Saturday, 10 December 2011

THE LAST OF US: VGA announcement trailer

in a word WOW, so this is how good console games can do plants and water when they actually try? thats impressive if its all actually in game like it says. Coming from naughty dog i would not be surprised.
So what is it?
Its the road meets i am legend meets those japanese survival games that never get popular over here. Starring Ellen Paige. Fighting fungal zombies in a ruined new york.

Personally i am very excited for this, i wondered why nobody tried to use the real world zombifying cordycepts fungi as a plot device before.

heres hoping its very tough makes survival more important than fighting and going one man army on it.

ALAN WAKE: American Nightmare VGA announcement trailer

Welp, guess we know what the next instalment of the Alan Wake series is all about. No longer named night springs apparently. I adored the first, beat it about 8 times last year so im sure i will get this too. Interesting that it features more about mr scratch, an idea in the first game many just dont even know was in their after they beat it. That and new kinds of taken.
All in all it looks like Alan Wake may actually be leaning more towards the survival horror influence of its roots than its action thriller ones.
So lets see how this pans out- and relates to a full retail 'second season',

Monday, 28 November 2011

Silent HIll back on the EU Playstation Network store

Well this snuck by most gaming news sites i visit.

Browsing the PSN store for some ps one classics i spied the original Silent Hill is back on the store for £5.79 in the UK.
The game was up for a couple of days in 2010, but hastily taken down when it received unanimous reports that the game would crash at the moth boss and never go any further for anyone, not just one or two players but the game itself was broken.

Well its back up now and i just finished downloading it. I'm not one for reviewing the classics- because they either aged so badly they arent a fair comparison to todays games or they are just so well known, and well regarded that a 'review'- However i may give a little follow up to see if this ones worth your money- that and the psn parasite eve 2 i was browsing the store for at the time.

Still, if your willing to risk it it is there and ready to go.

Saturday, 17 September 2011


I tried to ignore the nu-mettul. God help me, i tried.

So yeah, here is the latest, unfortunately put together, trailer for silent hill downpour. My opinion? my early thoughts about some inspiration from the suffering and alan wake seems like it was right on the money. I'm gonna hazard a guess that they may even try the alan wake/ alone in the dark route and make it more like an episodic horror tv series. Which i cant say i would be adverse to. Both of the aforementioned examples, regardless of overall game quality, pulled it off quite well. I think it would certainly help in a game like this to have a "previously on silent hill" when you load it up after a while without continuing.

Am i expecting a good story? possibly. Maybe a little cliche' in that 90's american horror kind of way but i enjoyed that schtick with Obscure so it could keep me entertained here. What about the gameplay though? the brief fashes we see between all the cutscenes showed what looked like a 3rd person clunky movement thing that reminded me of deadly premonition. Which let's be honest was dogshit at its best, however its story carried it through. Will this be able to do the same? Honestly i kinda doubt it.

We're gonna have to wait and see. After all it's not like we aren't going to play it when it's released.

Right now i'm tentatively excited for it, its showing a lot of influence in its direction from resident evil 5, alan wake, the suffering and silent hill homecoming so maybe it could be a perfect storm of influences. Or just the accumulated crap of all its touchstones combined into one terribad package. Time'll tell i suppose.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


So i have been tremendously busy.

Though i have, in my spare time, been working on some stuff for here including video reviews now i can capture footage from consoles to my Mac and got some sound equipment set up thats higher than youtube vlog calibre so please, bear with me folks.

-also, still playing horror games, just beat dead space 2, expect thoughts on that soon.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Amnesia: The Dark Descent - The Review

Developer: Frictional Games
Publisher: Frictional Games
Platforms: PC, Mac OS X, Linux
Release date: September 8th 2010

Well bugger me, only a week or two after my post about trying the demo to finally silence all the requests for it my birthday came around and some generous mate had gifted me a copy of amnesia on steam.

Whilst the demo left me a bit cold I gave it a go, being a freebie and a gift after all, and in a brisk 6 hours I was done.

What is amnesia? Well if you haven’t played it the game is an indie developed action adventure horror game with light puzzle and stealth elements.
You are Daniel, a man who wakes up in a dark, seemingly very recently abandoned mansion with no memory of how he got there and only a note from his former self to guide him.
Unfortunately for Daniel said note directs him not away to safety but deep into the bowels of the castle to kill a man who put him in this situation. Sort of. It’s difficult to explain without spoilers but basically Daniel was at an archeological dig and discovered some artifact of a lovecraftian style origin and now a sentient ‘darkness’ is after his soul and has killed anyone associated with him. He came to castle brennanburg for help and unfortunately for him the help came in the form of another evil which in its own way is far worse than the darkness chasing him.
Essentially Alexander, the castles Baron. Has made Daniel do terrible, unspeakable things in attempts to ‘cure’ him of the darkness. Things that will literally come back to bite him as he makes the trip from the upper castle to the deep bowels beneath it.

The game itself is a first person physics interaction game.
To begin with you can pull and push open doors and draws, pick up items like chairs and rotate them and throw them and the game eases you into the mechanics of it.
A major mechanic being the lack of weapons and sanity.
As Daniel progresses the game becomes darker, both in tone and literally. Staying in this dark allows Daniel to creep about but at the cost of his sanity which can only be restored by completing the puzzles required to progress.
OR he can use a lantern with a finite amount of fuel or tinderboxes to light candles and torches to create light and keep him calm and sane.
-but also make him easy to spot for the castles residents.
Said residents are the remains of Alexanders experiments. Mutant hulks like a cross between Frankenstein’s monster, a cenobite from hellraiser and the average walking fleshsacks from silent hill.
They stalk the halls of castle brennanburg with purpose. To kill you. They are filled with supernatural strength and fighting back is utterly futile. All you can do is hide, either in the dark or in cupboards or closets and wait for the monsters to pass or dare to brave the pitch black darkness and lose sanity whilst you attempt to sneak away from them.
The castle itself is experienced through a series of connected hubs with a puzzle that you must solve to progress and items key to the puzzles solution hidden in side areas all connected to the hub. The first of which is a fleshy growth covering a tunnel entrance and the lab, wine cellar and storage rooms around the hub allow you to concoct an acid to allow you to melt it away and progress further to Daniels final goal.

As with the demo my experience was marred by its nature. Though not to the point of the demo which is not exactly like the final product mind you, but I found it hard to immerse myself in a game so requiring of your voluntary engagement with the world it tries to paint out.
Again the blurry jelly vision, the spawning of a monster behind you in your way as you go down a one exit room to get a key item or the many times it wrenches control away to show the character getting scared instead of letting the player become scared repeatedly enforced the notion that it isn’t real. The flawed attempts to jerry rig scares in what they felt needed to be expressed as scary rather than shown pulled me out of the game with its irritatingly uniform and obvious choices for placement and points for such things to occur at.
This is a poorly done way of not allowing the scares to come naturally but foisting them up your audience and then dashing your hopes to do so because of the very forced nature in which you attempted and failed to scare them.
Honestly at many points I myself could have been scared If only I wasn’t told I should be.
Case in point.
In one scenario I am in a dark room, my torch is out of fuel and in the murky dark I see a humanoid figure walk through a doorway down the long black hallway.
At this point my jimmies where fairly rustled.
In another scenario as I walk down a hall there is a torch at the end that bursts into flame all on its own- which has nothing to do with the plot or any reasoning and never occurs again or has any relevance- and the camera is wrenched out of my control as Daniel appears to experience severe spasms, or something.
All I could do was roll my eyes at the cheesy attempt and sit, arms folded, as I waited for the game to have the good nature to give me control of the character again.
For all the artificiality of the repeated hub layouts or lack of major story this is amnesias weakest point and makes many tense moments redundant. So surely it is a failure as a horror game, right?

Well not really.
One thing this game does well, for the most part, is ambience. The grimy, dark castle that leads onto rotten prison cells, a flooded sewer and worse is a well paced and well thought out path of an increasingly dark and oppressive location that truly makes you feel as though you do not belong there.
The is an almost effervescent creepiness that permeates every moment of this game that may come and go between little well lit areas that allow the player to catch a breath but the feeling of ‘wrongness’ about the location is constant throughout.
The music in particular is well done. It is a subtle undertone that allows the developers to alter the mood of a location at a moments notice and it’s a shame some of this subtlety did not go into the scripting of events as well.

Gameplay wise its actually pretty good. My only minor gripe is that you may be running from a monster and get ‘stuck’ on a flat surface of terrain, a common problem with many physics heavy games and no different here.
The puzzles are actually pretty easy. You collect a series of items with only one solution and you just cannot progress until you search all the off-rooms of that hub and collect them all. Simple as that.
On the whole the very nature of the gameplay is shallow. Either you are safe in a well lit room and you spend the time pulling open draws or doors to find items or you are crouched in the dark hiding from enemies that- due to a constant auto save and respawns with no progress lost- are not really much of a hindrance anyway.
Shallow is really the term for amnesia. The scares are there, the ambience is there, there is enough story, character and design genius to draw you in and get you going.
For most though its constant hammy attempts to try and force you to evoke emotion rather than naturally draw it out makes it not last longer however.
Perhaps its just a sign of its indie nature but not only are you always aware this is just a game, but the tiny budget and inexperienced design team means you can see when and where things will occur as surely as a teenager in a slasher film saying “I’ll be right back” being singled out as the next to be killed off.
It has the setting, I felt very much alone in the castle, but never truly at risk and only through design choices which hampered the experience. The pacing in particular is excellent. Many games would ram monsters down your throat but only in one instance did i ever encounter more than 1 at once. In fact i do not think i saw a monster- at least more than a shadow in the doorways for the first 2 hours of the game. It eases you in and allows you to build up to the reveals of monsters which makes there limited appearances all the more impacting. It is just a shame that this pacing is completely countered by the artificial scares put in place by the level designer.

On the whole I played through in a single sitting in which I died 3 times and was never more than mildly spooked- mostly when there was no scripted events or monsters and just me alone in the dark, empty rooms of castle brennanburg.
I felt slightly dissatisfied with the time spend during the game. The was no real change in the experience from the first hours play to the last and I never really cared for the faceless blank slate of a character as i progressed.
Don’t mistake me for out and out disappointment with the time spent. Amnesia is a unique experience that I had not played the like of before and it was certainly a memorable one.

I just cant consider it truly scary. Certainly not anywhere close to either my top horror games of all time or just as a notably great videogame because in the end, it’s kind of a dull videogame that has squandered its potential as either a fun game to play or as a terrifying experience.

I finished the game, described it to my friends with a funny wavey hand motion followed by an ‘eeehh..’ escaping my mouth but a funny thing happened the next day.
I sat down to get some work done ay my desk and as I stared at the imacs screen the amnesia icon was luring me in, making me want to revisit the experience again already even though it offered nothing new.
Doe’s that mean against all my criticisms it is a great game? Not really. An enjoyable experience you will sit through more than once however? I think that that’s probably closer to the mark.

I was not left overwhelmed with Amnesia. It has certainly been overhyped by word of mouth. However any aficionado of horror games would do well to experience the game much in the same way i would point to D's dinner table, koudelka or nanashi no geemu. None of which are truly balls to the wall scary or a truly stellar videogame experience but as an experience they are note worthy due to there unique nature and as such i recommend these oddities as something for any horror fan to play through at least once and in this respect amnesia is no different. Hell even if you are looking for cheap thrills the more susceptible players may be thoroughly spooked by it. So by all means do not let me dissuade you from this game. I would very much recommend it.

Just don't expect the be all, end all final boss of horror games most websites make it out to be.

SCORE [6/10]


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

"Hey guy! you gotta try amnesia!"

Okay, Okay, so i keep getting emails to try games, in particular spammed to no end to try Amnesia: the dark descent. Honestly i've put it off because the trailers just made it look like someone took penumbra and reskinned it with the tile set from oblivion and thats sort of a one trick pony for me.
I realize the irony of saying that after playing a dozen or so resident evil games but what can i say, im a fickle hypocrite like that about my entertainment.

Anyway. I've tried that demo and honestly? its okay. However i feel i have to post because i feel like the developers have shot themselves in the foot with the mechanics. To put one point up to cite as reasoning i would blame the sanity effects from removing me from any immersion the game builds up.

My experience whent something like this:

-walk into dark room.
-see monster.
-get creeped out.
-start to hide.
-suddenly get shakeycam/jellyvision 'insane' effect.
-remember its just a game and death is nothing but a respawn with no time or data lost.
-previous event loses all impact and ambient fear imbibing in the player.

Now this could very well just be me but when my guy could see clearly and i was walking around with nothing creepy actually happening i was more open to scares than when the walls are bloody and the screens spazzing out. It felt almost farcical in nature to me. It utterly ruined every moment in this horror game that should have scared me. Which at best renders it a grimdark adventure game with irritating sanity effects which are not needed in any fashion but an artificial way to attempt to instil fear and a sense of urgency in the player. Which, once you realise this in the first 15 minutes, you are constantly aware of the artificial nature. that it is all fake and nothing can hurt you.

In filmmaking terms this is what we call a huge no-no. Rule number 1 is to create a world that draws your audience in. If you are constantly reminding them- intentionally or not- that this is all make believe they distance themselves from the piece and are far more likely to notice the unpolished bits and pieces as they play and all the more decrease how much they enjoy your product.

Basically through their own attempts to make the game scarier they made the game no longer scary for me and in doing so defeated the point of their own creation.

Sometimes games developers need to remember they are not a board game dungeon master attempting to paint a scene and impress emotions on their player about events they cannot actually see and explore. They are closer today to theatre directors, assembling the parts on the digital stage for the player to take the primary role in a story of their own production. You dont need to set up a system to make them feel. just allow them to feel it on there own as they explore the world.
Amnesia had a scary world, but in an effort to make an already scary world scary they make it no longer scary and in doing so the game i experienced was a failed product.

Not to say i dont recommend it but gameplay and story must go hand in hand but we are for more forgiving of story errors than gameplay ones. Heavy rain has plenty of plot holes, but the gameplay experience keeps you engrossed. This is a case of the opposite where they story keeps trying to engross you, but the gamelpay mechanics rip you right back out of it and its a shame that this happens but its just like the spamming of jump scares as you quickly alter your directional view in F.E.A.R. Fool me once shame on me, fool me twice?...

Saturday, 19 March 2011

silent hill online?


Konami might be working on a multiplayer xbla silent hill?

Adaption of the 2 player arcade schmup or a brand new resident evil outbreak style multiplayer?

Who knows but worth pointing out to dream about the possibilities.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Well its friday.

So by now you, along with the rest of the world should be aware of the announcement trailer for dead island not being, well, dead.
If you haven't heard of it before it was announced in '05 or '06 and was due in 2008, it had a trailer that has aged terribly. Both in terms of what the game was like and the style of videogame trailers (namely terrible heavy metal music and smash cuts to lots of red text every 9 seconds on a black background) and a couple of videos to advertise its still impressive 'multi layered damage system'.
Then it vanished. Like Duke Nukem Forever and Alan Wake most folks assumed it was dead. A project to ambitious to have seen fruition.

I was pretty surprised to hear an announcement trailer for the product had appeared and was doing the rounds. Even more so that so many people where gushing about it being one of the best trailers ever made for a videogame. So of course, being a horror fan and a filmmaker i had to check this out.

I was not disappointed.

Not only doe's that get me excited for the game but that is, from a technical standpoint, a superb piece of work. In less than 3 minutes with no dialogue we get a narrative about a family vacation that has gone as wrong as it could possibly go and it invokes genuine emotion in its audience.
Sure the choice of music and the focus on the girl is a bit of an obvious, guaranteed heartstring pull but still it remains bloody effective. -pun not intended.

As a videogames enthusiast i am excited for the game without seeing anything to do with how it plays, so it definitely did its desired job with me. As a filmmaker myself i am impressed by it. Personally i feel the edits of it in chronological order have a bit more emotional impact, but still it remains an impressive piece that is easily up there with gears of war's mad world trailer or resistance 3's 'on the rails' trailer as one of the best attempts to sell a videogame as something a little more meaningful than "Bro check it, you will totally be able to kill some dudes in this!". For that alone the creators of such trailers should be applauded.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Reader Questions no.3

Left these for a while, answering a few.

Via twitter from Daniel Ross: "you write a lot about games would you ever want to make them?"

Honestly? from a technical side? no, been there, tried that. as dull as the devils face. Never want to do that again. Though i would very much want to writer/direct a videogame. but coding? modelling? real technical stuff? never again folks.

From an email from 'darknezzzgoeff': "I visit all these horror sites but my favourites would be yours and christ survival horror quest you should look it up! (im a reader of it) but you have very different ideas and tastes why do you think that is?"

Simple, entertainment, like art is subjective. One mans greatest game is anothers piece of crap. Take obscure 2, i loved it as a homage to 90's horror films, Chris from the site mentioned above really disliked it mostly due to thematic content. Is either right? no but neither is wrong either. In fact to get a good gauge on how a game is you need to read all the opinions, not just all the high ones or all the low ones.
I dont agree with a lot of his opinions just because i have different tastes but i would definitely recommend them for sincere credibility on his opinion. Its one very much worth paying attention to if you like horror games. visit his site on the links list to the right to check it out.

From an email from Alyx Soni: "is left 4 dead survival horror?"

No, i'd say it's survival panic. The goal isn't to scare you with oppressive dread on what might happen but instill adrenaline pumping panic about what you know WILL happen, just not exactly when at all times.
This is aided by the multiplayer aspect, which makes it more engrossing when its not an a.i being ravaged by a hunter but a real life friend whos crowding up party chat with vile obscenities.

From a tweet by 'crazy leon': "Ever gonna mention your top 5 worst horror games."

HURM. Not a bad idea for an article.

That's 4 for now, i'm out. thanks for reading as always gentle internet folken.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - The Review

Developer: Climax Studios
Publisher: Konami digital entertainment
Platforms: Ninentdo wII, PSP, PS2
Released: December 8th 2009

This is a tough one. really, i mean that.

This is a very hard game to surmise, to attempt to quantify the sum of its parts as some value of its worth as entertainment. To be honest its hard to call this a videogame, let alone a horror one.

Near as i can judge its an interactive experience that, unlike heavy rain, does not try to be that. It is just what its become in the process of telling its story.

Or telling Konami's story, again, i should say.

So yeah, read on but bear in mind, regardless of arbitrary scoring at the end this is a prime example of how i am one guy and as such the scores of meaningless, its just a process to express my feelings about a game upon completion of it having seen all it has to offer you as a genuine opinion of one person who loves horror games to another.

So silent hill shattered memories is a retelling of the original game in what most consider resident evils long standing rival to the survival horror franchise crown. A game that got me into the genre, a game that layered nuance, subtext and context upon the player in a way not truly seen before in videogames as a medium.
To be honest i was pretty damn wary of this. The more time passes the more i am so utterly disappointed by the cheap name drop cash in that is silent hill origins. So news of the same developer handling a re-imagining of the source of it all?
Madness, surely.

Well i was wrong, if silent hill origins is the worst experience in the franchise, including the gba visual novel and arcade lightgun machine game, then shattered memories is one of the best, in some ways usurping its original.

The game plays as an over the shoulder style explorative action adventure come light puzzler. You play Harry mason, driving along in the car with his daughter cheryl, only to crash it. Not in fog this time, or due to the ghost of some spiritual half a girl but to a blizzard the likes of which silent hill has never seen.
See Harry is not passing through silent hill this time. it is his home. trouble is he doesnt remember a lot of things about the town, and other people live in his house...
Of course Cheryl disappears and Harry spends the game looking for her, traversing silent hill proper and also some of its surrounding countryside.
The game is faily linear but the linearity is never the same at defining points. this is all controlled by the games 3 piece play system.

The first type of play is i lonely exploration of the 'real world'. A mundane snowy town thats got most inhabitants in the warmth behind closed doors. There are no monsters, no nightmares round the bend. Just a man looking for his missing daughter. A very real nightmare for every parent that requires no fictional entities to make it all the more dreadful.
This portion plays like an amusement park ride. See the sights of silent hill. An easter egg filled walk through the town where you learn as much or as little about the game as you want. There is no reason to not stop and spend as much time as you want in every area exploring every nook and cranny and drinking it all in.
The second type of play is the psychological evaluations. In first person perspective you the player are interviewed by dr. kaufman- now less a creepy peddler of drugs than a doppleganger for mass effects illusive man- who wants to help you with your apparent mental problems.
To do this you undertake certain tests as the game progresses. either you solve a riddle, or colour a drawing or just answer some yes/no questions about yourself. The opening titles recommend being as truthful as possible and i did and it was an interesting process because your choices and therefore your mental outlook shape the game around you.
Maybe you come to a small shopping arcade and there are a number of stores, but only one leads to the next area. Maybe guy A plays it and its the record store, but girl B plays it and its the electronics store. This all depends on the player and the unconscious choices they make.
There is no stark fable style good or evil choices. its all subjective. There are things like if you tend to linger the camera on the breasts of mannequins or female characters and the players lecherous nature will alter the game to suit there psyche. The enemies hips will bell out and there faces will become more feminine, cybil will dress in a much less....professional way. Whereas if you prefer art or posters then maybe the enemies look more like sculptures and dahlia seems more punk-ey than junky.
The third portion is the other world. Every time Harry nears a crucial point in the plot the world literally ices over in deep glaciers of nightmarish, angry jagged exploding ice like glass from hell. This world is full of the rawshocks. An obvious play on the psychological term rorschach tests that also change depending on the player. all starting as some raw fleshed skinned humanoid nightmare thats only goal is chase Harry through these mazes of ice and darkness and grapple him to the ground for a nasty end. Which is an ironic metaphor in a remake of a game where the spirit of the horror has gone from oppressive isolation to crushing loneliness- and this game is very much about loneliness on a few levels. You can hide from them for a time, use flrase and fire to keep them back and move obstacles to slow them down but these adrenaline fuelled periods of terror in between the calm have a single focus 'RUN'. you cannot fight them, you cannot win, all you can do is run from the problem and find a safer place to continue you journey to cheryl. a journey that will be different for most of you.

Basically its all based on you with no stark right or wrong. Because whilst there are 'good' and 'bad' endings the story is always the same.

And it is most certainly a sad one.

This is a completely different silent hill story. its still got the same named characters and places, and Harry still needs to find his daughter, but the whos, whys and wheres are a very different silent hill. Dahlia is not only a young woman but she is Harrys wife, there is no cult, no white drug, no out and out supernatural evil.
Like the games development the story is a much more personal affair. You are not saving the world in some way, or fighting a dark god or some other detracting out of left field enemy but from beginning to end this is a story of a father and his daughter and there separation. This simplicity and sole focus doesn't not detract from shattered memories, in fact i can say it only strengthens it. The game pulls you in in a completely different way per person, two friends will play it and feel completely differently about the plot twists and characters by the end than the other.

Personally i found the game surprisingly engaging on an emotional level. I went in expecting weird shit and lame attempts to scare, but honestly between tense marathons from rawshocks, and the creepy exploring the story i got was much more touching than i expected. My ending in particular got a rise out of me few movies or games have in a decade.
However like i emphasised this may differ completely for you. Based on you and how you played you may be left hating the characters and the story.

But can anyone hate the experience?

I don't believe so.

Gameplay was its a very different silent hill. nunchuk controllers movement and the wiimote is everything from harrys arm holding the torch in third person to a key in a lock or a channel tuner on a trv to a hand you move to solve puzzles like shaking tins to hear if theres a key in one you can upturn to get it out.
No longer is there a radio but a smart phone that you use to take pictures, save, load the menu and even take calls that involve you holding the wiimote to your ear to hear out of its speaker a eerie message left by some emotional ghost or a call from another townsfolk out in the blizzard.

Honestly i wasn't expecting these motion controls to work but they are intuitive and engaging- and capable of more than i would have thought on the wii, especially the torch in a game that for its platform looks absolutely fantastic.
The biggest complaint is the visual cues on how to shake the wiimote and nunchuck to shake off rawshocks during the otherworld phases are often wrong or the movement detection doesnt work well. but truthfully its pretty easy to get through without getting caught once and a handy check point system means even if you do its not an hour of gametime lost or anything.
The biggest portion of the games controls or harry interacting with the normal world and most use the wiimote and the a and trigger and somehow climax made so many things feel intuitive and natural with this claw grip motion.
The camera and torch acting as the same hand as the point of view works seamlessly in this snowy town and the option to zoom in and focus makes it much less constrictive than it would appear to be in the limit range of movement given to a sensor bar compared to a never ending thumbstick held in one direction.
An excellent example of the zoom being in the elementary schools principles office where harry must decipher his password by exploring every nook and cranny of his office to find every clue to get in to find what he needs.
In fact most of the puzzles are well thought out. none are truly hair ripplingly tough but all are neat. another involves altering the positions of statues so there shadows spell out a word. something done in real time with a very impressive lighting engine for this not so hardware heavy console.

The voice acting is not its strongest point but its not resident evil level cheese at all. harry is played as a normal guy. and i mean a truly normal guy, not the hollywood 'normal' guy that other games like alan wake or heavy rain failed to capture. He truly comes off as a poor man caught in a terrible situation. and each member of the backup cast no matter how small there part all put in the effort.

Soundtrack wise its Akira Yamoakas last silent hill soundtrack and he goes out with a bang, like the voice acting id say it pales to silent hill 2s raw emotional nature of it but it still knocks it out of the park. in particular another series of collaborations with mary elizabeht mglynn are haunting and beautiful.
Also it was nice on a personal note to see the change from foggy or rusty nightmare to a more natural, but out and out psychologically devastating world meant we see akira abandon his usual heavy industrial interludes for a more melancholic sound that only serves to emphasise this game is less about making the player feel scared at the oppressive, almost hateful nature of the world around them. But sad, lonely and altogether isolated. not only from the townsfolk in the blizzard but form the protagonist himself.

All in all it is an experience that is hard to evaluate. which is why i will probably deem this my worst review to date but honestly this is a game you need to play. it is the best silent hill game since 2 and you will give a shit about these characters and not just wait to see who gets killed off if and when the next dramatic push forward occurs.

Is it a masterpiece? not at all. the very nature of its split play style means you get wise to it and know "no ice, im safe no worries" or "ice, dont worry, this will have a set end point i just need to reach". This is why i feel it fails utterly as a horror game, because it gets less scary as the game goes on.

However this fault does not dull that fact that this is a pretty damn unique experience in the way that makes silent hill great. does a silent hill game have great combat? no. fluid controls? not really. Tough characters you can get behind? never.
It does have memorable characters, a superb soundtrack, a spooky world you will adore to explore every facet of and an ending that leaves you numb as the credits role.

You know how i classify this kind of game?

It's Silent HIll. simple as that.

SCORE [9/10]


just a tidbit.

So whilst busy with a lot of boring junk i did manage to poi'chus' playstation move and heavy rain move edition for the playstation 3.

After spending quite a while with it i will say that it is lighter and much more comfortable than the wiimote, the battery lasts longer and it is much more responsive than the wii mote. Though i can complain that the camera doesn't track it as consistently as the wii sensor bar and the buttons are still poorly arranged.

I think a motion controller with a hand held interface should not be a long remote, it should be something ergonomic and hand fitting- hell i'll conjure the powergloves vile name for this.
In games that have you open locks, sword fighting or aiming and shooting a pistol you want to grip it in the curvature of your hand, not have something you hold at an odd end of middle point like move or the wiimote.

Dont get me wrong, in terms of controller design the move is a step up from the wii's controller, but they could have continued the curve motif and make it curve slightly to fit a hand more ergonomically, and add the start and select next to each other and not on equidistant on either side of the tubular surface of the thing.

Of course im sure they wanted to get around the 'why would i purchase a family member a black button covered dildo?' but honestly at least it doesnt vibrate...

Honestly its worth the cash, particularly when you consider the line up which is why im posting this here.

2011 is looking to be the year for the ps3 in terms of what most games enthusiasts want. the wii's kinda slowing to a crawl, microsoft is really focussing on kinect, a novel interface but not a list of titles i know most folks whove played games for more than 15 years now don't really care about as the focus point to there console experience, but the ps3 is releasing a lot of new games, a lot of big name sequels included and many of them are being made move compatible as a bonus.

The big seller for me is dead space 2, which i still cannot find any concrete evidence that the full game is move compatible or just the hd port of the wii railshooter dead space extraction. However i have heard it mentioned here and there, honestly the idea of standing in a dark room fighting of necromorphs with a motion controller is scary, exciting and potentially embarassing in equal measure. Judging from the out and out resi 4 control style mimicry im hoping it is, since resi 4 on the wii was a hoot and im tempted to get resident evil 5 on the ps3 for move, even with boulder punch wagglan.

There are also rumours that siren blood curse is getting a patch to make it move compatible and its not just these 3 horror games on the list.

all in all if you are a horror games fan and dig immersion or new ways to play- especially if you tried shattered memories or fatal frame 4 on the wii the next 2 years are going to be quite exciting for horror motion gaming. So if you have £45 laying around and own a ps3 grab a move, yes it is a wii knockoff, but its the price of one game to play games in an entirely new way and while that may be odd if you werent around for the mass peripheral whoring of the NES days thats well worth it lemme tell you.