Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Silent Hill: Homecoming

Contrary to what this image may imply, grabbing the enemy's boob is not going to help you defeat them.

I had followed the Silent Hill series since it was first released, well I don't know, back in my high school days? It freaked the crap out of me and I loved it. None of those Resident Evil cheap scare and gore tactics for me please. Silent Hill was the type of game that will leave you spooked enough to want to keep your bedroom door locked at night long after you played the game. When Silent Hill 4: The Room came out after a long wait, I was much elated to finally be able to play the game. Then I was much disappointed at the rather no-brainer plot and drastic control changes which seem to be only loosely connected to Silent Hill. So I was thinking, after all the wrong they done to the series in SH4, they would at least have bothered to redeem themselves in the next installment, Silent Hill: Homecoming (SH5). WRONG! Nevermind they'd only released Silent Hill: 0rigins for PSP, which left me much pissed, but SH5 turned out to be quite an angry disappointment.

OK maybe I have no right to complain since I resorted to downloading the PC version which took me hours to troubleshoot and then eventually, me buying the pirated version which also had the same bugs as the downloaded version. So again, nevermind. Bottomline was I managed to get the game to work: clever me. Firstly, I was much pleased that the graphic have obviously went through a major improvement since the last installment. But that's where the good things end, no thanks to Konami switching over production from Team Silent to Foundation 9 Entertainment and Double Helix in the US. Leave it to the Americans to spoil the game. For some reason they seem to think more monsters mean better gameplay. When will they ever learn that they should leave horror to the Japanese? There are so many monsters swarming every setting, that their mis-happened nightmarish appearances ceases to scare you but become annoying obstacles. And as if that wasn't enough, they seem to possess some kind of fatality move that if you don't mash your mouse fast enough(which is usually the case considering how difficult it is to maneuver with a mouse and keyboard), leaves you dead without being able to even put up a fight. And believe me, dying 5 times in a row on the same setting just leaves you exasperated rather than wishing to continue. Considering I have always loved the way the series allows you to explore and figure out creative ways to get around, the throngs of monsters swarming you like bitches in heat just makes that impossible.

And that's not all I want to rant about. I mean, what kind of dumb plot is it anyway that SH5 has? It's like they couldn't decide to go with an independent psychological horror which is what SH2 was or that they should stick with the often vague cultish connections first introduced in SH1. In the end, they ended up with yet another SH4-like storyline with thin plots, loosely tied with Silent Hill. If it is not because I procured the game through, ahem, "unofficial" means, I would be throwing up a ruckus in demanding my money back for this poor excuse of a continuance in the Silent Hill franchise. If Konami has any intention in keeping the series alive, they would have the next installment done by Team Silent again. Americans... MEH!

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