Sunday, February 12, 2012

Of Fog, Radios, and Stockholm Syndrome

Those who know me also know of my love for Silent Hill. After all, it’s my favorite series. I get excited whenever a new game is announced, thrilled when it’s finally released and, ultimately, disappointed when the final credits roll. If I even make it to the end.

You see, despite the fact that I would call the Silent Hill series my favorite, I often feel like a wife who comes crawling back to her abusive husband begging for forgiveness and promising she’ll never slip up again.

The fact of the matter is, Silent Hill hasn’t been good – I mean, really good – since Silent Hill 3.

There was Silent Hill 4: The Room which could have been a good game if it weren’t supposed to be a part of the Silent Hill franchise. Silent Hill: Origins which was just plan bad. Silent Hill: Homecoming which had good intentions but strayed so far from what made the games great that it instead seemed like a game adaptation of the Silent Hill movie. And Shattered Memories which was . . . decent; it at least attempted to breathe new life in the original game but failed to keep my interest long enough for me to want to finish it.

So my question is . . . why? Why do I keep getting excited for the release of new Silent Hill games when it’s been so long since the series was great? When I go in to pick up my copy of Silent Hill: Downpour (which I preordered of course) on March 13th I’ll tell myself it’s going to be terrible in the secret hope that maybe it will be mediocre.

How about you all? Is anyone else out there a slave to a series which has long past its prime?

1 comment:

  1. My longer comment got deleted, so briefly: I used to have the same relationship with Zelda, from Ocarina to Majora, back to Link to the Past, up through the DS entries. And those killed it for me. It took so much effort to get through those games (not for the difficulty but for the sometimes head-slappingly bad design decisions) that I decided the new games in the series had to justify themselves for me to buy them. No more coasting on my nostalgia.

    Skyward Sword made this easy, because I suffer from chronic wrist pain, and there's no way I can play through a 40 hour Motion Plus game (I only made it through Twilight Princess by tapping the Wiimote sharply with my index finger instead of swinging it). But I still get a twinge of longing when I see screenshots of the game. I know it would likely infuriate me with its archaic save system, endless mandatory tutorials, worn-to-the-bone story, and general lack of evolution, but if I just got to relive the magic of that first Ocarina playthrough one more time...