Archive for Silent Hill

Silent Hill: Downpour

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 16, 2012 by Griff

oh Konami…….Konami, Konami, Konami, what are we gonna DO with you? you’ve done it again guys

I feel like such an idiot, I should have trusted my instinct, but instead I plopped down the 60 bucks and bought it on the PS3 and I couldn’t even finish this one, that may seem like a copout, after all I did manage to finish Homecoming, but my tolerance for bullshit is less these days than it was in the past

*deep sigh* ok so first off, what is with these graphics man? they are blurry as HELL, I mean everything is just a big blur, like I’m playing the game with bad eyesight or someone smeared vaseline all over my screen, it’s so damn ugly I just couldn’t take it

as you know, I’m mostly a PC gamer these days and good lord am I spoiled, I’m not trying to be a snob, honestly, I know the PS3 can do better than this, I played God of War 3, which looked as good as any PC game I’ve seen, this is just half assed lazy bullshit, there is something seriously wrong with multiplatform games these days, why are they so fucking ugly? I feel sorry for people that can’t afford a gaming PC and again I’m not trying to be snob, there is just something seriously wrong with this picture…

I mean look at any screenshot or trailer of this game and you’ll see that it looks NOTHING like that when you actually play the fucking thing and that’s the case with any multiplatform console game, you look at the screenshots in a magazine or on a website or whatever and the games look amazing and then you play the actual game and BOOM blurr-o-vision, unless of course you play the PC version and then all of a sudden it looks like it does in the magazines, hmmmm

I know what you’re saying “but Griff, it’s not all about the graphics right?” ok fair enough, let’s say I could snap my fingers and get PC quality graphics, well I will admit that that would probably make the game “tolerable” to the point that I could finish it, but it wouldn’t make it good

ok so that brings me to the number one problem of the game that just kills it, the combat, the fucking combat, it is DREADFUL, the worst in the entire series, I’m dead fucking serious, worse than Silent Hill 4, worse than Silent Hill 1! even worse than Homecoming

how do I even explain how bad it is exactly? ok well first off it has breakable weapons, why? just WHY!? it didn’t work in Origins so why did the developers think it would work here? to quote the Angry Video Game Nerd “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?”,  it’s not scary, just frustrating (as a matter of fact “not scary, just frustrating” describes the whole game)

but other than that it’s just awkward, attacking is awkward, blocking is awkward, trying to run away is awkward, trying to “lock on” to enemies is awkward, it’s just….shit

am I the only one that remembers that in the first 3 Silent Hills they had guns? ya know GUNS!? unless you were playing on the hard difficulty you could just shoot every enemy and move on, the combat was not the focus! the story and atmosphere was! the combat was not “broken”, it was just simple and basic, because it was fucking supposed to be! why did the developers put the focus on melee combat? WHY!? WHY!? WHY!? WHAT WERE THEY THINKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!!!!!????

….*deep breath* ok, I kinda turned into the Angry Video Game Nerd for a moment there, technically there are guns, little pistols you rarely find that only have a set number of bullets and when they run out you drop the whole gun…

wait a minute, were they trying to imitate the combat in Condemned: Criminal Origins? I guess that’s what they were going for with the breakable melee weapons and stuff, well they failed…

anyway my other major beef with the game is the lack of atmosphere and music, as we all know Akira Yamaoka is gone, replaced by Daniel Licht, the guy that does the music for Dexter (which is quite good) and I’m not gonna say the music is bad, just….where is it? in the time I played the game I barely heard any music at all, and gone with the music is the atmosphere

see I liked Shattered Memories, it wasn’t perfect, but it seems like Climax finally “got” what Silent Hill was about, for one thing throughout most of the game there’s music and this music adds atmosphere to the game,  see,  it’s not rocket science,  the “safe” sections of Shattered Memories, the ones with no enemies, still managed to be spooky because of the atmosphere and a big part of that, maybe the biggest part, was the music, it’s a long way we’ve come since the absolutely fucking ROCKING intro of Silent Hill 3 with “You’re Not Here”

but not only that, the game just has no sense of pacing, no real sense of buildup, it’s just kind of a boring slog through dilapidated environments most of the time to be honest

ok, but let me try to say some nice things about the game, well it’s still better than Homecoming, they at least are not just ripping off the movie this time

and I like some of the IDEAS behind the game, for one thing the larger focus on exploring the streets of the town and completing “sidequests” which offer little subplots is a great idea and I can’t say too much about it since the first section of the town is when I called it quits, but I will say this

while the idea of exploring all new sections of Silent Hill’s streets is a good one, the problem is the developers (along with Homecoming’s developers) just don’t seem to understand that Silent Hill is not meant to be an abandoned ghost town, everything is NOT meant to be run down and dilapidated, not until it changes to the “otherworld” (or whatever you want to call it), see it’s spooky when a guy walks into a normal town, only to find that everyone has disappeared and scary monsters lurk around, that juxtaposition of everyday, normal environments with freaky monsters and then the juxtaposition of everyday places turned into hellish otherworlds is scary, but a run down ghost town filled with dilapidated ruins? well shit you kind of expect monsters to be roaming around in there and then it turns into just a more dilapidated version of itself, well that’s kind of boring…

think back to the shopping mall in Silent Hill 3, it was an average everyday shopping mall where everybody disappeared and monsters starting lurking around, then it turned into a fucked up hellish version of itself

now imagine that the mall was already dilapidated, run down and empty and then it turned into a slightly more dilapidated, slightly more run down version of itself, do you get my point? the buildings in Silent Hill in Downpour are all boarded up, run down, there’s no cars on the streets, trash is everywhere, everything looks like it’s been abandoned for decades, but at the very least, at least it doesn’t look like it’s abandoned because of a “mine fire”, it just looks like everybody up and left

ok, lastly we have the story, to be fair it seemed pretty interesting from what I saw of it, certainly a lot better than Homecoming’s, I like the setup a lot, Murphy seemed like an ok character, but I’ll tell you this, it wasn’t interesting enough to warrant me suffering through the whole game…

man, how did we wind up here folks? I mean really, over a decade after Silent Hill 2 and almost a decade after Silent Hill 3 this is where Silent Hill wound up, I NEVER would have believed you if you told me this years ago, it’s absurd, it’s almost like a big joke that the Silent Hill series went from being so good to so bad

I’d give almost anything to have one last Silent Hill by Team Silent, it just feels wrong that we were robbed of that, I don’t know what the behind the scenes story is, why Team Silent called it quits, they could probably make a whole documentary about that, me and you will probably never know though

I thought Shattered Memories was a sign that this series still had life in it, but evidently it was just a fluke

I don’t really know how to end this review, some of you might be thinking that I went into Downpour expecting to hate it, just looking for a reason to hate it, but that’s not the case, I read this review and I believed it, I was honestly expecting this one to be good or at least decent, but  I was wrong and I’m sorely disapointed

what happened to Konami? that’s really all I can ask, did someone else become the CEO of the company at one point or something? it just never ceases to amaze me that they had Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill, what were once my two favorite video game series and they just ran them into the fucking ground, that really, truly makes me deeply sad, like I’ve lost a friend…

here’s hoping that this is finally the end of Silent Hill, if it’s never going to even be as good as Shattered Memories again it’s time for it to be over and maybe this will be the last one (not counting that fucking PSP Vita one), I don’t know, all we can do is wait and see….

well fuck it, here’s looking forward to Bioshock Infinite!


Silent Hill (the whole shebang)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 6, 2011 by Griff

so over December while waiting for Christmas I decided to replay Silent Hill 1-4 and play Shattered Memories, which I was meaning to play since it came out

I last played Silent Hill 1-4 in 2007 and had been planning on playing them again, but something inspired me to go ahead and do it, what exactly? well nothing other than The Real Silent Hill Experience

if you’re a big Silent Hill fan, this documentary will totally change your perception of the series, it’s sort of like “Penn and Teller Bullshit” for Silent Hill, in it three fans describe the stories of the games in what they believe to be the most correct interpretation possible and then express their thoughts on the past games, the current games and the series future, it’s pretty long, but well worth watching

so…..Silent Hill….what can I say? it’s a series that’s both well known and a cult classic at the same time (couldn’t that describe a lot of video game series though?) in case you somehow happen to be unaware of the series, the basic premise for it is this, there’s a town called Silent Hill somewhere in Maine, long ago it was a scared place for the local Native American tribe, who saw that the area had some sort of potent “spiritual power”, but then the white man came and over time that spiritual power became corrupt by an evil Cult that resides in the town, until the events of the first game cause all hell to break loose, the result is lots of scary shit, monsters and the town changing into what’s more or less hell

I wont go into too much detail for Silent Hill 1-3, but I will that say that they are excellent games that stand the test of time, some of the best games ever made in my opinion

even Silent Hill 1, which turns 12 years old this month, holds up well, it’s still scary, still fun and still worth playing, even the dated graphics have what I like to call an “old school charm”, the only downside is poor voice acting indicative of the era

2 and 3 hold up even better, 2, despite going on ten years old, still sports impressive graphics (it has great texture work and I find games that have that are the ones that age the best) and will scare the shit out of you, no matter how old you are, play it on hard and you WILL be afraid, very afraid

and 3, shit, the graphics in that game could almost pass for current gen, especially the character models

4 however is the black sheep of the Team Silent Silent Hills, while not a terrible game it suffers from being waaaaaay too tedious for it’s own good, it’s still worth playing for the story however

sadly after 4 the original Japanese developers departed and that’s where things go downhill

first you have the Silent Hill movie, which I haven’t seen since 2006, but I didn’t like it, I thought they took the premise and aesthetic of Silent Hill and made your average loud, unsubtle American horror movie out of it that fails at capturing the spirit of the games and throws in monsters from the game for simple fanservice even though story wise it makes no sense (Pyramid Head anyone?)

Silent Hill Origins and Silent Hill Homecoming I have not played recently, but I thought Origins was mediocre and hated, hated, hated Homecoming, man did I hate that piece of shit, it’s like a perfect guide for how NOT to do Silent Hill, plus it has terrible graphics with characters models that look like poor Xbox 1 quality stuff and is about as scary as an episode of “The Big Bang Theory”

so I had pretty much lost hope for Silent Hill, but then it was announced that Climax (the makers of Silent Hill Origins) were doing a remake of the original game for the Wii, needless to say I did not have high hopes and as the release date passed me by I contemplated just ignoring it

but wait! I noticed that it was actually getting good buzz over time and decided to dust off my Wii (literally) and give it a shot

and much to my surprise, I actually liked it

Silent Hill Shattered Memories proves that there is still some life left in the series, the guys at The Real Silent Hill Experience didn’t like it, but I’m not so sure their criticisms hold water, it’s the only part of the video that I totally disagree with

their biggest complaints was…

1. the game’s puzzles were too easy, while I agree that placing all the keys very close to the doors was dumb, they flat out ignore some of the really good true blue puzzles in the game, why?

2. they dislike that the game’s story and style is totally separate from the previous games, this is what I actually really liked about it, I think if Silent Hill is to continue on then the developers should be allowed to put their own spin on it instead of trying and failing to make it fit in with the stories of the other games

3. they dislike the psychiatry vibe and psychology system, I dug the psychiatry vibe myself, while I never really felt like the game was personally getting into my head, it’s still a spooky idea and gives the game a lot of replay value, plus I just enjoyed hanging out in the Dr’s office and performing his tests

4. they dislike the game being split into two parts, the exploration segments and the “ice world” segments where you’re chased by enemies, the exploration segments of the game were my favorite part, I loved exploring and finding the “memories” will my phone, uncovering all these subplots, most of which are totally separate from the main story, they add a lot of detail and attention to detail is something that was missing from Origins and Homecoming, it helps to think of the game more as an adventure game with segments where you can die

5. lastly they dislike the story because it only uses the same characters from the first game and the story is completely different, I will concede that the use of the characters from the first game feels a tad gimmicky (especially Lisa’s glorified cameo) I think the story gains something from playing with your expectations of the first game instead of just having totally separate characters

now I’ll be the first to admit that Shattered Memories aint got nothing on 1-3, but I still had a good time playing it and for me it shows that the potential is there for a western team to make a decent Silent Hill, now let’s see how the next one turns out