October 23, 2012

Review – Silent Hill: Book of Memories

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 9:04 pm

Review Silent Hill Book of Memories
Living up to its name, the Book of Memories allows those that possess it to change the memories of others, essentially warping events in their favour to gain anything their little heart’s desire. Since said book arrives from the twisted town of Silent Hill, the consequences are inevitably twisted as well.

Changing memories in your favour comes at the expense of someone else’s good fortune. At least, I think that’s how this works.

After an initial delivery from a familiar postman, narrative depends on snippets of text, which during the first level detailed one person’s troubles at work, eventually leading to my own character getting a promotion because of said woes by the level’s completion. As with Silent Hill: Downpour earlier this year, the series seems continually flustered in the attempt to capture the essence of minimalist story telling that has made previous entries in the franchise successful.

The less-is-more approach here feeds detachment from events and characters that players have no emphasis or opportunity to make a connection with, which severely hurts the grind of play the game offers as the main course.


August 27, 2011

Hands On with Silent Hill Downpour

Silent Hill Downpour Hands On
An over-turned prison bus gives Murphy Pendleton cause and opportunity to attempt a run through Silent Hill, and I was recently given some time with Konami to poke around the dilapidated buildings immediately awaiting him after the chance prison break.

Murphy’s arrival in the town where I’d like to build my dream house seems accidental, but then no one really ends up in Silent Hill by accident, do they?


December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays OF DOOM!

Filed under: News Feed — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 12:43 pm

Happy Horrible Holidays of Doom
Xmas Eve is upon us once again, that special time of year when we gather in great numbers to withstand the many festive horrors about to descend upon us as Santa’s jolly boots of doom sound on the rooftops and signal the beginning of untold holiday terrors.

Whether you end up holding out against Santa’s mechanized death squads, or repelling Zombies compelled to feed on flesh by that fiendish spirit of the season, be sure to take a moment to reflect and let friends and loved ones know how much they mean to you.

After all, you may not get another chance if the defenses don’t hold.

Merry Xmas from everyone at Gamesugar!

May 25, 2010

Review – Alan Wake

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 10:35 pm

Alan Wake
Previously on Gamesugar –

We received a package in the mail, a review copy of Alan Wake. The envelope it came in deceptively hid the real weight of the contents, carrying the immense expectations caused by bold announcements made early in the development process, and aspirations focusing too much attention on the ability of a single game to define a hardware cycle.

From my own detached position I expected something Silent Hill sans the sickly sexualized horror that has kept the genre neatly niche. Perhaps I expected the kind of game Sierra might have made, following in a more accessible Gabriel Knight / Phantasmagoria vein.

It wasn’t going to be that simple however, the game somehow resisting the temptation to hover around the sun on the wax wings of hype, instead creating an experience that defends the existence of authoritative narrative in an era of open world desires, bringing along play mechanics that directly feed out of and back into the written words that pull players deeper down the rabbit hole.


April 1, 2010

Review – Calling

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 6:07 pm

Despite repeated attempts to lighten my workload and appease attention deficit, I’ve never successfully produced a one sentence review. If I had, I believe Hudson’s horror Wii title, Calling would earn “the not-so-bad game that should have been great but was likely going to be so-so and finally ends up dipping more toward terrible with a fleeting few sparks of creativity worth noting.”

After a short and lagging introduction about a website where people can speak with the dead, known as “the Black Page”, Calling drops players into a darkened room with a first person perspective and plenty of space for optimism about the experience to follow. That first-person Wii perspective is the most ideal setup for a horror game to date, the player forced to sit with more attention and focus than usual while aiming the WiiMote, ripe for the attacks of designers suddenly in possession of a more captive audience.

That controller determined position also forces the idea that playing horror is very different from simply watching it, with the player no longer a passive observer of another person’s misfortunes, challenged to push themselves forward even while knowing the game is out to get them as they move ahead.


January 11, 2010

Review – Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 8:56 pm

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
It’s been nearly ten years since Silent Hill 2 set the bar for the series, largely owing to the work of Takayoshi Sato, who soon after vanished over the Western horizon leaving a faint scent of J.D. Salinger on the air. The game’s presentation and treatment of a psychologically driven narrative has cast a shadow of expectation over every subsequent release, causing a fair amount of confusion concerning the best direction the series might take.

While there has been some experimentation and deviations from the formula, recent entries in the series have suffered trying to meet those expectations, as much a victim of the legacy as any game that becomes a prisoner of previous accomplishments.

So I very nearly let Shattered Memories pass me by, assuming there was nothing a re-imagining of the original Silent Hill could offer, particularly on the Wii.

But since I’ve been forced to reconsider my stance and find myself suggesting the game is one of the most important releases of 2009, we should probably have a chat about it.


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