Silent Hill 2 (PS2) final thoughts

Just finished this game. Since Gone Gold forums are thoroughly down, I thought I’d post my thoughts here. Like anyone cares.

I really liked this game. It got on my good side from the start by providing an option for camera relative controls (Eternal Darkenss) instead of the usual shit controls (Resident Evil). The atmosphere is excellent, and the story provides some very satisfying twist near the end. Nothing really jumped me out of my seat like some moments in the RE series, but, sometimes, the ambience of the gameworld would really get my heart beating. Some sequences in the game create an excellent sense of dread and anticipation.

Combat is tolerable, but annoying most of the time. It’s very slow paced. If you happen to miss, then there is a pause (different lengths for diff weapons) before you can hit again, and usually you’ll take a hit during that time. Annoying. I hate it when the devs make combat sluggish to make it more intense/desperate/etc. Oh well, it can usually be avoided, so it doesn’t hurt the overall experience.

Overall, I’d say this is a must have for PS2 owners. Especially at $20 a pop. I’m playing through it again right now on higher difficulty levels. Maybe I’ll be able to get one of the alternate endings.

I really liked the concept behind the game and it’s antagonists, but that’s pretty much about it.

The actual game experience itself was mindlessly droll. Combat was insipid and monotonous through the entire game, the puzzles were mediocre at best, and rarely did the developers ever make intuitive use of the setpieces they built for the gamer to traipse through. All this evil and raw emotion given physical form in this unholy of game settings, and the best they can conure up is a few pasty monsters roaming each and every hallway with the occasional boss?

I suppose I was expecting a more creative use of the scenery and environments to promote thrills and scares,(the music was certainly up to snuff) but it seemed to me the best way to really attain true fear here is to read a faq detailing the intricacies of Harry’s relationship to Maria and then ponder back on those few hours you manipulated them through sterile environs and a shitload of dark holes to jump in. Umm Freaky?..

With that said, I am actually looking somewhat forward to Silent Hill 3. :wink:

I heard great things about the mood of the Silent Hill games, but wound up disppointed by each of them.

A misty, seemingly empty town increasingly haunted by the player’s own fear is potentially a great conceit in the first game, but the developers didn’t stick to it for nearly long enough, and the game eventually turned into the traditional wall of battles.

Personally, I don’t think I’d have allowed a critter to show its face for the first two or three hours of hours of gameplay. They should have had you chasing shadows–satisfying yourself that there was really nothing in the town before what was there came up, tapped you on the shoulder and stared at you with its great, toothy face.

It’s a shame that games can’t be more subtle–that they always have to show you what you’re up against, rather than just hinting at it for a while.

I suppose these choices spring from the notion that the younger, less sophisticated audience that plays console games might think a moody game with less fighting didn’t offer much to -do-.

But I think developers traditionally underestimate this audience. Kids are smarter, or at least more instinctual, than they are usually given credit for being.

Anyway, someone should try. Maybe in the inevitable SH3.

The second game, better looking, had pretty much the same problem: It showed its true face too early. I liked the “Jacob’s Ladder” monster, but they ran it into the ground by repeating it to death. The first one scared me. The second one bored me. The respawning -really- bored me and when I finally came to grips with how linear the game was, I just quit.

I may try it again now that the PC version is out. Is it just a port or did they add anything interesting?

Peter

Jesus, is this board Silent Hill Haters Central or what? Such a great horror game… but nooo, it’s not good enough for our exquisite tastes! I must be the only one here who liked it, aside from dandylife.

I was thinking about getting the PC version. Has anyone played it yet? Any good?

Heh, nothing really wrong with Silent Hill really. It’s a great concept and I have utmost respect for the creative end of the projects, but as a game it sucks monkey nuts.

As Peter made very clear, a big problem with the series is the encounter rate and combat mechanics. Sure int he first few hours it’s particularly creepy when that white noise communique starts to alert you of incoming danger. The music gets louder and more surreal, the environments are dark and mysterious, and then just as the culmination of your fears reaches a standoff with the on screen antagonist, what shows up to dish out the pain?

A few demon birds, maybe a dog or two, in the case of SH2 you have some possessed mannequins(that’s supposed to represent the virtual persona’s repressed yet idealized basis for how the male gender envisions the opposite sex or some bullshit, and this is their call for vengeance!) occasionally that pyramid head freak makes an appearance, but much like the static and rather tame environments, it gets old after a few hours.

Nothing really happens aside from an obtuse look at more gender-based sociological patterns that most won’t even pick up on anyway. Every so often you fit a few key items in rather large obvious holes scattered about to access more dilapidated small town scenery that never makes attempt to stupify or entrance the gamer. Whereas other entries in the survival horror genre force limitations on the gamer in regards to health, ammunition, weaponry, etc… SH series pretty much makes the average Joe charatcer a walking tank that can take punishment and dish out even more. Eventually all that white noise rips away the excitment and suspense(hmm…my radio’s signaling there may be demon mannequins around this corner, better get my crowbar ready!) and the amount of redundant, recycled combat situations gets awkward and irritating.

There is promise in this series, but Konami still hasn’t quite nailed down that hook. But I admit each entry that does appear shows more and more promise (the hype machine never ends). So I still have my hopes for SH3.

This is coming to PS5 and PC. Next year, I think? PS5 has one year console exclusivity, so it should come to other consoles after that. As with Deathloop, one year of wait doesn’t seem very long any more.

Did you guys play the original on PS2? I played about the first two hours of the game. It started out really creepy, and had great atmosphere. And then I had to fight zombies, and the controls were so terrible, all the fear and atmosphere was for nothing. Suddenly I was just playing an awkward video game with bad controls.

I’m interested, but like anonymous_user, whoever that is!, SH like RE has that goofy combat that is now considered a relic. And from the looks of the trailer its really more a very big reskin than remake. I dont feel that confident to be honest… at least im hoping its a remake as good as RE2 remake was!

BTW, whats with anon user and his ‘gender-based sociological patterns’ talk?!?! this is in 2003! this guy, or gal, knows his gender studies huh!