Tag Archives: Konami

Noob’s History With Silent Hill

Introduction

This year left me scrambling a bit. I kept current through the beginning of the year, but then a bout with (maybe) Covid plus homecoming threw me off my schedule. I finished the comics reviews for this month last week and then hastily crafted a plan for the rest of Spooktober, which may go into the first week of November. Oh well, time is relative. In any case, let’s start this trip with Noob’s history with Silent Hill.

As you know, Chris and I recorded last month. The recording came out less than ideal, but we enjoyed it so much that we planned for the rest of the year. Because I came up with the idea for Spooktober last year and more or less kept the page running for an entire year, I made the suggestion that we talk about horror themes in pop culture this month; video games, books, movies, and TV shows. We meant to record today, but that slipped my mind. Thursday, it is.

What’s the Deal with This Game?

Unlike Resident Evil, which dealt with my favorite horror sub genre of Zombies, or Fatal Frame, which brought my wife and I together as she watched while I played, I discovered Silent hill through other means. Way back in the ancient history of the internet, before social media algorithms threatened the very fabric of reality, you needed to search for things. As a result, many search engines populated the landscape. No Bing, but Google popped up pretty early. My engine of choice was Yahoo! until Google became the behemoth that we all know. There’s something to be said for algorithms.

I go to my grave arguing that Ask Jeeves is the best name and logo for a search engine.

Even with all those search engines, I still learned about gaming news from my favorite gaming page of the time. IGN. Now a meme, at the time, well it was a meme then, too. But, in addition, it was the go to page for entertainment for almost a decade. During one of my visits to the page, I saw an article about Silent Hill. A horror game based more in psychological scares? Sounds like my type of game.

Journey into Silent Hill

I Yahoo’d (doesn’t sound as natural as Googling) the game to get more information. Everything I found only solidified my desire to play the game. I rented it via Gamefly, and fired it up. At the time, I hooked my game systems to my surround sound and this game paid huge dividends. I have a core memory of hearing a sound go from the front speakers to the rear and it scared the daylights out of me.

I also remember my first encounter with Pyramid Head. He is the sword wielding boss of the game with a Pyramid as a head or covering his head. I’m not entirely sure which. Perhaps I should ask Jeeves. Then, just as abruptly, I have no additional memories of the game. I either played it just that once or only one or two more times and then never again.

The Verdict

Noob’s history with Silent Hill is shockingly short. Sometimes that happens. I don’t dislike the game, mind you. I simply never got into the game like I did Resident Evil or Fatal Frame. Sometimes the idea of something is better than the actual thing, if that makes sense. I still keep track of the new games. I consider picking one up every now and again. If that happens, keep an eye on the page for my thoughts.

Yu Gi Oh! Duel Links First Impressions

Note: Yu Gi Oh Duels Links Image found on http://www.konami.com

Introduction

In my last article, I wrote about my experiences in the paper version of Yu Gi Oh! That reminded me that I had learned of a digital game available on Steam. My lab assistant from last semester also played the game a couple of times before class. Since this week’s podcast centered around Yu Gi Oh, I figured it was a good time for me to finally try the game myself and give my impressions. I have just finished playing through the tutorial and a couple of the “quizzes” for about an hour.

Note: I have not done any PvP dueling yet, so I can’t discuss things like matchmaking. However, as this web page makes perfectly clear, I’m not much of a competitive gamer, so if you’re coming here for that analysis, you’re in the wrong place. I can talk about how much fun I had playing the game and whether or not the game will make it into my daily rotation of digital card games.

The Good (Yu Gi Oh! Duel Links is Polished)

I’m not sure how long the game has been available, but it is a well designed and polished game. Given the target audience, I didn’t expect much. I thought it might just end up being a Hearthstone clone. This isn’t an unreasonable expectation. Many digital card games coming out are using the basics of Hearthstone as their template. It has slowed down a bit, but Hearthstone was a force on the level of Fortnite not too long ago. It makes sense for games to emulate it.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yu Gi Oh! is a completely different experience from other those games. First, the game appears to try to mimic the experience of the show for fans. The board is not simply a top down view like other card games. It’s a small touch, but different enough to make it noteworthy.

As this screenshot shows, there are some decent animations in the game, too.

Add in decent voice acting for the characters that almost made me feel like I was watching an episode of the show. The game has a very different feel to it from other card games. On the strength of the game design alone, I recommend people try it. However, those aren’t the only things that make it worth your time. Like many card games, it is initially very noob friendly.

There is a quick tutorial that deals with the basics of the game, monster summoning and spell/trap cards. While the tutorial is short, it is helpful. I think I’ve mentioned more than once that I never quite understood Yu Gi Oh! to any satisfactory level. This tutorial changed that. There are also quizzes to help you understand more of the game. Even better, the quizzes give you prizes to help advance in the game.

The Bad (Yu Gi Oh! Duel Links is a digital card game)

Admittedly, this isn’t much of a “bad”. You might even argue that it isn’t a bad at all. Yu Gi Oh! Duel Links is a digital card game. Okay, we are in agreement. As such, we have to take the bad with the good. I’m only including the bad to stay on format. Why? Is it even that great of a gimmick?

Plus, this movie is 50 years old. Who on the internet has even seen it at this point?

The tutorial is short. Maybe for some of you that’s a good thing. As a longtime novice in the game, this worried me. Also, I enjoyed the spectacle of the tutorial. Hmm, maybe I would like the show, but probably not. As a card game tutorial, it was fun. As a full length show, not so much. But, I digress. My main point is that I wish the tutorial was a bit longer.

Another point of contention follows directly from the idea about the show probably not being very good. I had to walk away from the game for a few minutes. When I came back, I started to notice the background music. Rarely is that a good thing. It wasn’t this time. The music is annoying.

Two weak “bad” points about the game and I still nothing about why it is “bad” that the game is a digital card game. Patience, I’m getting there. After finishing the tutorial, the main game opens. On the right hand side, there is “news”. Part of the “news” was a welcome pack of 3 packs plus an ultra rare card. Only available for 7 days! Sure, it was only 99 cents, but this constant push to get people to pay real money for digital goods is annoying to me. Plus, the packs only contained 3 cards.

The Verdict (Yu Gi Oh Duel Links is Fun)

I reiterate that I haven’t played any PvP duels yet, so I can’t comment on that aspect of the game. What I saw of the interface I liked. I could only come up with two minor bad points and the one thing that irritates me about all digital card games. There is no ugly as far as I could see. Usually, those show up pretty early in the experience. I can say with confidence that I will be playing more of this game. I’m not sure yet if it will make it into the rotation as a regular, but maybe I’ll sign the boys up and we can play a few games of digital Yu Gi Oh!