Contributors: Brett Elston, Charlie Barratt
Coke or Pepsi. Blond or brunette. Batman or Superman. For every great thing in this world, there's at least one other that stands in its way, forever dividing a group of people who would otherwise love the exact same stuff. Sometimes these differences are in our heads. Sometimes they're deliberate and calculated, designed to instill competition and steal some thunder from a property that's already doing serious numbers. Either way, we're right in the middle, ready to argue the point until we're out of breath.
Videogames are not exempt from this behavior. Even before the internet let everyone tell everyone else that everything they like is retarded, people would get in each other's faces about which series they liked more. These seven cases cover the biggest and most divisive franchise confrontations the industry has ever known.
Where do you stand?
Silent Hill (Konami) versus Resident Evil (Capcom)
Choosing sides: What frightens you? Gamers have always gone to Resident Evil for its jump-out-of-your-seat shock value. Zombie dogs crashing through windows may not be subtle, but they do make you cover your eyes and scream like a baby. Silent Hill's brand of quiet psychological fear is deeper. You're guaranteed less thrills but more nightmares. The two series share the survival horror throne, but for very different reasons.
Highlights: Give credit where credit's due. Resident Evil is the father of the entire genre, at least on consoles, and its breakthrough success in 1996 could be the only reason Silent Hill even exists. By 2001, however, things had shifted. Silent Hill 2 was being called the scariest videogame of all time by fans and critics alike, while Resident Evil was on the skids with disappointments such as Survivor and, later, Dead Aim and Outbreak. Kids who had grown up on Resident Evil now craved something more adult, something the town of Silent Hill could offer and Raccoon City could not.
But then came Resident Evil 4, a brilliant, pulse-pounding roller coaster of a shooter that not only redeemed the series' name, but reinvented the survival horror genre all over again. Silent Hill 4: The Room's tentative step into a first person perspective seemed tame in comparison.
Oh, and each franchise spawned a film adaptation. Both of which kinda sucked.
Outcome: While current anticipation for Resident Evil 5 (next-gen!) and Umbrella Chronicles (light gun!) is undeniably higher than that for the Silent Hill Origins prequel (um... PSP!), we have yet to hear any concrete details on the inevitable Silent Hill 5. The battle for our goose bumps is far from over.