For boys who like boys who like joysticks!

Archives:

« Video: Wootini's Video Podcast #35 | Main | Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney Trailer »

Silent Hill Downpour TGS Trailer (Now With More Korn)

TGS has wrought its torrent of media goodness, and somewhere in the mix, Silent Hill: Downpour crept eerily out of the mist (okay, not so much with the mist this time) and onto the computer screens of little girls and boys everywhere. The trailer features a bit more insight into Murphy Pendelton, showcases the new fog-less Silent Hill, and features some hot, but brief, creepy-thing-on-wheelchair action. Overall, the game seems a bit more "conventional" than its predecessors, with enemies more humanoid than those flesh-things we've all come to know and love.

Then there is Korn. When I first heard that the nu-metal wunderkinds were going to be on the soundtrack, it sparked a ferocious inner discourse - one that found its form in a series of sighs of varying pitches, durations and intensities, punctuated by the occasional inhale needed to produce more sighs. Those who wish to purchase their one-way ticket to RantVille are encouraged to hit the jump; others can simply enjoy 3:29 of newfangled, survival horror.

This is the kind of thing that annoys me, in a disproportionately profound way, about the market. "Selling out" seems like a trite expression, for those of my age group, who were subject to the repetition of those two words ad nauseum - it's especially empty, because Silent Hill has quickly become the video game equivalent of a cover band - but the condescending "buy this, it has a Korn song" speaks to the problem that crops up every so often in the world of gaming: popular music and video games.

Outside of Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and the like, I've never been comfortable with a proper, radio-ready rock song in a video game. It's one thing to have a "verse, chorus, verse" tune in the soundtrack (for all the negative things that have been said about Silent Hill 4, "Room of Angel" fit beautifully), but great care must be taken to ensure that its inclusion serves as a compliment to - not a distraction from - the game's atmosphere. Even Doom III succumbed to this, albeit in a very limited way, with the inclusion of a Tool song - despite being an instrumental diddy that cropped up once or twice. While I adore Maynard & Co. to the ends of the earth, the track seemed clearly out of place - having nothing to do with the rest of the soundtrack, but serving the useful function of being a selling point, helpfully illustrated by the label on my copy of Doom III, which read "featuring new music by TOOL," or something along those lines.

As always, there are exceptions. Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails fame) provided what was, in my opinion, and excellent soundtrack to Quake. This was before his stunning transformation from tortured musician to "Butch McChestFlex" (interesting fun fact: Later NIN releases state the music as being written by Trent "Iron Body" Reznor), one no doubt inspired by his new lease on life, i.e. trading in his mountains of cocaine for a Zoloft prescription. Thus, the sonic atmosphere bore all the hallmarks of his earlier, and in my mind, more interesting incarnation. The reason Reznor succeeded was that the soundtrack was focused not on making Nine Inch Nails a selling point, but selecting someone whose general talents served the project well. Yes, there was a definite "industrial" theme (in that accessible, NIN way) to initial tune, but for the most part, someone who picked up a copy of the Quake soundtrack wouldn't immediately think "Trent Reznor." Moreover, this isn't just limited to games. David Lynch's "Lost Highway" suffered a similar fate - it's worth noting that Reznor served as producer for the soundtrack - unduly inserting Rammstein and Marilyn Manson songs where, well, such songs should not be.

You know, in the movie.

Granted, it's easy to sympathize with the guys in Korn. Being one of these musician types, promotion is a massive pain - particularly with the band in question, which isn't exactly popular music's golden child anymore - and fault ultimately lies with Vatra. It's also worth noting that, like Doom III, the song might serve simply as something like menu music. Still, it's an annoying, and I believe altogether unappealing trend - a tacked-on metal track doesn't make me any more inclined to purchase a game. Hopefully Korn's "main theme" music will serve only a momentary, forgettable role; still, I'll take Mary Elizabeth McGlynn over Jonathan Davis any day.

via GamePro

13 Comments

Eric said:

On the bright side, the song itself isn't bad, nor does it totally kill the mood the trailer tries to go for, which is merely "We're trying to build up the tension before shit goes down" which the song accomplishes in an acceptable manner.

On the downside, Korn and Silent Hill in the same sentence still baffles me. What the heck is Hulett doing?

I mean, I'm okay with Dan taking over as composer. If "Past Life" is any indication on how good the story will be, then I'm stoked. I like the fact that the monsters are more humanoid, because it's different, and will probably make more sense in context that the fleshy monsters would.

I'm certainly looking forward to actually exploring the town again open-ended. Which hasn't actually been done proper since since SH2. Origins did okay, but much like with Homecoming, the town(s) felt empty because you couldn't go in many places and there wasn't a ton of point in exploration.

Shattered Memories gave us back the town, but the exploration was pretty limited, which I'm pretty okay with because it gave me a heavy dose of my favorite part of SH: stilled domestic areas that are eerie and feel haunted and hollow, with barely a trace of human life left.

Unlike Suede, who seems content to judge the game before he actually plays it like a lot of "Die-Hard" SH fans are like (that's not a bad thing, it's almost justifiable), I'm looking forward to seeing where the game goes.

I guess this is the best aspect of SH and it's community, some of us like our art preserved and kept at a specific style if it's going to bear such an accomplished pedigree, others are just looking forward to what new and distinct things (good or bad) will come from it. Neither is bad, but the people involved in making the piece usually end up catering to one side or the other, which is unfortunate.

Gamescook said:

I'm just unmoved about this game from the lack of Mr. Yamaoka in general. If he isn't going to be involved, I just can't see myself investing in this.

And since I'm bitter, I'll just go and say that I also can't bring myself to care about yet ANOTHER boo-hooing, bland, moderately attractive white guy who lost a wife or daughter in his life. Silent Hill has that type of main character for EVERY game in the series save one time, and the introduction of someone hispanic, gay, or whathaveyou would have been -something- positive to mix things up at this point. I'm done.

Briker Ed said:

Meh.... I feel like I've watched a trailer for a Hollywood horror. Which is to say, I'm unmoved. They managed to kill all the mystery and the creepy sensation somewhere behind my neck with a song that should, I feel, get the tweens hyped and screaming 'Awesomeee!' I'm just sad I didn't have any popcorn at hand to complete the experience. Hope there are no Korn (or any other band's) songs in the actual game. For now I can somewhat remedy this by putting the video on mute and playing any of the atmospheric tracks from previous SH games.

The game itself doesn't look bad. I'm curious to see how well they exploit the water theme. Can't say that I'm excited seeing children run around, again. They've become just a cheap trick now, as we all should supposedly feel more disturbed when something bad involving children happens. As opposed to adults going through trauma. The problem is, we had too much of the theme in games & films or on the TV.

The only time I've been scared about the franchise is after playing Homecoming. That was a very unimpressive experience. Even the film was ok, minus the unnecessary Pyramid Head exploitation. Hope the devs could control their ego, past putting a Korn song on a SH trailer.

I'd be most happy if they brought the SH name entirely (or at least majorly) back to Japan, but yeah.... slim chance of that ever happening.

Alexander said:

Interesting trailer! I can not wait to play it!!!!!!!!!

Keith said:

Definitely looks like it has the potential to be awesome, though after the past few Silent Hill games I'm going to wait for reviews before considering a purchase.

Rosa said:

I don't know, I've never had a problem with a "radio-ready" song in a video game. Final Fantasy has been doing it since 8 to great effect -- is there anybody who says Suteki da Ne ruined FFX's big love scene? Hell, the Tales series has been doing it since the SNES, in the first full vocal track ever put in a cartridge.

Or is that different because it's JPOP, which is "other" enough to be okay. Though it just basically sounds like our pop, with cutesier vocalists and a different language.

Well, how about 30 Seconds to Mars's "This is War" and Florence & The Machine's "I'm Not Calling You A Liar?" They were a beautiful ending for the Dragon Age games, especially the latter, which provided at least half the closure for a closure-lite ending.

I'm not saying it works in every instance, but most of the complaints I see seem to be based little on logic and heavy on principle. The two don't mesh because they just don't, okay. Well, why not? Because they never used to? Back when all music in videogames were midis and could achieve audio fidelity on par with a telegraph machine -- oh. Oh, that's why they didn't use to.

Briker Ed said:

@ Rosa - In this particular case (SH+Korn) for me at least, they don't clash, they just create a completely different 'feeling' (I can't find a better word) than what the SH evokes, or used to, in me personally. Korn is something light years away from anything I could ever imagine when I heard that Yamaoka's leaving and that 'Dexter' dude jumping on board. Maybe I got too accustomed to Yamaoka's tunes or Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, but not only accustomed - I loved them cause they set the tone right, as far as my ears are concerned. And to top it off, SH has been experimenting with lots of stuff in the past instalments (storytelling, battle mechanic, overall gameplay etc.) sometimes successfully, sometimes awfully and adding Korn just makes me feel that they have now, finally, gone completely clueless about what they want to do with SH. On the other side, maybe they know exactly where they want to take it and this is just a first step towards the 'new' SH. Hey, I might even end up loving Korn, can't say before I play and complete the game, but for now, it just doesn't sound "right" *shrug*

Poltergasm said:

Even Homecoming managed to look more "Silent-Hilly" than this. This looks like Uncharted with monsters and a grainy filter.

SuperSwede said:

I suppose their is a some principle involved. I've always found it a bit vulgar when companies (and to their credit, this doesn't happen tremendously often) throw in a song that has little to do with the actual atmosphere, in the interest of what I can only assume is a cheap sell. For me, Korn didn't fit the atmosphere. At all.

Just so it doesn't seem like I'm picking on Silent Hill, this criiticism could be leveled at any developers that makes such a choice. FF8 did have its "radio friendly"-ish song, and to be perfectly honest (despite my love for FF8), I didn't too much care for it either. Putting a full-fledged song in your game is always a difficult gamble, and although it wasn't my cup of tea, I didn't find it nearly as silly as , say, putting a superficially-creepy (because Silent Hill is spooky and all that) nu-metal song in the mix. As a general rule, the whole of the soundtrack should be about immersion -- or at the very least (in the case of the prolific Mr. Uematsu) providing songs that compliment the experience. I suppose the best way I can put it is that songs from a band like Korn tend to make themselves known in a very "loud" (for lack of a better term) way. It's one thing to let the music aid the arc of a particular experience -- guiding the emotion ebb and flow; becoming more or less prominent as need be -- but bringing rock music has always struck me as a tad graceless, particularly for a game that hinges quite heavily on its atmosphere.

Hopefully the Korn track will keep itself largely out of the game, leaving said arc to the sound to the composer.

in terms of everything else, I'll have to wait to see how the game develops. I'm not terribly thrilled based on what I've seen. I'm definitely not trying to go to far into "pre-judging" the game (though it's worth noting that, for all practical purposes, that is what the trailers are for), but I as well will definitely be reading the reviews before the wallet comes out.

Rosa said:

I guess I tend to not mind because I have eclectic tastes in music. There are no genres, only bad songs, in my opinion, so I hear "Korn" and don't cringe. I think this trailer has "punched up" SH a lot, but maybe that IS part of the mood? The song certainly didn't feel out of place for what was happening in the trailer and the mood presented. If the mood presented isn't to your tastes, it's a little easy to blame it on Korn and take the music snob approach.

Not that I'm calling you a music snob. I've just noticed that taste in music and contempt of "bad" music (haha Korn instantly means tweens right) is a pretty easy target and a lot of other things get pinned on it. Because it's so easy.

There's a high possibility that a lot of things are wrong with this game. I'll definitely not be buying it out of wallet -- SH is meant to be left in Japan, in my opinion, and the last game in the series that 100% worked from beginning to end was SH2. I think that Korn isn't part of the problem ... just something easy to point at and sneer. Much like the use of This Is the New Shit by Marilyn Manson for Dragon Age: Origin's marketting campaign, and so forth.

Which I also didn't mind.

That said you can do no wrong in my book because you speak in support of FF8, so, fists together my brother, let nothing come between us.

dusty GreeN said:

Meh- the game looks fairly uninspired. Scratch that... it looks a hell of a lot like Alan Wake.

Im less than thrilled about this news/trailer- it seems to lack the same vibe as the other game; I am all for change, but Im not convinced this is change for the better.

SuperSwede said:

Rosa, i would cast you a nasty glare for daring to bring out the "music snob" card, if not for the fact that i'm about fifteen minutes into a Godspeed You Black Emperor song (while smoking a cigarette, no less), which really doesn't refute the argument.

Having exhausted our respective cases, I indeed raise my fist with yours in solidarity.

as a side note, and to illustrate that i'm not a completely pretentious d**chebag, i'll encourage Jonathan Davis to consider showcasing the lovely, but intermittent shrieking featured in "Life is Peachy" -- yes, i still have my five or so Korn albums from back in the day. It was vastly underused.

Wootini said:

dusty, I said the same exact thing when I wrote up my hands-on experience from E3. And when I played it again at a Konami media event, it still felt like Alan Wake. Which is to say, not a whole lot like the Silent Hill I enjoyed. Oh well...

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

Twitter Feed

Recent Comments

Wootini on Silent Hill Downpour TGS Trailer (Now With More Korn): dusty, I said the same exact thing when I wrote up my hands-on experience from E3. And when I played...

SuperSwede on Silent Hill Downpour TGS Trailer (Now With More Korn): Rosa, i would cast you a nasty glare for daring to bring out the "music snob" card, if not for...

dusty GreeN on Silent Hill Downpour TGS Trailer (Now With More Korn): Meh- the game looks fairly uninspired. Scratch that... it looks a hell of a lot like Alan Wake. Im less...

Rosa on Silent Hill Downpour TGS Trailer (Now With More Korn): I guess I tend to not mind because I have eclectic tastes in music. There are no genres, only bad...

SuperSwede on Silent Hill Downpour TGS Trailer (Now With More Korn): I suppose their is a some principle involved. I've always found it a bit vulgar when companies (and to their...

GGP Mailing List

Are you gay and working in the games industry? If you are interested in networking with other folks like you within the industry, try joining the Gay Game-Industry Professionals mailing list. Click here for all the details!

Links

The GayGamer Store

  • Help support GayGamer by purchasing your items through our store!

All rights reserved © 2006-2010 FAD Media, Inc.