Silent Hill Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Silent Hill RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network 7 games that capture the feel of PSX & PS2 era survival horror Tue, 01 Nov 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur


While these are some of the most obvious examples of games that bring back that classic style, there are lots of titles available with some similarities worth looking into. For instance, it could probably be argued that The Last Of Us is essentially a survival horror game, even if it goes a different direction and has more polished controls.


What did you think of our picks, and what PS1 / PS2 style games would you recommend we try out to scratch that survival horror itch?


If you need even more scary gaming, be sure to also check out 13 essential horror games to scare you to death, unconventional horror games to play at Halloween, and 5 scary games outside the horror genre.


Cursed Mountain


An anomaly in this genre, Cursed Mountain was released for the Wii and took place in a snowy setting instead of a creepy mansion or abandoned school.


From the item descriptions to the way the characters move, everything else about Cursed Mountain exudes the survival horror feel, with some interesting Wii-specific mechanics built in like shaking off ghosts with the wiimote.



Alan Wake


Alright, I'll grant you this one's not a 1:1 crossover to those PS2 style entries, but the game is clearly inspired by survival horror of yesteryear, especially in its setting and environments, but there's other obvious parallels.


Managing the flashlight battery, scarce ammo, a psychological bent to the story, and limited ability to fight the things chasing you are all drawn from the well of old school survival horror.





Lone Survivor


Wait a minute... that's a 2D game! Yep, and it's also built around a core of survival horror that hits the mark with creepy atmosphere, puzzle solving, and a focus on avoiding the monsters. Plus, just take a listen to the soundtrack, as the music and sound effects here are strongly reminiscent of all things Silent Hill.





One of several instances where developers disenfranchised from their publishers decided to strike out and create new entries based on classic series, NightCry is the spiritual successor to the Clock Tower series. With no publisher backing, crowd funding arrived to save the day and give us more Clock Tower style fun.


You may notice a lot of negative reviews for this one, but take a look at what those reviews complain about: PS2 graphics and character movement, wonky camera, weird storylines and incomprehensible endings. In other words, this is classic survival horror gold.


Just take a look at how the text appears on the screen or how the main character walks through those hallways and tell me you don't get all nostalgic.





Did you love the ghost antagonists and camera gameplay of Fatal Frame, or enjoy the survival horror style of games like Siren? This one is absolutely for you!


Based on Indonesian ghost stories and urban legends rather than the typical Japanese presentation, DreadOut puts you in the role of teenager exploring scary abandoned locations at night and fighting back with your camera phone. It's both familiar and new all at once.



The Evil Within


I can already hear the elitists screaming: “This isn't survival horror, it's action horror!” Yeah, yeah, yeah, but here, the distinction is razor thin. It might have combat-focused segments the further in you go, but in all other respects this game is quintessential survival horror in a more modern presentation.


Third person style, avoiding monsters, classic environments, inventory resource management, escaping traps: The Evil Within is really the iconic Resident Evil style gaming updated to current gen consoles, even if there are a few tweaks here and there that go beyond the traditional bounds of the genre.



Long Night


This indie crowd funded venture very strongly draws from the early survival horror source material and it shows with outdated graphics, terrible controls, and clunky camera movement: in other words, we're off to a strong start!


This one's PS2 survival horror to the absolute max, made by people who clearly have a serious love for the genre. You'll run around sinister darkened locations picking up items, finding journal entries, and solving puzzles while generally creepy thing go on around you.


Sadly, it's unfinished and will forever remain so. After a successful Kickstarter campaign netting $12,000, the developers only ever released the first episode and have no intention of ever finishing the story in subsequent episode releases. Buyer beware.



Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Clock Tower, Siren, Rule Of Rose, Fatal Frame, Galerians: the golden age of survival horror games has sadly faded away. The style has been over saturated by jump scares and become something completely different with the more action-oriented Resident Evil titles lately.


Games like Outlast are defining the horror genre right now and while they may be about survival over fighting, they really aren't in the same vein as the classic definition of ”survival horror” coined back in the PS1 days and then further refined on the PS2.


What specifically is survival horror then? What we're talking about here involves bad camera angles, limited saves, wonky controls, puzzle-solving, limited resources/ammo hoarding, and monster avoidance along with claustrophobic and tense atmospheres.


Any given game might lack one or two of those (particularly as gameplay improves over the years and certain elements become obsolete), but overall we want all of that together to evoke the feel of classic survival horror gaming.

The Decline of Silent Hill Sat, 29 Oct 2016 12:20:57 -0400 Stefano Bonacchi

The Silent Hill series is basically the only horror series I like.

Lately however, it seems likely to be dead since the last main series title Downpour fared quite poorly in 2012  and the reboot that was to be directed by Hideo Kojima, of Metal Gear fame, and Guillermo del Toro -- famous for Pan's Labyrinth and Pacific Rim-- ended up being scrapped.

But why is it like this? Let's find out.

Silent Hill came out in 1999 and was quite innovative in the Survival Horror genre, because your character was basically just an average guy, not a trained policeman of a special ops unit like in Resident Evil for example. The game tried to make you feel dread and fear by not only putting you up against unholy abominations -- not that there weren't any, but they weren't what sparked fear into you.

The world itself, the Silent Hill city, felt otherworldly and not right. The ambience was built to scare, and it was done goddamn well too! Due to this, the game had an overwhelmingly good impact on the public and press, and a series was spawned.

The sequels themselves, at least at first, were not only up to par with the original, but at times even better. Silent Hill 2 being most likely the best of them all and 3 coming close. However, most critics do agree that the series itself, after 4, and maybe even with 4, started on a slippery slope towards less and less quality. Series need to change themselves to stay relevant or to continue to deliver the same experience but in ever better ways -- this is why Civilization is still a big hit after more than 20 years. Let's see if the Silent Hill series failed to do just that, and where in particular did they fail.

Silent Hill 4 started changing the series' formula, giving greater emphasis to combat, this in itself wasn't bad, in fact the game is still better than average, but it can be argued to have been the last time the series was very good, tough no longer exceptional.

It was still atmospheric, the city, while no longer being the titular Silent Hill was still a malevolent and eldritch location, but the fact that you could--and had to-- fight, made it feel a bit less scary compared to previous installments where combat was marginal and the likes of Pyramid Head in the second installment, could just kill you outright in one hit.

Origins tried to recapture the spirit of the first 3 games and while being overall a decent game it wasn't like the games it tried to emulate, since its storyline was less compelling than those of previous installments were and the overall atmosphere of the game didn't feel as scary and oppressive as previous entries set in Silent Hill.

Homecoming went all out with the idea of making combat even more prominent than it was in 4 --the game itself wasn't bad-- but every instance was now feeling less and less scary and old time fans started to complain, since it didn't remind them at all of what Silent Hill used to be. There was no longer that oppressive fear of being overpowered at every turn and not being in control. The story here was decently written and the main character was relatable, but the series had lost itself, and sales started to confirm the dip in quality the series had experienced selling less than 900k copies worldwide, but still, Konami decided to give it another sequel.

Sequel that did indeed arrive with Downpour in 2012, the last mainline title to be published to this day, and one can hardly question why since the game itself did even worse than its predecessor selling less than 800k globally.

It wasn't bad, the story was better than the previous one and the setting was scarier. It overall may have been a step in the right direction, but it can be argued that it was too little and too late, the franchise had been suffering, and needed a huge hit to be brought back to a healthy status, Downpour wasn't able to deliver that. Although it went back to its roots, basically putting you against your innermost fears from your psyche as the first and second installment had marvelously done, it didn't get great reviews from critics who overwhelmingly though, not without reason, that the game had a generally bad gameplay and control system that made it difficult to enjoy its other qualities.

[Sales figures for all Silent Hill Games]

Now we've seen why the series has died, lets concentrate on the scrapped Silent Hills game--that  might have brought it back into relevance had it been released.

Silent Hills, as previously said was a joint project of Hideo Kojima and Benicio del Toro, their names alone generated a lot of hype among fans due to how good at their respective works they both are, a demo was released on the Playstation 4 PSN and met overwhelming praise from all, players and press, but why then was the game ultimately scrapped?

I fear that the cause was the retirement from Konami of Hideo Kojima and later the retirement from the Silent Hills project of Benicio del Toro, it may very well be that Konami's higher ups felt the game could not live up to the hype generated by the demo without those big names working on it anymore and classified as not worth risking the company's resources over.

To be honest, this is understandable, since the game would have greatly benefited by del Toro's touch and by the publicity associated with his name, and needed to have exceptionally great sales to revive the franchise. An objective hard to approach without said publicity boost he would have granted.

The franchise at the moment, needs something that goes back to the basics in its storytelling, but innovates on the gameplay, not an easy feat, certainly, but I've yet to give up all hopes and indeed think that there will be another attempt to revive the franchise, let's just hope it comes soon and does well.

We need a Silent Hill game that once again creates in us a sense of impotence and dread while exploring the world, that scares us without jumpscares but rather with eerie ambience and that has a well written and likeable protagonist struggling against such an alien, eldritch location and I do hope we get it soon.

Steal Their Style: Horror Game Edition Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:16:54 -0400 Dani Gosha

Let's be honest -- at one point or another we've wanted to be someone else. Or at least wanted to dress just like them. Shoes, hair, clothes, jewelry. No matter what it was we wanted it, and whether or not they were real or fiction we found ourselves wanting to dress just like them.

Both in life and in games, some people are just naturally more stylish than others -- and in the world of horror games, despite horrific situations there's always a fashionable character to be inspired by.

Whether you're looking for an easy cosplay or want an everyday wearable look, keep reading as you'll be sure to find it in this horror game edition of Steal Their Style.

Steal Alma Wade's Style



If you're looking for an outfit that says "I'm conservative but I can be a little edgy," F.E.A.R's Alma has a little red dress that's just to die for. This drop waist long sleeve dress is perfect for any body type, not just a woman with a 12 year old's body. Even better, the style and color is perfect for transitioning into the upcoming cooler months. However, despite Alma's ability to strike immediate fear, this look on anyone else might even make a good first impression in a casual style interview (but, you might want to ditch the blood!).



Steal Eddie Gluskin's Style

Outlast: Whistle Blower

Admittedly, Eddie was a pretty disturbed character but his style for the most part was immaculate. In an asylum of deranged patients -- a good portion of them not even clothed -- Eddie was the best dressed. Much like Gluskin's personality, the all-blue ensemble oozed moody but meticulous. and it's worth stealing. 







Steal Maria's Look

Silent Hill 2

When it comes to most horror game antagonists, while they are often stylish they are certainly no Maria. Silent Hill 2's Maria is undoubtedly a siren in regards to James' character. Her outfit blatantly screams red light district -- but unfortunately for her, the grey skies and forever fog in Silent Hill certainly isn't a place where her leopard print skirt can be appreciated. We appreciate it, though, and this is why it's a style to steal.






Steal Leon S. Kennedy's Style

Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil has no shortage of well-tailored characters, but Leon makes the list as he's had quite the stylish upgrade since his appearance within the 4th installment. Gone is the underarmor styled black shirt, and here today is a pop of color in the form of an orange shirt beneath a black button down and trendy moto jacket. This is certainly a wearable look for both cosplay conventions and everyday life.






Well that's it for this horror game edition. Did you find a look that you plan to steal? Sound off below and let me know who's style you want to steal next!

Top 5 Worst Game to Film Adaptations Thu, 17 Mar 2016 07:20:01 -0400 EdWade

Over the years, we've had some disastrous game-to-movie adaptations. But what are the worst? You may be thinking all of them, and you wouldn't be far off! But considering the franchise as a whole, which have been the most damaging?  

  1. Resident Evil

The game was a huge success and has turned into a mass franchise. The films unfortunately haven’t followed suit. Resident Evil and then Resident Evil: Apocalypse weren’t half bad. But then after that, things just got embarrassing. Based on the famous zombie outbreak caused by Umbrella, it is hard to believe that we have had five films produced! No doubt another one will come churning out soon.

  1. Silent Hill

The game was originally released in 1991 by Konami and was a Japanese horror. Since then two movies have spawned and unlike the game, have given no justice to the original terror and quality. Understanding just what the hell is going on in the first Silent Hill film is a challenge, however, some of the creeps and scares make up for it. Despite Silent Hill: Revelation having a strong cast that was just as painstakingly bad. The game hasn't been able to last the ages and was cancelled last year.

  1. Hitman

Possibly a controversial choice, but the original Hitman film just seemed to lack so much of the character and intensity that the game has. Starring Timothy Olyphant, it simply has too much of an "origin story". However, I do feel as though Olyphant captures what a Hitman would be like, even though he perhaps doesn’t stick to the similarities of the games character. The action that goes along with it is all good and proper but lacks real likenesses to the game. Hitman: Agent 47 isn’t even a sequel, but a reboot and it doesn’t really do that. However, Hitman is the game which has had the most outlays because of it, and even got a casino game.

  1. Far Cry

In my opinion, the best game on the list. But once again a film simply is not doing it any justice. With the recent release of Far Cry: Primal, we can at least appreciate that the movie didn’t do any harm to the gaming franchise. Director Uwe Boller (Who must give up game-to-movie adaptations) made this film far too much about the human mutants running around and ruined a natural, compelling story.

  1. Max Payne

It held so much promise. With Mark Wahlberg at the helm, it could have been heading in the right direction. He seemed like the perfect actor to take on the role of a gritty detective fighting for the revenge of his family and would certainly have suited the distinct action of the film. Instead, we got drug addled hallucinations of Norse warriors with a plot that only really made sense halfway through!

The list could go on, with some game-to-movie adaptations just about making it as a half descent film. Prince of Persia springs to mind. But let us hope that eventually we get a top quality one. Our hope rests on Assassin's Creed.

From Nerd to Ninja: The Positives of Gaming by a Gamer Thu, 05 Nov 2015 06:14:12 -0500 GamingGuru

Growing up in a neighborhood riddled with drugs and gang violence, video games were my solace. Opting not to fall into the perpetual machine of self-destruction, I turned to what was considered a relatively safe hobby: video games.

Sure, some of my favorites, notably Doom and Clock Tower, contained graphic violence, but that didn't stop me from quickly identifying the benefits of gameplay. After 5+ years of Super Mario Bros. and its sometimes more violent ilk, I had noticed a marked improvement in my hand-eye coordination, problem-solving abilities and even social skills.

Hell, science has even proved it to be possible! With these new skills, I even developed a taste for certain tenets of ninjutsu, specifically hokojutsu (walking) and choyakujutsu (jumping). I even wall-jumped up a stairwell at my old high school, much to the chagrin of school security!

I didn't learn these skills to fight, but rather hone my physical ability, which still holds strong twenty years later. I possess a level of confidence that would have been hard to achieve had I fell to the violent tendencies of some of my schoolmates.

And yet, despite the obvious benefits of gaming, big media outlets reporting on youth violence would twist eyewitness testimony and speculate to the point of...

Violent Video Games Made Me Do it!

It's an ongoing trope that seems to crop up in the wake of every violent event perpetrated by young people in recent history: violent video games create violent killers.

The funny part is that unspeakable violence has been committed for thousands of years before the advent of video games, yet the media continues to blame them for the horrendous acts of Adam Lanza, Dylan Klebold and others. One common trait that many of these young men had is that many would describe them as "socially aloof" or "awkward" prior to their horrific crimes. And yet, it’s not like society is solely training boys to be violent or antisocial, right? Let's see what the pros have to say:

“For one thing, gamers are an even split between sexes, while violent crime is overwhelmingly male-committed. For another, the evidence suggests that there are many, and more important, factors that contribute to criminal behavior. and video games--if they have any role to play, which is suspect at best--would be minor compared to them"










- Criminology professor John Wright of the University of Cincinnati.

"Police investigations did not uncover any connections to the computer game. The motive for the incident was robbery"





- Leicestershire Constabulary spokesperson on the Stefan Pakeerah murder


Despite these findings that suggest video games have an intangential impact on violent behavior, large media networks tirelessly try to make the connection between youth-perpetrated murder and video games as if their very livelihood depended on it.

Seeing as how my own situation seems to match many of these individuals (broken home, middle socioeconomic class, etc.), I'm pleased to report that I am not a serial killer, and I suspect a large majority of gamers aren't either. So why does big media continue to blame violent video games?

It's About Ratings

Money doesn't just fall out of the sky for journalists to absorb. A large amount of their revenue comes from advertisements, so naturally, to attract the most affluent brands, they have to do what they do best: report the most sensational stories to attract more viewers and ultimately, marketers.

Would the standard viewer be content with watching a dry account of actual events, or would they be more drawn to aggressive claims that firmly lay blame on a person, place or object?

ICYMI: it's the latter.

So whenever a mass shooting or other tragedy occurs, news outlets learned a long time ago that being the first on the scene equals more viewers. But for those who showed up late to the party, generating the most "buzz" through sensational headlines becomes the next goal. The more scathing, the better.

With all of these money-driven endeavors driving their actions, it becomes hard to believe everything the news tells you. Even funnier, many of these "journalists" haven't even picked up a controller before. So how can they say with any level of certainty that violent video games create violent youth?

My Story

As I've stated before, I wasn't always the most socially adept creature. In fact, my biological parents have been divorced since I was three and viewed video games as nothing more than a suitable "babysitter" for my brother and I when they just needed a break. Even worse, my dad wound up remarrying a verbally abusive woman who would relentlessly attacked me for over 10 years.

With all of these elements working against me, it's no surprise that I began developing critical life skills in the safety of my own home, basking in the warm glow of my Nintendo Entertainment System. So how did video games help me develop awesome skills like hand-eye coordination, problem-solving and human empathy? Here're the three titles that helped me the most.

Ninja Gaiden

Oh yeah! This one was a given! 

For anyone who's familiar with Ninja Gaiden, they'll remember it as a soul-shredding action platformer that requires razor-sharp wits and lightning-fast reflexes, a far departure from the relatively forgiving arcade iteration. Even today, the title gives gamers a run for their money, with many not even making it past the second stage.

As awesome as my mom was in regularly renting one game per weekend, I knew well that I would have only a 2-day window to get the most enjoyment out of the game that I could, aka "master." In hindsight, I clearly had my work cut out for me, but back then, I had no idea what I was in for.

What I learned: Hand-Eye Coordination

When you have killer birds, cheetahs, various projectiles and football players (?) flying at you from all directions, you never have time to plot your next move in Ninja Gaiden. Life or death can hinge on pressing the right button at the right time, so for six-year-old me trying to maximize my time and value, learning hand-eye coordination was not an option!

After my initial weekend with Ninja Gaiden, I was only able to get to Stage 2-1. However, I noticed that I was able to complete tasks with my hands while training my eyes on something elsewhere previously, I was unable to write my own name without looking down at my work.

The benefits of increased hand-eye coordination via video games has been well-documented, though I did not understand its prolific impact at that time. It would only be a matter of time before I'd be wall-jumping in real life without a second thought!

Adventures of Lolo

(Honorary note: the late Satoru Iwata helped develop this game. Rest in peace, Iwata-san, and thank you for everything.)

Another regular rental for the better part of 1989, Adventures of Lolo seemed like the complete anti-thesis of Ninja Gaiden in that it didn't rely on swift reflexes, but rather problem-solving in order to advance Lolo through Egger's castle. The first few rooms set the tone by slowly introducing the game's mechanics to the player while slowly increasing difficulty as Lolo plods on.

Unlike Ninja Gaiden, Lolo's advancement depended on the player's ability to properly sequence their movements in a manner that allows them to gather all of the hearts and open the chest. The solution is not always obvious, but the game provides a "suicide button" in the event that the player gets stuck.

What I learned: Complex Problem-Solving

Even though I was able to hone my hand-eye coordination to a fine point thanks to Ninja Gaiden, my newly acquired skill didn't help me much in Adventures of Lolo. Numerous are the times that I would furiously kill off Lolo after getting myself hopelessly stuck, and without Nintendo Power or the advice of fellow gamers to fall back on, I had to learn and learn fast!

I got the game Friday afternoon and by Sunday evening, I was able to claw my way to the first stage where the Medusas start appearing (and promptly died over and over again). Laugh if you must, but that's an impressive feat when the furthest I could barely make it past the 3rd door after the first day. With complex problem-solving now on my side, it's almost time to give Jackie Chan a run for his money, right?

Silent Hill

As I was just a kid when I first played Ninja Gaiden and Adventures of Lolo, my sense of human empathy was still developing. After being introduced to survival horror by the aforementioned and awesome Clock Tower, I awaited the next great entrant into the genre. In 1999, it was delivered with what is perhaps the most "violent" game on this list: Silent Hill.

This was one of the first games that I picked up on day one. Through word of mouth, I was aware of its multiple endings and the elements that fell into play that dictated which one you received. And even though the characters weren't "real", I started to feel like I'd known them all my life.

What I Learned: Empathy

Silent Hill would only reward the player with the Good+ ending if: 1) they completed the Kauffman sidequest, and 2) didn't kill Cybil on the carousel in Lakeside Amusement Park. Not knowing this at the time and not wanting to be responsible for anyone's untimely demise, I would wander the environs endlessly, checking every door and alleyway so as not to miss anything.

Even though I always seemed to be low on health and ammo, I would plod on anyway. I really didn't want any of the NPC's blood on my hands and did everything in my power to ensure that everyone who could would make it out alive, even at the cost of my own safety and health.

Wrapping it All Up

So what did these games teach me about life? That there's much value in enhancing one's proficiency in hand-eye coordination, problem-solving and above all, empathy for your fellow human beings. 

When I became an adult, I used these skills to become a better manager, trainer and more recently, mentor for at-risk youth. Oh yeah, and I'm still a hobbyist ninja!

A large part of winning at life is having the confidence to handle a wide variety of life situations. Even though I still flounder on "off days," I can now say that I am a confident human being that helps those who need it most, and I can honestly thank video games for giving me that gift.

Guillermo del Toro says Silent Hills cancellation "Makes no f**king sense" Thu, 15 Oct 2015 06:50:51 -0400 Robert Sgotto

When Konami canceled Silent Hills, it was as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.

We felt like something terrible had happened.

Guillermo del Toro certainly feels that way. Entertainment website Bloody Disgusting sat down with the movie mastermind to find out that, yeah, Konami’s decision was pretty nuts.

“The thing with Kojima and Silent Hills is that I thought we would do a really remarkable game and really go for the jugular,” he said.

And he was probably right. Last year at Gamescom, Hideo Kojima stated, “Originally, we were thinking of making a game that would make you pee your pants.” But after further collaboration with del Toro, Kojima’s outlook changed. “We are aiming for a game that will make you shit your pants.”

The faces of true terror.

Everything pointed to a fantastic new entry in the Silent Hill franchise.

Unfortunately, somewhere down the line Konami decided Silent Hills wasn’t worth it anymore, canned the game, and left a lot of fans confused.

Even del Toro has a hard time understanding what went wrong.

“We had a great experience and had great story sessions with hundreds upon hundreds of designs,” he said. “Some of the stuff that we were designing for Silent Hills I’ve seen in games that came after, like The Last of Us, which makes me think we were not wrong, we were going in the right direction.”

Maybe it was because their direction wasn’t towards pachinko machines.

“We were hoping to actually create some sort of panic with some of the devices we were talking about, and it is really a shame that it’s not happening. When you ask about how things operate, that makes no fucking sense at all that that game is not happening,” del Toro said.

“Makes no fucking sense at all.”

Hmm. Sounds just like Konami.

If you want to read the full interview which also discusses his new movie Crimson Peak, head over to Bloody Disgusting.

Survival Horror - Does it Scare like it Used to? Mon, 05 Oct 2015 20:07:55 -0400 Damien Smith

Over the years we have seen the genre of survival horror change greatly in various ways. It all started with the grandaddy of them all, Alone in the Dark but it wasn't until Resident Evil that the genre really began to shine. These changes are so great in fact that, some franchises have become but shadows of their former selves, the original two named above in particular. The question that such changes leave one wondering is, due to change, do survival horror titles scare just as well as in the old titles?

 (Alone in the Dark, 1992)

To Jump Scare or not? 

It would seem there is a divide in the design of survival horror games these days where they are becoming either all out jump scare syndrome or joining on the Amnesia The Dark Descent bandwagon. Jump scares are simply not scary, they are startling and nothing more than that. Therefore that style of game is not really horror and gets thrown out the window.

From that the Amnesia bandwagon looks like the way to go when it comes to horror these days but are they truly scary? Let's look at the classic itself, Amnesia The Dark Descent. Despite the fact that it was Frictional Games first title Penumbra that gave birth to this form of survival horror gameplay, it wasn't until Amnesia that it turned into the cash cow that everybody wanted to also have a piece of the pie.

Amnesia was a great game in its own right and oozed with a classic and done-right atmosphere. It truly had its great moments that were really intense and quite horrifying. The one prime moment that stands out for me is in the flooded cellar with the invisible monster in the water, where you had to jump from crate to crate avoiding it below.

What followed was one of the most intense moments in video game history where you're pursued down corridors and having to close doors behind you to escape the monstrous being. These two moments were easily the greatest moments in the entire game, but where does that leave the rest of it? The rest of the game felt rather boring after experiencing that and I never truly felt like I was in any danger afterwards. I often saw creatures in the distance but never really face to face. Even when I did, I didn't have enough time to get a good look at them for them to have any form of scare while running from them. I could have had a big wide-eyed cuddly puppy dog chasing me and it would have had the same effect as long as it killed me.

(Invisible Creature in Amnesia: The Dark Descent)

So is Amnesia really that scary of a game? Not really, it has its moment but I wouldn't call it extremely scary nor as scary as the hype would make it out.
What about Outlast?

Let's look at Outlast next. Outlast was without a doubt a damn scary game at times, but it was scary for a different reason to that of Amnesia. I often refer to Outlast as a completely relentless beast, as essentially that is exactly what it is. It simply does not stop from the very first moment you're pursued, giving you very little breathing time before something is once again attempting to crush your skull in.

(One of many threats in Outlast)

Hiding from enemies was not easy either as they would often search the areas that were possible to hide in such as lockers, under beds and so on and so forth, meaning there was always the possibility that you would be found. It genuinely scared me, my heart was racing, my body temperature increasing and wondering should I continue to play or give it a break. That relentless feeling mixed in with amazing lighting and atmosphere worked brilliantly but this is the only case of a survival horror game that has scared me in recent years and yet it still felt like something was missing. It still didn't scare me like that of the old games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill.

What is that thing that is missing you might be thinking. In order to answer that question we need to look back into the game that made the genre the greatness that it once was. Let's go back to 1996 and take a look at the original Resident Evil on the Playstation 1, the game that brought the genre into a being of its own.

(The First Zombie Encounter in Resident Evil)

What did Resident Evil do right?

Resident Evil pitted you against an array of horrors in a very much claustrophobic mansion, with long tight corridors and this ever impending feeling of doom and dread. The ambient music that ran in the background as you journeyed through the mansion just added to this already eerie and mysterious building along with the dimly lit rooms, traps and ambushes.

Ammunition was scarce, wasting it would lead to certain death, awkward tank controls made it extremely hard to control compared to today's control standards and the fixed camera angles worked perfectly. Due to the camera angles you never really knew what was behind that corner you were walking towards if anything at all. It all left this amazing everlasting psychologically effect on the player's mind. Silent Hill did exactly the same thing but added in the likes of limited visibility with darkness and fog mixed with extremely strange monsters that made your skin crawl to enhance the psychological effect even further.

 (The Darkness Adds to an Already Overwhelming Sense of Dread)

You see it is that psychological effect that is missing from modern-day survival horror, where the game developers create them in a way to play tricks on the player's mind to the point that their mind creates the horror within itself.

Modern day survival horror even the greats like Amnesia and Outlast are predictable, you know from the design of a room or even from how long it has been since your last encounter when something is going to happen. You know full well it's about time.

The modern survival horror games are so highly scripted and linear that it's like following an instruction manual and you quickly begin to see this A,B,C style of design coming into play. While back in the 90s developers were much more limited in what they could do and had to use what they had available and create more of a psychological effecting experience in order for their games to scare.

I have often heard people saying "If a survival horror game has guns in it, it isn't scary".

The thing is, having access to a gun in a place full of monsters with little to no places to hide and having little ammunition at your disposal serves a psychological impact on the player immediately in its own right. The player begins to question "do I kill this monster and risk being lower on ammunition than I already am, or do I find a way around it and save ammunition for later when I find myself backed into a corner?"

It is the psychological aspect of horror that is missing from today's survival horror games. Those moments where the player questions themselves, their actions, their perception and their minds. It is within a persons own mind where the greatest of horror truly lives and this is why survival horror games were scary back in the 90s, as they had such an effect on the player as oppose to today's survival horror games.

I dream of the day that survival horror games go back to having such effects on the player as it is only then that the genre will reach its greatness once again like it was so many years ago. I feel that if survival horror was going to go back to its true roots with developers understanding what it is that actually made them scary back in the day, that with modern-day technology we could have some of the scariest experiences ever created in any form of media.

That brings me back to the original question of this entire article. Does survival horror scare like it used to? The answer to that question is simply no.

Top 15 most frustrating doors in video games Mon, 24 Aug 2015 03:35:24 -0400 Clint Pereira


1. Security room doors in Five Nights at Freddy's


Why would these doors use an entire generator's power to stay closed? Why would any door use power to stay closed? This doesn't make any sense! Who rigged these doors? Was it you, Bonnie?


...why are you looking at me like that?


2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's claw puzzle doors


The golden claw door is part of the main quest and these dragon claws are the only time you'll ever have to rotate items to solve a puzzle. The only time.


And there are no tutorials, no hints from NPCs. None of the loading screen tips tell you that you can rotate items, either, and there are literally hundreds of different loading screens!


3. The doors to the next level in Little Nemo


Missed a key? Time to go back and scour the whole level for it.


4. Locked Doors in Super Mario Bros. 2

  1. Steal a key from a very angry spirit called Phanto.
  2. \n
  3. Escape from the tomblike vase in which he lives.
  4. \n
  5. Run as fast as you can to the locked door.
  6. \n
  7. Try not to get murdered by Phanto.
  8. \n

5. Demon Doors from the Fable series


These guys were all jerks. I'm not getting married just because you say so! If the bouncer at a club gave me cryptic clues to go on a fetch quest, I don't think I'd want to dance there.


6. Resident Evil load screen doors


My eyes glaze over just thinking about it.


7. Exits in Zombies Ate My Neighbors


I know these might look like wide targets, but you have to approach them from a certain angle. And then there's the times you're being chased by a maniac with a chainsaw when your player 2 decides to take the same exit you were going for.


8. Trapdoors in Luigi's Mansion


If you're ever in a rush, these doors will be sure to punish you. There is a way to spot them by opening up the Game Boy Horror screen. The things I wouldn't do for a fire vacuum right now.


9. Shop doors in Shenmue


Lots of doors and tank-like controls. With ten minutes for every in-game hour, waiting for the bar to open can be a nightmare.


10. The Binding of Isaac's curse room doors


In any roguelike as brutal as this, health is a luxury you can't afford to spend. When the doors start taking it away, it's time to start praying for good item drops.


11. Room 302's chained front door in Silent Hill 4


Buddy, you ain't going nowhere.


12. Grand Theft Auto 3's fake doors


I don't know about you, but playing a sandbox game like GTA 3 always makes me want to explore the city inside and out. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.


13. Portal 2's "cake dispensary" door


Let's get this straight—cake is not a joke. I used to get excited about the prospect of cake, but now I just feel empty inside (from lack of cake).


14. Every locked door in Oblivion and Skyrim


While I personally find lockpicking therapeutic, I know a lot of people pull their hair out with these minigames. They take forever and disrupt the flow of an already slow-paced game.


15. Plants Vs. Zombies screen door zombie


At the top of the list is a door that's not where it's supposed to be. Who uses a door as a shield? Zombies, that's who.


Doors. Why do they have to get in our way all the time?


Some require solving puzzles to open. Some, death-defying stunts. Others just need a heaping amount of patience.


Here's my list of the most frustrating doors in video games.

Guillermo Del Toro says "No" to video game development after Silent Hills debacle Fri, 14 Aug 2015 07:44:04 -0400 Marshall Jenkins

The award for "Biggest Gut Punch" for fans of the horror genre this year would no doubt go to the cancellation of the Kojima/Del Toro collaboration Silent Hills. The news of a master of horror working hand in hand with a master of video game storytelling sent chills down anticipating fans spines as we all waited for any sign of the game.

When the sleeper release of the game's demo P.T. released last year on the PlayStation Store, it was universally acclaimed and the proverbial hype train was running full steam ahead. 

Nope. Nope Nope Nope. 

It appears that the cancellation of Silent Hills was the final straw that broke the camel's back of Del Toro's video game career. Having previously worked on a game that was similarly cancelled, it seemed that Del Toro was finished with game development long ago, but we were pleasantly surprised to learn about his collaboration with Hideo Kojima.

This time, however, his claims of abandoning video game creation seems to be more concrete. 

In a video interview with Shack News, Del Toro jokingly said that if he made another foray into video game development, "World War III would start." Referencing the downfall of THQ and the separation of Kojima from Konami, Del Toro noted his involvement and subsequent negative outcomes for both companies have put a dark cloud over his aspirations for video game storytelling. 

Hopefully, he will change his mind in the future for our sake. For now, you can look forward to Guillermo Del Toro's next work in the world of film with the release of Crimson Peak on October 16, 2015. 

What is Konami doing? Sun, 09 Aug 2015 06:05:49 -0400 Clint Pereira

I just can’t see the long plan, Konami. Help me out here.

Next month, Konami is releasing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the last game in one of their most popular series ever. But when the fanfare eventually dies down and sales dwindle, what will they do? They don’t have any other major franchises to fall back on, not anymore.

The Metal Gear Solid series was headed by Hideo Kojima, but he's left under still-mysterious circumstances. In a statement by Konami, the company states that they have plans to continue the Metal Gear series and is auditioning for a new lead developer.

If I had a cane right now, I would shake the living heck out of it at mobile games. But from everything I’ve heard, mobile games are profitable and Konami is a large company. They’ve got to go where the money is. 

Kojima’s other project, Silent Hills, has also been cancelled. This is a beloved franchise that was on the cusp of being resurrected. It’s confounding to think that after Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro created a playable trailer (P.T.) that received positive critical reception, Silent Hills would be axed like that.

Now, just go back a little further to 2014. Koji Igarashi left Konami to start his own studio and launched a Kickstarter for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a Metroidvania game published by Deep Silver. Castlevania, while not exactly being nailed into its coffin, has a murky future.

After all this harrowing news, Konami would appear to be retreating from making games entirely. However, CEO Hideki Hayakawa assures fans that that is not the case. Instead, Konami will be focused on producing mobile games.

The success of Power Pro especially has motivated us to actively push more of our popular series onto mobile than ever before. Gaming has spread to a number of platforms, but at the end of the day, the platform that is always closest to us, is mobile. Mobile is where the future of gaming lies.

I hear many of you groaning, and I know where you're coming from. If I had a cane right now, I would shake the living heck out of it at mobile games. But from everything I’ve heard, mobile games are profitable and Konami is a large company. They’ve got to go where the money is. They've got to meet a bottom line.

It would certainly explain why they’ve been taking their Castlevania and Silent Hill franchises into the pachinko parlor.

While Kojima and Igarashi are walking into unknown territory, I imagine it’s actually very liberating to know they can make the games that they want and not have to worry about having their creativity stifled. After all, Iga’s Kickstarter was funded at record-breaking levels, and Kojima is still communicating with Guillermo Del Toro. This could be the best scenario for everybody after all.

But does that mean Konami is making the right decision for their company? Will they rise up like a Flappy Bird from the ashes? I suppose only time will tell.

PT-inspired Allison Road looks like what Silent Hills could have been Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:55:41 -0400 CallSignDriver

Last month we reported the reveal of Allison Road, an atmospheric first-person horror in the vein of Konami's canceled Silent Hills. Today, we see the reveal of Allison Road's first gameplay teaser--a thirteen-minute video recorded using a prototype build of the game, complete with photorealistic scenery, interactive environments, and an uninvited houseguest.

If you're worried about spoilers, don't be; this prototype was designed as a separate experience from the actual game, in order to showcase the game's look and feel without spoiling any of the plot. If you want to avoid spoilers for the prototype, I suggest that you watch the video above before reading any further.

"Dad was such a drag."

Right off the bat, it's easy to spot the similarities between Allison Road's gameplay prototype and the Silent Hills "Playable Teaser." There's the photorealistic visuals, the inexplicably locked doors, and even little P.T. easter eggs sprinkled throughout the TV room.

What's more interesting, however, are the differences: a voiced protagonist, an inventory for items, and an environment that can be explored further as the game progresses. We may never learn just how similar to P.T. that Silent Hills was going to be, but through Allison Road, we may learn what P.T. would have looked like as a fully developed gameplay experience.

For example, unlike P.T. in which much of the game's dangers are scripted encounters, Allison Road's creeping ghoul appears to be a persistent entity within the environment. In P.T., once you've seen a door move by itself a couple of times, it becomes obvious that nothing is actually moving it.

In Allison Road, when the player investigates the knock on the bathroom door, he discovers something on the other side. In P.T., you're never sure if Lisa is present or not. In Allison Road, there is something in the house.


"If it bleeds, we can kill it."

In P.T., you're never sure if Lisa is present or not. In Allison Road, there is something in the house.

This makes the butcher knife in the prototype gameplay video all the more significant. P.T.'s only collectible items were the torn photograph pieces (and maybe the flashlight if you want to be picky). In Allison Road, not only can you stow away items in your inventory, you can also equip certain items, like the bloodied butcher knife--but for what purpose?

In the video, the player spots the creeping ghoul in time to avoid it, hiding in his office until the threat subsides. This isn't even an option in P.T., which makes me wonder: if Allison Road's ghost can be avoided, can it be attacked? If not, why else give the player a weapon, other than to instill a sense of false hope?

Never mind, that's actually an excellent reason.

"Are you sure the only you is you?"

Right now, I'd say that my only concern with the prototype gameplay is the voiced protagonist. While the narration does help to prod the player in the right direction, it also shatters any immersion that the game's first-person perspective provides, and in a horror game, immersion is keyIn P.T., you are lost in a house. In Allison Road, you're controlling a guy talking to himself about being lost in a house.

Beyond that, Allison Road is looking absolutely dreadful, and I mean that as a compliment. Make sure to check out the game's official Facebook page for more information, and keep an eye on GameSkinny for future updates.

Rumor: Silent Hills NOT Dead, Will Be Xbox One Exclusive Fri, 29 May 2015 19:52:48 -0400 Elijah Beahm

Silent Hills is cancelled. Konami has fumbled the chance for Guillemo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima to co-create a brand new vision of Silent Hill. Right? Apparently, that might not be the case. According to a trusted anonymous source that reached out to RoosterTeeth's news team, not only is the game not dead, but Microsoft is in talks to acquire the entire Silent Hill IP as a Microsoft exclusive.

You can see their original report in the video above (warning: there's some swearing), and there's a number of interesting tidbits also revealed. For one thing, Silent Hills is apparently nearly 80% done at this time of writing, according to the source. Norman Reedus also stated back in 2014 that the "heavy motion capture" hadn't been shot yet, so it's likely that 80% is an alpha or pre-alpha version of the game.

In theory, if Microsoft does get the band back together, then the game could come out in roughly six to eight months, depending on the size and capability of the new developers. They would also have a normally pro-Sony series exclusive to Xbox One. That could be a huge turn around, as Silent Hill HD Collection and Silent Hill: Downpour were given far less attention on Xbox 360.

How much does that improved quality and exclusive status matter to Microsoft? According to the source, they are willing to spend billions in order to have the rights to Silent Hill. This is on top of Konami reportedly focusing on mobile development from here on out, so the likelihood of them selling off IP that isn't mobile friendly is high.

Konami also apparently pulled the PT demo as a sign of good faith to Microsoft. This also plays directly into Microsoft aggressively pursuing new sequels and new IP exclusives for its latest console. The cards all line up right, but we won't know for certain until E3, where Microsoft reportedly wants to show off the new acquisition in a big way.

Until then, how do you feel about Microsoft buying the Silent Hill IP? Would you jump ship from PlayStation to Xbox for the classic horror franchise? What do you think they'd do with the IP, moving forward? Let us know in the comments below!

8 Games From Last-Gen You Have to Play (but Never Did!) Tue, 28 Apr 2015 09:39:04 -0400 Elijah Beahm


Nier -- PS3/Xbox 360


Nier is just such a hard game to describe, even more than Remember Me. It's part Zelda inspired action-RPG, part bullet hell shooter, part dungeon crawler, and even part text adventure. It is amazingly fun, weird, emotionally poignant, and silly. It hits so many "oh Japan" notes yet completely owns it and makes it work.


Sure, there's a snarky talking book, people who wear weird masks, a hermaphroditic swordswoman, and a cursed boy who looks like a character out of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Heck, your first mission requires you practice your combat skills on sheep, after a prologue that had you tearing apart demons left and right. Nier is not for the faint of heart, and you can't help but admire it for it.


This isn't some half-baked, confusing melodrama like Final Fantasy XIII. Nier is like Shadow of the Colossus. It is a game that treats every aspect of the game as a chance to enrich and deepen the experience while still keeping things very simple on an execution level. Firing off super-powered missiles of dark magic happens within hours of starting, but understanding the depth and complexity of everything takes time. The soundtrack is also amazing, harkening to a Celtic-meets-Japanese folk sound and some intensely dramatic battle scores.


If you want to be guaranteed you are playing something different, play Nier. If you want a great story with funny and developed characters, play Nier. If you want to see people in half-dressed armor fight giant monsters head-on that would frighten Nathan Drake or Marcus Fenix, play Nier.


Binary Domain -- PS3/Xbox 360/PC


Binary Domain is a game that, by all concerns, should not be that outstanding a game. It has a voice command system that doesn't really work at all, literally registering "yes" as "no" when critics first reviewed it. It is a Japanese response to Gears of War, made to be silly and weird, with overly long cutscenes and the pacing of an anime. At one point, a story decision leaves 90% of your squad unavailable for several hours.


Yet, when you fight a frigging motorcycle robot twice the size of Optimus Prime on a giant highway.. it all feels worth it. Don't get me wrong, this game is incredibly dumb, but it is the best kind of dumb. It wants to be fun, and it knows exactly how to be the Pacific Rim of third person shooters. This is a game about oversized guns pounding all manner of robots (there's even a chandelier robot boss fight at one point) as you score in-game currency to upgrade yourself and your squad.


Your squad is also surprisingly varied, even if the trust system can be a bit awkward to use with an actual microphone (seriously, just use button inputs). However, it pays off with a branching ending sequence depending on who trusts you and how effective of a leader you've been. You also get access to small perks and improved performance by getting your squad loyal. It's handled far different from Mass Effect, but in a way that begs to be properly explored.


While the game's multiplayer is nothing substantial, the hilarious ride of a single-player campaign more than makes up for it. This is a third-person shooter for everybody out there who is tired of Gears of War rip-offs that are just dull and drained of any personality. Here, Binary Domain goes a step further and asks if we should really consider making J-Shooter a subgenre. Be sure to keep this one in mind when you need something to spice up your action gaming.


Silent Hill: Shattered Memories -- Wii/PS2/PSP


Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is the Silent Hill game almost no one seems to have played. Everyone other than Dan Ryckert loved it, and it got high marks for being a great reimagining of the original Silent Hill. It may have also released on PS2 and PSP (and subsequently got an HD Vita version in Europe), but Shattered Memories is best experienced on Wii.


Silent Hill: Shattered Memories eschews away from the combat focus of past games and instead emphasizes adventurous exploration levels and stealth. The adventure game side of things feels great, with all the puzzles and interactions feeling genuine and giving the world a sense of tangibility.


You feel like you are really pulling nails out of a window or messing with a puzzle device. Your flashlight follows the Wiimote's point, following it elegantly and accurately. Your smartphone lets you take pictures, save your progress, and neatly keeps all of the game's HUD compact and out of view unless you need it.


Every bit of control is built around giving you the most control you could want over what you can do, and even some bonus elements to help add to the atmosphere. Try hitting the A button when you first start walking from the car crash, and you'll see what I mean.


The Otherworld sections are great, making the lack of combat not simply a cheap gimmick but a core element. You can find road flares to ignite and give yourself some breathing room, but they go out and prevent you from carrying your flashlight in the meanwhile. The rest of the time, you'll be hiding, trying to creep in the dark and not get caught by one of the monsters hunting you.


As if all of that wasn't enough, there are also intermittent therapy sessions that influence the Silent Hill world you're playing in. The game's tagline is that it will analyze you and make the world apply to your fears. While I wouldn't say the game did a great job of adding personal fear, there is a fair amount of variability in how characters behave and appear, depending on your choices.


The story, graphics and voice acting are all incredibly high quality here as well. Shattered Memories pushes what a Wii game can do, and for that, it deserves some note as well. The endings are also all very well done and conclusive, giving a nice sense of closure and succinctly explaining the events of the game.


Have you been waiting for a good modern Silent Hill game? Or do you just like horror and happen to have a PSP, PS2, or Wii? Then you should totally look up Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.


BioShock 2 -- PS3/Xbox 360/PC


If there were ever a poster child for under-appreciated sequels, this would be it. BioShock 2 is a perfectly serviceable direct sequel to BioShock. In fact, it does a number of things better than the original, offers a great deal more depth to the original's story, and feels like a much more organic follow up than BioShock Infinite.


You play as the first Big Daddy, resurrected and on the search for your Little Sister. All the while, you contend with the collectivist psychologist Dr. Sofia Lamb, and the remaining survivors in Rapture after the events of BioShock. Along the way, you make or kill new friends, and save or harvest other Little Sisters. You also get to finally play as a Big Daddy protecting Little Sisters, and it feels like a fun new survival meta-mode within the campaign.


Along with this, you get the absolutely excellent multiplayer developed by Digital Extremes (who made another little game called Warframe. Yeah!). BioShock 2: Fall of Rapture incorporates all of the core ideas of the two games, making hacking, clever plasmid/weapon combos, and maze-like levels all work together. The inclusion of playable Big Daddys in multiplayer even gives the game a bit of a Titanfall feel.


Considering the game also has a Protector Trials challenge mode and the highly praised Minerva's Den DLC expansion campaign, BioShock 2 just about offers anything a fan of BioShock could want. The combat's better, the moral choices are better, the storytelling is top-notch, the level design is fantastic -- heck even the hacking game has been made fun. You owe it to yourself to pick this one up.




Remember Me -- PS3/Xbox 360/PC


Dontnod might be popular now for their mini-series Life is Strange, but before they were exploring high school with time travel, they had a much more ambitious project. Part brawler, part adventure game, with a sprinkling of ideas from puzzle games and third person shooters, Remember Me is a curious combo (excuse the pun).


You can customize your fighting combos to have unique effects: some drastically decrease recharge time for your abilities, do extra damage, or even heal yourself. In between brawls, you hack into people's minds and can remix their memories. It doesn't actually change the past, but the person will believe the memory as being correct, and this leads to some surprising, table turning plot twists.


Remember Me also features some truly amazing sound design and positively gorgeous visual design. The story might be a bit too whimsical for a 'hard core' sci-fi fan, but combined with the almost fantastical-meets-Cyberpunk art direction, it all sort of weirdly clicks. While the sum of its whole leaves some greater depth and replay value to be desired, Remember Me should at least be experienced once. It's a rare beauty with just enough brains to keep you racing through to the game's conclusion.


Lost Planet 3 -- PS3/Xbox 360/PC


You know, everyone had every right to be skeptical of Spark Unlimited's Lost Planet prequel. I mean, a studio who is most notable for creating some of the worst rated Call of Duty games ever and a one-off fantasy shooter that went nowhere? How on earth could they make a great follow-up to one of the weirdest launch-era titles for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Well, I'm not sure how, but they did.


Your RIG might not be a gun-toting mech like in past games, but it feels strangely even more powerful. On foot, the game takes a distinctly Dead Space-meets-Lost Planet feel, emphasizing careful movement and observing your enemies. All the meanwhile, the game brings you along for a surprisingly well-told story. The plot itself is as unsurprising as can be, but the core cast are written and acted better than many films.


The level of detail to everything is also impressive. Every new gun unlock has an a unique comment from the Quarter Master, that techie in a hallway will have something new and funny to say every time you pass him, and E.D.N. III's inhabitants feel real. Just as real is how clear the threat and danger of Akrid and flash blizzards can be. As the game's conspiracy unfolds, you can't help but feel genuine concern for Jim and the rest of the colonists working for N.E.V.C.


If you like Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions, Dead Space, Alien, or just want a great sci-fi game, then give Lost Planet 3 a try.


Red Steel 2 -- Wii


Despite basically being a Jedi Knight game on the Wii, with rock solid scores and a lengthy story campaign with challenge mode no less, Red Steel 2 is kind of unheard of these days. It was a genuinely good, hardcore FPS/sword fighting game on the Wii, with a beautiful Western meets anime meets Borderlands art style. It is honestly one of the most literally colorful shooters in years. It also remembers you have ears, and treats them with some utterly stellar sound design, especially for the sword attacks.


As you progress, you fight increasingly complex bosses, and gain special powers, one of which is literally a straight up Force Power, just given a unique name. Toss in some solid gunplay that is finely balanced to encourage you let your sword do the talking, and Red Steel 2 is just a ridiculous amount of fun. This is the kind of game you wished the original Red Steel was at launch, and it makes up for its predecessor in almost every regard.


The only real downside, besides some backtracking and a bit of a grind to unlock all the in-game gear, is a mediocre story. Everything else about Red Steel 2 works amazingly well. The motion controls are the closest to 1:1 the Wii ever had, and it's clear why Red Steel 2 was the game that sold a fair amount of Wiimote Plus attachments. So why not give it a shot? Unpack your Wii from the attic (or turn on your Wii-U), and give it a whirl.


Assassin's Creed: Rogue -- PS3/Xbox 360/PC


Yeah, it came out in 2014. You wouldn't know it though, given how hard GameStop and Wal-Mart are trying to sell it. Not only did Rogue finally ask some questions that critics of the titular Assassin order have been yelling for a while, it also featured some drastic new wrinkles to the series as a whole.


By becoming a Templar, you get some crazy new gear like a grenadier rifle, in addition to being able to kill civilians and otherwise break the Assassin code. Assassin's Creed: Rogue also realizes that enemy variety has gotten a bit stale in Assassin's Creed, so it finally gives us some AI Assassins to fight. While far from the online multiplayer of the core series (sadly absent here), Assassin's Creed: Rogue is the closest offline players get to trying out the mechanics and ideas of Ubisoft Albany's masterpiece online mode.


On top of that, you get a larger open world than Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, with more genuinely fun things to do than Assassin's Creed III's wilderness. While the PC price is a bit high for a better frame rate and a few higher graphics options, Assassin's Creed: Rogue is definitely a game worth playing. It is a fitting conclusion to a divisive but nevertheless fun saga in Colonial America.


As brand new next-gen-only games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Star Wars: Battlefront, and Batman: Arkham Knight approach, we forget that there are still easily dozens of great games we've missed on last gen. Here are a few old and even fairly recent ones that fell under the radar.

Silent Hills TGS Trailer Is Quite Disturbing Thu, 18 Sep 2014 18:37:45 -0400 zoLo567

In August, a free game landed on the PSN titled P.T. Upon completion, players found out that P.T. (Playable Teaser) was actually a teaser for an upcoming Silent Hill game, titled Silent Hills. Helmed by famed game creator Hideo Kojima, and movie director Guillermo del Toro, information on the game has been scarce. Now, at this year's Tokyo Game Show, another creepy concept trailer was released.

The trailer (seen below) once again takes place in a hallway, and is just as creepy as P.T. was. The teaser, like P.T., is in first person, and looks great, despite how disturbing it is.

The Silent Hills teaser has features that one could expect from the series: screaming decapitated heads, bug covered walls, and giant grotesque monsters. If this trailer is an indication of where the Silent Hill series is heading, then it looks like it is in good hands.

Silent Hills is in developement by Kojima Productions. Along with Kojima and del Toro being attached to the project, The Walking Dead and The Boondock Saints actor Norman Reedus is in the game, presumably playing the lead character. Kojima has mentioned that the team "originally wanted you to pee your pants...Now we want you to s*** your pants."

There is still no definitive release date for Silent Hills. As P.T. is exclusive to the PlayStation 4, it is safe to assume that the game will come out on the system. Whether or not we will see Silent Hills on other platforms is at this point unknown.

P.T.'s Secret Radio Broadcast Hints At the Return Of a Silent Hill Staple Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:07:57 -0400 zoLo567

Radios have always been featured in the Silent Hill franchise, so it was no surprise to me that the playable demo to Silent Hills, P.T., featured one. The radio goes through various broadcasts throughout P.T., but has an interesting segment later on in the demo. This is one of the many mysteries surrounding P.T., but seems a bit clearer now.

At one point in the demo, the radio begins to give a broadcast in Swedish. Now, thanks to YouTube user dimhoLten, we have a translation for the broadcast. It seems to point to aliens somehow being tied to the events of P.T., a common theme found in some of the Silent Hill games. Here is the translated text from the radio segment:

  • Close your eyes. Let your ears listen in to the radio. Do you hear my voice? Can you hear the screams of your own soul?
  • Let us choose: my voice, which tells the future, or your tormented [struggles?]. Well? What do you choose? You can choose. Your life. Your future!
  • Wise as you are, you may already have noticed. As the radio drama from 75 years ago was the truth. They are here, on our Earth. And they oversee and see all. Don't trust the news. Don't trust the police. They are already controlled by them.
  • So has it been for 75 years now. Only [our master?] can keep them [at bay]. You have a right. A right to become one of us. So welcome to our world. Very soon, the gates to a new dimension will open.

As mentioned before, there is a theme in Silent Hill that revolves around aliens. In a few entries in the series, there are secret endings where the protagonists will come into contact with these other world visitors.

The radio drama from 75 years ago mentioned in the broadcast could be a reference to Orson Welles' radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds. This broadcast outlined an alien invasion in the form of news bulletins. Many people took the program quite seriously, and it did cause panic among radio listeners. This sort of fear can result in terrifying actions, and could lead to horrible things, something that could fit in Silent Hills.

It would not surprise me if Hideo Kojima tries to fit the aliens somehow in his adaptation of the series. Even if it is just another secret ending, it would be interesting to see how Kojima handles it. We know little about Silent Hills, so it is too early to tell. Despite this, P.T. itself has already caused a scare.

Silent Hills will release in 2016. Kojima has hinted that the title will be open-world.

P.T. is the Scariest Thing That's Ever Happened Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:58:57 -0400 Rocky Linderman

Full disclosure for this article, there will be spoilers. I will do my best to avoid the major ones such as puzzle piece locations, so if you don't want the demo spoiled stop reading this now, go download it and come back when you're done playing. 

I fired up P.T. fully aware that it was a viral marketing campaign for the new Silent Hill game. I was also aware that Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro were the creators of said new game, thus going in I was expecting P.T. to be creepy as all hell. It did not disappoint. 

P.T. is played in the first person perspective, no idea if they're going to be using this perspective for the full retail release of Silent Hill, but I hope they do. Leaving behind Silent Hill's traditional third person camera in favor for the first person view adds to the feeling of danger since you can't cheat and use the camera to check behind you and around corners.

The entire game is played out in a continuously looping, "L" shaped hallway. When you reach the end of the hallway and open the door, you will simply be brought back to the beginning of the hall. The game's small space could get boring fast, but ingenious puzzles, a haunting sound design and the ever-present danger of being locked in a tiny room with a ghost work together to keep things fresh.  

During the course of P.T. you're tasked with finding hidden objects to solve puzzles and move on with the story. Once you've solved one puzzle you start over at the beginning of the hallway, but this time something in the environment has changed.

Sometimes it's a small difference like the lighting being red instead of its normal color, but other times the changes are more dramatic and can include anything from an aborted fetus being in a bathroom sink, to a bloody refrigerator hanging from the ceiling. 

The most memorable puzzle involved finding an incomplete sentence written on the wall and then having to walk back down towards the phone to see the word, "Hello" written on the wall next to it. After looking at "Hello" you head back down to the incomplete sentence and notice that the letter "H" has appeared at the end. The more you go back and forth between the two, the more the incomplete sentence gets filled out. 

This is all well and fine, except there's a terrifying ghost at the end of the hall over by the word, "Hello", making its way towards you. This put me in the difficult position of having to make the decision on whether or not it was worth my life to solve the puzzle. After a few failed attempts to build up my courage I eventually clenched my controller tight and forced myself down the hallway towards the ghost that was drawing ever closer. 

This and a few other truly horrible moments had me literally jumping with fright while I was playing. 

P.T. is masterfully crafted to force the player against their natural instinct and make them get close to the thing they should be running from in order to progress. I was playing in well-lit room filled with four of my friends and I still couldn't help but run in the opposite direction of where I knew I was supposed to go out of fear. 

P.T. uses its claustrophobic quarters to add to the horror as well. After a while the feeling of being trapped in that "L" shaped hallway begins to wear on your psyche. Every strange noise becomes a threat hiding in the shadows, waiting to jump out at you. 

My time with P.T. left me feeling thoroughly impressed. The game featured a stunning graphical fidelity complimented by a deeply disturbing environment with some of the most mind bending puzzles I've encountered. If P.T. is any sign of where Silent Hill is headed, then this franchise will have a very bright future.

Kojima and del Torro are diabolical masters of horror, you owe it to yourself to play P.T. I don't think I've ever been more impressed or scared by a survival horror game and this was just a demo.    

Silent Hills Coming in 2016, May Be Open-World Suggests Kojima Tue, 19 Aug 2014 23:05:04 -0400 zoLo567

Recently a game called P.T. released, and ended up being a playable demo for a new Silent Hill title, named Silent Hills. Now we have a release window for the "so scary you will shit your pants" title from the game's director, Hideo Kojima.

In an interview with WhatifGaming, Kojima talked about whether the game will be third person or not, having this to say:

“We’re not sure yet...Development is cycling between either allowing players to choose to play the whole game in first-person or third-person, or keeping it fixed third-person and having some areas be first-person only. Either way, we want to do something with first-person. The game will not be out more than likely until 2016, lots of time left.”

Kojima was then asked on whether or not Silent Hills will be linear. He responded with:

“All I can say is [that the] Fox Engine is meant for open world. I cannot discuss more on the game design itself in detail yet."

While much of the Silent Hill series has been in third-person, Silent Hill 4: The Room did have segments in first-person. Thus, the series is not a complete stranger to the viewpoint. As Kojima mentioned, the game will not release until 2016, so they have plenty of time to decide. P.T. worked in first-person, so it could go that way.

“All I can say is [that the] Fox Engine is meant for open world"

It would be interesting to have an open world Silent Hill. The series has always been linear, so open world would be different. If and how that would affect the series is unknown. P.T. was linear, and it worked, showing that the series is at home in that design choice. 

Kojima is working with film director Guillermo del Toro on Silent Hills, and the game will star The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus.

Top 10 Favorite Video Game Villains Tue, 12 Aug 2014 00:46:36 -0400 zoLo567

GLaDOS (The Portal series)

GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) is definitely one of the most memorable characters in video games. In just two games, she has established herself a place in video game history, and is one of the best characters in the past decade.


GLaDOS was one of the best parts of the Portal games, as her wit, aggressive-passive-aggressive nature, and sarcasm guide you through the game. You have no choice but to rely on her, and push on knowing she is playing with you. Yet, despite her diabolical nature, you easily come to love her. It may be Stockholm syndrome, but I find GLaDOS to be one of the most lovable characters ever. She may be playing with me, but I'm okay with that.

Kefka Palazzo (Final Fantasy VI)

All I can say is that Kefka one sick bastard. He has no problem killing and torturing, all to fulfill his grand plan. And he does not want to just rule the world; he wants to watch it all burn.


What separates Kefka from many other villains is that he succeeds. He becomes a god, and tears it all down. He may be defeated later, but he still won in the first place. This, along with his iconic laugh, makes him one of the greatest and most memorable villains in video games, and one of my favorites.

Ganondorf (The Legend of Zelda series)

Ganondorf is the true antithesis to everything that Link is. This dark wizard has plagued Hyrule for ages, and all fear his name. Where Link represents courage and righteousness, Ganondorf represents greed and a lust for power.Often times he tries to kidnap Princess Zelda, all with the intents to assemble a powerful artifact called the Triforce, giving him ultimate power.


Few villains are as dark and powerful as Ganondorf, who seems to transcend time, and always comes back to raise some hell. While there are multiple Links throughout time, there has only been one Ganondorf. There is also an alternate The Legend of Zelda timeline where he had succeeded. True greatness is hard to achieve, but I feel that Ganondorf has reached it.

Handsome Jack (Borderlands 2)

Handsome Jack is clever and devious. But that is not why I like him. He is also entertaining.


Throughout Borderlands 2, Handsome Jack taunts and ridicules the player, often hinting that he has bigger things planned. And that is one of the things that makes him so great. He seems to think that he is better than everyone, and lets us know it. This leads to some of the funniest dialogue that I have heard in a video game, and I love Handsome Jack for it.

Dracula (Castlevania series)

Dracula has been an iconic villain for years, ever since Bram Stoker created the character in his book, Dracula. This has translated well into the realm of video games.


Dracula has been the main villain of the Castlevania series since the very beginning, and has had different incarnations over the years. Like Bowser, Dracula never seems to stay down, and always finds his way back on our consoles. This has led to some awesome boss fights, and has helped make Dracula one of the most iconic vampires in entertainment.


Dracula always had a flair and bravado that I loved, especially in his appearance in Symphony of the Night. He is the ultimate vampire in gaming, and a long standing icon.

Frank Fontaine (Bioshock)

When it comes down to it, Frank Fontaine is clever and manipulative. You spend much of Bioshock thinking he is on your side, only to find out in a plot twist that he was the enemy the whole time. And that is what I love about him. He was devious enough to get you to execute his plan, and tries to kill you when you succeed. Very few villains were able to manipulate the player so easily, and get them to do their dirty work for them.

Mother Brain (The Metroid Series)

At first, Mother Brain seems to be a brain in a jar. But there is something much more darker and twisted than just that.


Mother Brain is the leader of the Space Pirates, who she controls from planet Zebes. She is easily the ugliest villain in this list, yet is also one of the most memorable. The final battle with her in Super Metroid was both emotional and intense, and had an impact on me as a young gamer.


Many remember Ridley, but I always remembered Mother Brain as the true villain and mastermind in the Metroid series. She felt vile, and dark, and essentially pulled all the strings in the early series. As Super Metroid meant a lot to me as a young gamer, Mother Brain always stuck in my head, and has always been one of my favorite villains.

Walter Sullivan (Silent Hill 4: The Room)

When it comes to Silent Hill, many of Pyramid Head. I think of Walter Sullivan.


Walter is a psychotic serial killer and the main antagonist of Silent Hill 4: The Room. He is trying to complete a ritual called the "21 Sacraments", under the belief that it will return his mother to him after he kills 21 people. Walter is not killing out of hatred or malice; he is simply trying to return to his mother.


He is also creepy as hell, which is great as it is Silent Hill. The world of Silent Hill 4 is a part of Walter's conscience, and helps reveal just how twisted the guy was. It helped establish the creepiness of the game, and fit the Silent Hill name. I feel that Walter captured the spirit of the series, and helped establish the dark tone of the game.

Ultimecia (Final Fantasy VIII)

Not much is initially known about Ultimecia. You do not see her much in Final Fantasy VIII, yet she has a presence throughout. You find that she is actually the mastermind behind everything, trying to become a goddess who can control space and time.


She nearly succeeds, being defeated just as she becomes a deity. That is when Ultimecia's fate takes a tragic turn: she goes back in time as she is dying, and gives her powers away. This sets off the events of Final Fantasy VIII, insuring her future defeat. This makes Ultimecia such a tragic character, a character whose fate is sealed, and will ultimately fall no matter what she does. I love tragic characters, and Ultimecia is one of my favorites.

Bowser (The Mario franchise)

When it comes to video game villains, Bowser is one of the most iconic, and persistent, characters out there. His popularity has grown just as much as his arch-rival Mario's, and he never seems to be able to give up. He has been a part of the Mario Bros. franchise since the beginning, and has become a video game icon in his own right.


He may be one bad dude, but we cannot help but love him. He may never succeed, but it is still great watching him try. That ego is part of what makes him so great, and though he may never win, it is fun watching him try. Mario Bros. would not be the same without him.


I love games with great game mechanics and great stories. But if there is one thing that I love in a game, it is a great villain. A great villain can give a lot of character to a game, and be a great hook. This list is a list of some of my favorite villains, and villains who have helped define what makes a great video game villain.



Konami Brings More Silent Hill to the Vita with Origins and Shattered Memories Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:20:12 -0400 Elijah Beahm

Konami has not had the best luck with the PS Vita. From having to cut Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker in the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on Vita, to  the critically panned Silent Hill: Book of Memories, their releases have fought an uphill battle on a still fairly niche platform.

Their resolve to try and make a success on the platform is definitely made clear though by their recent announcement to port Silent Hill: Origins and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories to the PS Vita. Depending on what you enjoy in Silent Hill, each entry has something to offer; both titles are proven mobile games on the PSP.

Origins offers up what many found a rather unnecessary story, but a fairly interesting gameplay twist on interactions with the Other World realm in Silent Hill and some new combat options.

Origins is also the far more traditional option for Silent Hill fans, maintaining most of the series usual elements as best it could despite being designed for a handheld to begin with. The game was ported to the Playstation 2, although little was changed content-wise due to Origins being built heavily to emulate the play style of the first two Silent Hill games, so it's likely it, at most, will have a graphical update and some minor touch control inputs.

Shattered Memories, however, is a full re-imagining of the original Silent Hill, not as a survival horror game, but as a psychological thriller like Amnesia: The Dark Descent. While the game was built for the Wii (and most reviews strongly praise the Wii version as the best), it was successfully ported to PS2 and PSP. 

The removal of combat was a point of contention for fans, but the story was highly praised for its multiple paths, interesting form of player choices impacting the narrative, and use of a side story set in therapy sessions to get inside the player's head and change the game to better scare the player. We'll likely see PS2 controls combined with the Wii's graphics, in addition to touch screen implementation possibly for the in-game phone used for puzzles and detecting monsters.

Both titles will be available on European PSN for £7.99/€9.95 at an unannounced time. No word on North America or Japan prices or release dates was given in the press release.

MCM London Comic Con - Cosplay Revue Wed, 30 Oct 2013 17:02:47 -0400 Destrolyn.Bechgeddig


Now, where did I put my umbrella?


A brilliantly original and incredibly well executed Final Fantasy copslayer. Great to see someone that isn't Cloud, Sephiroth, or Yuna - although I bet he'll look just as fabulous as Yuna!


One of the few Ash & Misty cosplayers. Don't they make a lovely couple.


A wild Nintendo GameGirl appears.


They see me rollin'...


Futurama was made into a video game, and therefore is allowed in this slideshow. Also, it's pretty impressive.


Ok, so technically not cosplay (unless you regard air as a cognitive entity). But it raises the question, why don't we have one of these!?


One of the most impressive cosplayers of the con. Staggeringly, this guy entered into the Euro Cosplay competition and didn't get even placed!




We asked, and he goes by the name of Dr. Robotnik. Case closed.


It's just not the same without Kylie Minogue!


This month saw MCM London Comic Con, billed as the UK's biggest popular culture show. As well as comic book and gaming enthusiasts turning out in their droves, the expected horde of cosplayers were also there with gusto. Whilst we didn't have a great deal of time to take as many pictures as we would have liked to, here's what we did take of video game cosplayers for your viewing pleasure.