Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gamer Rage

Within the month of March, three different Silent Hill titles will be released: for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, an HD rerelease of the second and third games titled Silent Hill HD Collection, as well as a brand-new title, Silent Hill: Downpour; for the Playstation Vita, a dungeon-crawling horror-themed spinoff entitled Silent Hill: Book of Memories.

The Silent Hill: Book of Memories cover.
Courtesy of the Silent Hill Wiki.
Book of Memories is a completely different beast from the "traditional" Silent Hill game. Horror does not seem to be an emphasis. The game is built around multiplayer and combat; in fact, Book of Memories is the first time multiplayer has ever been in a Silent Hill title.

Now, this game is a spinoff. It has nothing to do with the main series of games; Silent Hill: Downpour does not have multiplayer elements nor a sudden dearth of story. I'd expect that later games in the series, even if they integrate multiplayer, will still emphasize plot and atmosphere above all else.

However, from the looks of it, one would think that the creative mind behind Book of Memories had kidnapped and murdered all of the general Silent Hill fanbase's children. While I can't say I'm a huge fan of Jim Sterling, he wrote a quite interesting article on Destructoid, quoting some fan reactions from YouTube about the game:
"But..But what about the old silent hill the good one!! We love horror not fucking shit! Please make another game but on something scary, that will make silent hill interesting again! :("
 "THEY DO NOT LEARN THEY DO NOT LEARN. And the worst part is that I just know this is going to sell somehow. Truly horrifying.
Look, if you're going to desecrate SH's atmosphere then you might as well give me pornographic material with the nurses and "the guy with a gigantic knife" since you love them so much."
I'll quote a user that commented on Sterling's article, "Tristix", as a response:
"If this game turns out badly, it will of course mean that Silent Hill 2 suddenly becomes a terrible game and your fond memories are all lies, because that's how it works."
 Read on for more commentary.

My point in quoting "Tristix" is that gamers seem to take things far too seriously. I want gaming to be my career. I admire the effort put into making games, and I love when games are fun, have excellent stories, or both. Whether it's straightforward as, for instance, Persona 3 or Final Fantasy X were, or done behind layers of symbolism like Silent Hill 2 or Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, gaming is something I hold dear to me.

Even then, I can't help but shake my head at some of the things I see.

Apparently this line and its delivery is vital
to the well-being of the entire universe.
Picture from the Silent Hill Wiki.
Recently, Gamespot posted a clip of the new voices for Silent Hill 3 in the HD Collection. The original voices are included in Silent Hill 2, but for reasons Konami has not completely disclosed, they were not feasible for 3.

Personally, I liked the voices. I thought they were better-acted than the original game's, and I feel that both 2 and 3's acting was a little unnatural and awkward-sounding. Some people liked them, and that's not a problem; I can disagree with the notion that awkward acting makes the game feel more surreal. Disliking something isn't a problem, but again, let's look at some of the comments on the video:

"Tomm Hullet is pure EVIL... this is an EPIC FAIL! Silent Hill is the best horror game evah and it's the only game that will change its own voice overs... i mean for Christ's sake WTF peolpe?!
Heather VA in this vid is trying so hard to impersonate the original VA and sounds much older... Heather has 17 years in SH3... and Douglas? Well it's bullcrap!
Why change the voices? WHY??????"
"Wow, Douglas sounds completely wrong. Capcom, Namco, Nintendo, Konami. Why do they all fail so much? Especially Capcom though, scum of the earth."
"....i hate you konami! could they destroy sh2 and 3 (which were the best sh games imo) with those terribel new voices??? isn't it retarted enough to only release new shitty sh games since team silent split up? well....i gave sh up after playing 3 hours of homecomming (this action oriented piece of shit) and i will allways remember silent hill how it was back in the good old "team silent"-days!"  
As a reply to someone else, presumably defending the new voices:
"Listen maggot,you're probably 10 years old and never actually played any SH, so fuck off. I'm fan of the series, you are not, so you don't give a damn about SH... I wonder what would you say if your favorite game got VO changed? I have all the originals and will never buy this crap... The community is bad because of the untalented guys like Tomm and stupid little emos like yoursefl who are brainwashed and don't think too much...Go suck Tomm Hullet's dick or something..."
I think that's enough quoting for now.

Now, I can understand disliking something. I really, really can. If someone dislikes Book of Memories, HD Collection, Downpour--which had its own debacle with fans claiming the use of KoRn for the theme song would "devalue" the entirety of the series--or even Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, which has similar vitriol surrounding it, then it is as simple as this: don't buy it. Voice your opinions, yes, but I fail to understand why some gamers seem to think it is completely acceptable to use hyperbole to the point of claiming a game creator is evil for changing something up when the original games are still intact.
Does this look like someone who
deserves death threats?
Tomm Hulett, from the Silent Hill Wiki.

It is fine to voice your dislike of something. "I don't like the new voices; I feel Heather's sounds too old." "I'm not interested in Operation Raccoon City because I don't like shooters and I want a horror game." "Book of Memories seems like an odd fit for Silent Hill and I'd rather have something atmospheric than something action-oriented." Opinions expressed in that way--that is, rationally--give people much more credibility, and avoid insults to boot. Tomm Hulett, the producer for Downpour and Book of Memories even had death threats sent to him for various reasons regarding the Silent Hill franchise.

This isn't something that's confined to just one or two series, either. A trailer for Final Fantasy XIII-2 had comments ranging from positive to the following:
"I hate the fact that since noel & sarah are the only playable humans, they need DLC  for the others who only had cameo appearances because writers couldnt put ppl like sazah in for wat ever lame excuse. the writers r lazy and stupid thats what they are. they didnt conclude it, and now their saying oops here you go theres a dlc.
BULL FUCKING SHIT. SE fuck u & ur stupid games. fuck,what happened SE. This game is also a bore fest.
An article on Gamesradar about the strengths and weaknesses of the Nintendo 3DS versus the Playstation Vita got comments such as:
 "Only a parent with a child or an adult with nostalgia would choose a 3DS over a Vita."
"Chosing between Vita and 3DS is akin to chosing to have brain surgery through your ear or through your nose. Neither one is something good and ultimately will just be a pain.
Please don't try to fool people. StreetPass is a failed POS idea. I feel sorry for anyone who actually tries to even use it. You think that there is ANY sort of positive to walking around and suddenly your 3DS notices another one around?! No. Grow up.
And last but not least, quit pimping out any online connectivity. It's one of the cancers of the industry and is not something people should see as a positive. It's just adds bloat and price to the system while offering exactly 0% of real functionality.
Ultimately, though, while I am definitely not going to be using either system (for the massive list of failures both of them have, as I noted above), the Vita wins hands-down based on not having that stupid 3D crap."
 Online connectivity is one of the "cancers of the industry"? Even the more tame comments insult people on the basis of simply liking one console above another.

Let's be rational, people. Instead of insisting "x game is the worst game ever and if you like it you are WRONG", speak out about what you dislike. Talk about the reasons why, talk about what you expect from games, what you hope from them, what you like about them. But can we please do it without insulting others, making death threats, or claiming that a change to a video game ruined one's life?


  1. Agreed with all that.

    Then,a few hours after reading this,I saw these quotes on a post somewhere and thought of you:

    "I hope they patch the errors AND add in all the blood, gore and mist or I will go out and murder all of the American production crew. Who's with me?! "

    "I would love to beat Hijinx Studios with a baseball bat. Seriously? All the ever developed was Frogger Returns which flopped horribly. Now they do this and its bad? Oh my god... "

    WTF people. There were three comments on a post about problems with SHHD, and two contain threats of violence. I don't understand this sort of rage.

    1. Wait, "murder" the production crew? Seriously? That's absolutely ridiculous.

      We know now that Silent Hill HD Collection has some problems; there are framerate stutters, some of the sound effects have been changed without reason, and some of the visuals have been altered for the worse.

      But to call for their murder?
      Between this and the Call of Duty Twitter fiasco, I'm surprised anybody takes gamers seriously.