Which Should I Play: Silent Hill 2 or 3?

#1 Edited by Nightriff (5152 posts) -

It is the time of the year for scares so I've decided to finally play and finish a Silent Hill game. My only experience with the franchise is an hour with 4 which I liked the premise but I was picky with my games back then so I gave it back to my buddy.

My question is, out of the two SH games I own which should I play? I bought the HD collection when it came out so my options are 2 and 3. I know 2 is the loved game of the franchise but I'm personally afraid that the hype for the game might ruin it for me and I will pick it apart when I really just want to play a horror game, that is why I'm leaning towards 3 because I know very little about it and heard it is still a pretty good game.

EDIT: Another question is will I be missing that much about SH3 if I don't play the first one (which I have no desire to play that one)? That might be the deciding factor for me

#2 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1789 posts) -

You shouldn't play either of them because the HD Collection are terrible versions of the games.

If you absolutely can't play them any other way, start with 2. You need to play all of the first one to fully appreciate 3. 2 Stands fairly well on it's own, story wise. 3, however, is a far superior survival horror game.

#3 Posted by TooWalrus (13237 posts) -
@SoldierG654342 said:

You shouldn't play either of them because the HD Collection are terrible versions of the games.

If you absolutely can't play them any other way, start with 2. You need to play all of the first one to fully appreciate 3. 2 Stands fairly well on it's own, story wise. 3, however, is a far superior survival horror game.

I was actually thinking about picking up the HD collection myself- what makes them terrible versions?
#4 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

SH4. So underrated, and as a Silent Hill fan is actually my favourite out of the series. I'm the few, but the ending is so rewarding

#5 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1789 posts) -

@TooWalrus said:

@SoldierG654342 said:

You shouldn't play either of them because the HD Collection are terrible versions of the games.

If you absolutely can't play them any other way, start with 2. You need to play all of the first one to fully appreciate 3. 2 Stands fairly well on it's own, story wise. 3, however, is a far superior survival horror game.

I was actually thinking about picking up the HD collection myself- what makes them terrible versions?

I won't go on about the voice acting because if you haven't played the original versions the changes won't really matter. However, the HD collection wasn't built on the final release version of the games, but an earlier builds, which means that some art assets are missing and had to be remade and there are numerous bugs and performance issues. The are also a ton of sounds that play in the wrong places, at the wrong volume, and with the wrong monsters. They are technically (and I would argue artistically) deficient versions of the games.

#6 Posted by vorpalparasite (297 posts) -

Play 2, it's stand alone, 3 is a continuation of the story of the first Silent Hill. I personally prefer 1+3 over 2 but to each their own.

#7 Posted by elessarLOTR (58 posts) -
#8 Edited by IBurningStar (2187 posts) -

Don't play the HD versions. They are incomplete and have tons of problems on top of that. The sound effects, graphics, lighting, and other things aren't right. These are all really important thing to the game because the are what set the mood, and make no mistake about it, mood is the most important thing in a Silent Hill game. You encounter such problems as the fog being virtually nonexistent in and areas being very well lit so you can plainly see everything. And when I say everything, I mean you can sometimes see the edges of the world map where the game stops rendering anything. You also have the various frame rate issues that seem to crop up a couple of times a minute. I believe I also heard reports of save game issues as well, but I never encountered those myself.

I'm also going to harp on the redone voice acting. This one is more of an opinion thing, but I didn't like the new voice work as much. SH2's original voice work wasn't great, but there was something slightly unnerving about the occasional stilted line deliveries and all the performances had this otherworldly quality to them.

The HD Collection is a total bastardization of what most people consider to be two of the best horror games ever made, if not simply two of the best games ever made. Do not play them. If you bought it, take the thing back to the store and get something else. Anything else. Buy that fucking Sonic game from 2006 over the Silent Hill HD Collection. That would be money better spent. Go find the original PS2 versions or the PC versions. Also, I think 2 is the better game, but 3 is by far the scariest. 3 starts a bit slow and it takes it a while to get good, but, well, I think one of my best friends summed it up the best when he said that the second half of the game is pretty much, "everything surrounding you is fucking terrible." A good three hours of bad vibes and messed up imagery.

#9 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

2, because it's the only one I can recommend.

#10 Posted by 42manZ (105 posts) -

Silent Hill 2.

#11 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1789 posts) -
#12 Posted by elessarLOTR (58 posts) -
#13 Posted by johncallahan (581 posts) -

Played them both, both are fantastic, 3 stuck with me a lot more. I still have nightmares about some of the stuff from that game.

#14 Posted by Yummylee (22056 posts) -

@TheHumanDove said:

SH4. So underrated, and as a Silent Hill fan is actually my favourite out of the series. I'm the few, but the ending is so rewarding

I really like SH4 as well - not my favourite, as that would be SH3, but it's up there with the best of them. Only problem I had with it is Henry is kind of a shitty protagonist. Well actually the character itself is fine, but his voice actor sounds like he's in the middle of a coma.

Anywhoo:

@IBurningStar said:

Don't play the HD versions. They are incomplete and have tons of problems on top of that. The sound effects, graphics, lighting, and other things aren't right. These are all really important thing to the game because the are what set the mood, and make no mistake about it, mood is the most important thing in a Silent Hill game. You encounter such problems as the fog being virtually nonexistent in and areas being very well lit so you can plainly see everything. And when I say everything, I mean you can sometimes see the edges of the world map where the game stops rendering anything. You also have the various frame rate issues that seem to crop up a couple of times a minute. I believe I also heard reports of save game issues as well, but I never encountered those myself.

I'm also going to harp on the redone voice acting. This one is more of an opinion thing, but I didn't like the new voice work as much. SH2's original voice work wasn't great, but there was something slightly unnerving about the occasional stilted line deliveries and all the performances had this otherworldly quality to them.

The HD Collection is a total bastardization of what most people consider to be two of the best horror games ever made, if not simply two of the best games ever made. Do not play them. If you bought it, take the thing back to the store and get something else. Anything else. Buy that fucking Sonic game from 2006 over the Silent Hill HD Collection. That would be money better spent. Go find the original PS2 versions or the PC versions. Also, I think 2 is the better game, but 3 is by far the scariest. 3 starts a bit slow and it takes it a while to get good, but, well, I think one of my best friends summed it up the best when he said that the second half of the game is pretty much, "everything surrounding you is fucking terrible." A good three hours of bad vibes and messed up imagery.

This is the best advice when it comes to the HD collections. And also while I agree that SH2's voice acting isn't stellar, Maria's voice actress does a brilliant job, and her performance is part of what makes that game so great for me.

#15 Posted by Sackmanjones (4741 posts) -
@TooWalrus said:
@SoldierG654342 said:

You shouldn't play either of them because the HD Collection are terrible versions of the games.

If you absolutely can't play them any other way, start with 2. You need to play all of the first one to fully appreciate 3. 2 Stands fairly well on it's own, story wise. 3, however, is a far superior survival horror game.

I was actually thinking about picking up the HD collection myself- what makes them terrible versions?
I don't know if you've played the originals but I didn't and thought the hd collection was ok. The framerate stuff is the nastiest stuff, but unless you did in fact play the original, most of the complaints I didn't even notice (such as the fog difference)
#16 Posted by laserbolts (5331 posts) -

They aren't the least bit scary anymore so I wouldn't recommend either of them.

#17 Posted by Nightriff (5152 posts) -

@Sackmanjones: That's good to hear, never seen the PS2 games so I wouldn't notice the differences most likely. Which version did you play? Didn't the frame rate get fixed on the PS3 a few months back?

@IBurningStar: Will I even notice these problems as someone who has never played the originals? I watched a video of complaining about the VA and I actually thought the new VA was better

#18 Posted by Nightriff (5152 posts) -

@laserbolts: Maybe, then what is a good horror game that has a good story to go with it?

#19 Posted by Sackmanjones (4741 posts) -
@Nightriff said:

@Sackmanjones: That's good to hear, never seen the PS2 games so I wouldn't notice the differences most likely. Which version did you play? Didn't the frame rate get fixed on the PS3 a few months back?

@IBurningStar: Will I even notice these problems as someone who has never played the originals? I watched a video of complaining about the VA and I actually thought the new VA was better

Some but not all (thats what I hear). I don't mean to advertise myself but I wrote a review about it that includes the worst of the framerate stuff. But ya if you'd never seen the originals you'll probably know that these are kinda fucked ports but you'll be fine since its your first experience. Personally, I still thought the games were terrifying and really enjoyed them, just know that the gameplay takes getting used to since these are pretty old games now. 
 
 I should also note that I played the game before the most recent patch so maybe they did fix more.
#20 Posted by IBurningStar (2187 posts) -

@Nightriff: You will notice the framerate issues and some of the other technical problems. The real tragedy of playing them before the original releases and having those be your first exposure to the series is that you will basically be ruining the experience for yourself. You won't understand why people love those games so much, because you won't experience the same creepy mindfuck that we did. And there will be no going back. You can never experience something for the first time again. The simple truth is that what makes those games great isn't really there in these versions. Allow me to paint a picture for you. Which one of these two scenarios sounds more interesting?

You step out into a hallway. The carpet is soiled and the paint on the wall is chipped. There are some signs of other damage but you can't make out a specific source. The only light source is a cheap fluorescent light dangling a few feet from you. It doesn't illuminate much and leaves a large portion of the hall covered in complete darkness. You step directly under the light and for a moment feel a small sense of safety. However, you are eventually going to have to leave and step forward into the dark and into the unknown. As you take a few steps forward you think you see a figure off in the distance, but you aren't sure. There is only one way to find out...

Or...

You step out into a hallway. The carpet is soiled the pain on the wall is chipped. There are signs of damage, with the sources being fairly apparent. The area is poorly lit and a bit dim, but the fluorescent light some ways down the hall does a well enough job illuminating everything. You look down the hallway and see a lone enemy standing there unaware of your presence. You casually walk up to it and hit him with your stick until it is dead. You continue on your way to look for more keys and things to bludgeon to death.

The second version is the same scenario with all the tension sucked out of it. That is what the HD Collection is. It is a halfassed port of an unfinished version of the game. If you play it, you will have an underwhelming experience.

I want you to trust me when I tell you don't do it.

#21 Posted by Voxus (343 posts) -

SH2.

Online
#22 Posted by Coafi (1490 posts) -

I would recommend Silent Hill 2, play that one first. If you want to play SH3, I would suggest you play Silent Hill first. Since SH3 is a direct sequel, there's references you won't get, you'll feel lost until maybe halfway through you'll get what's happening. But, it's not as fun and you won't care so much for the story if you don't have a lil background story.

#23 Posted by Nightriff (5152 posts) -

@IBurningStar said:

@Nightriff: You will notice the framerate issues and some of the other technical problems. The real tragedy of playing them before the original releases and having those be your first exposure to the series is that you will basically be ruining the experience for yourself. You won't understand why people love those games so much, because you won't experience the same creepy mindfuck that we did. And there will be no going back. You can never experience something for the first time again. The simple truth is that what makes those games great isn't really there in these versions. Allow me to paint a picture for you. Which one of these two scenarios sounds more interesting?

You step out into a hallway. The carpet is soiled and the paint on the wall is chipped. There are some signs of other damage but you can't make out a specific source. The only light source is a cheap fluorescent light dangling a few feet from you. It doesn't illuminate much and leaves a large portion of the hall covered in complete darkness. You step directly under the light and for a moment feel a small sense of safety. However, you are eventually going to have to leave and step forward into the dark and into the unknown. As you take a few steps forward you think you see a figure off in the distance, but you aren't sure. There is only one way to find out...

Or...

You step out into a hallway. The carpet is soiled the pain on the wall is chipped. There are signs of damage, with the sources being fairly apparent. The area is poorly lit and a bit dim, but the fluorescent light some ways down the hall does a well enough job illuminating everything. You look down the hallway and see a lone enemy standing there unaware of your presence. You casually walk up to it and hit him with your stick until it is dead. You continue on your way to look for more keys and things to bludgeon to death.

The second version is the same scenario with all the tension sucked out of it. That is what the HD Collection is. It is a halfassed port of an unfinished version of the game. If you play it, you will have an underwhelming experience.

I want you to trust me when I tell you don't do it.

Valid points but by the time I order and get a PS2 copy the season will have passed. SO which game should I "ruin" with the HD version and the other I should purchase and enjoy the true game?

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