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Tang Soo Techie

Joined: 03 May 2003
Posts: 9583
Location: On a never ending quest to save my girlfriend

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 11:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thought I'd get the ball rolling ... this is website content. Just thought I'd let ya'll make fun of it in a convenient forum format.

Overtones of sin and insanity sets the Silent Hill series apart from other games in the action/survival genre. Built on land indigenous people called significant to ancestral spirits, the namesake town has a vicious past. Civil War prisoners were once forced to choose between being skewered or hung without trial. Plague in the 1880's. Briefly after World War I, a ship carrying 14 disappeared in the lake.

In the first game, a demonic cult attempted to bring its God into tangible existence. A much more gruesome reality began bleeding into the real one, subconscious filtered through individual . When visitors come to Silent Hill, they encounter their personal hell.

Even though the second was a standalone plotwise, the third and latest game in the series is a direct continuation of the first. You take the role of seventeen year old Heather, who slowly becomes aware of her grim connection with the haunted town. Her journey takes her to a shopping mall, a subway, an office building, a hospital, an abandoned carnival, and a church. Each location features gruesome scenery, locked doors and hidden keys, interesting puzzles, and unique monsters. While monsters are plentiful, ammunition isn't, forcing the player to choose battles carefully.

Graphics: 8/10
Easily one of the best parts of this game is exploring. The game consistently boasts scenery so chilling, you can't help but wonder about the artist's psychiatric case files. I lost track of how many rooms I came across where my initial reaction was "holy fuck, what happened here!?" A first person perspective would have improved the game immensely though. There's a lot of eye candy you just can't get a close look at, which is frustrating at times.

Sound: 10/10
This game is not the same without the sound. There are plenty of times you'll feel tense and jittery, as if experiencing some actual confrontation, from the coupling of graphics, music, and the sounds the monsters make. Each creature also has a set of industrial music effects -- much more than just growling and gibbering -- which gets mixed into the stage's music when they're nearby. It adds to the intensity of the encounter, regardless of if you're fighting or running.

Control: 6/10
Nothing is more annoying than walking into a room and knowing there's a monster right in front of your character, but you can't see it because of the camera angle. This makes engaging in or dodging combat a lot more difficult than it has to be. As mentioned earlier, a first person person perspective really needs to be added. Movement is performed with the joystick and direction of character movement is relative to a camera angle prone to changing without warning, making it too easy to veer off course. Combine this with lethal pit falls and deadlier monsters giving chase -- I assure you that you'll flip off the TV at least once or twice while playing.

Story: 6/10
Did you know in the second game, there's this one room where you find a mannequin wearing the same outfit the character's deceased wife wears? And later, you encounter monsters constructed from two sets of legs adjoined to a woman's torso? Many have concluded this represents the character's sexual frustrations regarding his terminally ill partner. All the games of the series have a flair for metaphor, symbolism, and other elements found in acclaimed literature and film. Why, then, does just about every book and journal a character finds in this series embrace the shittiest, most convoluted writing style possible? Additionally, dialog between characters can seem very cliche' and shallow in light of dire circumstances and surroundings. Its either poor writing or poor translation. In either case, this is something which could very easily be improved.

Fun Factor: 10/10
Anyone who likes a good scare will enjoy this game. As it starts, the player is warned that it contains gory scenes and violence -- those games are usually the best. Exploring the main character's personal hell is enjoyable and intriguing. Hidden throughout each stage are seemingly trite items which can be used or combined in certain areas to gain access to new spots on the map. More than a few brain teasers, seething with originality, can be found. This is what makes the game more than just another action experience.

Overall: 8/10
Some regard Silent Hill as an inferior Resident Evil clone without having played it, and this is far from the truth. While the latter game involves scientific explanation and a certain naughty mega corporation, this one entails a more metaphysical and spiritual bend. Anyone playing can expect to see about 20 hours of frightful game play, unless they run to a walk through like a little pansy. Doing certain things during game play can unlock an assortment of goodies such as unlimited ammunition and a light saber for the next run. With multiple endings, few will put it down after beating it once.

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