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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
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In regards to intentional vs. unintentional symbolism, I consider unintentional to be superior by a wide margin. It's literally the difference between talking down to your audience from a pulpit, and involving them in a discussion. This is why I'll never understand the likes of Jeremy Blaustein, who take opportunities to shoot down fan discussions, because those discussions lie at the heart of these fandoms.

This is why SH2 will be remembered long after Homecoming is forgotten, regardless of whether the Japanese developers meant to put all that symbolism in there or not: The long-standing appeal is a constant conversation between players of a sublimely well-crafted product.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Jun 2008
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Last seen at: New Jersey
That's all well and good, but I highly doubt that a lot of the symbolism from past games was something that just happened to fall into place thanks to the Mystic Symbolism Elves of Storylandia.

Either way, how would Homecoming be BETTER in that department? Makes little sense to me.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 25 Jul 2011
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Last seen at: Rural Alabama
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So all of the symbolism that's been pointed out from the previous games is simply coincidence? If I were the Japanese developers, I'd be pretty offended.

Then go ahead and be offended. I sincerely believe a lot of the percieved symbolism is just that, -perceived symbolism. As human beings we always have and always will connect things that aren't connected, and believe in things that aren't there, and that's just the way it. However, I never said all the symbolism was unintentional. Some of it obviously is. I was just pointing out that symbolism wasn't something I was giving them a whole lot of credit for, and that I wasn't going to negate my opinion on Homecoming because of it.

Kenji wrote:
n regards to intentional vs. unintentional symbolism, I consider unintentional to be superior by a wide margin. It's literally the difference between talking down to your audience from a pulpit, and involving them in a discussion. This is why I'll never understand the likes of Jeremy Blaustein, who take opportunities to shoot down fan discussions, because those discussions lie at the heart of these fandoms.

This is why SH2 will be remembered long after Homecoming is forgotten, regardless of whether the Japanese developers meant to put all that symbolism in there or not: The long-standing appeal is a constant conversation between players of a sublimely well-crafted product.

Now that's a very good point. There's much more to discuss in SH2, because quite frankly, much more of it's a mystery. I can't stand horror games that literally spell out the phenomenon to you, so I can definitely understand how lack of symbolism can be a falling point in homecoming, from your point of view.

But In Homecoming's defense, there can be unintentional symbolism found in many of that game's details, too. Not as much as SH2, but enough for it to talked about if it were more appreciated, and perhaps felt as breathtaking as SH2 did to most of you. (And to SH newcomers, I assure you, it probably did.)

But anyways. Homecoming has it's flaws. But I still think it has better combat than SH2. Better atmosphere than SH2. And I still think it felt way, way less tedious and stretched out than SH2. And granted, most of you dislike "Hollywood horrors", and this is certainly classified as one, it's unfair to call it unimaginative and flat just because other stories are.. I thought Alex's "family issues" were intriguing, and that the overall story was deep and well thought out.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 28 Dec 2010
Notes left: 136
Although I loved this game and SH3 I can never find myself to replay them but trust me I have tried.
My list would be........
1. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
2. Silent Hill 2
3. Silent Hill 3
4. Silent Hill Homecoming
I seriously hope that Silent Hill Downpour (SH8) will make this list of my top favorites.
and I don't really like 4 & Origins but 1 was ok.

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Hope House Careworker
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 12 May 2009
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Last seen at: Ontario, Canada
Yea, Homecoming is definitely my least favorite. I love and played the hell out of it, but it's all too flawed to rank anywhere up there with the others. I don't go so far as to remove it from my personal 'canon' though.

It just took too many pointless risks, that honestly I think they should have really known better than to do.

My first time playing through it, the latter half just floored me and my friends because we were shocked at what we were seeing in the complete opposite way we should have been shocked! Sucks, because the first half of the game is pretty solid. I guess.

So, along with what I'm seeing here with other peoples opinions, it's dead last.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 25 Jul 2011
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Dead last? Now hold on. I don't think it's fair to call this one worse than Origins.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
Notes left: 5077
Aspiring_Failure wrote:
But In Homecoming's defense, there can be unintentional symbolism found in many of that game's details, too. Not as much as SH2, but enough for it to talked about if it were more appreciated, and perhaps felt as breathtaking as SH2 did to most of you. (And to SH newcomers, I assure you, it probably did.)

I can definitely see that. However, I think you'll agree that the fact Homecoming is the sixth (production order) in a series with a fandom that expends a lot of energy establishing canon (or "fanon," if you prefer) seals off most possible avenues of discussion. If the game existed in a vacuum or came out earlier, these constraints wouldn't exist and discussions would be more interesting.

Something similar, although the effect is different, manifests around Shattered Memories. Because there's a long-established fandom canon, and this game explicitly exists outside of it, possible avenues of discussion are ignored outright as "irrelevant." If I remember correctly, discussion on this game mostly died out when it became clear that it couldn't be reconciled with the main series.

I expect Downpour to suffer similarly, no matter how good or interesting it is. Being the eighth in production order, most of the discussion will be devoted to finding places in the preexisting canon to hammer the game into. Discussions like that are, shall we say, insular.

It doesn't help that Silent Hill is currently in the hands of people who believe it's supposed to be symbolic, whereas we've received more than a few indications (most recently from Blaustein) that the Japanese team never aimed so high. The problem with writing with the intention of being symbolic, as opposed to letting symbolism develop organically in the minds of the audience (and hence my preference for unintentional symbolism) is that you tend to overplay your hand and make the whole thing trite.

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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 22 Aug 2010
Notes left: 1587
Aspiring_Failure wrote:
Dead last? Now hold on. I don't think it's fair to call this one worse than Origins.

I do. Origins had good level design like the first two games. The focus was on figuring out how to get through a level. Homecoming was more like a bad action game.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 28 Dec 2010
Notes left: 136
Doctor Eggnog wrote:
Aspiring_Failure wrote:
Dead last? Now hold on. I don't think it's fair to call this one worse than Origins.

I do. Origins had good level design like the first two games. The focus was on figuring out how to get through a level. Homecoming was more like a bad action game.

But Homecoming had a better story? You already knew what happen in SHO story before you bought it if you play SH1? or SH3?

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Hope House Careworker
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 12 May 2009
Notes left: 639
Last seen at: Ontario, Canada
Aspiring_Failure wrote:
Dead last? Now hold on. I don't think it's fair to call this one worse than Origins.


I think it's definitely worse than Origins. Though, story wise, I think Homecoming had a lot more going for it. Naturally, the combat is a hell of a lot better too.

Though, I think Homecoming has the weakest soundtrack of the series. The music/atmosphere of the SH games is usually the most important aspect to me. It's a big part that keeps me coming back when everything else about the games has worn itself thin from being played too much ~

I guess it's a personal thing. I just have a solid soft spot for Origins. I also think Origins is better than SH4.


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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 22 Aug 2010
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@ jeremyjh, Origins story wasn't that special but I enjoyed it more than Homecoming's. The cult part was badly handled but I enjoyed the Travis and his parents thing better than anything in Homecoming.

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My Bestsellers Clerk
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 02 Sep 2008
Notes left: 307
Last seen at: Midwich Elementary School
Personally, I loved Homecoming. When playing any Silent Hill game I try not to compare it with others and enjoy it on it's own, sure Homecoming did have many flaws but it's still a great game nonetheless. I think it's because of the protagonist, to me, he was more 'real' than previous protagonists, his remarks, reactions, etc. Even the plot was interesting and the link between Shepherd's Glen and Silent Hill and the cult, and even the flashbacks.
Sure it might not be as good as the first 3 Silent Hill games, but I avoid comparisons, and after finishing the game it left a bitter taste in my mouth, never have I felt so attached to a game character like I did with Alex.
Many might disagree with me, but this is my opinion of this game.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 20 Aug 2011
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I'll agree with you on that aspect of the game. Alex is one of the most interesting protagonists we've had since Heather. The voice actor did a good job portraying him, and I have to say, Alex went through a lot of shit in his life, so much so that I immediately developed a soft spot for him.

However, I really didn't like the messy job they did with the cult. It was almost as if they chucked that in there for the Hell of it. The sacrificial aspect could still be used if they thought of a creative way of integrating it into the story, rather than just recycling old ideas.

I had enough of this cult business with SH4 and Origins.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?

Missing since: 04 Oct 2009
Notes left: 16
Last seen at: Finland
I honestly like this game. First I hated it, but then I played it more and started thinking: "Hey, this game is not that bad..."
Although it's not my _favourite_, but it's second or third on my list.

I love the graphics and voice acting. The characters are quite realistic in their motives etc. and I feel sorry for Alex... poor guy.
And the combat is fresh and new (at least for me, heh).


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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Mar 2008
Notes left: 978
Last seen at: texas
my list is

SH3
Sh2
sh1
sh4
homecoming
shattered memories
origins

keep in mind tho that i like all the games

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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 18 Apr 2009
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Unintentional vs. intentional symbolism...

Let me bring a David Lynch angle into this... Much of his symbolism is intentional but subconscious... He meditates and then uses the images which come into his mind while thinking about the story into the film. So I believe that the best symbolism tends to be BOTH. David Lynch intends every bit of symbolism in his movies, but consciously, he's not sure quite why, so the fan theories as to what they mean can be just as valid as his, since he's asked his subconscious to come up with them, and the subconscious is smarter than you might think.

It's the same reason that dreams have meanings, they're symbolic representations of your deepest thoughts and concerns. Somebody feeling insecure will dream of being in their underwear in public; that's the best way the mind's eye can interpret the feeling of insecurity whilst being pretty much switched off in a sleep state.

If you approach David Lynch's last and arguably least coherent film, Inland Empire, from this angle, it takes on a surprisingly linear and clear, albeit nightmarish, story.

I genuinely think Homecoming is one of the best in the series for symbolism, both in the obvious and in what you can find it you look harder.

If you see Alex as having been a soldier, or at least believing he was one, a lot of the enemy designs take on a new form. Look at how much this game's straight-jacket monsters look like bomb victims, with no arms, their insides on the outside etc., or maybe these are the imaginary bomb victims Alex has dreamed up in his delusions? Since he's never been out on the field, it might be reasonable to think that he'd imagine every wounded soldier to be an exaggerated mess of guts and ribs. There's a lot of talk of coal miners in Homecoming, though, perhaps a family member or friend of Alex's died of lung cancer, which would be a good explanation for the tumours covering the creature and the way it chokes and gives off poisonous gasses...

Other parts of Alex's life can be interpreted from the monsters too, whether intentional or not; look at the way the Schism's heads swing from side to side like a pendulum (torture device?), and how their hands and feet are twisted in the wrong directions.

Yes, Scarlet liked dolls and therefore becomes a doll, but could a doll, the way it's built out of different pieces hinged together, not also be seen as a metaphor for a body being cut up into pieces? Joey loved plants, sure, but don't plants also live in the ground, where Joey was buried alive? Asphyxia is clearly representative of Nora's death, but the way the hands grope at the genitals and breasts of the bodies joined to them, was there some kind of molestation or abuse involved with this character? Her mother seems to be the only one not insane with guilt. Hell, some of the concept art for this boss even has what appears to be tongues coming out of the breasts, and it's clear (and kind of amusing) that the tail is supposed to be buttocks.

These are all certainly better than 0rigins 'it's roadkill and he's a trucker', or even Shattered Memories' 'you look at women; here are some boobs'...

I mean, this is possibly all intentional, but sometimes an extra layer of symbolism can be found in something which the designers never knew about, and that doesn't just mean we're making it up. The subconscious, especially that of a designer, who will be a very visual person by nature, is a lot more powerful than you might think.

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My Bestsellers Clerk
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 08 Aug 2010
Notes left: 362
This shouldn't be anyone's favorite "Silent Hill" game because it hardly follows the story of the first 4 games.

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Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 11 Sep 2011
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Uyrikeustek wrote:
This shouldn't be anyone's favorite "Silent Hill" game because it hardly follows the story of the first 4 games.

SH2 doesn't follow the story of the first game. Likewise, SH4 doesn't follow the story of the first three. The only three games you could say are connected by storyline are Origins, SH1 and SH3.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 18 Apr 2009
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Uyrikeustek wrote:
This shouldn't be anyone's favorite "Silent Hill" game because it hardly follows the story of the first 4 games.

Oh god shut up. That isn't important AT ALL. That's like saying The Dark Knight is the worst Batman film.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Is 'Homecoming' anyone's favourite Silent Hill game?
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Mar 2010
Notes left: 1875
Last seen at: Los Angeles
Uyrikeustek wrote:
This shouldn't be anyone's favorite "Silent Hill" game because it hardly follows the story of the first 4 games.

SH: Homecoming is closer to the games of SH1 and SH3 than SH2 or SH4 are.


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