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Is the Silent Hill series any good?

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Posted 08-24-2009 at 04:10 PM by December Man
Updated 08-29-2009 at 05:42 PM by December Man (Added more stuff)

People that read my blog already know my opinion. However I decided to go with the flow and create a series of sorts which shortly summarize each grand survival horror franchise.

In case someone somehow doesn't know my opinion: I love Silent Hill. The atmosphere, music, complex and often philosophical story full of metaphors and, of course, the scare factor. But, as we all know, nothing is perfect. Especially SH which deteriorated slowly over the years. Let's cut to the chase and list the bad about each game.

The factors defining the ending are very unclear the first time around. Basically, it depends on two situations encoutered by the end of the game. If you miss the first one, you automatically get one of the bad endings. The second one midly changes it to either good+(if you take part in the first situation) or bad+(if not).
Also, there are strange pauses between sentences in spoken dialogue, but that's a minor issue.

It's very different than the first one, and thus needs a different approach. It fully depends on atmosphere and your ability to let yourself get pulled into the game world. If that fails, the game might even get boring. If it succeeds, you're in for diaper changing.

The combat is ridiculously easy. You have plenty of ammo and, if you somehow manage to run out, outrunning the monsters is a piece of cake.

Storywise it's a straight continuation of the first game. Alone, the story is pretty weak, therefore it's obligatory to complete the first game before starting this one.

The combat is a lot harder than the previous game. It's the opposite - a lot less ammo and outrunning is difficult, albeit it isn't frustrating.

SH4: The Room
This is my least favorite SH game, but by no means is it poor. On the contrary, it's a very good, borderline excellent game, BUT weak Silent Hill game. It's so different on so many levels, it's hard to even consider it a SH game. No flashlight, no radio, only 10 items in invetory allowed, a chest to hold items, one save point(diary in the room), very few puzzles, second part of game is basically a reenactment of the first part with minor changes etc. When attempting to play the game, remember that this wasn't supposed to be a SH game to begin with. It was decided to be a fourth game half way through development.

SH: Origins
A portable Silent Hill experience with all its best and worst parts. Nothing more, nothing less.

SH: Homecoming
A lot more combat oriented, with a third person camera, instead of a cinematic one. It's regarded by SH fanboys as the worst SH ever. Me, I think it's better than Origins and The Room. It's a lot more fun combat wise and the story is very good, even though I expected something half assed.

Silent Hill Orphan 1 and 2(SH: Mobile 1 and 2 in Europe)
Cell phone SH. Both suck.

As you can see, I haven't noticed any game breaking mistakes of the developers in any of the games. Unfortunately, it's my personal opinion, and one may find them pretty poor. If that is the case, I bet that person will find Fatal Frame their series of choice.

The upcoming Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, which is a reimagining of the first game, appears to be a much much needed breath of fresh air into the stale franchise. I sincerely hope it will be the new beginning of the series.
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