Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Silent Hill 1-3
No video game franchise had such an impact on my taste in video games (and my last.fm counter) as the Silent Hill series by Konami.
Foggy alleyways, rust, deformed monsters and a brilliant soundtrack are what define the Silent Hill series by Konami.
I had quite a hard time getting into it though. I had seen the 2006 movie (underrated) on an England vacation before ever picking up one of the games and I instantly fell in love with the atmosphere and especially the music.
I had my expectations, when I picked up Silent Hill 1 for the PS1 a few months later.
First impression? Horrible.
Confusing camera angles, terrible voice acting (in retrospect it had its charm though), ANNOYING enemies (yes, I'm looking at you, flying dinosaurs) and since I played it in 2006, let's say the graphics didn't age too well. Another point that bugged me was the map system. I didn't always get where to go and why some doors wouldn't open. (Someone should have explained me that there's a difference between "locked" and "broken")
I stopped playing after 2 tries.
I occasionally listened to the music and looked up wikia entries on Silent Hill, even though I had never played the games. That's how much of an impact the movie had on me.
It took me about 8 months before I picked up Silent Hill 1 again. This time I knew what to expect and completed the game within 3 or 4 days. This time the camera angles didn't seem so confusing anymore, and the muddy graphics added to the atmosphere.
It was a great experience.
Right after completing Silent Hill 1 I bought Silent Hill 2. I knew people treated this game as the best of all Silent Hill games and so were my expectations.
I got bored pretty quickly (in the first section of the game, the apartments) and I stopped playing AGAIN. I sat down and played Silent Hill 3 before actually playing Silent Hill 2. Worked pretty well since they're non-canon anyway.
I always had to force myself to play the Silent Hill games. I knew I would enjoy them if I only tried, but I always ended up playing something else and just listening to the music.
Well, about the actual gameplay (of the first 3 games, series went down the drain with 4) there isn't much to say.
You enter buildings, door are shut and you try to find keys and special items to solve puzzles. And since this is a survival horror game à la Resident Evil you encounter monsters along your way.
The game itself is pretty linear but the games all offer different endings, depending on your reactions in certain situations. It's pretty subtle though, you probably won't realize that you are in one of those key situations when you play the game.
If you never played a Silent Hill game start with either 1 or 2.
1 and 3 are canon, but if you don't feel like picking up a PS1 game just start with 2 since it's a standalone game. If you plan on picking up Silent Hill 2, don't read up anything about its story online. There's a huge spoiler you don't want to know before playing the game.