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Posted on Oct 31st 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (Disposed Hero)
Posted under Review, Silent Hill, Konami, Survival horror


While I have always been a huge fan of the survival horror genre, when it comes to the Silent Hill series, I have generally played it safe and stuck to the first three titles which are almost unanimously praised. Although many of the later Silent Hill games are almost universally disliked by fans, the fourth entry is probably the most divisive title in the series, with a seemingly equal number of people who either love or hate the game. After playing it for myself, it is easy to see why opinions are so mixed, as I too had a sort of love/hate relationship with it. Good or bad, it is definitely one of the most interesting games I have played in a long time.

** Note: Due to the nature of the game, it is impossible to discuss all pertinent gameplay mechanics without giving away some mid-game spoilers, although I will try to keep things as vague as possible. **


Continue reading Silent Hill 4: The Room



Posted on Oct 17th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (bombatomba)
Posted under Pure Nostalgia, Silent Hill, SH, Akira Yamaoka


The last three years of the twentieth century was kind of a whirlwind time for me.  I had met (and proposed) to the woman I would marry; I went through a total of three jobs, only staying at the last one, and then only because of the weekly pay and benefits (factory rats, can I get a witness?); and finally, I went through a mad transition from Nintendo fanboy to (officially) unaffiliated, but mainly playing games on the Sony PlayStation.  But let's just hone in on the beginning of 1999, just for this article, and enjoy a little Pure Nostalgia.

Pure Nostalgia isn't about spoilers per se, but there are more than likely light spoilers within. Please be advised and read responsibly


Continue reading Pure Nostalgia - Silent Hill



Posted on Oct 30th 2009 at 01:26:09 PM by (Ack)
Posted under Silent Hill, Classic Gaming, PlayStation, Survival Horror

Silent Hill



I figured for the first one of these, I'd post a mainstay to the horror genre.  If you're a fan of survival horror, I feel that you must try this game.  I'm not going to say it's perfect(no game is), but what Silent Hill did was absolutely phenomenal.  I've seen it referred to as "the scariest game of all time", and I feel this title still holds true today.  Even if one absolutely detests the game, it should be easy to see the positive impact on the genre.  Today the Silent Hill series is one of the two most easily recognized series in survival horror(the other being Resident Evil, of course).

Here's a very brief plot analysis:

"The plot focuses on Harry Mason as he searches for his daughter, Cheryl, who has disappeared following a car accident which left Harry unconscious. He finds Silent Hill to be largely abandoned, shrouded in a thick fog, snowing out of season, filled with monsters and being over taken by a hellish otherworld. As Harry scours the town, he begins learning about the history of Silent Hill and stumbles upon a cult ritual undertaken to bring a God to Earth."

Silent Hill plays entirely from a third-person perspective, with a mix of pre-set and controllable camera angles, depending on the location.  Through certain sections of the game, Harry's flashlight is the only lighting, but this has a double effect of also attracting monsters.  A radio that Harry has emits static whenever a monster is near, serving as the only means to know when something is approaching.



And then there's the other world.  The only real way to describe it is Hell on Earth.  There's all kinds of disturbing imagery and audio.  To add to it, the developers were influenced and made reference to many other works of horror, fantasy, music, literature, film, and so on.  Here's Wikipedia's list of influences and references:

    * The surname of Lisa Garland is taken from the actress Judy Garland, Cheryl Mason's first name is based on Twin Peakss actress Sheryl Lee, Michael Kaufmann is a combination of Troma Studios producers' Lloyd Kaufmann and Michael Herz and both Alessa (originally named Asia) and Dahlia (originally named Daria) are names derived from relatives (daughter and former wife respectively) of Italian filmmaker Dario Argento.

    * On the side of a garage door near the gas station is painted in blood with the word "REDRUM" painted on it in reference to The Shining.

    * Some of the creatures and puzzles were named or designed with the books Alessa was fond of in mind, such as The Lost World and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

    * The names originally intended for the characters of Harry and Cheryl were "Humbert" and "Dolores," the narrator and title character of Lolita. The American staff altered the names, given that the names were uncommon.

    * At the beginning of the game there is a sign that says Bates Motel, which is a reference to Norman Bates' motel from Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho.

    * In "normal" version of the Midwich Elementary School one can find a list of teachers. The teachers listed are K.Gordon, T. Moore, L. Ranaldo, and S. Shelley. These names all refer to Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, and Steve Shelley of the rock band Sonic Youth.

    * The names of the streets are taken from various science fiction and horror novels or writers, such as Bradbury Street, Bachman Road, Matheson Street, and Midwich Street. These refer to Ray Bradbury, Richard Bachman, Richard Matheson, and The Midwich Cuckoos.



Not bad for a game that was labeled a "Resident Evil clone" before its release.  And while it did borrow a few things from Resident Evil in terms of gameplay(which had in turn borrowed from Alone in the Dark), its themes were its own and what it added to the Resident Evil formula helped distance it from the pack of RE-wannabes.  Gone were the days of playing a well-trained police officer fighting with superior firepower against an enemy that has, frankly, become campy and overused.  Instead, you play an everyman character, someone not proficient with a gun, or able to sprint long distances.  Just an average guy.

Also gone was the setting, a plague of science run amok in the real world, something that could be blown away to restore the normal order.  In Silent Hill we begin questioning what normal really meant.  The trouble in Silent Hill couldn't be shot, stabbed, or beaten to death, because the trouble was with reality.  This was normalcy in Silent Hill, at least in our heads.  And while the creatures Harry encountered could be killed, there's some suggestion in the series that they weren't monsters at all, depending on who looked at them.  And perhaps that's the biggest difference between the two:

Resident Evil gets in your blood.  Silent Hill violates your mind.

Please, take a moment and check out the intro:




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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