Posts tagged Silent Hill

Layers of Fear – impressions

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Finished it. It was a just one day experience, but it definitely was a memorable surreal one. We got the game not knowing what to expect, possibly nothing special, but after 1h of play I was so impressed with the quality of the historical elements in the environment that I went and got the addon on the spot (haven’t played it yet). Here’s quick thoughts while the credits are rolling:

+, +, + , +, + some amazing surreal moments of dream and paradox that I think would’ve had both Escher and Dali impressed. And some changes are so subtly and beautifully integrated that it’s amazing, like one moment you’ll be looking around a room and the next seeing it’s got an endless ceiling, but wonder if it was like that before, or turning around a room to find doors where you remembered walls… or things floating, just amazing moments.

+, + interesting mystery atmosphere, told through small things, placements of things, indirect letters, that kind of stuff

– there were also moments however when it felt like it had too many “booo!” scares… though I got quickly immune. The suspense stuff was better though.

+, +, + at times amazing soundtrack

– Though some story was there I wish there was more story and a bit less of the ‘gore’… just a bit, it mostly worked but it could’ve used IMO more monologue or something

+, +, + loved the historical household objects

+, – the classical paintings in the game were a perfect disturbing fit and wonderful in their ways. The only problem was there was too few of them and they repeated breaking a bit the great immersion.

+, + at times it looked technically very impressive, both as engine and at times even in terms of environment asset quality, there were moments I felt I was playing Bioshock, which is an amazing achievement for what I assume is a team/budget that’s much smaller

Overall I’d give this game a grandiose 3.5 on a -5 to 5 scale: a truly unique and extraordinary experience. Had it’s moments when it was harder to push on but overall it surprised and delighted in a way in which games rarely do and tends to be more the domain of movies: a constant journey of change, change in subtle ways, story always advancing almost without failure and failures turning into development and surprise. This game has greatly surprised me.

PS: though lacking that amazing tech this game is I think a worthy inheritor of the title of what P.T. might have been had it actually been developed into a (good) game. I definitely felt Silent Hill echoes in the game and a ton of ton of H.P. Lovecraft influences. What an impressive pedigree!

Silent Hill: Downpour – impressions

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

+, +, + although the story overall is linear there are shockingly big open areas in the game, with many mysteries and corners to explore… and not the kind of copy-paste world either, distant remote corners seem to have gotten a lot of environmental love and attention to details, and totally optional secondary quests are shockingly interesting and well done

+, + amazingly well thought out story

-, + starts up a bit slow but keeps building up

+, + deep and interesting themes explored in both symbolism and the text passages found through the game, themes like the nature of prisons in modern and older societies

+ surprisingly long

+, +, + very interesting and memorable characters

+,-  a varied soundtrack, though it’s not used to it’s maximum potential IMHO as there’s some songs which you only hear small parts of that would have been nice

+, + well done environments

+ at easiest difficulty (like we often play games) quite enjoyable, with not very hard fights and a lot of time to just look around

+ surprisingly many breather moments, unlike many insecure games sometimes the game not only didn’t constantly throw waves of enemies but at some moments the enemies even ran away

+, + having finished it I still have the feeling of many mysteries I didn’t solve that I’m curious about, and also many interesting questions on the main story -, + a price of the open-sih world sometimes is the possibility of getting lost for a while, but even that’s okayish because of the interesting environments and secrets+ it manages to capture the spirit of a Silent Hill story while at the same time not repeating one and giving an original perspective+, + some amazingly painted moments, such as a mystical setting up of a Hansel & Gretel children’s play

P.T. – Interactive Teaser

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Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes cast)

A very strange/interesting apparition on the ps4 store, a free demo/teaser kind of thing. It doesn’t say/do much, not so much content, and quite difficult/unreasonable puzzles but it has quite a special spooky unique atmosphere for short burst sequences if you’re into the paranormal type of books. Possibly the most interesting non-full game i’ve tried out (maybe ’cause i don’t usually go for demos but i was curious on this one). Got stuck a couple of times, stuck again, but I’m curious. My favorite Silent Hill game remains the one with the room/stuck in a house. Very weird/disturbing piece.

Silent Hill 2 Soundtrack

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Couldn’t find the original song by Akira Yamaoka so I picked this silent hillish creepy version :D Still moving after all this time!

Types of Horror

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In terms of horror I have a pretty big theory. Basically i think there’s like 3 main types (ordered from least to most interesting to me)::
1)  monsters (Resident Evil comes to mind )
2) supernatural/unknown (Fatal Frame 3 or 2 are prime examples)
3) psychological/guilt/human horrors (play Silent hill games. Everybody loves the 2nd in the series, i liked the 4th)

There’s of course a 4th type of horror for many but i don’t find them scary at all. Eg. a lot of games have “horror” elements in the sense of some monsters you encounter (not scary though if you’ve got a rocket launcher that can blast 5 of them) and others have a certain art style and many call horror, but again i wouldn’t call them that. So you could go with

5) pretty much every game in which an enemy is some kind of creature

E.g. there’s a ton of shooters out there which pull out “scary” creatures…. without really being frightening

6) the “horror” style, gothic elements…

now i don’t think 5 & 6 are horror games per se, i think they’re more like atmosphere or tool set elements that can be sprinkled onto any other genre. As a type of style i tend to love 6, without finding it at all scary. For example the two Vampire the Masquerade games might be classified by many as horror though i never found them frightening, it was just exploring a more dark type universe. Similarly it is in many games a sort of art style, like say you pull in some cathedrals, ruins, some zombies for the setting… this I don’t think makes the game a horror but is rather like a certain art direction (by art meaning not just 2d or 3d but even music & story). Take for example many settings in Fallout 3, Bioshock or even some scenes in Oblivion: they’re like slices of the game, and the game doesn’t change THAT radically, yet for the section when you’re experiencing that it pulls quite a lot of elements from so called “horror” literature & visuals.

PS: a quick note: while Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines remains one of my favorite games of all time, and I still wouldn’t call it horror despite the dark vampire modern universe, there’s the visit to the haunted hotel which is one of most sublime experiences in eerie/supernatural/scary, but that is exactly because most of the game you’re not scared, you’re playing this otherwise quite powerful vampiric character of your own devising, yet in this section, exactly because you’re so used to reacting it feels particularly strange.

Zero Punctuation: Silent Hill 2

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Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)

And this is how Yahtzee reviews a game he actually likes :)) As for the game… i have yet to decide if it’s effects on me are maybe too dangerously strong… i mean it’s so scarring that I wonder if one should recomend it… but then again that’s the reason one would: strong impact. My question though is this: is it just for men, or are women as troubled by it? And no, for those of you that don’t know the game i don’t mean because it’s got shooting which men enjoy, it’s because, (i’m happy to say ) like abook or movie, it deals with human issues, but it’s telling some man-type guilt situations so I’m wondering about that.

PS: the thing that sticks with me from this review is the phase: “there’s only you, james and the town, and after a while you start to wonder which one of them is his biggest enemy” , which coupled with that silly graphic of 3 guins pointing into his mouth really stuck into my brain, because what is more terryfing than the thought that the hell he’s in is of entirely his own creation?

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Silent hill: Shattered Memories

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Frightening… moving… yep… it looks like this may be a true silent hill game. Lookign forward to it. I felt bad about never playing SH1 (2,3,4 so far, with 0 ongoing), so i’m happy for the oportunity, even happier that it looks like it may be a polished production!
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Silent Hill: Homecoming [GT review]

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Rating: 3.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Sounds like a great game for newcomers to the series… but from what I’ve seen so far I’m afraid the story may not pull enough heart strings and may be too actiony in nature as opposed to emotional/perceptional.

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Room of an angel [silent hill 4]

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I’ve mentioned Akira Yamaoka’s “Room of Angel” before… but this video is just so powerful i have to post it on it’s own. To those who have played the game… well, at least to me, this video takes me on a heard moving emotional journey: the visuals are brilliantly chosen, great editing, even some sync-ing… concepts and … well… amazing vid. Coupled with the superb song it’s so powerful I’m even afraid of putting this vid out there in case it’s viewed by people who’s depth is not counterbalanced by joy for life. Life’s a wonderful thing. I think even those who don’t know the game could get an emotional rush from this. Or is it just my memories while playing it spinning in my heart? Still, I think anybody who says games can’t be/contain art might have a second thought after viewing this… all the lives across the globe it’s touched/moved to sensibilities of the heart and mind…

PS: the concept & illustration on Walter Sullivan shown here really moves me to his tragedy… his dream and suffering is I find very relatable, the orphan who … okay, i won’t spoil it for you…

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Silent hill 4 intro

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The memory of the amazing mood/feelings of camera flying through the house intro scene just popped into my mind… a very powerful scene in my opinion. This is a longer clip, including some gameplay footage and the scene I’m talking about only starts at 2:55, but for those who haven’t played the game it may set the context. I do believe this game is a masterpiece. Besides the camerawork & music in this clip you can also get a taste of it’s other great techniques. The character’s introverted nature helps a lot… and I was particularly moved by the feeling of claustrophobia given not only by being locked in but by the glimpses of the outside world: the feeling of being so near and yet impossibly far away, between them and yet not among them… couple that with the later questions weather or not they’re all dreams and/or the question of guilt…

PS: at the risk of a minor spoiler: this is a song that blew my feelings away when it popped up (fragment): Room Of Angel (Akira Yamaoka)
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The complete game poster needs

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Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Totally worth mentioning this one. I wish I could credit it to it's brilliant and knowledgeable creator, but all I found was a digg post. I'm amazed how it didn't only include big name ones, but some gems that I really love and are often forgotten. Where else do you even get to see Discworld, Little big adventure, Out of this World, Carmageddon, Monkey Island, Silent Hill, Soul Reaver…

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