Serial Sacrilege

Any time something becomes part of a series, a fandom will emerge. I think that’s in the 10 commandments or something. But that fandom will, as the first order of business, generally sort out the “official” ranking of all items in that series. Arguing with that ranking is an excellent way to have yourself ousted from that fandom’s places and considered a pariah. One will hear “you’re not a real fan” for defending a poorly ranked entry, or for finding a different item in the list the “best” than the popular consensus.

This happens with books, movies, and video games. Since I most recently encountered it with video games, though, that’s what I’m going to talk about.

Silent Hill, despite being “dead” after Konami shoved a stake in P.T. still has a fairly rabid fanbase. General consensus says Silent Hill 2 is the best of the bunch. I actually agree with that; it is certainly my favorite, and tread the line between mystery and horror quite well. Where I begin to dip into heresy is that I don’t despise the HD version that was released for 360 and PS3. I’m not a huge fan of the new voices (though, if playing on PS3, you can opt for the old ones if you prefer), and I don’t think the tweaks to the graphics “ruin” the game. Strike 1 for me.

Strike 2 comes when I say I like Downpour. In fact, it ranks 2nd in my own listing of the series. Yes, it had some technical problems at launch, problems which to this day haven’t been fully resolved. But it is definitely playable in the current state, the characters are great, and the story is incredibly well done.

Strike 3 (and then I’m out, and informed I’m not a “real Silent Hill fan,” whatever that means) comes when I admit to being entertained by Book of Memories. Is it a good Silent Hill game? No, not really. Is it a pretty entertaining dungeon crawler with some cool creepy elements and an amusing Silent Hill skin laid on top? Why yes, yes it is.

I am similarly barred from the Devil May Cry community (primarily for thinking that DmC is actually a really good game; Emo Dante may be insufferable, but the mechanics are almost perfect and I actually like this version of Vergil. My thinking Devil May Cry 4 isn’t absolute trash – and in some ways may be better than the first game – doesn’t help, either.) The Metal Gear community seems to dislike me because I didn’t despise Raiden out of the gate; it’s apparently only okay to like him once he became a cyborg ninja. Thinking Armstrong from Metal Gear Rising is the second-best boss in the series – only being topped by Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 4 – is apparently a venial sin.

I’m sure there’s plenty of other examples. My dislike of Ocarina of Time and my only lukewarm enjoyment of Breath of the Wild mark me as a Legend of Zelda heretic, thinking Castlevania: Curse of Darkness is precisely what a 3D Castlevania should be and deserves a sequel (and hell with Lords of Shadow,) etc, etc.

This could apply to books and movies as well, but as noted, I was thinking of games (due to having finally knocked out Bloody Palace mode in Devil May Cry 2, which significantly changed my opinion of that game… ironically bringing my views more in line with the holy writ of canon in that fandom.)

What about you out there? What series fandoms are you “banished” from, and why? What do you think about the groups that establish such mindsets? Let me know down below!

KA Spiral no signature

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