I need a vacation (A trip through the Silent Hill series) Part 1

Posted by Sackmanjones (4688 posts) -

    Hello! Welcome fellow bombers to "I need a vacation" my cleverly named blog post about Silent Hill! Over the past month I have been trying to catch up this series, one I missed because when I was young even the sight of a Silent Hill game gave me chills. However, a few years have passed and I've decided to man up, pick up the HD collection and dive into the world of  "Silent Hill". So in theory I will be posting these as I continue on through the series and try to share my opinions and thoughts about the game (and also for your personal enjoyment).I should mention that I actually beat SH2 about a week ago and  just finished Silent Hill 3 about one hour ago so I'm gonna start there and eventually catch up to where I am in homecoming ( which is stuck because I cant get a grasp on the damn combat!) and end with Downpour (which I haven't touched)  I will mostly be mentioning the "highlights" of my playthrough about SH2 and 3.
 
Lets begin    
LAST THING:There be spoils of spoilers ahead

                                                                                                         Play music while reading for best effect!
 
         

SILENT HILL 2

    
James Sunderland
  
 
 Silent Hill 2 is one of the scariest, if not, THE scariest game I have ever played. Not because the enemy in that corner jumps out and grabs you, but the anticipation the game builds of your inevitable demise. Whoever thought that giving a warning when enemies are near would actually make things more terrifying, its genius. 
 
As I ran down the hill to make my way to the town, the growls of some creature in the fog already started to make my heart-rate climb ( which happened quite a bit during my playthrough). I then got to meet Angela, a seemingly ordinary girl but I knew thing weren't right with her. Anyway, after a brief chat I started to venture further into the fog, and then I reached the infamous town of Silent Hill.  At this point, I already started to question whether I even wanted to g
 This a bad time?
o through with this, I can see barely 5 feet in front of me and many of the roads are... well missing. Its quickly apparent that James isn't all there, I mean he is looking for his wife who has been dead for three years due to an unknown illness. At this point I ran into my first obstacle, a very fuzzy shadow that is accompanied by a trail of blood, naturally I tried my best to NOT go that way but of course I was eventually funneled into following the trial. This turns out to be what I can only assume is a human trapped inside a straight jacket made of flesh, the first appearance of this thing was quite a shock but I didn't feel the terror I had originally imagined I would. That is until the thing fell on the ground, let out a strange, terrifying screech, then took off on its belly only to haunt me everywhere I went. 
 
From this point on, I feared the sound these damn things made and the radio white noise they created. Everytime I heard the radio I constantly turned 360 degrees to figure out where the hell this "thing" was and what exactly it is. Skipping ahead to the apartments.. good lord almighty this is where everything it the fan for me. At this point I had little health, and no flashlight. Trying to maneuver through the dark, long hallways of the abandoned building stressed me out to no end. The radio is constantly buzzing, James is constantly breathing thanks to my endless sprinting and all I have is a damn pipe to defend myself. Every door I check I'm actually hoping is locked, which would be followed by me saying "pheww". Of course some of these doors had to open and what was in there... most of the time nothing other than a few supplies.  This is what makes the few jump scares and overall atmosphere terrifying.  Everything tends to look grimy, dirty, and overall nasty but most of the time thats all there is. Most of the horror happens in your mind and what could be behind that counter. To say the least, finally grabbing the flashlight which triggered the mannequin behind it to move caused me to actually drop my controller. So much build up and tension actually made me let my guard down, and I sure as hell paid for it. I finally meet Laura, a snobby little girl who has a nag for making my life a lot more difficult than it really should be. She is the fly that is always buzzing in your ear and doesn't stop, annoying little girl.
 Ah good a lig...OH GOD!
 

Fast forward a bit, I have found a pistol (which was followed with yet another phew) and I'm heading back to the first main puzzle which involved the clock. and then there he is... just standing there. Pyramid Head. He does nothing. He stands behind the bars just looking at James, taunting him and me. Pyramid Head is one of  the most iconic thing in the Silent Hill series and I still wasn't prepared for my first meeting. The fact that he doesn't move a single muscle scared the hell outta me so I continued on hoping that he would just leave me alone. This leads me to a door where I was greeted by the loud sound of a tv with white noise and a dead body in front of it (foreshadowing anyone?) This mixed with the brilliant music made me save and wait to continue another night.   
What.The.Fuckkk 
 I picked up the next day to meet Eddie, who tells me he didn't kill the man in the kitchen, crushed by the fridge. I was not convinced and tried to stay as far away from him as I could. Later, I met Maria who looks a lot like James's wife but is clearly not the same person... and she seems to be real interested in James (strange). She decides to tag along and go through this hell together, not a bad idea and I felt some comfort of her being there. 
 
 Lets skip ahead to the hospital.  I knew what was waiting for me in there, I just knew it. Them nurses. I stood in front of the door, maybe I've gone far enough in the Silent Hill series, this is as good as any to stop and enjoying cuddling with bunnies. But no, I trudged into the hospital very aware I was gonna be in for a hard time. I was not wrong, not only are those nurses terrifying, they are damn well everywhere. This is the first transition you get to the other world and wow, I thought things looked shitty in the normal world! This consisted of me running as fast as I could checking every door nook and crany to just get out of this nightmare. Well this didn't pay off when I quickly scurried to the rooftop. I was shocked to see an angry pyramid head who surprised me from behind freaking the hell out of me and pushing me off the roof into the mentally insane wing of the hospital. Getting up I wandered over to the elevator to continue forward. I gotta say though, the "gameshow" thing in the elevator made me laugh and brightened the mood even though the questions I was supposed to answer were extremely morbid. The last event of the hospital was James watching Maria, a nearly identical match to his wife being stabbed through the chest by pyramid head (I hate that guy!)  You could just see in James's face that he wasn't only watching Maria die, but watching his wife die again. At this point James is still holding together but the town has been grinding his morale down every second he's there, inch by inch.  
Can I just sit down and wait for somebody to rescue me? 

 Jumping ahead once more brings me to the scariest part of the game, the prison. Wow, I have never had such a hard time continuing a game in my life. As soon as you enter this area, there is a constant banging on the doors. Where is it coming from, who is making the noise, why is it making the noise?  There is stress everywhere I go in the prison with that noise never truly going away. I notice that I have now found a door that the sound is originating from. I slowly enter and I am surprised to see... nothing. As I walk slowly checking each cell with the little light I had, I then hear a deep horrifying voice saying "Ritual, Ritual". I stood up turned off my ps3 and went to bed. I can't describe how I felt when I heard this mysterious voice of a creature (or person) I can't even see. It was horrifying. I picked back up and this time made it all the way through the cell block still terrified of the sound this thing made. Lastly, I made it to the gallows. This is constant noises of something but I got what I needed and left with absolutely no conflict. Again, tension builds and decreases with no crescendo to speak of. It keeps you guessing every second you play.
 
We then find ourseleves in a giant maze that involves James constantly jumping down holes he can't see the bottom of (brave,brave man) This is where things get very twisted as we eventually find out that Maria is trapped at the bottom. At this point, James has barely a hair of sanity left in him, and he seems to notice it crumbling around him. In the HD collection he is voiced by Troy Baker who really brought me to like and believe the James character, and made it all the more agonizing to watch him suffer. In the maze we also find out about Angelas past of being abused and raped by her father as well as Eddies past of being bullied (but still says he would never hurt anyone). Lastly, before we exit the maze I was treated to a boss fight with Eddie, who happens to be a crazed manic himself (who knew?)
Hmm... yes this is a good idea to continue forward
  
Lastly, after rowing across the lake, we reach the "Lakeview Hotel" and the final stretch of the game. We find out the fate of Angela who cant get over what happened during her childhood which leads into a rather depressing cutscene of her waling up burning staircase which we can assume she kills herself at. From the start I knew it would end tragically for her, I thought I would be able to do something and was a bit upset I couldn't. Now, just before we are introduced to another "otherworld sequence" we find out the twist of the game.
 We find out that James himself killed is wife, honestly I was surprised by this revelation but I had a feeling that this was the fate of her all along. I also assume that the town is punishing him by making him watch is "wife" meaning Maria die over and over again. 
 
  We see this happen again as we are forced to battle TWO pyramid heads! After then follow down a very long hallway which introduces some very interesting dialogue between James and his significant other. Finally, we run into the final boss which is another interpretation of Maria. After the fight, James is basically forced to yet again murder his wife to finish the game which is pretty damn depressing.  
One day I will find the meaning of this...
 
I got the "Leave" ending which I felt OK about but I was hoping maybe for a bit more closer. However, Silent Hill is built on the mystery it creates so overall I was ok with the ending I received. 
 
Silent Hill 2 is a truly fantastic game maybe even a masterpiece, and a terrifying one at that. Like I said, I was tensed up nearly the whole time I wandered the town of Silent Hill and for good reason. Every step forward was harder than the previous to take and the hairs on my arm never really relaxed until the PS3 was turned off.
 
NEXT UP: 
Silent hill 3 
 
I hope you guys enjoy the read, if there is anyway to improve it please let me know. Oh and excuse some of the errors, it is now 1 in the morning here and I'm exhausted! 
 
Thanks for reading! 
 
Sackman Jones 
My visual signature 
 
 
If you enjoyed this, here is the link to part 2, featuring Silent Hill 3. 
If you enjoyed this, here is the link to part 3, featuring Silent Hill Homecoming.
#1 Edited by Sackmanjones (4688 posts) -

    Hello! Welcome fellow bombers to "I need a vacation" my cleverly named blog post about Silent Hill! Over the past month I have been trying to catch up this series, one I missed because when I was young even the sight of a Silent Hill game gave me chills. However, a few years have passed and I've decided to man up, pick up the HD collection and dive into the world of  "Silent Hill". So in theory I will be posting these as I continue on through the series and try to share my opinions and thoughts about the game (and also for your personal enjoyment).I should mention that I actually beat SH2 about a week ago and  just finished Silent Hill 3 about one hour ago so I'm gonna start there and eventually catch up to where I am in homecoming ( which is stuck because I cant get a grasp on the damn combat!) and end with Downpour (which I haven't touched)  I will mostly be mentioning the "highlights" of my playthrough about SH2 and 3.
 
Lets begin    
LAST THING:There be spoils of spoilers ahead

                                                                                                         Play music while reading for best effect!
 
         

SILENT HILL 2

    
James Sunderland
  
 
 Silent Hill 2 is one of the scariest, if not, THE scariest game I have ever played. Not because the enemy in that corner jumps out and grabs you, but the anticipation the game builds of your inevitable demise. Whoever thought that giving a warning when enemies are near would actually make things more terrifying, its genius. 
 
As I ran down the hill to make my way to the town, the growls of some creature in the fog already started to make my heart-rate climb ( which happened quite a bit during my playthrough). I then got to meet Angela, a seemingly ordinary girl but I knew thing weren't right with her. Anyway, after a brief chat I started to venture further into the fog, and then I reached the infamous town of Silent Hill.  At this point, I already started to question whether I even wanted to g
 This a bad time?
o through with this, I can see barely 5 feet in front of me and many of the roads are... well missing. Its quickly apparent that James isn't all there, I mean he is looking for his wife who has been dead for three years due to an unknown illness. At this point I ran into my first obstacle, a very fuzzy shadow that is accompanied by a trail of blood, naturally I tried my best to NOT go that way but of course I was eventually funneled into following the trial. This turns out to be what I can only assume is a human trapped inside a straight jacket made of flesh, the first appearance of this thing was quite a shock but I didn't feel the terror I had originally imagined I would. That is until the thing fell on the ground, let out a strange, terrifying screech, then took off on its belly only to haunt me everywhere I went. 
 
From this point on, I feared the sound these damn things made and the radio white noise they created. Everytime I heard the radio I constantly turned 360 degrees to figure out where the hell this "thing" was and what exactly it is. Skipping ahead to the apartments.. good lord almighty this is where everything it the fan for me. At this point I had little health, and no flashlight. Trying to maneuver through the dark, long hallways of the abandoned building stressed me out to no end. The radio is constantly buzzing, James is constantly breathing thanks to my endless sprinting and all I have is a damn pipe to defend myself. Every door I check I'm actually hoping is locked, which would be followed by me saying "pheww". Of course some of these doors had to open and what was in there... most of the time nothing other than a few supplies.  This is what makes the few jump scares and overall atmosphere terrifying.  Everything tends to look grimy, dirty, and overall nasty but most of the time thats all there is. Most of the horror happens in your mind and what could be behind that counter. To say the least, finally grabbing the flashlight which triggered the mannequin behind it to move caused me to actually drop my controller. So much build up and tension actually made me let my guard down, and I sure as hell paid for it. I finally meet Laura, a snobby little girl who has a nag for making my life a lot more difficult than it really should be. She is the fly that is always buzzing in your ear and doesn't stop, annoying little girl.
 Ah good a lig...OH GOD!
 

Fast forward a bit, I have found a pistol (which was followed with yet another phew) and I'm heading back to the first main puzzle which involved the clock. and then there he is... just standing there. Pyramid Head. He does nothing. He stands behind the bars just looking at James, taunting him and me. Pyramid Head is one of  the most iconic thing in the Silent Hill series and I still wasn't prepared for my first meeting. The fact that he doesn't move a single muscle scared the hell outta me so I continued on hoping that he would just leave me alone. This leads me to a door where I was greeted by the loud sound of a tv with white noise and a dead body in front of it (foreshadowing anyone?) This mixed with the brilliant music made me save and wait to continue another night.   
What.The.Fuckkk 
 I picked up the next day to meet Eddie, who tells me he didn't kill the man in the kitchen, crushed by the fridge. I was not convinced and tried to stay as far away from him as I could. Later, I met Maria who looks a lot like James's wife but is clearly not the same person... and she seems to be real interested in James (strange). She decides to tag along and go through this hell together, not a bad idea and I felt some comfort of her being there. 
 
 Lets skip ahead to the hospital.  I knew what was waiting for me in there, I just knew it. Them nurses. I stood in front of the door, maybe I've gone far enough in the Silent Hill series, this is as good as any to stop and enjoying cuddling with bunnies. But no, I trudged into the hospital very aware I was gonna be in for a hard time. I was not wrong, not only are those nurses terrifying, they are damn well everywhere. This is the first transition you get to the other world and wow, I thought things looked shitty in the normal world! This consisted of me running as fast as I could checking every door nook and crany to just get out of this nightmare. Well this didn't pay off when I quickly scurried to the rooftop. I was shocked to see an angry pyramid head who surprised me from behind freaking the hell out of me and pushing me off the roof into the mentally insane wing of the hospital. Getting up I wandered over to the elevator to continue forward. I gotta say though, the "gameshow" thing in the elevator made me laugh and brightened the mood even though the questions I was supposed to answer were extremely morbid. The last event of the hospital was James watching Maria, a nearly identical match to his wife being stabbed through the chest by pyramid head (I hate that guy!)  You could just see in James's face that he wasn't only watching Maria die, but watching his wife die again. At this point James is still holding together but the town has been grinding his morale down every second he's there, inch by inch.  
Can I just sit down and wait for somebody to rescue me? 

 Jumping ahead once more brings me to the scariest part of the game, the prison. Wow, I have never had such a hard time continuing a game in my life. As soon as you enter this area, there is a constant banging on the doors. Where is it coming from, who is making the noise, why is it making the noise?  There is stress everywhere I go in the prison with that noise never truly going away. I notice that I have now found a door that the sound is originating from. I slowly enter and I am surprised to see... nothing. As I walk slowly checking each cell with the little light I had, I then hear a deep horrifying voice saying "Ritual, Ritual". I stood up turned off my ps3 and went to bed. I can't describe how I felt when I heard this mysterious voice of a creature (or person) I can't even see. It was horrifying. I picked back up and this time made it all the way through the cell block still terrified of the sound this thing made. Lastly, I made it to the gallows. This is constant noises of something but I got what I needed and left with absolutely no conflict. Again, tension builds and decreases with no crescendo to speak of. It keeps you guessing every second you play.
 
We then find ourseleves in a giant maze that involves James constantly jumping down holes he can't see the bottom of (brave,brave man) This is where things get very twisted as we eventually find out that Maria is trapped at the bottom. At this point, James has barely a hair of sanity left in him, and he seems to notice it crumbling around him. In the HD collection he is voiced by Troy Baker who really brought me to like and believe the James character, and made it all the more agonizing to watch him suffer. In the maze we also find out about Angelas past of being abused and raped by her father as well as Eddies past of being bullied (but still says he would never hurt anyone). Lastly, before we exit the maze I was treated to a boss fight with Eddie, who happens to be a crazed manic himself (who knew?)
Hmm... yes this is a good idea to continue forward
  
Lastly, after rowing across the lake, we reach the "Lakeview Hotel" and the final stretch of the game. We find out the fate of Angela who cant get over what happened during her childhood which leads into a rather depressing cutscene of her waling up burning staircase which we can assume she kills herself at. From the start I knew it would end tragically for her, I thought I would be able to do something and was a bit upset I couldn't. Now, just before we are introduced to another "otherworld sequence" we find out the twist of the game.
 We find out that James himself killed is wife, honestly I was surprised by this revelation but I had a feeling that this was the fate of her all along. I also assume that the town is punishing him by making him watch is "wife" meaning Maria die over and over again. 
 
  We see this happen again as we are forced to battle TWO pyramid heads! After then follow down a very long hallway which introduces some very interesting dialogue between James and his significant other. Finally, we run into the final boss which is another interpretation of Maria. After the fight, James is basically forced to yet again murder his wife to finish the game which is pretty damn depressing.  
One day I will find the meaning of this...
 
I got the "Leave" ending which I felt OK about but I was hoping maybe for a bit more closer. However, Silent Hill is built on the mystery it creates so overall I was ok with the ending I received. 
 
Silent Hill 2 is a truly fantastic game maybe even a masterpiece, and a terrifying one at that. Like I said, I was tensed up nearly the whole time I wandered the town of Silent Hill and for good reason. Every step forward was harder than the previous to take and the hairs on my arm never really relaxed until the PS3 was turned off.
 
NEXT UP: 
Silent hill 3 
 
I hope you guys enjoy the read, if there is anyway to improve it please let me know. Oh and excuse some of the errors, it is now 1 in the morning here and I'm exhausted! 
 
Thanks for reading! 
 
Sackman Jones 
My visual signature 
 
 
If you enjoyed this, here is the link to part 2, featuring Silent Hill 3. 
If you enjoyed this, here is the link to part 3, featuring Silent Hill Homecoming.
#2 Posted by mylifeforAiur (3483 posts) -

I absolutely adore Silent Hill 2. The sheer sense of dreadful imminence in that game is nigh-on unparalleled, and the nebulous nature of just about everything in the game is incontrovertibly commendable. It's my sincerest hope that one day the franchise will disassociate itself from all that cult malarkey. It's certainly tolerable, but not necessarily as rewarding, challenging, or enticing as the more pronounced psychological aspect of Silent Hill 2.

I'm currently planning to play through Downpour, which I've heard mixed things about. To be fair, I didn't mind Homecoming, but I would--and do adamantly--hesitate to label the game as a good 'Silent Hill' game. If anything, I owe it to Abyssful to at least attempt to play Downpour.

Online
#3 Posted by Galiant (2193 posts) -

Nice read! I'm interested to hear your opinion on the next few Silent Hill games, especially Downpour. Personally, Downpour hit all the right notes for me and it's my new favorite game in the series.

#4 Posted by Sackmanjones (4688 posts) -
@Galiant Thanks for the compliment. Ya I'm quite eager to get into Downpour. I've heard a ton of great things ( user wise mostly). But I'm trying to just get through Homecoming with an open mind. I'm having a good amount of enjoyment with it but it's not even close to silent hill 2 or 3.
#5 Posted by Galiant (2193 posts) -

@Sackmanjones said:

@Galiant Thanks for the compliment. Ya I'm quite eager to get into Downpour. I've heard a ton of great things ( user wise mostly). But I'm trying to just get through Homecoming with an open mind. I'm having a good amount of enjoyment with it but it's not even close to silent hill 2 or 3.

Yeah, for me personally the combat in Homecoming detracted from the experience a lot, where as I actually enjoyed a lot of the game otherwise.

#6 Posted by Brodehouse (9877 posts) -

My name is Harry Mason
I'm in town on vacation
My name is Harry Mason
I'm in town on vacation
My name is Harry Mason
I'm in town on vacation
My name is Harry Mason
I'm in town on vacation

Online
#7 Edited by zDarkHerald (67 posts) -

Great read, I can't wait to hear what you think of 3, homecoming and downpour. I am in the middle of downpour at the moment myself and I think it is fantastic, the best one since team silent broke up.

#8 Posted by nail1080 (1975 posts) -

I think people are too quick to shit on Homecoming, it's no Silent Hill 2, but you know what, it's different, and I don't want them all to be the same. 2 was a masterpiece and should not be copy and pasted.

#9 Posted by Sackmanjones (4688 posts) -
@nail1080 said:

I think people are too quick to shit on Homecoming, it's no Silent Hill 2, but you know what, it's different, and I don't want them all to be the same. 2 was a masterpiece and should not be copy and pasted.

Like I said above, I'm actually enjoying my time with Homecoming. The worst part about it is there is none of that tension I really had with 2 and 3. The combat is getting easier but it still does frustrate from time to time. I guess the thing I miss is the build up of that tension. I think they tried to take the Resident Evil 4 approach of making a scary game but with a more action focus. In some ways it works, in some it doesn't. Overall though its been pretty enjoyable (atmosphere is pretty good and the music is fantastic) 
 
@zDarkHerald said:
Great read, I can't wait to hear what you think of the 3, homecoming and downpour. I am in the middle of downpour at the moment myself and I think it is fantastic, the best one since team silent broke up.
I'm fighting every bone in my body to not go at Downpour first! As for 3 I will definitely get to that write-up as soon as possible. Sneak peek: I enjoyed the hell out of it!
#10 Posted by zDarkHerald (67 posts) -
@Sackmanjones: Finish Homcoming first. Like others have said it gets worse than it deserve reputation wise. Its a completely competent, if uninspired addition to the series, but its fine. Downpour is worth waiting for, really great atmosphere and story so far, I do not fully understand the really negative reviews it has gotten from some quarters. Glad to hear you enjoyed 3!
#11 Posted by Sackmanjones (4688 posts) -
@zDarkHerald: No worries, I will definitely be finishing Homecoming first. As I get used to the combat things are getting better, I am just hoping it gets a bit more scary but overall its been a pretty good experience. In fact, the worst part of the game so far is you cannot invert the Y axis for camera movement! You can set it when your aiming a gun but nothin when your just exploring. Yes I am crazy for using inverted controls but they should support everyone (including crazies like me) when designing the controls ha!
#12 Posted by zDarkHerald (67 posts) -
@Sackmanjones: Hahaha all needs should be catered for! Yea its a decent experience, I thought it just lacked that something special and I never played Origins so it was my first Silent Hill game since 4 and it completely lacked the scares of the original games. Like you said, 2 is the top one for atmosphere and I found 3 to be genuinely unnerving in its own right. I think you will like Downpour when you get to it, just keep expectations in check and you will have a good time.
#13 Posted by Sackmanjones (4688 posts) -
@zDarkHerald: Noted! Thanks for the advice though
#14 Posted by Sackmanjones (4688 posts) -
@Galiant said:
Nice read! I'm interested to hear your opinion on the next few Silent Hill games, especially Downpour. Personally, Downpour hit all the right notes for me and it's my new favorite game in the series.
Just wanted to let you know that I've posted my second part up if you were interested!
#15 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

I've always craved playing Silent Hill but it just never happened, especially that atmosphere horror makes me uncomfortable. Very good read, I finally know what Silent Hill 2 is about and I'm glad to hear it from a fellow SH newbie's perspective.  

This is what makes the few jump scares and overall atmosphere terrifying.  Everything tends to look grimy, dirty, and overall nasty but most of the time thats all there is. Most of the horror happens in your mind and what could be  behind that counter.

Amazing. Dunno whether I should be happy or sad that I've never experienced that horror. 
 

We see this happen again as we are forced to battle TWO pyramid heads!

o.O
#16 Posted by Sackmanjones (4688 posts) -
@AhmadMetallic Thanks I always appreciate the kind words. But I'll be honest, I had a really hard time moving forward in these games sometimes because of how scary they get. It's just so tense and stressful that you just question whether you should keep goin or not. I did a second write up on Silent Hill 3 If your interested, while I think silent hill 2 is an overall scarier game, Silent Hill 3's highest highs are some of the scariest things I've seen in a movie or video game
#17 Posted by Sackmanjones (4688 posts) -
@zDarkHerald@Galiant: Just wanted to let you 2 know that part 3 about Homecoming is up and away if your interested =)

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