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 Silent Hill (all of 'em?)

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Shadowcrunch
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PostSubject: Silent Hill (all of 'em?)   Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:07 am

I have a love/hate thing going on with the Silent Hill series that I feel like sharing. I love the stories, the whole "sinister town that sucks you in to repent for your past sins" thing, the edgy/moody of them, the twisty crazy of them, the Japanese horror influence of them, and the fact that they are some of the only mainstream horror games available. All in all, a bonus series.

My issue started this evening. Vader let me borrow Silent Hill Origins for the PSP, and I prepped myself for a little spooky spooky while on break at my job (snicker snicker). You know, all alone at night in a big building with catwalks and machinery rumbling and odd pipe banging/hissing noises.

OOPS! I interject here that though I have always enjoyed the series of games, I have NOT enjoyed the stupid ass camera angles they force you into, and in fact never played the first few very far JUST because the camera angles pissed me off! The best Silent Hill experience I had was with Homecoming for the PS3, where they seemed to actually TRY to make a solid 3rd person camera to follow your character. Failed sometimes, but most of the time they succeeded. I should also add that I do appreciate the concept of cinematic camera angles, or of movies letting you see from the POV of a ceiling corner security camera... BUT... when the dude (dudette) you're controlling can't see the bad guy (nurse) 6 inches in front of him/her because the camera angle just isn't right, the game makers should be stabbed.

SO, before I even get that far... game opening was well done... until.... OOOH, spooky road, raining, dude just said he's passing silent hill, and he's dozing off. I bet someTHING runs out in the road in front of him. EEK! SCREEECH! Yay, I was right. I bet he gets out of the car and there's nothing there. Sigh... right again. I bet he sees someTHING down the road that looks vaguely human and gives chase. For fuck's sake, right again? Wait wait wait... now as I'm giving chase you're gonna start those friggin camera angles already?! Okay...me being me (and not the character right now), I would have stopped after the first mile and went back for my vehicle, so I lost a little of the 'suspension of disbelief' there. Okay, so I chased the someTHING and ran right past the... sigh... did you guess? Yep, the sign saying welcome to Silent Hill. And it's foggy. Off to a shaky start here, but let's keep going and see!

Cutscene. Action. BAD camera angles. Cutscene. Blackout. Wake up... hey there's a map! I bet I should check the status of last cutscene by finding the hospital! Oh, it's right around the corner of this brick wall the map is posted to. OOH! Silent Hill and I HAVE to go to the hospital! I better check my map and find the damn school cuz I know that's coming eventually. Anyway, yeah, the hospital. You guessed it... the nurses. FIRST grumble... what ever happened to the nurses not seeing you if you were quiet, flashlight off, and didn't move? Second grumble... how did I break an 8 pound sledge hammer by hitting a nurse 4 times?! AND last grumble that came to me about the nurses....

Well I'm sure it won't just be the nurses. I'm sure it's a game decision by designers that are running really damn low on spook ideas. Aside from expecting everything Silent Hill throws at you by this point, they also went fairly silly with predictable moments. Another semi-spoiler... I managed to get the combination to the secret box and got the item inside. It's the last item I needed to complete a task. I bet when I leave the room there will be more nurses now to thwart me in my progress! I 'X' the door, the hallway loads, and there's a nurse directly in front of me. Around the corner, 2 more. Down the stairs, 2 more. Exit the stairway, another one like 6 inches from me... I of course only see her arm and scalpel cuz the camera angle is fucked, but... you know. Spook factor is diminishing because it's so damn predictable! I hope the story picks up... not gonna say bad game, only been playing about an hour, but the obvious happenings are making it a lot less spooky.

Anybody have any good or bad experiences with the Silent Hill games they would like to share?

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PostSubject: Re: Silent Hill (all of 'em?)   Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:21 am

Okay, I hate to toss in a comparison to a different game in a Silent Hill thread, but just want to add that spooky doesn't HAVE to follow a frickin pattern! You know it, I know it... why can't Konami see that?

I point out Amnesia. Yes, you never played it, or never played it far. Too bad for you! I've told you about the Lovecraftian of it all, and you've seen some of the gameplay, but there is a direct reversal to what I mentioned in the first post about Silent Hill. In Amnesia, predictability is LOW, both in good and bad ways.

You hear footsteps or grumbling/moaning and you go scurry off into a dark corner as your sanity grinds away (actually sounds like grinding peanut shells or something). You turn to the light and see a shadow on the wall from around the corner. It moves. A door slams! As your sanity is about to SNAP, you creep to the door, fling it open, and nothing.

OR... you're picking through drawers in a bedroom, finding loot of various usefulness, and absolutely nothing is going on. No footsteps, the rooms are well lit, there's even a huge atrium outside the door with a stained glass dome/skylight above a fountain. Everything is peaceful and serene. La dee da... ho dee hum... back out to the atrium... trip over a disemboweled human torso! AHHHHH!!!! Sanity crinkles! Bloody footprints are all around. Spin, spin, spin... run to a corner and duck down... wait... and NOTHING.

How many times throughout the game do they trick you with the ol' bloody torso trick? Once. Just the one time. Because you play games, you expect it to become a random occurrence, but it never happens again.

My point? EVERY horror game or wannabe, INCLUDING Silent Hill, can learn a LOT from Amnesia. Now, back to stories of Silent Hill....

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PostSubject: Re: Silent Hill (all of 'em?)   Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:27 am

For me, my favorite was the first one, way back on the PSOne. Nothing like slowly moving through a darkened and ruined school, with the sound of children laughing. The other aspect I liked, but it is also a gaming peeve of mine (a bit more on it later) was when I had to answer a telephone, a telephone whose ring didn't sound quite right... pick it up only to hear static, but behind that noise was a voice, soft and faint... then becoming something else. The first one actually gave me, not so much nightmares, but images of darting shadows out of the corner of my eye.

Peeve. Being forced to do something in-game that you normally wouldn't do. As you mentioned, walking back to your car and driving versus running after something in the fog. In this case, answering a warbled sick sounding phone in an abandoned town.

The first one was pretty much the only one I've played. I've played the demos for 2 and 3, but I noted that they were rapidly becoming more of the same. There wasn't anything new going on, and as you noticed, someone who is familiar with the series will know what's going to happen and when.

I do own a couple Silent Hill games for the PS2, one of which being The Room. Haven't played it, mainly because I'm figuring it's just going to be even more of the same. Good story or not, when you are going through the same thing over and over and over again, things tend to become stagnate at best.

...

On a different, but similar, note, I watched Silent Hill Revelation last week. Pfft. Not only was it a crappy movie... okay, that's pretty much it, it was a crappy movie. You could tell it was geared for 3D effects, the plot was non-existent, and the story contradicted everything that occurred in the first film (which was great in my opinion, could have been better, but not too bad overall).

...

Horror games have rapidly falling into the realm of survival horror FPS. I used to have such high hopes for Silent Hill.
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PostSubject: Re: Silent Hill (all of 'em?)   Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:30 pm

The other day I wrote a huge rant about Silent Hill, and focused on Origins for the PSP. I decided I had enough spoilers and whining in that post to kill any reader who comes along, so I removed my rant. After all, millions of fans can't be wrong, so I must be of the chosen few who can't handle MOST of the silent hill games. Hell, maybe I'm just too damn picky and want my gaming puzzles to be thought provoking, not time wasting. I must just be a jerk because I don't want to run from and to points A>B>C>A>C>B>A>B>A>C>B>A just to open a drain and get one key, considering points ABC are all at completely opposite ends of a sanitarium. Sigh... enough of that!

I came here to drop some opinion, and I've been forgetting the last few days that I wanted to do this. Soothsayer mentioned having Silent Hill 4: THE ROOM, but never playing it. I decided to share my thoughts. The Room was the first Silent Hill I actually PLAYED (watched a bit of some of the earlier ones), so me and the Room have history. It was rental, so I didn't get very far, and the camera angles suck ass. It scored poorly with the millions of jackasses who like stupid camera angles because it didn't "fit" with the rest of the series. Since playing Homecoming, Origins, and some PC ports of 1,2,3, looking back I think the Room is my favorite.

One thing bitched about the game is there is no "Welcome to Silent Hill" to start it off. There really isn't any Silent Hill ish opening. You wake up, go to your apartment's front door, and you're shocked by the door being covered with chains and padlocks...on the inside... and you have no keys... and you can't remember locking the room. Then it's all blah and searching. Laundry room is fine, bathroom is fine, living room is fine, kitchen, bedroom...fine fine fine. You turn the TV on, there's static, you hear the mumblemumblewhisperwhisper of something, and pass out. When you wake up, TV is off, locks are on the door, and everything is normal. WTF? Search the house, there's shit scribbled on the bathroom mirror in lipstick (blood? Ketchup?). Nothing else. Living room, slide a dresser thing over (notice the scratch marks in the floor?) and there's a peep hole to the next apartment over. Look? HELLS YEAH!

Oh, neighbor lady vacuuming, can see the foot of her bed, and the teddy bear sitting there. Spoiler: Everytime I looked through that peep hole, I was prepping myself to see that bear turn and look at me, or start creeping towards the neighbor lady or SOMETHING, but in the scant hours I played, no such luck. So I'm peeping, and BBBRRRIIINNNNGGG! "Hello?"

"whispmumgrrryar-static-moospprrrrapplygoodeness-static-" pass out. Wake up, everything is normal. Oh! There's a friggin hole in the bathroom wall with red squiggly symbols around it! I better crawl through and investigate! Down a freakishly long flight of stairs to a subway that never was, or is, but was lost, or I don't know. Enemies here (I THINK first of the game) look like shadow worm/snakes snaking across the ground until they get close, then they stand up and are VERY Japanese style ghosts with pale skin and LONG black hair and looking very wet (the hair... hence the hanging hair effect). Kindof a cool twist. Wander/search around... absolutely nothing to do until I find a subway token. Back up the freakishly long stairs, through the tunnel, into the room... knock knock knock. Somebody's knocking on the door!!!

From there it just... well, it got weirder. Especially being my first Silent Hill. Keep in mind the above walkthrough is a memory from many years ago, so probably does NOT happen exactly that way. Yes, I thought it was monotonous how you had to keep going back to the room and searching for the next change to occur, but it also gave you that "secure home base" feeling... like the whole world is twisting around you, but there's still your apartment. AND... were you locking yourself and "something else" IN? Or were you locking someTHING out? Why is all this happening in an apartment building NOT located in Silent Hill?

So, it bombed cuz it didn't follow the winning formula for Silent Hill games, which in my opinion sets it above the others that follow that formula a little TOO exact. Great now I wanna play it again. If you have it, I say at least give it a shot! It may have "more of the same", but my memory (and the wiki) tells me that there was just enough different to piss off the Silent Hill formula loyalists! That alone should make it worth a chance! Thumbs Up

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