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Subway Guard
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Missing since: 15 May 2008
Notes left: 1538
Last seen at: Right behind you
I think this is honestly one of the better games in the series, despite it's flaws. Looking at it in a vacuum, it's pretty sweet. Decent combat engine, sick freaky monsters, a plot with a few twists and a town full (now) of religious zealots with a hardon for the protagonist. It's shortcomings are only generally measured when comparing it's similarities with the successful elements of the Silent Hill stories that came before. For years, people complained about horrible camera angles... Gone (complaints ensue). People whined about the combat being clunky and controls were difficult to master (Clunky controls have been smoothed and revamped... mastering timing of controls, particularly dodging is still pretty difficult, but in a good way).Story elements are borrowed from other SH stories. Yes, but it is also an original telling of Shepherd's Glen, and not just a rehashing of the storylines in SHØ, SH1, SH3, or SH4. No one is resurrecting god, for a change, but rather trying to avoid God's wrath at all costs. And sure the main plot is similar to SH2, but the plot is a good one, and original enough to not be a rip off. All of those things makes it seem like Double Helix attempted to take the best elements from earlier installments and combine them into one delicious package, with some stunning visuals (available for the first and only time so far on a graphically capable next gen console) that were taken from the movie. What you get to some is an abhorrent mishmash without an identity of it's own. To me, it takes the things done well previously, and mixes them together in a way that melds and works, creating a stunning SH game with fluid visuals and a creepy atmosphere.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
Notes left: 12943
Last seen at: The Wand'ring Wood
Yes. Yes that's exactly how I see Homecoming, too.

Man, you give me hope for a future. A future where Silent Hill fans can look back and not kvetch needlessly--or learn to balance positive and negative elements of games they either hated flat out or weren't enthused to play from the start.

[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

/single manly tear

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Subway Guard
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Missing since: 02 Jan 2010
Notes left: 1725
Last seen at: Canadiania
Dean Winchester has always reminded me of Alex. They even sort of dress the same.


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 30 Nov 2009
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Except Alex isn't a piggish misogynist and more likely than not won't gross me out every time he eats. >.>

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"Remember how people look in "The Ring" after Samara gets 'em? SH2 does something similar, only you get fat, sweaty and belligerent." - pianotheme @ livejournal


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Subway Guard
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Missing since: 02 Jan 2010
Notes left: 1725
Last seen at: Canadiania
Lol, true enough. I should've been more specific though--they look the same. I don't really know how Dean acts since I've only watched the first Supernatural episode.

And who knows how Alex eats? Maybe he was smacking down those health drinks. OM NOM NOM NOM DIS EEZ GEWD HELF DRINK.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11381
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
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Where does it say that Alex had no friends but Elle?


I said "apparently", meaning that there's little evidence for the presence of friends. He plays pretend into his teenage years and seems emotionally distant due to his fucked up family life. Being "too cool" to talk to Elle isn't the same as being popular and having a buttload of friends. Alex seems cliche enough to be a lone wolf guy. :P

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And sure the main plot is similar to SH2, but the plot is a good one, and original enough to not be a rip off.


I can't speak for anyone else, but my only complaint was that, (aside from personal metaphysics issues), the plot had a weak delivery at the end. Okay, so Alex was never a soldier and he was actually crazy? Alright, great....except this doesn't seem to affect Alex's personality, outlook, or really anything at all. He doesn't even stop to consider the implications of this for even a split second, and goes right on as if he didn't hear anything. It was at that moment that I nearly dropped the controller, dumbstruck at the awful delivery of the storyline despite it's potential.

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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 30 Nov 2009
Notes left: 233
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And who knows how Alex eats? Maybe he was smacking down those health drinks. OM NOM NOM NOM DIS EEZ GEWD HELF DRINK.


Oh please don't ruin this for me LOL

[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

Really, the man's just repulsive.

_________________
"Remember how people look in "The Ring" after Samara gets 'em? SH2 does something similar, only you get fat, sweaty and belligerent." - pianotheme @ livejournal


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My Bestsellers Clerk
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Missing since: 05 Sep 2008
Notes left: 356
Last seen at: Pennsylvania
Quote:
I can't speak for anyone else, but my only complaint was that, (aside from personal metaphysics issues), the plot had a weak delivery at the end. Okay, so Alex was never a soldier and he was actually crazy? Alright, great....except this doesn't seem to affect Alex's personality, outlook, or really anything at all. He doesn't even stop to consider the implications of this for even a split second, and goes right on as if he didn't hear anything. It was at that moment that I nearly dropped the controller, dumbstruck at the awful delivery of the storyline despite it's potential.



I don't think he even accepts the fact until after he reads his own name on the Shepherd altar, recalling the boat accident.


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 30 Nov 2009
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AuraTwilight wrote:
I said "apparently", meaning that there's little evidence for the presence of friends. He plays pretend into his teenage years and seems emotionally distant due to his fucked up family life. Being "too cool" to talk to Elle isn't the same as being popular and having a buttload of friends. Alex seems cliche enough to be a lone wolf guy. :P


In that case, there's no evidence for ANYONE in the game having friends, with the exception of Joshua & Joey having each other. It's more likely than not that Alex at least had a few people he hung out with.

Quote:
I can't speak for anyone else, but my only complaint was that, (aside from personal metaphysics issues), the plot had a weak delivery at the end. Okay, so Alex was never a soldier and he was actually crazy? Alright, great....except this doesn't seem to affect Alex's personality, outlook, or really anything at all. He doesn't even stop to consider the implications of this for even a split second, and goes right on as if he didn't hear anything. It was at that moment that I nearly dropped the controller, dumbstruck at the awful delivery of the storyline despite it's potential.


...If someone said that to you, would you believe it? It's not like Alex came to this big conclusion about himself and thought nothing of it right after it was over; someone told him that. His dad told him that, no less, and after everything that'd happened, Alex had no reason to trust his dad as far as he could throw him. Especially considering the fact that Alex had absolutely no memory of anything his dad was trying to sell him, but had very explicit, vivid memories (fake or not) of him being in the military and going to war. There's really no reason why he should have believed it at that point in time. It's when he comes to terms with it himself that's heartbreaking.

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"Remember how people look in "The Ring" after Samara gets 'em? SH2 does something similar, only you get fat, sweaty and belligerent." - pianotheme @ livejournal


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Subway Guard
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Missing since: 02 Jan 2010
Notes left: 1725
Last seen at: Canadiania
The thing about "insane" people is that they aren't easily swayed into thinking that they're crazy.

If someone went up to you and said "You never registered at the Silent Hill Heaven forum" and then showed you a slip of paper which said the same thing, would you believe them? Of course not. You wouldn't throw away what you perceive to be reality so quickly.

(By "you" I'm referring to everyone)


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 02 Dec 2008
Notes left: 264
I think Aura's criticizing the delivery from a storytelling perspective. In that regard, I completely agree with him. This "revelation" of Alex's past should mean or change something, or else what the hell is the point of it being there, really?

Since Alex as a character doesn't change or grow in any way that hinges on this "revelation," its hard to justify how the fact even holds its own weight in the narrative, especially considering how big of a deal it should be.

Yes, maybe crazy people would resist the truth, exactly as you guys said--but that still doesn't change the fact that Alex's reaction, or lack thereof, makes for completely underwhelming, totally unsatisfying storytelling (in my humble opinion).

But hell, I thought the "twist" was pretty lame all around, so you may not even want to listen to my opinion on the matter. :wink:


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Subway Guard
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Missing since: 02 Jan 2010
Notes left: 1725
Last seen at: Canadiania
Well, as I recall, James didn't react much either. (Could be/probably am wrong about this. Haven't played in a while.)

Actually, in most psychological thrillers, the protagonist doesn't usually freak out or make a big deal out of revelations or twists. The calm demeanour of Alex or James makes for a very surreal atmosphere--just as in nightmares, where we rarely ever freak out or reflect while still asleep.


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 30 Nov 2009
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pj wrote:
I think Aura's criticizing the delivery from a storytelling perspective. In that regard, I completely agree with him. This "revelation" of Alex's past should mean or change something, or else what the hell is the point of it being there, really?

Since Alex as a character doesn't change or grow in any way that hinges on this "revelation," its hard to justify how the fact even holds its own weight in the narrative, especially considering how big of a deal it should be.

Yes, maybe crazy people would resist the truth, exactly as you guys said--but that still doesn't change the fact that Alex's reaction, or lack thereof, makes for completely underwhelming, totally unsatisfying storytelling (in my humble opinion).

But hell, I thought the "twist" was pretty lame all around, so you may not even want to listen to my opinion on the matter. :wink:


You guys are acting like he didn't respond to it at all. He went into complete denial and shouted it away, shutting himself off from it completely. I'd say that's a pretty strong reaction. What do you want him to do, sit down and cry and throw a tantrum and hope Pyramid Head doesn't think twice and turn around and kill him?

When he does come to terms with it, he breaks down and cries like a little girl. I don't know what more you really want from him.

_________________
"Remember how people look in "The Ring" after Samara gets 'em? SH2 does something similar, only you get fat, sweaty and belligerent." - pianotheme @ livejournal


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11381
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
pj wrote:
I think Aura's criticizing the delivery from a storytelling perspective. In that regard, I completely agree with him. This "revelation" of Alex's past should mean or change something, or else what the hell is the point of it being there, really?

Since Alex as a character doesn't change or grow in any way that hinges on this "revelation," its hard to justify how the fact even holds its own weight in the narrative, especially considering how big of a deal it should be.

Yes, maybe crazy people would resist the truth, exactly as you guys said--but that still doesn't change the fact that Alex's reaction, or lack thereof, makes for completely underwhelming, totally unsatisfying storytelling (in my humble opinion).

But hell, I thought the "twist" was pretty lame all around, so you may not even want to listen to my opinion on the matter. :wink:


Not only that, but he doesn't even like, try to deny it. He just kind of stands there blankly, and says "no, that can't be..." in the most boring voice ever.

The twist was there for no other reason but to be the Obligatory Silent Hill Twist. It doesn't add anything to the story, it doesn't develop Alex's character in any meaningful way, and it's not even compelling because crazy people and/or delusions DO NOT WORK THAT WAY IN MORBO CAPS LOCK.

And, like PJ said, it's completely and totally underwhelming to the player. It's a "So What?" moment, and I think it was kind of a chickenshit way to weasel out of actually making any sort of bank on the potential of the soldier storyline to focus on the "You Suck, Alex" curve. His delusion of being a soldier isn't even relevant to the story. They may as well have cut out the "I'm a soldier" thing entirely, except they needed an excuse to give Alex amnesia, make him a badass, and explain why he hasn't been home in a few years.

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BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 30 Nov 2009
Notes left: 233
AuraTwilight wrote:
Not only that, but he doesn't even like, try to deny it. He just kind of stands there blankly, and says "no, that can't be..." in the most boring voice ever.


I think you really need to watch the scene again. He DOES deny it pretty outwardly, but doesn't have time to throw a tantrum because his dad keeps talking.

Quote:
His delusion of being a soldier isn't even relevant to the story. They may as well have cut out the "I'm a soldier" thing entirely, except they needed an excuse to give Alex amnesia, make him a badass, and explain why he hasn't been home in a few years.


>implying Alex is a badass

lol

People would probably complain about anything Double Helix made Alex think about himself as to why he was gone for the past few years, using the same cop-out reasons of "IT'S AN EXCUSE, IT HAS NO PURPOSE." And if there was nothing at all, it'd just be a big, gaping plothole that people would also complain about.

The soldier thing makes sense in line with what we know about his family and his childhood, as well as his ridiculous amounts of daddy issues. It's not like it's pulled out of nowhere and he chose that persona for no reason. And if you really look hard at Alex's character, you'll notice that the whole Josh thing is a giant veil for his real issues, all of which stem from his relationship with his father. It does make sense.

I mean, come on. Harry being a writer had nothing to do with the storyline to either SH1 or SM, but no one bitches about that. I swear, it feels like some people actively look for things to complain about in this game.

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"Remember how people look in "The Ring" after Samara gets 'em? SH2 does something similar, only you get fat, sweaty and belligerent." - pianotheme @ livejournal


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
Notes left: 12943
Last seen at: The Wand'ring Wood
Being a Silent Hill fan means you've got nitpicking down to a fine art.

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I'm not dead yet, dammit.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11381
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
Quote:
People would probably complain about anything Double Helix made Alex think about himself as to why he was gone for the past few years, using the same cop-out reasons of "IT'S AN EXCUSE, IT HAS NO PURPOSE." And if there was nothing at all, it'd just be a big, gaping plothole that people would also complain about.

The soldier thing makes sense in line with what we know about his family and his childhood, as well as his ridiculous amounts of daddy issues. It's not like it's pulled out of nowhere and he chose that persona for no reason. And if you really look hard at Alex's character, you'll notice that the whole Josh thing is a giant veil for his real issues, all of which stem from his relationship with his father. It does make sense.

I mean, come on. Harry being a writer had nothing to do with the storyline to either SH1 or SM, but no one bitches about that. I swear, it feels like some people actively look for things to complain about in this game.


You're completely and totally missing the point I'm making. I'm talking about the storytelling, not the in-narrative justifications.

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I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 30 Nov 2009
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You're right, then, I don't get it. You're saying it's meaningless, and I'm giving you meaning, and I'm apparently still missing the point.

The point is that it's character development so that our protagonist isn't shallow like a JRPG hero. Not every single thing has to point back to the huge main overarching storyline. It clutters up the plot that way.

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"Remember how people look in "The Ring" after Samara gets 'em? SH2 does something similar, only you get fat, sweaty and belligerent." - pianotheme @ livejournal


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 02 Dec 2008
Notes left: 264
Catch22 wrote:
Well, as I recall, James didn't react much either. (Could be/probably am wrong about this. Haven't played in a while.)

Actually, in most psychological thrillers, the protagonist doesn't usually freak out or make a big deal out of revelations or twists. The calm demeanour of Alex or James makes for a very surreal atmosphere--just as in nightmares, where we rarely ever freak out or reflect while still asleep.


The difference is that James' revelation was absolutely crucial to the plot, and the game treated the plot point with intense emotional weight. And James doesn't react a whole lot at first, but his character arc does hinge on his acceptance of what he's done. He grows and come to terms with a lot due specifically because of it--the scene when he's talking to Mary is absolutely, 100% crushing, and what James did just layers on the emotional oppression in that scene.

Simply put, the fact that James killed Mary carries enormous weight in the story--it changes the nature of the entire quest that the game is built around, it changes the entire dynamic of James and Mary's relationship, it changes what we knew about the main character, it even in my opinion shifts the entire theme of the story into a much darker, much more complex direction.

If you dropped the whole "James killed Mary himself" twist, it'd simply be a different story.

In SH:H, you spend the game looking for Josh and then find out Alex killed him himself--and, hey, btw, Alex also was never a solider. That second piece of information never carries any emotional weight, and the narrative doesn't even treat it as if its anything worthwhile. Alex just kind of takes it and goes on dealing with his brother.

If they had wanted, they could have just said that Alex WAS a soldier, but he suffered from extreme PTSD and that's why he forgot about what he did to Josh.

Thus, the twist that Alex wasn't a soldier can be swapped out without damaging or changing the core story in any significant way--the fact that James killed Mary can't, not without losing some of its emotional significance.

Quote:
The soldier thing makes sense in line with what we know about his family and his childhood, as well as his ridiculous amounts of daddy issues. It's not like it's pulled out of nowhere and he chose that persona for no reason. And if you really look hard at Alex's character, you'll notice that the whole Josh thing is a giant veil for his real issues, all of which stem from his relationship with his father. It does make sense.


We're not saying Alex being a soldier isn't in line with the plot, or it doesn't necessarily make sense. We're saying the twist that "Alex was never a soldier" isn't treated with the kind of significance or narrative weight that information like that should be.

The fact is, in a story, if you're going to drop a bomb like that, it needs to be important. That's a huge thing, to tell someone who's running around thinking he's a soldier that he never was in the military and is certifiably insane. But in SH:H, its not treated as a huge thing, at all. It just is what it is.

This is a silly example, but it illustrates my point: imagine if, at the end of The Dark Knight, it was revealed that the Joker was an alien. But then Batman just ran off and dealt with Two Face and no one ever talked about the fact that Joker was an alien. That piece of information would not justify its place in the plot. If someone reveals themselves to be an alien, that's game-changing shit that needs to be explored--or else why the hell is it there?

That's my two cents on the matter. And for the record, I'm not just an extraordinary nit-picker when it comes to SH, I do this with most entertainment. :wink:


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 30 Nov 2009
Notes left: 233
I'm still going to stick to my guns and say that it was for purposes of character depth and catharsis and that it doesn't have to be part of the main narrative. It's a part of Alex's story, but Homecoming isn't really about Alex; he's just a piece of it. Silent Hill 2 was essentially James's story, which is why his being insane was so crucial to the overall plotline. For the part of the storyline that belonged to Alex, I thought it fit in nicely. It held enough weight for him that it all came crashing down at the end, and that's all it needed to do. Again, Homecoming's storyline was not about Alex.

...unless, of course, you take the hospital ending as canon. But I don't so it's a moot point. :P

Also I never saw The Dark Knight so your analogy is kind of lost on me. :(

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"Remember how people look in "The Ring" after Samara gets 'em? SH2 does something similar, only you get fat, sweaty and belligerent." - pianotheme @ livejournal


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