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    dkirschner's Silent Hill (PS)

    [March 28, 2014 11:54:11 PM]
    I don't know where my file with Silent Hill notes went. I probably erased it and wrote different notes without realizing it. Oh well! My girlfriend and I have been slowly playing through the original Silent Hill on Playstation for the last couple months. Neither of us had ever played it. I think I played 2 and 3, which we will replay at some point.

    I vividly recall hating the controls with a burning passion at first. By the end of the game I merely had a resigned dislike for them. You have very little control over the camera, and your character moves like a car missing a wheel. He turns slowly, the camera usually won't get behind him, it's really hard to turn and track enemies that run around you in circles. You oftentimes aim and shoot at nothing. It can be maddening just trying to get the character to do the simplest of actions like running up some stairs or standing in front of an object to interact with it.

    I got better at the controls after an hour or so. My girlfriend gave up on them and made me play the rest of the game. By the end of the game, I realize that although the controls are objectively terrible, it does add to the game's horror. Not only are there demons everywhere, the town is turning back and forth from nightmare mode to relatively normal, and so on, but your character can't run straight or aim a gun to save his life. He's just your average dad looking for his daughter, completely out of his element. The bad controls honestly make the game scarier, made me panic more than usual and fit the overall mood.

    Character control is pretty much the only downside to Silent Hill. Some other aspects feel old, like the laughable voice acting (which was admittedly good for 1999). The majority of the game is brilliant and holds up great. The sound in particular is a highlight. We loved the music. It picks up when you are near something important, the radio turns to static when there are monsters nearby, the mechanical hissing of generators, the grinding of machines, the creepy noises that enemies make, your character's out-of-breath panting, and all the other atmospheric noise really imbue Silent Hill with a dread feeling. We were constantly on the edge of the seat because of music and sound effects wondering what was about to happen or turning (or trying our best to turn) and running upon hearing the scraping of difficult enemies across the ground in the darkness ahead.

    Another great thing about the game is that it is hard. Very few games are made like this these days, especially in the survival horror genre. Silent Hill does not hold your hand. We were constantly almost out of ammo and health packs. We always had to make decisions whether to use precious ammo and health packs, whether to risk it with slow and unreliable melee weapons, or, my favorite, whether to just attempt to weave through and outrun enemies to save ammo and make it to the next location.

    Puzzles were also pretty great. We were able to figure almost all of them out, save one at the end, which I think was cheap. But for the vast majority, they were logical, you could figure them out by looking and analyzing. The puzzles were well integrated into the messed up story too. I really don't know what was going on by the end, very strange stuff. I see now that the first movie was largely a rewrite of the game, with the female cop character and a mother substituted for the game's husband. Really the movie illuminated some of the things I just didn't get from the game. Doesn't really matter though how clear it was. The creepy town of Silent Hill is king here.

    Yeah, overall great old game. I'm glad to have gone back and played it.
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    dkirschner's Silent Hill (PS)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 14 February, 2014

    GameLog closed on: Friday 28 March, 2014

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Horrible camera! Luckily, the atmosphere is so damn great. --------- Classic. Get over the controls and camera as best you can because it's a hell of a terrifying game.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

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    See info on Silent Hill

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    2 : Silent Hill (PS) by Furious Jorge (rating: 5)
    3 : Silent Hill 2 (PS2) by Furious Jorge (rating: 4)
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    5 : Silent Hill 3 (PC) by Strobe (rating: 5)
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    10 : Silent Hill HD Collection (PS3) by locomania233 (rating: 5)
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    13 : Silent Hill: Origins (PSP) by sorarojas (rating: 5)
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