Monday, August 30, 2004

A harmless seaside resort town

Silent Hill 4: The Room will be released for the PS2 on September 7. This is GOOD NEWS.

For those of you who haven't played any of the previous Silent Hill games, imagine a video game as creepy as, say, Ringu, or the better parts of The Blair Witch Project. Or imagine the Resident Evil games...only, you know, not horrible.

The first game is notable for terrifying my friends and me to the point where we had to force ourselves to keep playing. It lays out the template for the series: a lone person, stuck in a situation beyond their understanding, wandering through endless fog and rain and darkness, armed with makeshift weapons, trying to find a way out while avoiding the evil demons and monsters and oh holy shit what is THAT?! Unfortunately, it also boasts some of the worst voice acting ever heard in a game, and features a story which makes almost no sense whatsoever. (It makes so little sense, in fact, that a guy named Dan Birlew became something of a minor hero in game circles for writing an extensive document that actually managed to put the pieces together in a coherent fashion. This eventually got him a job writing strategy guides for BradyGames...including all the Silent Hill guides.)

I'd speak at length on Silent Hill 2, but I've decided to put together that video games list after all, and Silent Hill 2 ranks high. So I'll leave it until then.

Silent Hill 3 doesn't quite live up to the previous game, but it's a worthy sequel nonetheless. Story-wise, it's the weakest of the three (though it does manage to dump a whole lotta backstory that explains most of the "huh?" moments in the first game), but features the best lead character of the series thus far. And the puzzles -- argh! Easily the most brain-straining exercises I've found outside of a Myst title. The bosses are kind of pathetically easy, though, and the ending is rather abrupt and stupid, but it's fun getting there.

So...the new game: will it live up to expectations? Is it possible for anything to live up to my expecatations? We shall know shortly.

these crimes between us grow deeper

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