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Author Topic: Akira Yamaoka Leaves Konami After 16 Years  (Read 6496 times)
ULTROS!
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« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2009, 09:45:33 PM »

Really? As far as I know, they have been completely disbanded after/during 4... If I remember correctly.

And yeah, I forgot about that they started slowly disbanding after 1.
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Hidoshi
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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2009, 10:23:29 PM »

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He's right though. Silent Hill has not been "Silent Hill" since the second game. Everything else has either been a completely mis-branded product, or poorly designed.

What was wrong with SH3?  I personally felt it was much better than the second one, and I know a lot of people consider it better than the first.  And despite what people say, Homecoming was a damn good survival/horror game, and is much closer to SH roots then any other Horror series I can name is to their own.

Unless you're talking about the fact that Team Silent hasn't worked on the series since 2, but that's kind of pushing it.  Megaman is still Megaman, even though Inafune hasn't worked on the series proper since the first couple.

Nothing in SH3 even touches the narrative and atmosphere of the second game. The second game really brings to life the idea that the actual town is out to kill you. SH3 didn't deal with that in nearly as clever a fashion.

Also, Megaman doesn't count. While I enjoy Megaman, the comparison is terrible. Silent Hill 2 borders on being art (Bit.Trip games are art). Megaman is so far from the same kind of game design philosophy and execution, it can't even stand in the same room as Silent Hill.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 10:38:10 PM by Hidoshi » Logged
Gen Eric Gui
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2009, 12:09:26 AM »

SH2 and SH1-3 are trying to make different points, though, and they're almost about two totally different towns.  SH1 and 3 don't make the point of the town being alive because it isn't alive, it's Alyssa's nightmares come to life.  The town isn't a -personal- hell, it's a town corrupted by an elder god's power and twisted through the magic power of Alyssa into a world of her own most powerful fears.

And that's a lot more interesting IMO then spending 8 hours listening to James Sunderland whine and bitch about feeling guilty about killing his wife.  There's also the fact that it wasn't exactly a very good horror game, since supplies were plentiful and the enemies couldn't hit the side of a barn from the inside.  Maybe I missed some vital three second part of the game where everything is really awesome and good, but from my standards the game failed as a horror game (Which SH1 and 3 did not), and only had an artistic storyline if you judge art by how much whining takes place in the game.

Now, before you say anything, I know that I'm coming down kind of hard on SH2, but I really and truly did enjoy the game.  It's a good action game with an interesting story, and it's definitely an interesting take on the Silent Hill theme(In fact, this is part of the reason I get so upset when people say Homecoming is trash for not "being like the other SH games", since the initial "good" 3 games are so different in and of themselves!).  But calling it art is stretching things quite a bit, especially if you don't think 1 and 3 are.

And no, the Megaman comparison is not invalid, because you missed the point of the comparison.  My point is that just because you take out the main team creating a project, doesn't mean that the project is destroyed.  Megaman games remained fun despite the brains behind the outfit moving on to other things.  The same can be said for many other things, like how FFT turned out pretty decent despite the Tactics Ogre team that created it not being complete, or how Zelda games are still good despite Miyamoto not having as much input on them anymore.  Team Silent was already missing more than half it's members by the time SH3 rolled around, and it was still amazing, so saying that "because Team Silent didn't work on it, it's crap" is meaningless.

And yes, Bit.Trip is art.  On that point I solidly agree.  And weirdly enough, it's one of the few art games that is actually a lot of fun.
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2009, 12:52:16 AM »

Not quite familiar with the guy, but I like a lot of his songs that appear in Bemani games like DDR and especially IIDX.
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ULTROS!
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2009, 01:19:49 AM »

Silent Hill 2 and 3 had different styles of horror (why some prefer 2 over 3 or 3 over 2). I preferred SH3 a bit more though.

SH2 had psychological horrors whereas SH3 has more shocking and gruesome-to-see horrors.
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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2009, 03:05:50 AM »

SH2 and SH1-3 are trying to make different points, though, and they're almost about two totally different towns.  SH1 and 3 don't make the point of the town being alive because it isn't alive, it's Alyssa's nightmares come to life.  The town isn't a -personal- hell, it's a town corrupted by an elder god's power and twisted through the magic power of Alyssa into a world of her own most powerful fears.

And that's a lot more interesting IMO then spending 8 hours listening to James Sunderland whine and bitch about feeling guilty about killing his wife.  There's also the fact that it wasn't exactly a very good horror game, since supplies were plentiful and the enemies couldn't hit the side of a barn from the inside.  Maybe I missed some vital three second part of the game where everything is really awesome and good, but from my standards the game failed as a horror game (Which SH1 and 3 did not), and only had an artistic storyline if you judge art by how much whining takes place in the game.

Now, before you say anything, I know that I'm coming down kind of hard on SH2, but I really and truly did enjoy the game.  It's a good action game with an interesting story, and it's definitely an interesting take on the Silent Hill theme(In fact, this is part of the reason I get so upset when people say Homecoming is trash for not "being like the other SH games", since the initial "good" 3 games are so different in and of themselves!).  But calling it art is stretching things quite a bit, especially if you don't think 1 and 3 are.

And no, the Megaman comparison is not invalid, because you missed the point of the comparison.  My point is that just because you take out the main team creating a project, doesn't mean that the project is destroyed.  Megaman games remained fun despite the brains behind the outfit moving on to other things.  The same can be said for many other things, like how FFT turned out pretty decent despite the Tactics Ogre team that created it not being complete, or how Zelda games are still good despite Miyamoto not having as much input on them anymore.  Team Silent was already missing more than half it's members by the time SH3 rolled around, and it was still amazing, so saying that "because Team Silent didn't work on it, it's crap" is meaningless.

And yes, Bit.Trip is art.  On that point I solidly agree.  And weirdly enough, it's one of the few art games that is actually a lot of fun.

The Megaman comparison is invalid because it's not qualifying properly. There's nothing particular special about any component of Megaman. It's a wholesale copy of Astro Boy in narrative and world concept, and its gameplay -- while good -- isn't particularly special. Neither is its music, because there's no unifying theme to any of it. Its art is also fairly mainstream and can be copied by just about anyone. There's nothing special to any particular component.

The same is not true of Silent Hill. Music is a huge part of the package. Even if you enjoy Silent Hill 3 more than 2, or like The Room, etc etc, one of the major components knitting together the series is Yamaoka's music. Consider that every single game in the series has a different designer and yet there is a feeling of unity which persists through nearly every iteration, regardless of quality. It's gone out of Japanese hands and still, despite being watered down and having its Soul removed, maintained a very similar atmosphere. That, I feel, is thanks largely to Yamaoka.

Now, while I don't agree at all that SH3 was a better game that SH2 (I'll go into detail somewhere else into why I feel SH2 is such a masterpiece), every game since SH3 has felt less and less like a legitimate part of Silent Hill. It's because it's had so many people shift around and drop off. It's not easy to create the atmosphere present in SH1-3 (using the trio for the sake of argument), and Yamaoka's music is a key component to it. It may be the only component left.
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« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2009, 09:14:54 AM »

And see, I don't think that the music had much, if anything, to do with how good the series ended up being.  My favorite parts of SH1 (my favorite game in the series) were completely silent except for white noise effects.  I mean, just listen to the music CD that came with SH3, almost all of it isn't "music", it's just bass beats and groans.  (Funny enough, though, the only songs I felt were memorable enough that I can actually remember them at all were from SH3.)

As for Megaman, I think that considering that there are tons of games that try valiantly to COPY Megaman and yet fail miserably to even create a game that is simply fun, let alone good in any way, stands as a testament that there's a high level of quality and talent behind the Megaman series that makes it stand alone.

Quote
SH2 had psychological horrors whereas SH3 has more shocking and gruesome-to-see horrors.

I wouldn't say that at all.  In SH2 the team seemed too infatuated with using the PS2's new shaders and lighting effects, so the game is much brighter then the other games(to the point that you don't need the flashlight in 90% of the areas), which makes it have LESS psychological impact.  The fact that most of the enemies are completely harmless with the flashlight off just makes it even harder to be scared.  You can clearly see everything and a lot of things are presented very bluntly to the player, especially in the case of the other people trapped in the town.  SH1 and 3 in particular make much better use of darkness and fog effects to leave you in a constant state of "I don't know what's around me there could be anything out there oh god".  Those games also made it a lot more easy to believe that you were pretty much alone there, since you didn't have a full supporting cast of whackjobs constantly whining at you(Just two or three).
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« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2009, 09:26:47 AM »

And see, I don't think that the music had much, if anything, to do with how good the series ended up being. 

And that's why you're wrong.
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« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2009, 10:02:28 AM »

I shouldn't respond to that obvious troll, but I will.

What music?  What music in the game enhanced the mood?  There ISN'T any music except during cutscenes and a handful of non-tense moments like the initial Mall scene in SH3.  So please enlighten me as to how the music of the Silent Hill games made them more scary/more atmospheric, and please enlighten me as to why only Yamaoka's white noise effects can work.
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« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2009, 03:11:34 PM »

Actually, thinking about what I said earlier with 'may as well start a new series'... That probably depends more upon intent than anything else. Even if it doesn't feel like Silent Hill arguably should, it doubles as a launch point to create something new, taking ideas from the original source and using them in a different way much like Battlestar Galactica or, possibly, Metroid Zero Mission. Something like The Room sounds like it should've been a whole new game, it shared some staff, a character, and presumably similar themes, but it was the work of a staff that wanted to do something new but HAD to do another installment, rather than people wanting to make something new with Silent Hill as a foundation.
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« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2009, 09:35:41 PM »

There ISN'T any music except during cutscenes .

That right there tells me you're talking out of your ass.

Also, it's confirmed.

http://www.originalsoundversion.com/?p=6037
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 10:11:59 PM by Lard » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2009, 10:04:50 PM »

aww, why not link to the source? I'm a staff writer over at OSV, it was big news we broke there (though the rumors came before the confirmation). :)
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« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2009, 10:07:13 PM »

Where's the music in the Elementary School in SH1?  There's NO music, which is exactly why that area is so fucking creepy.  There's no -sound- except for the radio static and the occasional CRASH of the Piano keys to freak you the hell out.

Like I've said, the only music I remember that wasn't white noise is during cutscenes and non-combat zones.  It's a lot like Demon's Souls, where there's only music during boss battles and in a few select areas.  (Which is yet another reason I liken DS to a horror game more then I do an RPG)
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« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2009, 10:13:08 PM »

Where's the music in the Elementary School in SH1?

You said Silent Hill 3 earlier. You don't even know what game you're talking about.

Also, sorry Ramza.
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« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2009, 10:35:21 PM »

Where's the music in the Elementary School in SH1?  There's NO music, which is exactly why that area is so fucking creepy.  There's no -sound- except for the radio static and the occasional CRASH of the Piano keys to freak you the hell out.

Like I've said, the only music I remember that wasn't white noise is during cutscenes and non-combat zones.  It's a lot like Demon's Souls, where there's only music during boss battles and in a few select areas.  (Which is yet another reason I liken DS to a horror game more then I do an RPG)

You realise that Yamaoka's still responsible for the entirety of sound design in those games, yes? The white noise effects ARE his. Even with the absence of music, the white noise design is incredibly detailed.

But that's besides the point now. You seem dead set on denouncing Yamaoka's integrity to SH (and if that's NOT your agenda, then you have completely failed to sound off otherwise). Team Silent's fading influence on the SH franchise at large has been one of the reasons most SH fans just turn their noses up at newer instalments. It's not an elitist issue either. SH fandom doesn't bear that kind of attitude on the whole. It's because the games simply don't have the same feel. The integrity is gone.

Now, you may go ahead and say "well, it's good enough for me", but that doesn't give you a platform from which to launch actual critique.

I'm not even sure you understand the sound engineering in Silent Hill. Let's use SH2 for example. When you encounter Pyramid Head and the mannequins (the writhing psuedo-sex scene), there's a track playing in the background. It's low, it's very ambient (Yamaoka uses this constantly), but it's integral to the strange scene. Without it, that scene wouldn't feel the same. It wouldn't have the same tense, lingering power.

The real power of SH2 was the ability to layer subtle effects on top of each other that haunted the player. It's what differentiates SH from Resident Evil on the whole. RE is more about jump-in-the-face moments, and appeals more readily to the slaughterhouse kind of crowd. SH is very much a suspense-ridden mystery, and in that, Team Silent created two excellent games where the subtlety was invested in everything from the writing to the music. SH3 is where this begins to fall off, with far more obvious clues about the nature of the game and more in-your-face action. By the time of The Room, with only a fraction of Team Silent's original members onboard, the series feels rather empty and barren of its voice.

In essence, by SH3, it has very little to say. By SH4, it has nothing to say. There's little about subtlety left beyond the generic ideas of suspense. Yamaoka was the only one keeping subtlety alive, and with him off the project (as it seems it will be), the series might as well be packed up in a coffin and shipped off.

Also, you completely missed the point about Megaman. I'm not arguing that it isn't a good series. There's nothing special about it that grants it a voice or Soul. It's very mainstream, very pop-culture. Sure, it's an icon for being one of the early standouts, but if Megaman was created today, or even as far back as the PSOne era, I doubt anyone would give it so much credit. Especially these days, Megaman has become a rather stagnant product.
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