Genki Podcast! – Silent Hill 2

One of my blogging experiments is complete! The Podcast that I promised two weeks ago is finally finished! What classic Japanese films will my mystery guest and I dissect? Actually it’s a videogame! Silent Hill 2.

Silent Hill 2's James Sunderland

Silent Hill 2 is a survival horror video game that was made by Team Silent a production group inside Konami and it was published in 2001. The player takes control of James Sunderland who comes to the titular town of Silent Hill after getting a letter from his wife Mary. In the letter she has written that she is waiting for him in their “Special Place” which is a location in Silent Hill that James has to try to remember. So the player has to guide James through Silent Hill revisiting his memories of her and the time they spent together in Silent Hill. Unfortunately a lot has changed since they last visited not least the fact that it’s foggy as hell and stuffed full of monsters. In this podcast Vashdaman and recount some of our favourite parts.

Word of warning before you listen – I have yet to master the audio editing software so turn the volume low before you start playing then crank it up for the rock intro – Zappa. The podcast is full of spoilers and rambling. Thanks go out to Vash from the Anime UK News forums for taking part!

Here’s the video I mentioned in the podcast which compares the old VA’s with the new ones.

 

 

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Game of 2011

I know I promised to focus on Asian films and I am about a month late but I have recently finished the game and was so impressed I needed to post about it. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is brilliant.

I received this for my birthday around the time it was released in September but was engaged in playing a number of JRPG’s which would not see completion until Christmas day. I figured that I might not be missing much. How wrong I was. SPOILERS

In the near-future of 2027, humanity has created a new industry: augmentation. It is the use of technology to make us stronger, faster, and smarter. Unfortunately the world is divided along the lines of pro and anti-augmentation: supporters believe that it is the next step in human evolution and critics call it the end of humanity. It doesn’t help that the technology is reserved for those who can afford it. You play Adam Jensen, chief of security for Sarif Industries one of a handful of companies that research and manufacture augmentation tech. Sarif’s scientists are on the verge of a major discovery when high-tech soldiers assault Sarif’s headquarters, steal information, murder people, wreck the place and leave Adam for dead. But he hangs on to life and Sarif restores him to something more than a man through augmentations. Soon Adam is on the trail of an international conspiracy in order to discover who was behind the attack

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AMV of the Week Enjoy the Silence

Silent Hill 2 is one of my top five videogames. I’ve played a lot so for the game to make it up there means that it’s something special. Indeed all of the entries in the series up until the fifth instalment are.

What I liked about it was the fact that it played with survival horror conventions such as making the player vulnerable physically and psychologically whilst the player wrestled with cumbersome controls that made navigation of the environment difficult. It also played around with sound and camera angles, thus affecting player perception of the environment and heightening the sense of the unknown and increasing fear. The series also made an attempt at tackling psychological issues – whole games being built out of an issue like mourning the loss of a loved one – far more interesting to me than the b-movie excesses of Resident Evil.

This AMV captures all of the darkness around the psychology of the characters and the horror of the game by weaving together all of the video cut-scenes, sometimes in order of the instalment. Furthermore the music compliments the images perfectly. I’ve never heard of Lacuna Coil and I don’t particularly feel like listening to any of their other work but their cover of Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence is darker and grittier than the original.

With news of a new film, game and HD remakes of the second and third instalments of the Silent Hill series, this AMV is a timely reminder of what makes the series so good.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Horror Trailers – Stake Land, Fright Night, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Silent Hill Downpour

This weekend’s trailers are all horror related.

Stake Land

With its rust-belt America feel this looks to me, to put it bluntly, like Supernatural with grit and decent monster special effects. I’m posting this trailer again just to remind everybody that it will be released in the UK on the 17th of June.

Taking place in a post-Apocalyptic version of America, vampirism is a disease that has struck the nation and humanity is on the back foot. Survivors flee the cities and head to the country. A young man named Martin (Connor Paolo) joins a vampire hunter named Mister (Nick Damici) as they travel through America battling the undead and a fundamentalist militia.

Fright Night

I watched this back in the 90’s but I don’t remember too much from it. I don’t hate the idea of a remake. A seedy Colin Farrel, and, most interestingly, David Tennant (Doctor Who, Hamlet) are in it.

Speaking of remakes, here’s the rather good trailer for…

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I liked the original film but skipped the sequels after reading so-so reviews. Still, David Fincher is handling this so it should be interesting.

 Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

When a young girl is sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend she discovers creatures in her new home who want her.

A remake of a TV show, it is directed by Troy Nixey and written by Guillermo del Toro Rachel Holmes is back on the big screen… and I’m going to resist cracking jokes about Scientology because she’s a likeable presence as is Guy Pearce and the monsters in the trailer are creepy.

Silent Hill Downpour

I love Silent Hill 2. I have high hopes for this game. Not for the film, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D however.

When Satisfied is Enough

It’s hard being a gamer. You pay a lot of money for a game that can last from six to sixty hours and hope it entertains. Picking a game relies upon using the advice of a  reviewer to guide you  and yet you may love a franchise so much you ignore reviews and take the risk of severe disappointment. The latest Aliens vs. Predator was one such risk.

Colonial Marines from the latest Aliens vs. Predator game

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2011 A Year of Promise for Videogames

As far as I am concerned, the big news for videogames is the 3DS. Sure a lot of big franchises see themselves augmented with new instalments: Mass Effect, Bioshock, Dragon Age and Uncharted. All well and good but I’ve been sucked in by the 3DS. Anyway, here are some games that I am most definitely going to purchase.

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The Greatest Videogame Adaptation of a Movie

Sometimes games manage to capture the film: Halo (Aliens), Grand Theft Auto (crime films from the 1980’s onwards). For my money, the best so far has to be a game inspired by Alien: Super Metroid.

Samus Aran

Super Metroid features so many superficial elements that make it similar to Alien – a tough leading woman (central protagonist and pioneering female hero in a genre with so few) battling disturbing insect like creatures with elements of body horror set amidst decrepit corridors. Lots of other games have the superficial elements but what makes Super Metroid a superior example is that the game truly nails is the atmosphere.

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Totally Addictive Flash Games- Fig. 8.

Whenever I hear an accordion I feel French. I can’t explain it but I just do. I never saw or heard one while in the country but that’s the power of stereotyping. Anyway, here’s a Flash game where you are a bike fleeing the left side of the screen and the closest I’ll ever get to being French without having to go back to the place.

 
 

Fig.8 Screenshot
Sir Norman Foster's Favourite Game

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