for the writers and developers to really throw off the shackles and explore more of the implications of a reality that is influenced by the thoughts and emotions of the people in it. I want every game to mix it up. I want every new game to completely throw out the Otherworld rules other games established so that I have no idea what to expect.


Though I kinda disagree with "no tank controls" and "get rid of the stupid Cult".

But you're right. Shattered Memories was great.
At first I didn't liked Shattered Memories' "no combat" gameplay because I thought the developers would make use of elements that I tend to hate in such games. Like for example, a fear meter, an "enemy eye" that makes you die or stops you from going on. And things like no defensive moves at all. Just endless run.

But what they did was entirely different. Stealth elements AND defensive manauvers. Plus, you get to use the environment to, not only hide from an enemy, but to stop them from reaching you. Cool.

...

And Downpour did exactly what the fans wanted: They mixed the new with the old. Fixed camera and over the shoulder camera are great examples of that mixture.

But the monster design was goddamn terrible. None of the enemies are memorable apart from those Glass Dolls. The enemy design is up there with The Room. None of the monsters are memorable apart from the ghosts and maybe, maybe the dogs.

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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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Ryantology wrote:
That implies, to me, a desire to see new Silent Hill games that have the same style of Otherworld and the same game engine and the same combat system and the same atmosphere and the same approach to more or less telling more of the same story involving the same series mythos and the same this and the same that and the same other thing.


Honestly, I hate using an overused term like strawman, but that's exactly what you're doing. You're creating a fantasy person to argue against, and literally making up what they think so you have the perfect person to argue against.

Same style of Otherworld? As which game? Because the style of Otherworld wasn't the same in 1-4. Same combat engine? Again, as which game? Same atmosphere? Each of the first 4 games have wildly different atmosphere, so how can anyone want the "same" atmosphere? Same mythos? Well, some people really like the cult mythos, so you have a point there, but that's just one thing. Even so, that's hardly the same as saying that Silent Hill shouldn't change. The fantasy person you made up doesn't make any sense.

Ryantology wrote:
I don't want more tank controls.


I have no problem with tank controls, but I hardly think SH needs them. And even within the first 4 games they were moving away from tank controls, because 2-3 give you the choice for analog and I believe 4 has only analog.

Ryantology wrote:
I don't want more gameplay which consists of scouring every room of a huge building to find a bunch of random objects that solve a bunch of moon logic puzzles which ultimately only serve as pointless obstacles between points A and B.


Most of the newer games have this same style of puzzle too. Are you a big fan of keeping that same style of puzzle but just watering them down a lot? Because that's exactly what ShatMemz did.

Ryantology wrote:
I don't want predictable enemy formations. I don't want doors that render me instantly safe from whatever monsters were int he room I just left.


Same here. And I have never seen a single person argue for either of those things.

Ryantology wrote:
I know you hate Shattered Memories, because you never miss the chance to tell everybody that you hate Shattered Memories, but the reason I fell so in love with it was precisely for the reasons I noted above.


And that's fine. You're welcome to your opinion just like I'm welcome to mine. But here's what you don't get to do, Ryan. You don't get to tell me WHY I hate it, and then rail against things that I haven't said. I don't hate ShatMemz for being different... I respect it for trying so hard to be different, but I hate it for being poorly executed, poorly thought out, poorly written, and a just plain bad game.

What ShatMemz needed was not to be like the first 4, because even if it was it would've just been another Homecoming or Origins. Homecoming and Origins try way too hard to be like the early games, SM tries to mix things up a lot, but they all share one thing in common: the quality level is just not there. And that's the problem I have with the later Silent Hill games. And not just them, I have pretty huge complaints about 4 as well. And I agree with you that Downpour was a big improvement and a step in the right direction.

Most people don't just blindly hate change, people are more complicated than that. Mephisto likes tank controls and the cult, I'm sure that doesn't mean he hates change. For me personally, I'm fine with throwing out the cult and ALL of SH's mythos, including SH2's (not every new Silent Hill game should be about a person who is forced to confront their own demons.) There's some changes I would hate and some I would love, depending on how they're executed. I would hate a new Silent Hill game that plays in first person. I would love a new Silent Hill game that adopts some rogue-like traits like more randomness and stricter death penalties. Why don't you stop arguing with fantasy people, Ryan, and have discussions with us, the people who are actually here, because we're a little more complicated than your fantasy people.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Honestly, I hate using an overused term like strawman, but that's exactly what you're doing. You're creating a fantasy person to argue against, and literally making up what they think so you have the perfect person to argue against.


Tillerman, it's not a strawman when those sorts of people actually exist, even if you're not one of them.

Quote:
Same style of Otherworld? As which game? Because the style of Otherworld wasn't the same in 1-4.


From the context of the rest of his post, I'm guessing Ryan means less aesthetics and more the mechanics of how the Otherworld functions, which are the same in all four except maybe 4, honestly.

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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Are you disappointed with the newest Silent Hills?
     
         
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AuraTwilight wrote:
Tillerman, it's not a strawman when those sorts of people actually exist, even if you're not one of them.


If you look hard enough I'm sure you can find someone who will say that everything the first 4 games did was perfect, everything the latter 4 games did was awful, and the series needs to not change at all. But in reality, the VAST majority of fans aren't like that, and I certainly don't see anyone like that in this forum. People are more complicated than that, everyone has their own ideas about how the Silent Hill series should evolve, what aspects should stay the same and what should change. People are individuals, and you have to remember to give them credit for that.

Quote:
From the context of the rest of his post, I'm guessing Ryan means less aesthetics and more the mechanics of how the Otherworld functions, which are the same in all four except maybe 4, honestly.


SH2 is a bit different as well. The transitions between normal and otherworld are sometimes pretty blurred, and some areas don't have that transition at all, like the Prison/Labyrinth area.

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