Grave Gamer News & Views — konami

Bud Light Has Created a Life-Sized Pac-Man Board in Order to...

Bud Light Has Created a Life-Sized Pac-Man Board in Order to Torture a Man

This labyrinthine recreation of Pac-Man’s famous battleground has been erected Los Angeles, California’s Fashion District.

Piss water brewer and distributor, Bud Light, constructed this neon monolith to film an upcoming “Up for Whatever” TV ad meant to air during this year’s Super Bowl (if you’re reading this blog, you no doubt need clarification – the ‘Super Bowl’ is a real life match of Madden held every year in front of millions of people who exclusively drink Bud Light).

The sixty-second spot will depict a man beckoned outside only to find this '80’s terror. After feeding a giant coin into a giant coin slot – a metaphor for selling his soul – the man will be forced to endure a gauntlet where he must dodge the ghosts of his past while eating fruit. He is not expected to survive.

Disturbing Imagery, Creepy Music, Endless Hallways… Must Be a New...

Disturbing Imagery, Creepy Music, Endless Hallways… Must Be a New Silent Hills Trailer!

Hell has hallways. Who knew?

Hideo Kojima + Guillermo del Toro + Norman Reedus = Silent Hills...

Hideo Kojima + Guillermo del Toro + Norman Reedus = Silent Hills

Now this is the kind of reveal that reminds me why I love this industry so damn much. It’s both a genuine surprise and manages to incite omega levels of excitement.

Sony’s whole ominous “P.T.” PS4 demo hyped up at Gamescom manifested today into a clever interactive announcement for none other than a continuation to Konami’s long-standing Silent Hill series.

That ain’t even the kicker. Metal Gear mastermind Hideo Kojima and famed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s names are attached to the project with actor Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead, Boondock Saints) set to lend his voice and likeness to the starring role. The game’s title? Simply: Silent Hills. Gives me a chill just pondering what the name could imply.

How Hideo and Guillermo are involved is a bit muddy at the moment but it’s no secret Konami has been courting Kojima-san to pilot the flagship survival horror franchise for some time now. Kojima’s even openly mused how much he’d like to see Silent Hill’s foggy, dilapidated world realized using the FOX Engine – Kojima Productions’ proprietary engine currently being utilized for the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V.

Here’s the rundown: it looks next-gen, it has two of the most imaginative creative forces from their respective fields working on it, and it has a badass name. Silent Hill has needed a real kick in the ass for some time now – and I do mean a completely fresh angle on the material. This… this could be the one we’ve been waiting for, folks.

Kojima’s Psyching Himself Up to Visit Silent Hill In 2012, Hideo...

Kojima’s Psyching Himself Up to Visit Silent Hill

In 2012, Hideo Kojima, the mastermind behind twenty-five years of Metal Gear, revealed that Konami’s president had called the developer personally with a unique request: He wanted Kojima to create the next Silent Hill game.

Before our collective fan boners could so much as twitch, Kojima said he’d rather supervise than direct, citing an unfamiliarity with the horror genre. While he thought his internally developed FOX Engine would be the perfect candidate to rebuild Silent Hill’s rotted, fog choked foundations upon, he posited that his involvement would end there. Worse, Hideo’s a bit of chicken, apparently.

Honestly, I’m kind of a scaredy-cat when it comes to horror movies, so I’m not confident I can do it,” he admitted.

But it would seem the notion of visiting Silent Hill hasn’t quite quieted down in his head. During an interview with Geoff “Bonus Round” Keighley in which fans could poke and prod Hideo about anything, the Kojima Productions head was asked if there were a series he would like to reboot or direct himself.

Kojima’s face tightened. His eyes immediately darted to an invisible horizon, staying there; transfixed by the unknowable. After a moment, a pocket eternity perhaps, he spoke. “Silent Hill,” he said, as if saying the words for the very first time. He then rose, put a hand gently on Geoff’s shoulder without looking at him, and left the studio never to be seen or heard from agai– All right, none of that shit went down, but he did say he’d like to reboot Silent Hill. Thought I’d spruce it up.

“Uh, there’s a problem,” he actually said. “I’m easily scared of many things.”

But Kojima no longer thinks that’s a detriment. In fact, it might his greatest asset if he were to undertake the project.

“A guy that is such a chicken and is so easily scared – making a scary game – I’m very confident something very horrifying would come out from that,” he told Keighley. “But on the other hand I would have to prepare myself to have nightmares every single day. Hopefully sometime in the future I’m able to work on this, but I would really need to prepare to have daily nightmares.”

Silent Hill: Downpour, the last main installment in the franchise, was released in 2012 under the direction of Vatra Games. Tepid reviews and middling sales have seemingly led Konami to put the franchise on hold until a new strategy is proposed. That strategy seems to be Kojima’s leadership on a revamp. You know what, Konami? I’d be willing to wait for that, too.

[via Rely on Horror]

Lords of Shadow 2 Dev: “Nobody is Surprised by the Low Reviews We’ve Got”

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, the highly anticipated sequel to 2010’s imaginative, and successful, reboot came out this Tuesday and critics are raving that Dracula… kind of sucks.

Awash in a bloodbath of mediocre scores, one anonymous MercurySteam developer has come forward with some decently scathing remarks hurled at the studio’s troubled management in the hopes of explaining why Dracula’s latest bites (all right, all right, no more puns).

Lobbying their complaints through a user on a Meristation forum, the unnamed employee confessed that he went through his own personal “Hell” during the sequel’s development, fitted with hot coals of “shameful wages” and “everyday bullying.” And who oversaw this pit of torment?

“If there’s someone to blame here, that’s Enric Álvarez,” co-founder and owner of MercurySteam. “He is the person who has led a broken development based on his personal criteria, completely overlooking programmers, designers and artists.”

The employee goes on to lambaste Alvarez, stating that the studio director’s ego inflated after the first Lords of Shadow’s success, to the point where he wouldn’t greet lowly team members he’d pass by in the hall. A general mistrust of his own workers was intimated, as “most of the development team often found out features of the game through press news, rather than from the studio’s head.”

The employee also claims the studio’s internal structure was “archaic,” citing MercurySteam’s flawed engine as a key example. “Access for the new programmers to the source code to update or refurbish the engine is denied, so things are still done in a 10-year-old fashion.”

New hires supposedly knew even more than the bosses that hired them on, leading to a fractured, almost chaotic dynamic behind-the-scenes. “This structure only leads to a slow, messy and absurd development process, with the end result of Lords of Shadow 2 being a perfect example of what happens due to that.”

Despite his damning comments, the unnamed employee made sure not to disparage his fellow team members, saying that he hasn’t seen such passion and talent in a group, though their potential is forever marred at MercurySteam under the current regime. “If all those guys who are not allowed to be promoted due to our Jurassic studio leads had the chance to set the course of the company, our future would be so bright,” he said.

That future, unfortunately, may be in trouble. 35 employees were laid off after Lords of Shadow 2 went gold, according to this source, and more firings are on the table, especially given Konami’s alleged dissatisfaction over the final product.

“The vast majority of this team is aware that the game we’ve done is a real piece of shit that has nothing to do with the first one’s quality and production values… Nobody is surprised by the low reviews we’ve got.”

[My two cents on the issue follow beneath the break.]