Broken Silence: The Fall of The Month of Madness

Konami’s Month of Madness is a failure. What the company had hoped would be a brilliant maneuver for the Silent Hill franchise ended up being nothing more than broken promises and broken dreams. Konami aimed to release three Silent Hill games in the month of March. This was already a mad course of action to begin with but somehow Konami failed at their own plan by releasing unfinished products.

The Silent Hill HD Collection was originally set to launch on March 6th—the very same day as Mass Effect 3, after missing its previous release date in January with an October/November release, before that. Thankfully, someone at the company realized shipping another HD Collection on the very same day as a AAA game launch was a horrible decision; I couldn’t even find the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection amidst the swarm of Modern Warfare 3 crowds.

When the Silent Hill HD Collection was finally released on March 20th, fans quickly realized that the game was unfinished, buggy, and unfaithful in multiple regards. Music tracks in some scenes were different, sounds were lazily mixed, and little effort was put into the game’s fog effects in both Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3. The game was clearly not done. When Whitney and I played it back in September, these issues were expected because, then, the game was obviously incomplete. Was this game rushed just to be placed in a weak marketing attempt at hyping the series?

Pushing out an unfinished game to fit into some ridiculous strategy is not marketing. To market a game, you have to build hype with promotional material, commercials, trailers (current, not dated for a prior release date), you know, spend money. Simply releasing unfinished products close together does not equal sales. It means over-saturating the market in an attempt to seem relevant. Hell, even Facebook could have been used to release new trailers.

Actual screenshot released that features an unfinished environment.

The advertising for this series has gotten so bad that no one seemed to bother sending game information to Microsoft for Xbox Live. Neither the Silent Hill HD Collection or Downpour appear on the marketplace with any info. Looking at the game info from the disc drive, the games can not be user rated. This means that no one bothered to send game info to the service, at all. Not even a single trailer for either game has been released on PSN or Xbox Live. Does it cost money to put a trailer on a console’s online service? It seems like such a rudimentary thing that was forgotten. Obscure titles that don’t have any fanbase at all do these simple little things. How could Konami not do so for either title for this long-running franchise?

I love the Silent Hill series, but even I know releasing three games from the same series in one month makes little sense. Not only did Konami plan to do such a radical thing, but they also made the mistake of selling both Silent Hill Downpour and the Silent Hill HD Collection before they were fully completed. Admittedly, Silent Hill Downpour’s problems didn’t cause that much of a problem for me on Xbox 360, but it seems like it suffers more so on the Playstation 3. The Silent Hill HD Collection is miles worse; people who have purchased the HD Collection can all agree that it’s just infuriating–the PS3 version more-so.

The PS3 version of the Collection has been noted to have framerate issues, freezing, audio hiccups, and general performance problems. A patch was released because the game was apparently unplayable but some still report that no difference has come of it. So, why did Konami have to create this Month of Madness if two of their games were still filled with bugs? Who’s looking over the quality of these releases?

Meeting deadlines is understandable. But making up a cheap marketing tactic that only rushes your games to market won’t do any good for sales. The HD Collection already has a negative image. It’s being seen as Konami’s biggest blunder, because these are fantastic games that are around a decade old. They are two of the company’s best games. How could porting them this sloppily be good for business?

Silent Hill isn’t the only series suffering from Konami’s negligence. NeverDead was a mediocre game that had no place releasing in 2012 as it did. Metal Gear Solid 3 for the 3DS has also been reported to feel unfinished and buggy. How can this continue to happen? What is going on at this once great publisher? It’s just baffling.

Still no trailer for Silent Hill’s Vita outing.

As for the third title to release in the Month of Madness, Silent Hill Book of Memories, we’re left with only questions. Don’t count on the game releasing near its original date. Silent Hill Book of Memories was delayed less than a week before its release, yet the company has been completely quiet about any delay. The gaming press had to ask Konami about a delay after seeing date changes on retail sites and even the Silent Hill website. Konami saw fit to update their website before they updated the press about the delay. As of today, it’s a full week after the game was planned to release and a press release has not been given.

I’m fine with delays but please, tell people. It makes no sense to delay something and not tell anyone, even if the reception of the product has been lukewarm. Perhaps Konami delayed BOM because they saw how much they messed up with the HD Collection: rushing to release an unfinished product only to have massive backlash. If that’s the case, then great, but if it took releasing an unfinished game to realize that that very action is foolish, then WOW. It’s almost hard to describe because it’s so ridiculous. Of course if you throw an unfinished game out the door fans will be upset and you’ll look bad. It’s all so simple!

When am I gonna wake up?

As a Silent Hill fan, it hurts to see Konami basically sabotage their very own series. Silent Hill has always been about attention to detail and passion. How can Konami expect their creative types to flourish when they make such detrimental decisions that only hurt the series they expect to make a profit from? Money and passion needs to be utilized if a return is expected. The course of action seems so simple. With little to no advertising, horrible release scheduling, and lack of communication, Konami is hurting the series I love. I wish someone would realize this at the company and make it stop. I want to judge the games for what they consist of creatively, not the amount of bugs or problems that hinder enjoyment.

   
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COMMENTS

  • Tigerspaw16

    They didn’t learn their lesson with Homecoming and they won’t learn with Downpour or HD. Japanese publishers/developers are ignorant and too proud to accept criticism or even logical advice.

    Let them go bankrupt. We can still cherish our memories of the previous glory years.

    • Gast0n

      Its not true, see the developers of Dark souls/ demons souls…
      and its never good to generalize about something.
      But its true Konami is doing all wrong lately..

    • Ccrogers15

      Honestly name what was wrong with homecoming besides the story?

      • Gast0n

        I like more homecoming that downpour really, never complain about that game even the music was better, still not good as the old silent hills, but at least didnt have any technical problem like downpour have

        • Janus

          False. Homecoming had a boat-load of technical issues on both the 360 and the Ps3. From new areas not loading (set pieces not working properly) to rooms themselves not loading while you’re in them. Homecoming was incredibly glitchy – and they were game breaking glitches.

          • Gast0n

            I only play the pc version of homecoming and didnt found any bug or glitch

          • Andromeda

            Really? I remember having no problems with my PS3 version of Homecoming at all and I played the hell out of that game. IT definitely isn’t as bad as the technical problems with Downpour. The stuttering and framerate is fucking atrocious. I’ve had it freeze on me plenty of times during trophies and the goddamn autosave.

          • Ariessiren

            i dont know what game u played but homecoming was not glitchy at all. the only thing i hated was no invert. the game was beautiful and i really liked it. compared to downpour, homecoming looked AAA. downpour was clearly unfinished and the story was boring. ill take homecoming anyday over downpour. least its playable

          • Thats not true.My PS3-Version is ok and the xbox360 version from my friend was also ok.”boat-load of technical issues”greatly exaggerated 😉

    • the game is salvageable . finish the unfinished areas. fix the fog. add the “dirty grittiness” of the original graphics and then were done.

      • Ariessiren

        how about get the frames up to 60 outdoors vs like 10 fps? sh2 has more framerate drops than any game ive ever played. its horrible

  • Tigerspaw16

    Great article BTW. Very well written.

  • Flawbert_robert

    I want to get the HD collection having never played any silent hills but 5 and shattered, but this really puts me off of it 🙁

  • chris1138

    Tuns out the “patch” for HD collection on PS3 removes dolby digital 5.1…why? Silent Hill is dead, and Konami is dying.

    • silent hill can be saved
      they just need to finish the unfinished areas. fix the fog. add the “dirty grittiness” of the original graphics and then were done.

    • Ariessiren

      yep. the game plays better without the patch. konami really fkd this up. i didnt even finish sh2, was missing so much audio that i sold it. tragic. if you havent played it yet people, dont

  • Wow now I’m really kicking myself for trading in silent hill 2 and 3 on PS2 to gamestop last week in read=ation for this with trophies 🙁

  • At least Downpour is a brilliant game outside of it’s technical issues.

    • Downpour is brilliant.Yes thats right.It is Konamis fault that the games has technical issues.The developers(Vatra) needs more time but konami does not interest

  • To me, the last good SH game was Origins…..

  • I can’t stop laughing at the angry face Maria edit of Konami’s Silent Hill splash page.

  • lol

    Konami=senile
    Developers=untalented
    SH HD=broken

    SH2 HD has…

    no….

    FOOOOOOOOOOOOGG!

    grrrr..

  • liam

    Me thinks silent hill has got lost in silent hill.

  • Gapaspeper

    Is there still no patch for downpour on PS3? I’m still waiting for my copy and I want to know.

  • DISSAPPOINTMENT

    people is the only word for these games. when i was younger i had a go at sh2 at a friends house. i loved it. my parents didn’t like me going on high rated games so they said i couldn’t play it after that. so i waited a year to when i could play it. it was hard to find so i decided to play sh3 instead. it was great. when new installments to the series came along i played them with glee.

    when i heard sh2 and sh3 were coming back on modern consoles i was ecstatic. not to mention downpour coming out as well. I marked the month of madness on my calender eagerly awaiting its arrival. when it did i felt like i had been cut in half by pyramid head.

    WHY KONAMI WHY!!!

    i had only played sh2 once. ONCE. i was so excited to be able to complete it and add the games to my collection. the whole thing has been ruined. the graphics are cr4p, i am a graphics weirdo so i love having good graphics. the fog in sh2 is ruined, there is pretty much none. the town has lost its “gritty/dirty” feel to it. i don’t have any issues with the new voices. yeah i prefer the old ones but that’s not the issue here. konami haven’t worked hard on this . and if they have then they did a bad job of it. All they had to do is make it hd with achievements for psn and Xbox live. that’s all we wanted. no fog change. no silent hill cleanup of “dirt and grittiness”. just HD. keep the new voices if you want konami. just fix what we have here. you can salvage it. Just make it hd thats all we wanted from this hd collection. hd versions of the classic games we all know and love. its not too much to ask!!!!!

  • Levito

    The lack of advertising is truly astounding, I didn’t even realize Book of Memories almost came out without even a real trailer.

    • Tigerspaw16

      Same here. I had no idea SH HD collection was even out until this site reported on it being out. Wow.

  • Levito

    An Honest and fair assessment of the situation, the month of madness was appropriately named, but not for the reasons Konami intended.

    Great article, CJ.

  • I totally agree with this although I must say that I’m around 40 percent of the way through downpour on my ps3 and I havent had any problems, other than it being glitchy when I move into a new area but that doesn’t really bother me.
    I never planned on buying the HD collection because I think they have wasted their time making it HD but changing the best parts about it for example voice actors ect I like the original games and still have a ps2 so why would I bother buying something that has changed for the worst. As for BOM it looks like a complete waste of time, a stupid idea almost as stupid as if they turned Resident evil into an action game… oh wait… ha

  • Matt S

    Nice write up, CJ. Downpour would have been great if not for its really really really laggy performamce. Its unplayable to me, as is HD collection, so yeah…! Major Konami fail. SH is dying to me

  • Ty

    I’d say it looks like Silent Hill is dead, if it weren’t for Downpour.
    If that had turned out to be a bad game, SH would be finished.

    It’s too bad they put all this work into making an awesome game, but little effort into refining it and removing the kinks.

    Downpour gives me hope for the future, but I hope they put more effort into refining the finished product. The story, progression, environments and battle were fantastic in Downpour. It just didn’t play as well as it could have.

    So I have hope for the series. They just need to actually finish the game next time. Lol.

  • Kyukoshin18

    For some odd reason I think Book of Memories is heading the way origins went …. A total makeover but who knows really.

    As expected, another Ace article.

  • Fearian

    I had a bad feeling from silent hill hd collection and downpour so I was spare from the ‘madness’ but still this is not how to treat a legendary series.

  • Gast0n

    I dont know why everyone says SH HD is only bugged on ps3, the xbox version is a mess too, in SH3 when you get the machine gun you cant use it because the games lags and the sound goes crazy, same with the beam saber and flamethrower, the game play in slow motion in some parts for example in the sewer.
    The fog on SH2 is bugged because it follows you and moves with you is a very very annoying bug that takes away all the fun, seeing the end of the world is just a minor bug…
    And no! You cant choose between 5.1 and stereo sound konami is lying here..
    And I just name a few!

  • Zerstoren_Stein

    Man. I guess Im the only person with a magical xbox 360 that has no problems with the HD collection. The only problem I found is in SH3 sometimes the voice doesnt match the lips in cut scenes…maybe i’m just not that picky but if thats the only problem, I’m not complaining

  • Well, at least Downpour turned out good. That’s about all I have to say on that, I still have my PS2 copies of SH2 and SH3 so I haven’t been hurt by the HD collection yet.

    • Downpour was unplayable due to the auto save and way too open worldness….

      • What is this? I don’t even… Exploration is a BAD thing now? Oh lord, Silent Hill fans…

        • Yes, in the older SH games, it told you where to go: ex- the school, hospital etc….This game is just explore. Come on give us SOME hints. This is not Skyrim. I am playing a survival horror game, not Skyrim….

          • You’re supposed to be lost in a seemingly sentient town you’ve never been to in your life. A GPS like understanding of the environment would make no sense.

            Even then, from a gameplay perspective, it makes things far more interesting and gives you many more options as a player. This isn’t like the old games, it’s much less linear because there’s actually stuff to find in the town and things to do now. Personally, after six games with the exact same formula, a little openness and some very interesting side quests are a welcome change of pace. But then, you seem to think anything that isn’t a vast RPG needs to hold your hand through the entire experience, so we’re clearly on different wavelengths here.

          • Survival horror games are not open world games. They are linear games with side quests and extra things to do…..I still think this game is completely ruined by that and the autosave….

          • Sam

            I completely agree.

            I’m really enjoying Downpour. And being able to explore Silent Hill (and complete side quests) is a big part of that.

  • Tigerspaw16

    I have the 360 version of HD collection and the only issues I’ve seen so far is some sound effects in cut scenes don’t “show up” lol Also the frame rate for some scenes in SH3 are really, really jagged and distracting.

    I don’t understand how something like that couldn’t easily be fixed?

  • Benjamin May

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that the sound effects come out from the wrong speaker on my television. I’ve had to adapt to readying myself for an attack from the left if I hear the sound of approaching enemies coming from the right speaker – and vice versa.

  • CLUNGE

    The fog is as dense as it used to be on my version (PAL/UK).

    The whole month of march was a mess for konami. 🙁

  • Guest

    “Does it cost money to put a trailer on a console’s online service?”

    Yes, it takes quite a bit to do anything on either network, really.

  • Darkness Seraph

    “As a Silent Hill fan, it hurts to see Konami basically sabotage their very own series.”

    Just as I’ve been thinking for several years now, welcome to the wonderful world of being a resident evil fan. Enjoy your stay, because it doesn’t ever get any better, it only gets worse. You’ll know the terrible bastardization of your series is hitting it’s peak when they start retconning the main villains completely random son into the story, and you start playing in co-op as a character who has had watermelons or basketballs surgically implanted in his arms.

    Thank god for handhelds, because it seems to me if you want a real, lovingly crafted survival HORROR game, your going to have to get it on your PSvita or 3DS. Downpour had the right feeling, and it did really well, but that means nothing if the end product doesn’t work in the first place. As sad as i am to admit it, at this point it seems home console horror is dead in the water.

    See you all again in the fall after we all play through “Generic zombie action shooter 6: Son of the Revengening”

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