Shadow of Phoenix

Respect for Games

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  • Shade’s Review of Silent Hill 4: The Room

    Posted on this site: Friday, March 25, 2022 Originally Published on Sunday, January 11, 2015 at https://shadevideogames.blogspot.com/2015/01/shades-review-of-silent-hill-4-room.html One year after the release of Silent Hill 3 in 2003, Silent Hill 4: The Room hit the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC.During the development of Silent Hill 3, Team Silent split in two teams.The first team including Hiroyuki Owaku and Masahiro Ito created Silent Hill 3.The second team involved Suguru Murakoshi (writer & director), Kosuke Iwakura (program director), Masashi Tsuboyama (art director & creature designer), Akira Yamaoka (sound director & producer), and Akihiro Imamura (sub-producer) developed what came to be known as Silent Hill 4: The Room. I am including several quotes from Team Silent members Masashi Tsuboyama, Akira Yamaoka, and Akihiro Imamura from interviews around the time that Silent Hill 4 was released (2004-2005).Silent Hill 4 has a lot of changes in gameplay making it different from the first three games.Some fans like the game, and some don’t.These quotes are from the team members explaining why the game is the way it is.Whether these changes are liked or not, it’s good to know why the creators made the decisions for the changes.The links for the interviews I use are pasted at the end. For years, it has been claimed by many fans that Silent Hill 4 was not originally suppose to be a Silent Hill game.In an interview in April 2005, Akihiro Imamura states “Well, keep in mind SH4 was not originally suppose to be a Silent Hill.”Masashi Tsuboyama and Akira Yamaoka said in an interview, “In a sense […]

  • Shade’s Review of Silent Hill 3

    Posted on this site: Friday, March 25, 2022 Originally Published on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at https://shadevideogames.blogspot.com/2015/01/shades-review-of-silent-hill-3.html Silent Hill 3 was released on the PlayStation 2 in 2003.The PC version was released in North America and Europe later that same year.Silent Hill 3 never got a Xbox release like Silent Hill 2 & 4.I have no idea why.I tried finding information on why it didn’t, but I cannot find anything. KCET’s Team Silent began developing the third game soon after the release of Silent Hill 2.Some key members of Silent Hill 3 development are Kazuhide Nakazawa (director), Masahiro Ito (art director & creature designer), Akira Yamaoka (sound director & producer), Yukinori Ojima (program director), Hiroyuki Owaku (scenario writer), and Shingo Yuri (character designer).Some members of Silent Hill 2 development were not involved in making Silent Hill 3.Suguru Murakashi, Masashi Tsuboyama, and Akihiro Imamura were among the members of the Silent Hill 2 development that split into a second team to make Silent Hill 4 at the same time that Silent Hill 3 was being made.Takayoshi Sato, CGI and character designer of Silent Hill 2, was not involved in either game.According to his website satoworks.com (this link now goes to a gaming site that does not seem to be owned by Sato), he eventually left Konami, and worked for Electronic Arts in Los Angeles for a few years.He currently works as an art director for Virtual Heroes, Inc. The storyline of Silent Hill 3 originally conceived by Team Silent was about a damaged person being called to the town. Fans, […]

  • Shade’s Review of Silent Hill 2

    Posted on this site: Friday, March 25, 2022 Originally Published on Sunday, January 4, 2015 at https://shadevideogames.blogspot.com/2015/01/shades-review-of-silent-hill-2.html Silent Hill 2 was released on the PlayStation 2 on September 24, 2001 in North America.It was released in Japan and PAL regions at later dates.Unlike Silent Hill 1, Silent Hill 2 is multi-platform.It was released on the Xbox as Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams with extra content in late 2001 and early 2002 depending on the region.A Greatest Hits re-release hit the PlayStation 2 in 2002 (2003 for Europe).There was also a PC version, which seems to be a little difficult to find at a decent price now. Unfortunately, the PC versions of Silent Hill 2, 3 & 4 have yet to be released on Steam or GOG. Team Silent of Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo (KCET) increased from a team of 15 people for Silent Hill 1 development to around 50 people for developing Silent Hill 2.The team for the sequel include: Masashi Tsuboyama (Director), Masahiro Ito (Art Director & Creature Designer), Hiroyuki Owaku (Scenario Writer & Drama Programmer), Suguru Murakashi (Drama Director), Akira Yamaoka (Sound Director), Akihiro Imamura (Producer), and Takayoshi Sato (Character and CGI Designer).Keiichiro Toyama, writer and director of Silent Hill 1, left KCET after the development of the first game was finished.He currently works with Sony Computer Entertainment Japan where he founded Project Siren, and created the Siren series and Gravity Rush. Many fans name Silent Hill 2 as their favorite in the series.I’m sure it’s due to the surprise revelation towards the end of the […]

  • Shade’s Review of The Evil Within

    Posted on this site: Friday, March 25, 2022 Originally Published on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at https://shadevideogames.blogspot.com/2014/12/shades-review-of-evil-within.html I just finished The Evil Within.I have to say that it’s a fun game, but it’s not scary.It’s definitely a survival game, and the horror is more blood and gore than anything.Some reviewers say that The Evil Within is what Resident Evil 5 should have been, and that it’s a return to old school survival horror. The gameplay is very much like Resident Evil 4.It has over-the-shoulder shooting, which many games nowadays have due to the success of RE4.There are also hordes of enemies that come after you, and tough bosses to fight.I think The Evil Within has some improvements of the RE4 gameplay.Unlike RE4, the camera can be moved independently of moving the main character Sebastian.The melee is a little better.The only melee in RE4 was using Leon’s knife, and kicking enemies when a button prompt appeared on the screen. Sebastian can punch or hit enemies with whatever weapon he has equipped.He can also pick up weapons such as a hatchet or torch.The problem is that as soon as you hit an enemy with it, Sebastian drops it or it breaks.That is one thing about the game that really drove me nuts.I understand that melee weapons cannot be kept in the inventory, but I hate breakable weapons or just dropping it after one hit.Sebastian could have at least carried the weapon until he equipped a firearm from his inventory.You can use stealth and sneak behind certain enemies to perform a […]

  • Shade’s Review of Silent Hill

    Posted on this site: Thursday, March 24, 2022 Originally published on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at https://shadevideogames.blogspot.com/2014/11/shades-review-of-silent-hill.html During the week of Halloween this year, I played Silent Hill 1-4.When I was a teenager, I loved playing all four games (one Silent Hill a day) for four days straight during summer breaks from school.I have played these games so many times it’s ridiculous.After writing about my impressions of the upcoming Silent Hills as well as just finishing these games for the umpteenth time, I thought I would write a blog on each game.I also hope to write plot analyses of the games in the near future.I will write about the western Silent Hill games soon when I get the chance to play them again.As for now, I will focus on the original four games starting with the first Silent Hill.In this post, I will give some information on Silent Hill 1, I will briefly talk about my experience with the game, and provide my of review for it.I will also not provide many plot details in case someone who has not played Silent Hill reads this review. Silent Hill was released for the original PlayStation in 1999, and published by Konami.It was developed by a creative team at Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo (KCET) that Silent Hill fans call Team Silent.According to the short Making of Silent Hill video (I will post the link below), Team Silent had 15 people working on Silent Hill including Keiichiro Toyama (Writer and Director), Hiroyuki Owaku (programmer; writer of SH2&3), Masahiro Ito (creature […]

  • Silent Hills: My Thoughts on the Upcoming Silent Hill (from 2014)

    Posted on this site: Thursday, March 24, 2022 Originally published on November 2, 2014 at https://shadevideogames.blogspot.com/2014/11/silent-hills-my-thoughts-on-upcoming.html First off, I have yet to play the Silent Hills demo myself because I don’t have a PS4 yet.I have seen it played through YouTube videos.It is best to watch it without commentary if you don’t have a PS4 because it can be much more immersive. When the Silent Hills teaser demo was originally announced as P.T., I really didn’t have much interest in it.Then hours later, it was revealed that it was actually a teaser demo announcing a new Silent Hill game being made by Hideo Kojima with Guillermo del Toro, and Norman Reedus as, presumably, the main character.P.T. just stood for Playable Teaser.Silent Hill 1-4 is one of my favorite video game series of all time.Of course, I had to check out this demo, and the best way I could do that was to find it on YouTube and Twitch. The demo itself was great.It’s a constant loop of a hallway in a house, which works really well because something different happens every time you go through.It scared me just watching it.At times, I would cover my eyes when I thought something bad was going to happen.I found some parts to be very disturbing like the creature in the sink that looked like a human baby, and the ghost, Lisa, especially when she grabs you.I’m guessing her name is Lisa from the message “Forgive me Lisa, there’s a monster inside of me” above the door at the end of the […]

  • Project Ideas

    Posted: Monday, November 1, 2021 Inspiration and formulating ideas for a game was the focus of this week. I have a few ideas floating in my head, but no concrete plan for a prototype yet. My main goal for any games I make is to demonstrate that game mechanics/gameplay can create stories without the need of cutscenes. Cutscenes to progress the story can be great in video games, however gameplay tells stories as well.  One inspiration I have for a game is the opening lines of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. “The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.” The teachings of Sun Tzu is often utilized in the military, business, sports, and many other fields. How can the opening lines of The Art of War be conveyed in a game? And how can that game also tell a story? That’s the challenge I’m excited to tackle.

  • Silent Hill Alley Project – Week 3 Update

    Posted: Monday, October 25, 2021 https://youtu.be/h0Wpbn3gDo8 New Format This time I’m going to try to show the video demo of the project’s current state like I’ve done in the previous posts, but provide a checklist of the tasks I’ve accomplished thus far as well as the tasks I have not reached yet. Before the checklist, I will provide details to anything that needs to be explains further. I figured this would be a more digestible format to explain the progress of the project.  Health Bar, Inventory Slots and Pause Explained The main focus last week was creating the health bar, inventory slots, and pause function. The health bar and inventory slots look very different from Silent Hill because I’m trying to convey how the inventory in Silent Hill works but in 2D. As strange as it looks in this demo, the health bar is a combination of the health status of Harry in Silent Hill and a typical health bar in 2D games. The health status in Silent Hill is an animation that flashes behind a picture of Harry. The colors green, yellow, orange, and red indicate the state of Harry’s health. A health bar in most 2D games shows the entire range of the player’s available health. Like a 2D game, the health bar shows the player’s entire range of health. At the same time, the player’s entire range of health is shown in the four colored states like the four colored states in Silent Hill. The player’s current health state is the bar flashing. […]

  • Silent Hill Alley Project – Week 2 Update

    Posted: Sunday, October 17, 2021 https://youtu.be/Jt3UtpESyAU Previously… Last week, I wrote about the new Silent Hill project, which I hope to create as a video essay. As of now, I’m recreating the opening gameplay in a 2D top down perspective in GameMaker Studio 2, and my thesis will be how the mechanics and gameplay promote two themes in Silent Hill.  The theme of Silent Hill is discovering a hidden truth while the opening gameplay of Harry chasing Cheryl is the theme of chasing the rabbit down the rabbit hole. In my final essay, I will explain how the theme of chasing the rabbit contributes to the overall theme of discovering a hidden truth. As for now, I would like to talk about the project’s current state, which includes a change in the game from last week, goals I’ve achieved, goals I haven’t reached and plans for next week. Let’s start with what is different about the project. Something different about the project You may have noticed that there is now a No Exit sprite where the player begins, and there are no magnifying glasses that the player can examine which brings up a speech bubble for the player. I was trying to do the same thing with the no turning back arrows, but I had so much trouble getting it to work properly which is probably due to all the instance layers in GameMaker. I removed the player’s ability to examine and comment for now. I have an idea on how to fix it. I may try making the […]

  • New Project on Silent Hill

    Posted: Sunday, October 10, 2021 New Purpose for this Blog For almost 2 years, I’ve been thinking about what I can do with this blog. I wrote a couple blogs when I first started this site in 2019, but something about them didn’t feel right. I kept thinking that I need to do something different. I just didn’t know what. One thing I did know was that I wanted to show that games including video games deserve respect. Showing that would also be an opportunity for me to share my love for games and demonstrate my passion for game development. But how should I do that? At least for now, I will do it as videos that I upload on YouTube and use this site to blog weekly on my progress as well as any thoughts I have on the project or on games. My first project will be on Silent Hill’s opening gameplay of Harry chasing Cheryl to the alleyway. Didn’t I already write a blog post on this? Yes, I did called Chasing the Rabbit: Silent Hill Intro Stage Part 1. I’m doing another project on this subject because Silent Hill deserves respect as a work of art, and I know I can definitely do a better job now. This original blog post was unfocused as I tried to write about too much at once. Although, it wasn’t a bad start to having my own blog site. This time I’m going to focus more on how the mechanics and gameplay contribute to the themes of Silent […]