Thursday, May 26, 2016

What Should Happen With Konami's IP?

Last year, around the time Silent Hills - a Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro game teased by the downloadable PlayStation game P.T - was cancelled, news broke that this was the result of some bad blood between Kojima and Konami. Little did we know, this was just the start of what we were about to find out from Konami. They removed Kojima's name entirely from the cover of MGSV, removed P.T from the PlayStation Store, cancelled Silent Hills, and even dropped out of publishing games as a whole. So what is to happen to their IP's legacies? What will happen to Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, and Silent Hill?

Konami - MGS1

The original Metal Gear, released in Japan on the MSX2 in 1987 and later came to the NES, came out to decent critical reception, enough to justify a sequel Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, which released in 1990. Eight years later, we would get what we all know Kojima for, Metal Gear Solid. The action-espionage thriller shipped six million copies, came out to great critical reception, and even got a few sequels and spinoffs. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was Kojima and Konami's last game, though, so what is the next step for that game? We already know they have a "Big Boss" themed Pachinko machine, but what else are they planning on doing with the IP? It's not very likely they sell it to another publisher or game dev studio, and I'm not even sure it would be the right decision. Who else can do Metal Gear like Kojima did? Maybe Naughty Dog, if you're looking for a more story-driven game like Metal Gear Solid IV or Metal Gear Solid. Naughty Dog did just see commercial and critical success in their newest game Uncharted 4, so maybe they would be the ones fit for taking Kojima's place. But, let's face it, Konami isn't likely to do a new Metal Gear Solid game in the near future, if at all. Kojima, now, is off on his own with his own studio Kojima Productions, and is currently touring game studios looking for an engine to build his new game in.
silent hill

Now, what about Silent Hill? Though the last few installments of the game - Homecoming, Shattered Memories, and Downpour - weren't very well received, the first three games are some of the premier survival horror games. Silent Hill, Silent Hill 2, and Silent Hill 3 all came out to critical acclaim, and it is definitely one of the pioneers of the genre. We can see games like Alan Wake, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and Fatal Frame taking from the games, whether it be in atmosphere or tone. Regardless the reception of the latest games, the series still has strong potential in the right hands, Outlast developers Red Barrels Studio have done a pretty good job with their take on survival horror, and may be able to give their take on a sequel or reboot. Outlast is arguably one of the better horror games of the last few years and it would be interesting to see what they could do with a third-person view. But, the last Silent Hill game that was released came out in 2012, and with our last hope, Kojima's Silent Hills officially cancelled, it isn't likely we'll see another game anytime soon.


Castlevania Symphony of the Night is widely regarded as one of the best games of all time and makes up half of the term "Metroidvania". It is the inspiration of many modern games and is definitely considered one of the better IPs of all time (despite the newer iterations being lackluster). Games like Batman: Arkham AsylumAxiom Verge, and Ori and the Blind Forest  are all games inspired by this and Super Metroid, and, in the right hands, we can see the game get the revitalization it needs. From Software nailed the tone and ambiance of Bloodborne, and they could do something great with the Castlevania series. The Gothic architecture, gruesome enemy design, and fast-paced action gameplay would be the perfect setting for a Castlevania reboot. Other than series creator Koji Igarashi - who is working on his own game, Bloodstained - From Software is probably our best bet on a decent series reboot. But, come on, Konami will probably take this series to their grave.

Great games like Castlevania, Silent Hill, and Metal Gear Solid, can get the treatment they deserve in hands of third-party developers, that is, if Konami is willing to sell the IPs. As good as that sounds, though, it may likely never happen, there is way to much money in the Pachinko machines they are making, and, well, we all know what Jim Sterling has to say about Konami. So, what do you guys think should happen with their IP? What developers would you like to see work on their games?

Friday, May 6, 2016

What's Wrong With Call of Duty

Rant incoming so no fun pictures ahead.

So, the newest Call of Duty game "Infinite Warfare" got a trailer recently, after multiple leaks regarding the setting. Regardless, in Call of Duty fashion, the trailer was awesome. Action, music, drama, the whole shebang. Honestly, it made me want to play it. Along with the announcement of CoD 4 Remaster, boy, Activision knows what they're doing.

But what are they doing differently this time around? Every year a new CoD comes out and every year they play exactly the same with a couple new/different mechanics, but other than a few minor things, nothing but the story and multiplayer maps change. Now, I don't really dislike Call of Duty and I really like the Black Ops franchise - the last one I bought was Black Ops 3, despite only playing it for a few hours - but really, I'm just burnt out on the series. Personally, I'd rather see them (Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer) take an extended break from the series and then put out a massive, amazing shooter, akin to CoD4, where they really changed how first person shooters work.

I suppose the title here is misleading, there isn't anything inherently wrong with Call of Duty, it's just that getting the same game with a different skin every year is tiring, but I guess I'm one of the few who thinks this way, because every year a game is released, and every year Activision sells millions of copies. Call of Duty, by no means, is a bad game, but, putting out more or less the same game every year is getting old.

A lack of innovation in games is something that really bugs me. Big budget yearly releases (i.e. Call of Duty and Assassins Creed), in my opinion, should be the ones innovating. Instead, though, they play it safe just to get the sales; it is the indie developers that are truly changing the game industry. So why aren't they innovating? Because people buy the shit out of these games, they sell better than most games that come out every year. People like Call of Duty, nothing has changed since CoD 4, yet every year these games come out and sell tens of millions of copies. So why try to fix what isn't broken, I guess.

Call of Duty, mechanically, is a great game, though. Shooting is tight and responsive and the multiplayer is decently paced, so there is a reason people buy and play it every year, but at some point people have to burn out on paying upwards of $100 for the same game every year.