Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Siren Gets PS3 Remake

A month ago, a PS3 release list was leaked from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe which indicated that a new Siren game was in the works, bearing an unlikely release date of July.

Well, as it turns out, not only is the game for real, so was the July release date (at least in Japan). Entitled Siren: New Translation, the game is actually a remake of the PS2 original. Even better, a playable demo of the game (which is currently 90% complete) will be up on the Japanese PSN on April 24th. Why is it that American games are never announced when they are 90% complete and 3 months away from release? No, we follow the Duke Nukem Forever school of game announcing.

The original Siren, despite being an innovative addition to the survival horror genre with its multiple playable characters and unique "sightjacking" element, never made a big splash in America. For reasons I have never heard explained(likely lack of funding), the game, which is very much Japanese, had English voiceovers in the US version. As in British English. So these very Japanese characters in very Japanese settings are speaking with British accents. Just a bit awkward from an American perspective. A bigger problem was that the story was told in a circuitous timeline and certain segments could only be unlocked by performing obscure actions in particular levels, which the game never deigns to tell you. I couldn't imagine playing through the game without a strategy guide or FAQ close at hand. Also, it was damn hard. There were undead snipers (!) who could (and would) kill your ass in a split second. Over and over again.

The game received a sequel which was, by all accounts, much improved over the first game but it would never see our fair shores, despite being translated for Europe.

I liked the first game a lot but it just got too frustrating and I never finished it. Hopefully, this remake will:

A. Incorporate the features of the sequel that made it a better game.
B. Actually get released in the US (with American voice actors and/or Japanese audio option!)
C. Do well enough that Siren 2 also gets remade and brought to the US
D. Encourage Konami to remake Silent Hill 1 (whose creators left Konami to make Siren!)

That's a lot of hope pinned on one game, I know. At least with the PS3 being region free (and 720p being a universal standard, unlike PAL) if it only hits Europe, importing should be relatively painless, if a bit costly.

[via Kotaku]

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