All About Rheinmetal
Games are important, but they are merely an excuse to declare in this site and to my friends my nostalgic and nihilistic look towards things.
If by reading the title above some of you thought that this will be a blog about bashing the Silent Hill HD Collection, you are mistaken. Actually I'm rather going to side with Konami on this matter. Indifference is one thing, abuse, or molest is another.
Recently I finished my ambitious project to post a complete video playthrough of Silent Hill 2 on YouTube. My goal was to achieve good performance (always for my standards), and I saw it both as a challenge for my skills and as my personal tribute to the makers of this classic game. My motivation is perhaps suspicious, maybe I acted out of vanity. I'm okay with that. I wanted to do it anyway.
After I finished my own work, I started searching inside the site's domain to watch other people's similar playthroughs/walkthoughs of Silent Hill 2 and see how I did compared to them. The results of this query were shocking: As a general rule most of Silent Hill 2 walkthoughs are either works of amateurs at best (usually those were left incomplete), or even worse, walkthoughs made by incompetent players that performed badly without the slightest effort to learn the game's ways, almost on purpose one could say, just to ridicule the game's outdated controls and mechanics.
I will show to you three examples of how the big majority of YouTube users understands the meaning of a Silent Hill 2 walkthrough video, and their overall level of appreciation of Konami's game.
Example 1. A guy from Sweden with the user name: Pie Die Pew. His videos have his face in a small corner of the screen, so you can actually see the game-play and at the same time the face whose playing it. It's interesting to watch it for scientific purposes, to observe the face of this very man, to know what you are dealing with. What we all are dealing with, because this guy has over than 7 millions of subscribers. Besides his insulting level of performance in the game, what made the biggest impression on me about this dude is that he doesn't seem to really want to do this video; it's more like a routine job to him, and a pretty boring one. He is a little grumpy, sleepy perhaps, but who doesn't have his bad days in the office?
Example 2. Okay, this is a good one. A rare gem. A guy with the nickname Rad Brad, who obviously doesn't have the slightest idea about Silent Hill, yet he has the nerve to call his video "walkthough". He is so helpless in this game that his videos seem to last for ever, while he aimlessly wanders in the game's mazes. Hours and hours of wasted bandwidth. When I first played the game in 2003 two years after its release, it took me half of the time to finish Silent Hill 2 than it took him for a walkthrough that is supposed to be a guide for new players or those who have difficulties in the game. Now after having watched this embarrassing sample of his work, what I'm going to reveal to you now, will probably make you want to hit your head against the wall, but better not do it because i's dangerous. This unbelievable guy, believe it or not, is considered by the FMV magazine as the "King of walkthroughs"! But if the King of walkthroughs is so incompetent in what he is doing, then I suppose it would be quite appropriate to say that "the King is naked!"
Example 3. Next is MostDangerousGaming. This fellow starts off quite promisingly. In his introduction he repeatedly says that he knows the game, he has played it before, he assures us that it's not a blind playthrough, that he has supposedly watched other videos of how to play properly the game, and so we are prepared to watch at least a decent video. I won't spoil it to you, just watch his level of proficiency in the game at the point when he first takes in his hands the control of James. It's a good thing he came prepared to play this.
And those three guys, and the other dozens that I have watched these last two days, are nothing more than a drop in the ocean of incompetence, ignorance and stupidity. And I will go even further. How many of those parasites exist in YouTube? Let's say that there is 1 million of those YouTube users that their only purpose is how to ridicule themselves, yell, laugh, make the clown to gain views and subs. Note that these "funny people" all have partnerships with web companies that their role is to grant for them copyright licences from the respective video game companies their footage comes from, so that they can put ads in those videos and make a profit from this business. The game companies earn money from those contracts, and free advertisement of their products. The web companies, known as "partners" where they play the role of the middleman in this story, they earn ridiculous amounts of money too. The clowns you saw in the videos, they earn their little something too and the recognition they so much seek. A win-win-win situation. There is only one loser: the viewers that watch this circus. And we are talking about millions and millions of viewers that happilly watch this garbage. If you have any doubts, go and check the comments sections under any of this type of videos. You won't see anyone protesting for their insulting quality. If you read their comments, they all sound very pleased with what they watch.
If for Ronald Reagan Soviet Union was the "evil empire", for me this title belongs to YouTube. Emptiness and stupidity are the biggest evil. YouTube is pretty much the ideal virtual place for empty and stupid people to blossom. Don't forget that Justin Bieber became what he is today from YouTube. Though Justin Bieber is not stupid. And I don't know many stupid billionaires in this world. Stupid are those who support him. And I have the suspicion those who hate him also. Anyway it isn't so important who is what, the fact is that this place oozes stupidity and the longer you reside the bigger risk you have to reach the full status of an idiot yourself, if you are not already born one.
Remember the time before YouTube? I'm sure you all have played Metal Gear Solid 3, and chances are that at some point you consulted a walkthough guide to find out the hidden locations of those damn frogs in order to gain a good emblem at the end of the game, or perhaps you couldn't figure how to catch a Tsuchinoko alive. I don't know about you, but personally I don't remember having read a walkthrough guide from the era of Final Fantasy VII to Dead Rising, that was anything less than perfect and in case helpful. Did anyone of you happen to read any Game FAQs guide where the writer didn't know what the game was about? Did you see anyone writing: "Pardon me, but I'm really confused I don't know where to go next. Sorry, these things happen. And I also don't know what is the best strategy to fight Revolver Ocelot. Just shoot at him and heal often. I don't know what else to say. Here, I will all tell you a joke instead, or I will imitate the sounds of two cats fighting on the rooftop..." Does this sound ridiculous? Absurd? It shouldn't. Because that's what a standard walkthough video offers to the viewer today. Pointless talking and cheap comedy.
So is YouTube the one to blame for this situation? Yes. YouTube is the company that hosts all these strange practices, the company that allows this monkey business to happen in the first place. Besides all other third party companies that offer partnership contracts, YouTube itself offers partnerships too! I think I don't need to add anything else as an argument.
And in the midst of all this confusion and mental decline of players, Konami releases last year the infamous Silent Hill HD Collection. After a little research I had done, I found out that Konami had lost (!) the original completed game archives of Silent Hill 2 and 3, and instead gave to the development team of the HD Collection the beta versions of those games. What we were served as remastered versions of SH2 and SH3, were actually the remastered beta versions! Hence all the unsolvable problems and bugs. With all the situation we discussed above, with Pie Die Pew controlling James with his left elbow on the analog stick and with the other hand holding his milkshake cup, scratching himself, and making funny noises, while his audience watches him with affection, expressing their approval for his show, why should Konami care to make a decent release of Silent Hill 2? What's the point? Who gives a shit anyway about Silent Hill 2, besides me, ten of my friends and some other old timers here and there? Do you honestly believe that all those millions of brainwashed gamers, do they really care if the fog in the game is dense enough and if Heather's new voice is better, or worse than the original? What those people can appreciate about masterpieces as Silent Hill 2? What do they know about games? I wanted to write about how Haneke's "Amour", the winner of this year's Palme d'Or award reminded me of the dramatic qualities and story of Silent Hill 2, and why I think this game deserves big respect- it surely deserved a better HD conversion...but honestly why don't we all go and watch some Pie Die Pew videos and forget all about it.
A short straight forward question: What the hell is wrong with Mass Effect 3? I stopped playing the game just a few seconds before, logged in to GameSpot and started typing these with the hope that someone who has played the previous ME games can perhaps enlighten me a little with this. I'm playing the game for less than two hours and honestly I can't believe in my eyes!
Firstly, I'm shocked with how colourless and low-resolution everything looks like. And it's not my TV tuning, or any other problem. This is my first Mass Effect game on the PS3 and I'm 100% sure that Mass Effect 2 on the Xbox looked clearly better. How this can be? Is it the difference between Xbox and PS3 so striking after all? Is ME 3 a cheaper game? But that doesn't make sense, even if it is a lower budget game they could simply copy paste some elements from the previous games so it can be at least of the same graphical quality. Ashley's face is unrecognizable, you can not see any expression, or any special detail on her face, it's like an alpha version of what we finally saw in ME 2. And Liara! LOL, she is ugly like a gargoyle, her skin is not blue anymore, it's grey. Am I too tired and my eyes fooled me? I don't get it..
Secondly: the whole third person view handling of the game looks awfully dated. Mass Effect is supposed to be an action-rpg, but the control, the camera view and the animations are a joke. The female Shepard walks and moves in the space just like a male Shepard with bust. No, not even that, instead of a bust, we see two tennis balls covered by some high-tech-my foot, equipment. I wonder, how many hours, or minutes did the production team spend in the creation of female Shepard?
ME 3 there is no way it can pass for an action game. Not even close. Action was never the strongest element of the series, but for a 2012 release of a big AAA game it's unforgivable. There is zero improvement in the department of the third person view action/shooter aspect of the game. Even Elder Scrolls games have better third person view movement of the character, and this is something that I never expected to say, because I found the third person camera and movement of the character in Oblivion to be at least embarrassing. Okay that was a bit mean, I take it back. ME3 has a better third person view control than Oblivion, but only slightly.
Lastly, it is unbelievable and inexplicable how uninspired the beginning of the game is! Do you remember the first scene of ME 2 with Ashley talking to the Elusive Man? Well I still remember it even though it has been years since I last played it. But I can't even remember how ME3 started, and I played it just two hours ago. It was that boring indifferent to me. Or there is something wrong with me, in my brain in which case I think I should worry.
Anyway, since unpacking and plugging again the old X360 to the TV just to play again ME2 is out of the question, I think I must pick something else entirely to play...
Wow, that was a surprise for me. Really.
On a second thought, something wrong must be with my TV after all. I can't give any other reasonable explanation. Yeah obviously. Forget what I said.
According to my PSN trophies records, it appears that I first started playing Final Fantasy XIII in April 2010 - I endured only for a couple of hours then I quit and never played it again until April 2011 for probably another four hours. Two years after my last attempt, I said why not resume playing it for a couple of hours again? After all it's April, the month that I traditionally play FF13. Long story short, the last ten days I put 60 more hours into the game and beat it!
My impression of the game: Firt of all, FF13 is not the Antichrist. Secondly, all characters in the game need a haircut. As a Square Soft fan and a Square Enix bitter ex-fan, sworn enemy of progress, and fanatic retro games player, I think that Final Fantasy XIII was a good game, enjoyable and addictive at times, boring and annoying at others, but overall a solid game nevertheless. Would I be even more positive if it didn't bear the name of Final Fantasy? If it was called "The adventures of Lightning" would I love it more? No. Probably I wouldn't have played it at all if it wasn't a Final Fantasy title. Nice game, but not a game that I would normally choose to buy/play. Or I wouldn't have the patience with this game if it wasn't Final Fantasy.
In terms of graphics, to put it simply this game is probably one of the best I have seen in my life, next to the Uncharted and Crysis. The cut-scenes are a joy to watch and the overall image quality of the game is excellent. Also there is not a single bug, or glitch to find. Those people in the production must have spent many months, thoroughly testing the game, I wish all did that... (If you are curious to have a taste of a ridiculously buggy PS3 game, go and play Tomb Raider Underworld. And if you want some more, play the even more absurd, PS2 version of the game. If you dare..)
The music was surely the biggest disappointment for me. I have lost the count how many times I have thought during playing that this game would have been so much better if it had at least something that could remind of let's say FFX music, some theme to get you into the mood. I didn't expect to listen to Nobuo Uematsu, sadly this era is gone for ever, but I needed at least one memorable theme. Nothing. Perhaps the battle themes music were okay, but still nothing that can be compared to the standards of Final Fantasy music.
The battle system was an interesting mix. It's a little hard to explain, if you haven't played it. Essentially turn based but in real time; pre-defined battle roles but still the player had to watch all the time the course of the battle and make the necessary shifts between different battle sets in order to have an advantage over the enemy. What I described as an interesting mix, would have been actually a great mix, if it wasn't for the real time factor. Real time, essentially means button mashing and rely on the auto-battle aid instead of wisely choosing your moves. I don't understand why there wasn't at least an option to fight the battles at your own tempo. Probably 8 Kb of program memory into the code of the game and it would have been one of the best FF battle systems. A wasted opportunity really, or another wasted opportunity.
About the story: I didn't understand much of the story, except that that there was an evil force that threatened the physical substance of the characters. After some point I quit trying to understand what's going on and I simply enjoyed what the game had to offer in terms of graphics and game-play. I admit that my English is far from perfect, but on the other hand, fal Cie, L' Cie, Pulse-L' Cie are not English either. However if it had been about "El Cid" with Sophia Loren and Charlton Heston, well that would really be something, because I love this film. But L'Cie: sorry, this means nothing to me. Fortunately the instruction booklet proved to be very helpful for a lot of questions I had about this game. (I'm not a fan of reading data-logs) By the way, kudos to Square Enix that keeps printing thick juicy instruction booklets for their games.
Surprisingly, in a story that I couldn't get into, the characters were all very nice and well modelled, literally and metaphorically. If I take out "Hope" a bit boring child character, all the others had something special to keep me interested. My favourite one was Fang:
She didn't appear from the beginning of the game, and when at some point later she made a short appearance, I thought that it would be fantastic if Fang was actually a playable character in the game.. And after a while I realized that she was indeed! One of the most "cool" characters of the game and one of the most efficient warriors to choose in battles too.
The leveling up process of the characters is similar to the grid sphere system of FF 10; you spend your XP acquiring Magic, Strength, HP and spells, but I don't think your choices have any real impact in their battle behaviour, because at the bottom line the characters always level up in a the way that the game decides to. It's more of an illusion of customization, than the actual thing. A spell-caster in the game remains a spell caster with high MP and low HP, and a tank character will always be a tank character with high HP and big strength, no matter what choices you make, no matter what attributes you buy for them. In its core roughly I would say leveling up in FF13 resembles more to the FF IX concrete battle roles.
As I said at the beginning I thought that FF13 was a good game. 7.0 and above in terms of Gamespot scores. If I judge it by the Final Fantasy titles criteria, it's one of the weakest FF games I have played, only superior to FF 12. But seriously what game can stand next to Final Fantasy VII and those old masterpieces anyway? FF13 is a very good PS3/Xbox360 game and I think that's what it matters to most gamers of today.
If someone asked me if I would recommend FF13, I'd say if you are mostly a casual player, or if you happen to be in a casual gamer mood, no by all means. If you are a typical gamer, I'd say it's worth a try, chances are that you are going to find something that will please you, though I'm not so sure if you will ever finish it, since the game very often tends to lose its pacing. Fans of "cinematic" games should not miss it also. And of course if you are an old FF player, I'm sure you have already played it and have your own opinion about it.
I don't know if I will ever play the next Final Fantasy game, or FF13 will prove to be my last one in the series. In any case this time I will not just rush in and buy it because it's "Final Fantasy". Okay at the end I might rush in and buy it, I don't make any promises.
My Recent Reviews
Old loves never die.
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Gretchen's special attacks, Knights Contract highlight.
May 11, 2013 4:29 pm GMTRheinmetal posted a new blog entry entitled Watching a classic being abused: Silent Hill 2
Apr 25, 2013 11:10 pm GMTRheinmetal joined the union The Moderator Collective
Apr 22, 2013 2:22 am GMTRheinmetal posted a new blog entry entitled What the...?
Apr 16, 2013 9:32 pm GMTRheinmetal gave Tekken 6 a score of 8.0
Apr 15, 2013 2:05 am GMTRheinmetal gave Final Fantasy XIII a score of 7.0
Apr 13, 2013 7:08 pm GMTRheinmetal posted a new blog entry entitled Final Fantasy XIII
Mar 29, 2013 3:32 am GMTRheinmetal posted a new blog entry entitled Web findings from the 2000's.
Mar 21, 2013 9:13 pm GMTRheinmetal gave Virtua Tennis 4 a score of 8.0
Mar 19, 2013 2:26 am GMTRheinmetal posted a new blog entry entitled Ave Maria Whittaker
Mar 13, 2013 3:06 pm GMTRheinmetal posted a new blog entry entitled Giving away things