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Everything posted by ifirit

  1. If you guys haven't checked it out, download the Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! demo from the PS Store. It's an incredibly unique dungeon-building game with a funny sense of humor that has you playing as the bad guy in a "Final Fantasy"-style JRPG. While the graphics are a throwback to NES era gaming, the game mechanics are really complex and defending the dungeon takes some good strategy and planning. Also, on the website, you can sign-up to win a free copy of the game on release. You have to enter 5 codes on the contest page to sign-up. I'll list the codes below. #1) BM579842LM #2) BM978261WT #3) BM351209LP #4) BM758345SC #5) BM568271FX
  2. I've been pretty excited about the PS Store expansions. Just got Metal Gear Solid on my PSP and have been playing the crap out of it. Forgot how tough it was on Hard Mode. Keep up the good work, Sony! (Hopefully we'll see Silent Hill, Xenogears and Vagrant Story in the PSOne Classics section later on. )
  3. While I can't make a definite plan right now, put me in the maybe catagory. I can give a better estimate by July 1st. It was a lot of fun the last time in Louisville. However, I felt like the whole thing was a little rushed. So, hopefully, if I attend, I'm looking forward to hanging out for a little longer and getting to know some people better.
  4. It's essentially a griffin with a hyena's head.
  5. Actually, I think the mixing is a key problem. The base melody on the harp-like instrument is placed too closely in the foreground, while the more varied and expressive organ melody is placed behind most of the rest of the instruments. If the two tracks were switched in their placement (EQ-wise), then I think all the rich undertones and subtle expressions would rise up to the foreground. I can hear them, but not clearly enough.
  6. It was indeed naive of him to allow strangers into your parents' home, but I suppose the gung-ho lawyer and his group were pretty intimidating. He was smart to get counsil while they were still there. It's important to understand your rights as a person, especially when there are people willing to take matters to an extreme.
  7. Looking at the screenshots from the first page, this looks like it's going to be a 2.5D remake and not a full 3D remake. I think that is way better considering the original format. Also, I seem to remember that the arcade version had mini-bosses that weren't included in the home (SNES) version. (I think there was a giant mud monster in the 65,000,000 B.C. stage among others.)
  8. From what I've read so far, it seems to me as though the developers from Climax (lead designer Sam Barlow; director Mark Simmons) are attempting to revive Keiichiro Toyama's vision of Silent Hill as opposed to reiterating Takayoshi Sato's restructuring, which has predominated the series since #2. In other words, it seems that they're striving for a more "Siren"-like adaptation of the game as opposed to the more commonly recognized Silent Hill format, which 0rigins was based on.
  9. I think Johnny Mnuemonic did it for most people. (Those who actually saw it.)
  10. It might be a moot point to argue this one, but 8-bit Eighties is missing a lyrics tab. As is Come to Bob's Pizza. LT: Fixed.
  11. I'd often wondered what the perception of OCR was to people outside the site, and sometimes suspected that this was the case. And, in retrospect, I think I was like that, too, when first visiting the site. However, there were a lot of kick-ass rearrangements and awesome remixes that changed that misconception, not solely from the OCR camp either. I was enthrawled more than I was put off in most cases. It's interesting to think what can draw a person to a particular style of music/composition/arrangement is enough to drive other people away. Is there a way to bridge that gap without sacraficing one's artistic licence or integrity? However, in this instance, I have to wonder if winning over a few people on another site is even a concern for the author (Nekofrog), though I feel that the artists here should, at least on some small level, think about drawing in people other than just game-music-arrangement enthusiasts. I suppose that things can change in the future, but I still wonder if there will always be a gap between the general gaming crowd and the game-music-arrangement enthusiasts so large that a little thing like key changes are enough to spark flame wars.
  12. I can help. I've still got the files on my home PC, but unfortunately for you, I'm visiting my relatives for Christmas in California. You'll have to wait until I get back home before I can re-upload the files, which will be after New Year's. Just be patient.
  13. Considering that Final Fantasy VI is very opera-like, it isn't surprising that the character credits part of the ending is very much a theme comprised almost entirely of leitmotifs. "The Decisive Battle" is also an example of a piece of music that uses a leitmotif since it contains a small section of the Terra theme in it. As well as does "Dancing Mad," though, this piece is probably closer to a motif than a leitmotif. However, if you consider the staff credits music as a more credible piece of music for the subject of leitmotifs, then the Final Fantasy Prelude could also be considered a leitmotif, though it's not specific to VI alone, obviously. Surprisingly, the Silent Hill Homecoming soundtrack includes a few leitmotifs in the sample tracks released, particularly in the track "Cold Blood." Lastly, the Silent Hill theme appears in several vocal songs in later soundtracks as a motif via solo and/or interpretation. These tracks are: "You're Not Here," "Hometown," "Waiting for You," "Cradle of Forest," and "One More Soul to the Call." "Theme of Laura" appears as a motif in the following songs: "I Want Love (Studio Mix)" and "Your Rain."
  14. Definitely! Akira Yamaoka is a master of mood. Even in the least interesting game, Silent Hill 0rigins, there are points were the music set up more of a mood than was actually there in the game. The first game still wins in my book, though, for most scary mood. Additionally, I just have to nominate Rule of Rose for having an absolutely phenominal atmospheric soundtrack. And an incredibly diverse use of a chamber orchestra. Rule of Rose - haunting Rule of Rose - it's gonna getcha Rule of Rose - sad
  15. That's the problem for me. There are plenty of other games out there that are fun, atmospheric, suspenseful, third-person action-adventure, but not many that try to rise above the competition by trying to be more than just a game. So, if a game isn't really trying to do that these days, I'm not really interested. I know that that's a high bar to set, but honestly, that's the bar that was set by Team Silent. I refer you to (particularly at 8:09 and again at 8:57)Honestly, that's what made Team Silent so great. Their writers and directors are years ahead of the rest of the development world, having given us steak on four separate occassions. As such, SHH is just a bone with a few scraps on it. Had they further developed the story further prior to creating the game structure, which ironically was what landed them the gig in the first place, the game could have fulfilled on its potential to really invigorate the series. It's not a bad story, but because it failed to really project the tragedy of having lost the entire town of Shepard's Glen, I can't really sympathize with the characters at the end. They try to make you emphasize with the town, with trying to associate names and faces, but in the end, nothing gets resolved and the scale of the loss in neither reflected in the small scale realization by Alex nor in the larger picture. (And it tried to rip off the Saw movies too much at the end.) They had three really strong, story elements that could have been flourished to produce a great story, but they were poorly developed throughout and simply trail off during the endings. [spoilers] A) The belief that Adam had of Alex having a loose grasp on reality/Alex's inability to grasp responsibility for his brother's accidental death. The incredibly strong family ties that motivated Alex, Elle and their families to search for their loved ones. C) The regret in realizing that the people that everyone was searching for had long since passed away and the deeply rooted, secret traditions lead even tightly-knit families to murder each other. [/spoilers] The game really had the potential to be the culmination of the entire Silent Hill franchise and exceed its predicessors. It could have really, really been something of great value, but the loss midway is a very big set-back. I guess there's some irony in all this. Yeah, maybe...
  16. A story loop is an arc that occurs in the story which causes the events at the end of that arc to lead back to the beginning of the story. For example, in the first game, if you achieve the Good+ Ending, the ending cutscene is the scene from the beginning of the game where Harry and his wife find Cheryl, with Harry's wife replaced by Cybil, indicating a repetition of the story's events. However, what reinforces this idea is the inclusion of Next Fear mode, where replaying the game doesn't begin with the introduction level in Harry's Jeep, but at the Cafe 5 to 2. It implies that the characters never really escape from Silent Hill and that everything replays from that moment on in an eternal cycle. (If you're familiar with the Siren games, you'll note that this is a common thread between Keiichiro Toyama's games.) Originally, before the other sequels were released, I had developed a theory based on the idea of the eternal cycle, being that replaying the game (regardless of ending) meant taking part in that struggle for the power of the god inside Alessa. Therefore, the only way to ever escape the game (in both the actual game and real life) was to willing choose to not play it. That the only way to end the struggle was to not be an active participant. As a previously long-time videogame fan, this concept just turned my world upside down and simultaneously pointed out the power and futility that videogames had the potential to become. Not many games actually make you put the context in that perspective. In Silent Hill 2, the story loop occurs during the Maria Ending where James chooses to be with Maria only to realize that Maria then becomes sick as well. This is a more succinct version of the loop in SH1 and thus is more poignant. It extended the concept from a context within a game story that was only connected to the real world via the medium (i.e. the videogame medium), to an actual message about the nature of human existance: that our actions when made out of weakness tend to repeat themselves over and over again. This inclusion is the step that takes the game from being entertainment to artform. In SH3, the story loop occurs whenever Heather dies and is then carried off by Vatiel. Playing off the game's presentation of visual metaphors, there are no words or dialogue spoken, nor any indication of a cycle explictly given, but because the game resumes playing from the Happy Burger afterwards suggests that a cycle took place. In other words, the story would repeat endlessly if at anytime Heather dies. While even more succinct than the previous two games, it reverts back to an idea that reality in the Silent Hill universe in multi-layered, that reality can fold back over itself, not only in a linear fashion, but in complex methods as well, as shown in SH4: The Room. So, when it becomes excluded in the American versions, it strips away that element of artistic integrity and the whole game is nothing more than entertainment made for mass consumption (abeit very pretty and well-designed entertainment). And that hurts.
  17. Silent Hill: Homecoming Update: Zero Punctuation! Reviews Silent Hill: Homecoming: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw posted his review of Silent Hill: Homecoming (console version) on Wednesday, October 22, 2008.*[1] The review discusses his views on the direction that the series current development trend has taken it. In general, the review discusses his reflections on the game in comparison to the rest of the series more so than actually reviewing the game itself, which is summurized as the same complaints that all other game reviews have had: poor response of dodge mechanic, low ammo, and the over-reliance on fan service to attract fans.*[2] The Escapist Magazine - Zero Punctuation! - Silent Hill: Homecoming *[1] Footnote: The sidebar comment states: "This week Yahtzee's ass remains safe while he reviews Silent Hill Homecoming." (Personal Note: That pretty much sums it up for me. In other words, this game does not reignite the spark that the series once had. It's changed and become a different incarnation.) *[2] Personal Note: I understand the note made about how almost all American writers have to include a love interest in their stories, but you have to remember that this is not the first game to include a love sub-plot; SH4: The Room had that going on with Henry and Eileen, though it was treated the way it should have been, with subtlety and with a change in the relationship due to the experiences throughout the game. (Also, the first game also had a sewer level; two, actually.) And honestly, I'm not opposed to the idea of a love interest in the Silent Hill universe, but like all love there, it should be unrequited, both passively and actively. It's the main story motivation in all the Team Silent games. Lastly, what's up with the ommission of the story loop in recent iterations? It's a major story element in all the games that is used to drive the characters to the desired conclusion. Not to mention, that the story loop is a rationalization on the game's part for the occassion where the player replays the game. It's a genius inclusion that made the original game abstract, which was taken to a new level of genius in the second game, and made staple in the third. Why exclude it now?
  18. The Sacred Line Wintery Mist Bonus Tracks from Amazon.com Released for Free Download: The tracks, that Amazon.com has been offering as a bonus for purchasing the either console version of Silent Hill: Homecoming, are now being offered for free. The tracks are "The Sacred Line" (featuring Mary Elizabeth McGlynn), "Cold Blood" (an arranged version of "Alex Theme"), and "Witchcraft." You can download the file here. (.zip file / .mp3 files / 24.7 MB) Cold Blood Witchcraft Original Sound Version - Blod Archive - Amazon tantalizes Silent Hill fans with 3 track sampler from Homecoming Destructoid - Want three tracks from Silent Hill: Homecoming for free? N4G - Amazon tantalizes Silent Hill fans with 3 track sampler from Homecoming
  19. Gametrailers.com gave the game a score of 7.7/10. - Story: 6.9 - Gameplay: 7.4 - Design: 7.7 - Presentation: 8.8 (WARNING: Contains Silent Hill: Homecoming Spoilers) http://www.gametrailers.com/player/41240.html G4TV.com's X-PLAY gave the game a score of 4 out of 5. http://www.g4tv.com/xplay/videos/29084/Silent_Hill_Homecoming_Review.html GameCinemaHD gave the game a very short review and a score of 8.5/10. http://gamecinemahd.com/article/2008/09/26/silent_hillhomecoming_review Official XBOX Magazine gave the game a score of 6.5/10 http://forum.teamxbox.com/showthread.php?t=593965 Overall, this gives us an average score of 76.75%, which is only slightly better than SH4: The Room's average score of 75%. Looks like I'll be skipping this game. I'll just watch the cutscenes on youtube. Silent Hill: Homecoming Update: Free MP3 Tracks from Silent Hill: Homecoming Original Soundtrack: Although, the announcement of the official Silent Hill: Homecoming Original Soundtrack has yet to be officially made*[1], Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. has released MP3 tracks of five songs on its official North American website. While these tracks are not available for direct download, users of Mozilla FoxFire can use the download manager to extract the .mp3 files from the widget once they have completely loaded. Konami originally posted the four vocal tracks ("One More Soul to the Call," "Elle Theme," "Alex Theme," & "The Sacred Line") from the soundtrack upon the launch of the official site and its widget. Later, on September 30, 2008, they posted a new song "Wintery Mist," an instrumental piece very reminisent of tracks from the SH3 soundtrack. For those that don't have Mozilla Foxfire, or can't use the download manager, you can obtain copies from one of the various Silent Hill fan sites below. Silent Hill: Lost Memories (English Branch) Nightmarish Dream *[1] Footnote: The article states that the Original Soundtrack will be released at the end of September, however, this is a translation error, which was referring to the game and not the soundtrack. The release of the soundtrack will be made once the game is released in Japan at the end of 2008. (Personal Note: I expect that the soundtrack will be only announced in Japan again sometime in December just like the SH0 soundtrack) One More Soul to the Call Elle Theme Alex Theme
  20. Just like weapon degradation and "overtly prompted" quick-time events. Silent Hill 2 did not follow rule 2). On the contrary, it loaded the player up with ammo and health items, which are proportionally greater in quantity than enemies in the game. In fact, part of the mastery of the game was that by having so much of a desirable object lain around the game space, it rewarded players for exploring and observing the environments which were both bizarre and mundane in presentation, thus adding to the overall atmosphere. Therefore, 1) + not 2) !< 1) + 2) [i.e., rule 1 without rule 2 is not necessarily lesser than rule 1 and rule 2 together.] Btw, where's 5)?
  21. Yeah, Silent Hill died for me, too. My tears still water the flowers on its grave. Anyway, horror games are niche games extended from any variety of genre. So, it's perfectly valid to have action-oriented horror games (Splatterhouse), puzzle-oriented horror games (Alone In The Dark, D) or even, RPG-oriented horror games (Parasite Eve, Koudelka). Horror is just a theme, like Halloween or costume would be the theme of a party that one might hold this month. Series tend to evolve in the direction that their market leans toward. Unfortunately, right now, our market is leaning towards a more action-oriented direction. Most games that were at one point called "survival-horror" games (now a defunct term) developed in an era of adventure gaming, due to the success of games like Tomb Raider, Spyro the Dragon and even, the King's Quest series, which spawned the original "survival-horror" game Alone In The Dark, which is considered the predecessor to most modern horror games. Now, most publishing companies shy away from anything presenting itself as an adventure game, which adventure-horror games had managed to get away with until recently. Any good horror game is able to reflect its theme really well within its gaming structure and environment, which mainly comes down to one thing: PRESENTATION. Everything you've mentioned above is a subset of presentation, because they are all relative/comparative qualities and thus, subjective qualities. Therefore, the presentation is subjective to the target audience. So, how can a good, horror game survive in the modern era? Adapting. Good games adapt to their markets and continue to sell their products by adjusting toward their consumers' preferences, as was the case of Resident Evil 4 and Silent Hill 4: The Room. RE4 changed its gaming formula and adapted its presentation accordingly, while SH4 did not change its gaming formula while focusing solely on presentation. RE4 sold over 2 million copies in the US with an average rating of 96%, while SH4 failed to sell over 400,000 copies worldwide and received an average rating of 75%. Consequently, RE is continuing its formula change with RE5, while the Silent Hill series has adapted more action-oriented formula changes in its latest title, SH: Homecoming. Still, the greater question here is "how can horror games be made to exceed and then maintain a high threshold of quality?" That's a difficult quesiton to answer since it depends on a number of subjective things, such as player anticipations, the scope of fear intended, the quality of the execution, etc. One part of a really, great horror game involves how well a developer executes and maintains the mystery of its story and/or atmosphere. Unknowingness is an intrinsic part of fear and the best horror games use this in a variety of different ways, some even masterfully. I guess it all depends on how you look at it.
  22. Silent Hill Comics Announcement: IDW Publishing Releases "Silent Hill Omnibus" on Paperback: On September 29, 2008, IDW Publishing released Silent Hill Omnibus on paperback to graphic novel retailers in the USA and the UK. The graphic novel is a collection of the entire Scott Ciecin story arch, which includes "Silent Hill: Dying Inside," "Silent Hill: Three Bloody Tales," and "Silent Hill: Dead/Alive." The 432 page trade paperback is presented in 5.8" x 9" full color reprinting and contains all the covers released for each individual issue. As stated before, the comics were written by Scott Ciecin and feature illustrations from Ben Templesmith ("Silent Hill: Dying Inside" #1 & #2), Aadi Salman ("Silent Hill: Dying Inside" #3, #4, & #5), Shaun Thomas ("Among the Damned" & "Paint It Black"), Nick Stakal ("The Grinning Man" & "Silent Hill: Dead/Alive"). The collection also features covers by Ashley Wood ("Silent Hill: Dying Inside," "Among the Damned" & "Paint It Black") and Masahiro Ito ("Silent Hill: Dying Inside" Variant Covers #3 & #5). The graphic novel collection retails at $24.99 *[1] (£16.99) and has an ISBN-10: 1600102395 and ISBN-13: 978-1600102394. Silent Hill Onmibus Publisher: IDW Publishing Paperback: 432 pages (Full-Color) Size: 9 inches x 5.8 inches x 1 inch Language: English ISBN-10: 1600102395 ISBN-13: 978-1600102394 Retailer Suggested Price: $24.99 *[1] Footnote: Although this is the retail suggested price, some online retailers are selling copies of the collection at lower prices. (Personal Note: I ordered my copy from Amazon.com for $16.49 with free shipping.) IDW Publishing - Catalog - Comics - Graphic Novels - Silent Hill Omnibus IDW Publishing Releases "Silent Hill: Sinner's Reward" on Paperback: Also on September 29, 2008, IDW Publishing released Silent Hill: Sinner's Reward on paperback to graphic novel retailers in the USA and the UK. This trade paperback is the collection of all four issues*[2] of Silent Hill: Sinner's Reward. The 104 page collection of the graphic novel series was written by IDW editor Tom Waltz with covers and illustrations by Steph Stamb. The collection retails at $17.99 *[3] (£11.99) and has an ISBN-10: 1600102387 and an ISBN-13: 978-1600102387.
  23. Silent Hill: Homecoming Update: Japanese Website for Silent Hill: Homecoming Launched for Tokyo Game Show; Box Art by Masahiro Ito: Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. launched the official Silent Hill: Homecoming website for the Japanese market on October 2, 2008. In addition to finally announcing the game in Japan, Konami also released the box art*[1] for the game, which features a new title logo and a new design created by Masahiro Ito (creature designer for Silent Hill 1 through 3) of [you guessed it] the Red Pyramid Thing as it appears in Silent Hill: Homecoming/the Silent Hill film. The game has been announced for both the XBOX360 and PlayStation3 consoles. However, a release date and price point have yet to be revealed, though it's expected to be announced at this year's Tokyo Game Show.*[2] *[3] *[1] Footnote: Masahiro Ito has stated that he was commissioned to create both the front and back covers for the game, though the back cover has yet to be revealed. *[2] Footnote: Silent Hill: Homecoming will be on display in booth #5 of the 5-C1 section of the Tokyo Game Show. *[3] Footnote: For those that would like to have a copy of the image without the text and package bordering, Masahiro Ito has offered a link on Gpara.com of the original work. (892 KB / .jpeg file / 640 x 900 pixels) Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. - Silent Hill Homecoming Box Art Available for Mobile Devices as a Wallpaper from Konami Japan: Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. has placed the box art for Silent Hill: Homecoming on their mobile page as a wallpaper for one's mobile/cellular device. The wallpaper is available for purchase through either Konami's i-mode, ezweb, Yahoo Keitai, or willcom distributors. Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. - Mobile - Screens
  24. That might be true in the case of the pieces written by Yoko Shimomura, but with "Hikari" and "Simple and Clean," Utada Hikaru would have probably still written the songs had KH not been there, as it appears on her album of original works. So trying to determine the intention behind the song in this case makes it unclear. Granted the single release coinciding with the game release does make it seem that the song was intended to be composed solely for the game, I would think that the appearance of it on an album of original works would indicate otherwise. (She even created a music video for the song that has nothing at all to do with KH or videogames in general for promotion of her album "River Deep.") I can't explicitly say that the song was either written for or not written for the game, as the intention is quite unclear, thus, I fall back on the issue of who owns the copyright. As such, there is no indication that the primary motivating factor was writing for its inclusion in the game. (Really, you'd have to ask Utada Hikaru herself.)
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