This isn't so much a criticism of 'Splosion Man as it is of people on the internet who buy into this sort of thing. I'm tempted to picture black-suited developers wringing their hands and humorlessly smirking at the thought of how easy 'zaniness' can gain an average game a cult following, their dead corporate minds failing to grasp the subtleties. More likely, it was the work of a committee of manchildren insisting on working in every idea that seemed so hilarious in the sugar-fueled brainstorming meetings.
In the end, 'Splosion Man's 'humor' is a child or an idiot acting up for attention. Mind you, that's exactly what I'm giving it, so let's all join the idiot conga line. Speaking of which, time for last week's comments:
"Yahtzee, is there something your not telling us about Silent Hill 2 that reminds you of your personal life? Something that gave the game the extra mile with you?"
- Gunner-Guardian, from last week's XP comments
No, I can't say I've ever been a mentally disturbed guilt-ridden widower. Well, sure, I've murdered a few sluts in my time but I've never felt guilty about it.
That's why I admire Silent Hill 2's story so much. I don't even believe in love. I believe that what people call 'love' is a combination of herding instinct, peer pressure, need for security and good old-fashioned lust. I hate all that over-idealized, moony-eyed devotion evident in most romantic movies because I've seen (and been in) the kind of shit that it always transmutes into over time. I think Orpheus was a clingy little bitch, and I'm suspicious of how people always seem to find their 'one true love' living within a few miles. Often more than one.
And yet, throughout SH2 I was totally on-board with James Sunderland's quest for his (one suspects) over-idealized, lost love. See, if a protagonist is characterized well enough, it doesn't matter if your philosophy doesn't gel with theirs. That's why left-wing liberals can still enjoy watching Batman, and why it feels a little cheap that Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is gonna have a quiz or something.
"Shattered memories is gonna have a quiz or something? So it'll have my dead relatives come and say how disappointed in me they are because of my porn collection?"
- Artemus_Cain, from the Silent Hill 2 comments
Actually, Tomm Hulett of Konami got in touch after the SH2 video to explain that the quiz will just be a small part of a complex psych profiling system, which will also record where you go first, how desperate you seem to be, whether you turn left or right, etc. And as I said in reply, I'll be interested to see exactly how this information gets applied, because I'm thinking about it and I keep coming back to that bit in Metal Gear Solid where Psycho Mantis tells you how often you saved.
Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder. When he isn't talking very fast into a headset mic he also designs freeware adventure games and writes the back page column for PC Gamer, who are too important to mention us. His personal site is www.fullyramblomatic.com.