First off, since I'm not going to be responding to that bit directly, I just wanna say that your experiences with the Gundam fanbase still fascinates me. It's like this huge multifaceted behemoth of a franchise with wildly different tones for various entries and it's fanbase seems to reflect that in a way that's downright poetic. Now you're talking about often ignored novelizations that bring unique elements into it. There's years worth of history there. This reminds me that I need to continue my ventures into Gundam. I think Zeta was the next on my list...
Anyway, Silent Hill...
I recently replayed Shattered Memories and remembered why I numbered it as a decent successor to SH3. And while it was always a shame that I could never drum up enough interest to finish Downpour, I did appreciate its attempt at aesthetic difference, and both games' keeping Pyramid Head where he belonged: In SH2.
Certainly. Silent Hill has it's fair share of duds underneath it's banner, but I maintain that it's got more gems. Honestly though (and I know I've said something like this before, but it's been awhile), Silent Hill is too varied a thing for a new entry to really satisfy everyone
. Even with the earlier games, you'll find that people who love them equally might have different reasons. This may be somewhat impacted by which game you got into the series with, but there's more to it than that. Two people can play Silent Hill 2 and one can walk away saying "what a deep emotional story, those characters are interesting" and the other one can walk away saying "that was so scary, those monsters are sick". Neither reaction is correct or wrong, but it's easy to see that maybe the first person would go on to love Shattered Memories while the second person might not.
My main hope for SHs, aside from craftsmanship, was that the trend of risk would be continued, because it sometimes seems like people forget that SH2 took a huge risk, breaking as far as it did from the aesthetic and themes of SH1.
Actually, it often seems like people forget about SH1, period. Considering that's my favorite game in the series, it's a bit of a bummer.
SH2 has certainly eclipsed SH1 as "the original" in most people's mind, but those are the same kind of people who call Ocarina of Time the "first Zelda". Can't blame them too much, though, the franchise that followed would certainly evoke SH2 more often than it would SH1. Even things like Homecoming, which seems to evoke SH1, can more realistically have it's influence attributed to the movie. Even Origins, a prequel
to SH1, spent most of it's time trying to be SH2.
For what it's worth, I agree about them taking risks. Hell, as much as SH4 suffers in many departments, I thought what it was trying to be was an excellent breath of fresh air for the series, it tried something completely new while still containing the most essential parts of the series DNA and adding new concepts to the lore. That's what a new Silent Hill game should be, in my opinion.
Now, like you, I never thought Kojima was the savior of the series, but I did trust him to keep the game from being broken, and I was hoping del Toro's visual aesthetic and injection of Spanish horror elements (thinking mostly of Devil's Backbone) would be an interesting addition to the Silent Hill melting pot, presaging the gradual Hispanicization of the US.
I never got to play P.T., and I'm realistically still at least a year from owning a PS4, so I wouldn't mind if you sometime explained more of what you thought of it (or linked me to your thoughts, whichever you like), but it was great to see people so less jaded over an SH concept, especially given that my most recent experiences in SH were a dull replay of Homecoming and an absolutely horrid screening of Silent Hill: Revelation.
I was pretty much mixed on PT. I don't mean that as in I was neutral or unsure of how I felt about it. I mean there are elements of it I absolutely loved and elements I disliked a lot. The stuff I loved were mostly the Kojima-isms and the way it felt like there was something much deeper behind the whole thing. Plus, things like the messages in other languages, the "error crash screens", the radio messages, and how a lot of it formed clues for the final puzzle, it made trying to discover things in PT really interesting. Like, it calls to mind the same feelings as trying to figure out what things mean in Dark Souls or something. Granted, on a much smaller scale. It was also legitimately scary to me, probably the first time I've actually found Silent Hill scary since SH1.
Then, on the other hand, it was pretty... non-SH-y. I felt the atmosphere was completely wrong, the ghost was a bit silly, the writing at the end extremely cheesy and out of place, the jump scares were cheap, and it was a bit too close to "youtube fodder" horror games you'd find on Steam for $3 for my tastes. That sounds really harsh, but it's mostly just that it wasn't what I would have wanted out of Silent Hill. If taken as a stand-alone thing, the positives outweigh the negatives and most of the issues are negated by it not being SH. But it had me more cautious about Silent Hills than I would have been otherwise. The pitch trailer thing released later on didn't help, I really didn't like that. It all seemed so over the top and silly.
Overall, I'd say that I liked PT, I certainly played through it many many times and to feeling of researching online what other people were putting together while I played and experimented with things myself is a fond memory that's going to stay with me for awhile.
But yeah, one's enjoyment or disenchantment of parts of a series should never lead to wistfully autocratic promulgations on the fate of that series. That's what the market is for, and I have no delusions of usurping that process like some kind of gaming Robespierre. Even the Kojima-Konami controversy... I can understand the core of why Konami would want to part ways with Kojima: It's obvious he spends too much and probably doesn't rake in enough to justify it. If the company didn't come off as so petty and vindictive, I might even be able to argue a few points in their favor... but, they have put out an image of stunning childishness, which makes them indefensible.
I'm (un)lucky in not needing to say "Phantom Pain will be my last Konami game," because I doubt Konami will put out anything else I'm interested in buying, short of them becoming a glorified holding company like Sega.
... there's a lot of capital flight among our childhood favorite Japanese developers. It's all part of the natural cycle, but it's still disturbing.
You're pretty on-point with the Kojima/Konami thing. I was talking about that very thing with someone the other day. If that leaked budget for The Phantom Pain was true, a lot of Konami's actions make more sense (releasing Ground Zeroes as a separate thing, adding microtransactions to the online, having a parting with Kojima, etc), but the way Konami goes about these things makes it really hard to even care that they might have logical reasons for it. Trying to take down youtube videos criticizing them and ebay listings of PS4s with PT, for one thing, is so slimy and childish, not to mention they blacklist anyone who calls them out on their BS (Jim Sterling, for example
). They're also just kind of really bad at their job in general.