snake911's Silent Hill: 0rigins (PlayStation Portable) review

A great installment for the series

Silent Hill: Origins is a game that will most likely not disappoint fans of the franchise.  It’s great for both fans and new comers to the series.

Silent Hill: Origins is a prequel to the franchise.  Its timeframe will cover some of the events that were described during the original Silent Hill game.  This is great for fans because it will answer some of those questions that were plaguing one of the series’ storylines. 

The gameplay is very similar to the original Playstation game, but with a few changes made to the combat system.  Melee weapons will eventually break apart, fists were added as an additional method to fighting monsters, and some confrontations with enemies will lead to a quick time event like procedure.  Having all melee weapons break apart was a little odd for my taste and seemed to break the combat sequences for me.  Additionally, you can press and hold the attack button to increase the amount of damage an enemy will endure during a melee attack.  Stamina will also play a very small, but notable part for both running and fighting.  Stamina will replenish itself in a few seconds after walking for a bit (as opposed to running) and energy drinks will immediately refill stamina to 100% if you can’t afford the time to wait around.  All of these changes gave a refresh feeling to the original style of combat.

Game mechanics were also very interesting to see, explore, and interact with.  Aside from the few mentioned above, there are also other mechanics that were borrowed from past Silent Hill games.  This, to me, gave the game a feeling of fulfillment when considering level designs.  Since the mechanics that were borrowed were memorable points from past games, it seems to fit in this installment nicely and appeared to be well thought out as to where they should be placed at.  Not all were in level mechanics though.  Some were used for things like in game item/weapon selection.

The atmosphere was captured superbly and matched what the franchise is known famous for.  Music and sound were added perfectly to the mix.  Music was done by Akira Yamaoka, who has done the music for all past Silent Hill games.  Both emotions of suspense and horror were experienced through the game.  This was satisfying to know, for they were not trying to do anything drastic that will change the mood of the game from the series (considering that this game was done by another developer other than Konami).

In the end, Silent Hill: Origins was a great game.  I will admit that I wasn’t into the game at the very beginning.  I had to play it a bit to understand and appreciate what the developers were trying to accomplish with this installment.  It’s great for new comers because, since it’s a prequel, there’s no pre story that the player has to really worry about.  Characters or plot will not necessarily be an issue.  For fans, it unfolds more of the story and answers some of those burning questions.  It also gives a kickback felling to the original game, so they can experience once again, how that type of gameplay was like, and in my opinion, worked well for the PSP.

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