Silent Hill: Book of Memories Demo Arriving for Vita Next Week
Whisked away from the critical flops that were Silent Hill’s HD Collection and the full-fledged sequel Downpour, Wayforward Technologies’ portable Book of Memories is finally seeing release on October 16th.
Exclusively designed for the PS Vita, Book of Memories infuses multiplayer — something not even its console counterparts have dared try — into a dugeon-crawling RPG that has masked itself in the skin of a survival horror game. You’d think such a cocktail would come across as disjointed as one of Silent Hill’s hapless abominations, but early impressions paint Book of Memories in a positive light (and thank the Old Ones for that; the Vita could use more meat on its library’s bones).
Come this Tuesday, North American Vita fans will be able to download a demo for the game, finally giving Hill fans a hands-on with 2012’s last entry into the franchise.
Silent Hill Revelation 3D in Theaters October 26th
And here’s the official trailer for those of you looking to revisit the Hill in October. What’s that? You didn’t even know they were making a sequel? I understand. Usually direct-to-DVD sequels that don’t even feature the original cast slip right underneath the radar…
Except this isn’t DTV. Revelation 3D is theater-bound. And most of 2006’s original Silent Hill cast are returning to reprise their roles, now joined by silver-screen friendlies the likes of Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), Carrie-Anne Moss (Matrix, anyone?), Kit Harington (the fool Jon Snow of Game of Thrones), and Adelaide Clemens (credited as the infamous “Carnival Girl” in X-Men: First Class…it counts).
English filmmaker Michael J. Bassett is handling both writing and directing duties, basing the story specifically on Heather Mason’s exploits in Silent Hill 3 — a direct continuation to the events of the first Silent Hill game which, wouldntcha knowit?, the 2006 film is adapted from.
So this isn’t a throwaway DTV sequel, original cast members are returning, and it actually has something to do with the source material’s continuity? Color me excited. No matter your feelings towards the survival horror genre, Silent Hill (flaws and all) is still heralded as one of the best video game film adaptations around. Here’s to hoping Revelation can live up to that reputation.
Konami’s Not Doing E3 Next Week, They’re Doing It Tomorrow
If you’re hoping to catch Konami’s presentation at E3 next week, you’ll have already missed it. The company is instead streaming a pre-E3 conference tomorrow night detailing their latest endeavors which are sure to include Metal Gear’s Bayonetta-esque turn, the new Lords of Shadow game (with, hopefully, clarification as to how many Castlevania’s we’re supposed to be getting), and maybe a status update on the missing-in-action Silent Hill: Book of Memories.
If Konami looks to seriously impress, they either have to unveil Metal Gear Solid 5 or, I don’t know, fix the last half-a-year of Silent Hill. Whatever they’re cooking, I hope you East Coasters are night owls given that the conference won’t air for us until 1:30 in the A.M.
Gaming Quotables of the Day: Corporate Greed Edition
What is slowly becoming common practice in the gaming industry is once again coming under fire because, honestly, it deserves to be abolished like a money draining asshole on your elbow. What are we talking about? On-disc downloadable content. How do we feel about it? Well, not great:
“Yeah, it’s just plain greed. The answer is that simple. I think that DLC has been so successful that publishers are trying to get a jumpstart and if you put it on the disc it allows them to unlock it when they feel like it.”
-Michael Pachter, industry analyst
You can read more of Pachter’s musings on the matter here. He gathers that while DLC will and should remain in the market, locked content’s days are numbered (we’re already seeing progress on that front). Of particular note, Pachter questioned the legality of, say, a consumer hacking into their copy of a game and unlocking stashed away content. “I’m not even sure that’s stealing because you did, in fact, buy the disc. That’s about as close as you can get to legal piracy.” Next time you get into trouble for hacking into a game you bought and paid for, tell them the Pach-Attack told you to do it.
Another money racket the current generation is both simultaneously blessed and cursed with is the advent of HD re-releases — opinions are mostly skewed between Hooray-for-Nostalgia and Stop-Selling-Me-Things-I’ve-Already-Bought. The latter encampment seems to oft win the argument especially when companies like Konami dish out horrid, buggy ports that de-improve a title’s quality. Case in point: the Silent Hill HD Collection.
“We got all the source code that Konami had on file — which it turns out wasn’t the final release version of the games. So during debug we didn’t just have to deal with the expected ‘porting’ bugs, but also had to squash some bugs that the original team obviously removed prior to release, but we’d never seen before…We certainly had our hands full. I think at one point Heather was blue.”
-Series producer, Tomm Hulett
So that’s why Silent Hill 2 and 3 were actually worse than I remember them a full generation ago! All is forgiven Konami. I can enjoy these broken, technically incomplete versions fully now that I know a lack of quality won’t stop you from cashing in on a property you’re brutally flogging. Out of all the missteps taken, I think I actually might’ve wanted to see Blue Heather kept.
What the Hell Happened to Silent Hill: Book of Memories?
Long story short? Konami happened to Book of Memories. Longer story follows:
Yet another delay rocks the gaming world, this time on a smaller scale — a handheld scale to be exact. The PS Vita title was meant to do two things: usher in multiplayer into the strictly solo player franchise and come out in March. Sadly, the game half failed, ruining the three pack of Hill’s Konami planned for that month. Book of Memories very quietly slipped into a placeholder date of May 31st with little fanfare and even less surprise given the amount of smoothing the other two March releases could’ve used.
Now, WayForward Technologies’ (they’re pretty badass at small sized titles, check their resume) apparently canonical spinoff has once again shied away from it’s release slate, the first indications coming from Amazon’s new placeholder date of October 31st. When pressed, Konami found the strength to comment on the game’s status, confirming an October release (maybe) but denying a solid day to expect it out.
WayForward’s pretty busy themselves; with a Double Dragon downloadable remake and an Adventure Time DS game in the works, one has to wonder how focused the development team is on bringing us miniature scares to the Vita. Likewise, it’s also worth pondering if the frighteningly bad reception the last couple of Silent Hill’s received is causing Konami to delay the title, for fear of disappointing the survival horror masses yet again.
Konami Promises Silent Hill HD Collection and Downpour Patches Are Coming to Town
What a mighty coinky-dink. I just acquired a copy of Vatra’s Downpour last night. The game is a sight better than reviews and jilted fans would have you believe, but after a handful of hours guiding Murphy Pendleton through the rainy, foggy streets of the Hill, it quickly became evident who the real villain of the show is: the terrible, glitchy coding.
The HD Collection suffers a worse fate given that gamers already have a bug-free precedent established in their minds when it comes to how SH2 and 3 should play (I’m being told that the audio actually syncs with the action in the PS2 originals — still waiting for confirmation). The ports and new sequel share overlapping fuck-ups such as frame rate slowdown and jarring crashes whenever trophies are earned. In my playthrough, Downpour is specifically prone to freeze in place during auto-saves, and the targeting system goes positively ape-shit the moment more than one enemy threatens you.
All in all, I’m confident Konami doesn’t care to have these titles out there like this, which is why they’ve released word on how they intend to rectify this horror:
“…development teams are currently creating online patches for both games, which will fix the frame rate issues, the audio-synching in Silent Hill HD Collection, and the Auto-Save issues in Silent Hill Downpour.”
Since the patches are still being brewed, the company states we’ll see them in the next few weeks. Remember when games weren’t broken out of box? No? Yeah, my memory’s a bit foggy, too.
WHY HAS NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT THIS?!