Review: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Reprinted here is the Silent Hill: Shattered Memories review I wrote for

I’ve played every game in the series and a few years ago you might even have caught me defending the Silent Hill movie. When I first heard that Climax was re-imagining the first game in the Silent Hill series, and putting it on the Wii, I was a bit nervous. When the company revealed the logo and announced that the rust laden, nightmarish Otherworld was being brushed aside for an ice world, I was downright scared. After gathering some more info and trying the game at E3, all fears were assuaged. This was to be the great white (black?) hope of the Silent Hill series.

Having spent two evenings with the game and completing the story for the first time, I’m conflicted. Was it good? Yes. I’m just not sure it’s Silent Hill. Continue reading “Review: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories”

Game of the Year considerations

It’s getting to be about the time of year that we — we being “Joystiq bloggers” — have to start thinking about our choices for the best games of the year (this one being 2009). Off the top of my head, in no particular order, here are some of the games likely to make it into my top ten:

  • Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • Shadow Complex
  • Halo Wars
  • Street Fighter IV
  • Halo 3: ODST (For Firefight, if nothing else)
  • ‘Splosion Man

It’s worth noting that I haven’t played a fair amount of the games I need to play. Assassin’s Creed 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Uncharted 2 spring immediately to mind. It’s also possible that Torchlight just might make it on there once I sink more hours into it.

Anyhway, the point I really want to get to is this: I think ‘Splosion Man has to be my pick for overall game of the year. I don’t know if that’s radical/crazy/pretentious, but it’s my choice. The reason I say it has to be my pick is simple: I had more fun playing that game than any other this year. Throw out production values. Throw out the “games as art” debate. Throw out writing. It’s not that ‘Splosion Man didn’t excel in any of those areas — it did — but the simple fact is I enjoyed it more than anything else this year.

I’ll save more commentary for later, when I get my thoughts in order, but I had to share. Please, give me your thoughts on the best games this year. I could use the help.

Bi-Monthly blues

Good lord, I haven’t worked enough at all this month. I have worked, but not nearly enough. I place the blame squarely on Halo Wars. Never again will I request a game a full month before its release. Really, really bad call on my part there.

Tomorrow: Time to buckle down.

Oh, on a side note, the Halo Wars review should go up tomorrow. Hint: I like it.

Changes coming

I’ve decided to turn this into a professional website, so I think it’s time to clean it up a bit. Ideally, I’d like it to be an online portfolio, where anyone can take a look at the work I’ve done around the net. Please bear with any bugs for now.


I think the reason I write so very, very little here is that I feel the act is irrelevant. Few read 8bN and I give them little reason to do so. That said, I feel that I need to state “on the record” that I’m thrilled to see Barack Obama win the presidency. I won’t question his ability to inspire people, to move them with soaring oratory. Many have decried his speaking ability as a ruse, the tricks of a huckster merely trying to buy some votes.

And yet, I can tell you one thing: Not once has George W. Bush inspired me with his words. As a politician, Bush was made, manufactured. Obama wanted to be president, probably more than anyone in recent history, and probably because he had to in order to make it so far. Now it’s time for us to see if he can deliver.

I opened the door and looked into my backyard this morning. It was raining but the sun was still shining. Seems appropriate for the day after an election.

Too Human and Tomb Raider

Hey all. Been a while since I really blogged here. I’ve discovered Twitter and Facebook, so you can check my profiles there if you want to keep up with what I’m up to (links are in this very sentence!).

As for what I’m up to, I’m anxiously, anxiously awaiting my copy of Too Human. I requested a review copy from Microsoft over a week ago, but it looks like my GameFly copy is going to beat the review copy to my house. I know Too Human reviews are kind of all over the place, but there is only one thing I really need to know: it’s a dungeon crawler. Based on the demo, it’s a pretty decent one. As long as each new piece of equipment comes with a significant stat boost and a visual reward (I hate games where you can’t see the items you’ve equipped), I’ll be a happy camper. The possibility of 4-player co-op in the sequel is nice too. Of course, if Diablo III lands before that, I might forget about the Too Human series altogether.

Another game on its way to my house is Tomb Raider Anniversary. I decided to rent it because Ludwig made it pretty clear to me during E3 that I wasn’t a good person unless I had played it. I like being a good person, so I figured it was worth a shot.

And, oh my lord, Castle Crashers. The wait for that game has been absolutely crushing. Alexander and I will be playing it the morning it comes out. We’ll be recording the shenanigans for XBLA in Brief. I predict it will be one hell of a good time. So good, in fact, it could very likely interfere with my work in much the same way that Bionic Commando Rearmed has (damn you, Super Hard difficulty!).

The best (or worst) thing is that from here on out there are good games dropping like flies all over the place. Silent Hill: Homecoming is scheduled to come out next frakking month. Duke Nukem 3D too. Insane. Oh, and I’m going to Santa Fe for my anniversary at the end of September. I can’t possibly deserve any of this.

Just completed challenge 56 in Bionic Commando Rearmed

Okay, this is a proud day for me. I just completed the last of the challenge rooms in Bionic Commando Rearmed. Only 103 people have finished room 56. I rank 51 among them. Booyah. Oh, I did look at a video (the one above) to figure out one of the very last parts, but I think it still counts.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, I did a few things a little differently. Some I think were faster than this video, others slower.

Tom Waits and E3.

So, the Tom Waits concert was incredible. It was worth the very very high price of the two tickets. It’s hard to say if there was a particular highlight or not. I do know that I can’t get the song “Lucinda” out of my head now. It’s not even one of my favorites. I also liked “Invitation to the Blues,” which I wasn’t familiar with before the concert. Good stuff.

E3 is starting next week. This will be my second year attending. Strangely enough, this will be my first “real” E3. You may recall that last year’s E3 in Santa Monica was kind of an experiment. This year it’s moving back to the Los Angeles Convention Center, so it should be much less hectic and hopefully a little more fun. I’m really excited.

Finally, once E3 is over, Annie is flying in to meet me in LA. We’ll be staying there for another week and a half. I can’t wait.

I’m going to see Tom Waits!

Alright, so it’s been a while since I blogged last. You know it. I know it. Let’s move on, k?

The point is, I just dropped almost 200 bucks on Tom Waits tickets. He’s playing at the Brady Theater in Tulsa. The Brady is a pseudo legendary venue where I live. It’s played host to acts ranging from the Marx Brothers to Frank Zappa to U2. I love me some Tom Waits, and it’s been a while since I’ve been to a decent concert. It might bankrupt us, especially with Annie and me going on vacation next month (after E3), but I figured you only live once and it could be a long time before Tom Waits heads back this way again.