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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: The Review Thread
     
         
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Missing since: 08 Feb 2011
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Don't get me wrong i loved the errie-ness of this game. I didn't like that there wasn't as many enemies to fight off this time, and that we had no weapon. I mean i can appricate that its been remastered, for this generation, but it didn't have the fear factor like all the others did, I think having all the different monsters makes it more interesting. but again thats just my opinion.

All in all i did enjoy playing this game, and exploring the different places.

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Missing since: 03 Jan 2005
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I'm playing SM again, it having been several months since my last playthrough and my PS3 is currently on a journey for repairs. I loved SM at first, but I seem to be liking it less with more playthroughs. As a game, I'm finding it really tedious. I'm finding the nightmare/chase sequences to be annoying and not particularly scary, and 'normal' gameplay can get a bit dull since I know it's 100% safe. All the echos and messages get really old (there are so many!), and finding keys or codes a few feet away from locked doors is just so pointless. The game does change, but the variety in this game actually doesn't seem that wide or significant (I still can't quite seem to get all the variations, but I've looked them all up).
I still enjoy the characters and think the game has a grade A ending twist. But the twist and the "What the hell is going on?!" throughout that I loved so much the first time through can't be repeated. :(
Basically, I'm trying to say it was initially a really a good game, but it's the least replayable for me. Ironic, as it was supposed to be the opposite. Other people find it replayable as hell though, so hey.

I think I need to wait longer before my next playthrough, because I really want to enjoy this game again, and maybe that will help.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
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I think Shattered Memories, in general, can be compared to its ending twist. Good twists are very clever, but you can only experience them once, which is why a story that aims to be more than a clever trick should never rely on a twist.

Likewise, alternate endings and changeable environments aside, Shattered Memories was built in such a way that it could really only be played once. Once you're through it, you know you're safe in the real world, you know when the Otherworld will show up, and you know the ending twist.

What I really wanted to see was the next game building upon this structure. I think everyone who liked it (and even some who didn't) had a similar expectation. Y'know, a new Silent Hill paradigm. Didn't really get that with Downpour, which is part of why I'm disappointed in it. All the former attributed to the latter was to make the control scheme needlessly complicated.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: The Review Thread
     
         
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Missing since: 10 Sep 2012
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Kenji wrote:
Likewise, alternate endings and changeable environments aside, Shattered Memories was built in such a way that it could really only be played once. Once you're through it, you know you're safe in the real world, you know when the Otherworld will show up, and you know the ending twist.


That's the thing. My first time through the game, I was expecting some kinda monster to jump out many times in the real world. If I played through again, I know I don't have to be on guard the next time through until I'm in the ice world... and then know in the ice world I have to run for my life. I guess Silent Hill is different when you know what to expect.

I DID start playing again, but wasted a lot of time making Harry call out for Cheryl in all the stupidest places. I had Harry looking into the toilet and calling for Cheryl, for instance.


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Moderator
 Post subject: Re: The Review Thread
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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Quote:
I think Shattered Memories, in general, can be compared to its ending twist. Good twists are very clever, but you can only experience them once, which is why a story that aims to be more than a clever trick should never rely on a twist.


To use the twist as the majority of your story is one thing (the first Silent Hill did this, for the most part). When your twist raises many more questions about the story than answers, I think it's acceptable. Shattered Memories did this, as did Silent Hill 2. Knowing the twist is only the beginning, assuming you've been interested up to that point. Now, you get to go back through and see how everything ties into this revelation. That's why James' secret being almost common knowledge has not stopped the game from inspiring deep discussion for more than ten years.

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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: The Review Thread
     
         
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Missing since: 12 Oct 2010
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phantomess wrote:
Basically, I'm trying to say it was initially a really a good game, but it's the least replayable for me. Ironic, as it was supposed to be the opposite. Other people find it replayable as hell though, so hey.


If you forget about the fact that it's supposed to be a horror game and just look at the gameplay, it's a very one dimensional game, and not particularly fun. Hell, even on my first playthrough I was getting tired of the repetitive chase sequences about midway through the game.

Of course, the other Silent Hill games lose impact after the first playthrough as well, there's no way around that... but I think the key difference is that the gameplay at least gave you some choices. You can run past all the enemies, or you can fight, if you fight you have some choices of weapons. In SM there is only one option all the time: run. That's it. Run. So those scenes always play out the exact same way. Monotony sets in very fast.

Removing combat from the game wasn't necessarily a bad idea, they just did it completely wrong. If you're going to remove combat, you have to put something ELSE in it's place. The obvious choice is stealth. This works fairly well in other no combat horror games like Clock Tower, Haunting Ground, and Siren. The problem is that stealth is terribly implemented in SM; it's useless to hide in lockers because that doesn't help you reach the goal, and it's pretty much impossible to avoid being spotted while you're on the move. So gameplay is just running, which barely counts as gameplay. Regardless of whether you think those chase scenes are scary, (I don't,) they're certainly terribly designed for replay value. Which is pretty ironic when you consider that they clearly intended for the game to have replay value.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 22 Jun 2006
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Though I agree, it's also worthy to note that the chase sequences are always fairly short. None should take up more than 2 or 3 minutes and are not very difficult. I love SM enough to grind through them when I play it, but i'm also not trying to say I should have to.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: The Review Thread

Missing since: 20 Aug 2009
Notes left: 29
[/quote]
The reason the twist had huge emotional impact, for me, was because
[Reveal] Spoiler:
although you haven't met her, you've essentially been walking through Cheryl's past, seeing the aftermath of Harry's death and how it twisted and distorted every aspect of her life. The whole story has been about her! Everything, from the symbolism of the chase sequences, to the relationship between John and Michelle- and it's only at the end that you see this. The emotional impact came from the flood of realizations, from every little detail from the game that didn't make sense suddenly falling into place- this all happens in a split second as her face is revealed.
[/quote]

I understand. but i didnt find it emotionally impactful.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I felt the reason she became so disturbed and her behavior as a result were relatively weak. Her parents divorced, her dad died in a car accident, so she shoplifted & had crappy relationships. "Thats it?" were my exact words upon finishing the story. That weak story wouldnt even get her on Dr. Phil. I dont see why thats Silent Hill worthy.
If she really caused harry to die that would be one thing. If she was really kidnapped and missing that would be another thing. But neither is true.
The game over sells her tragedy so much that i was rolling my eyes, not emotionally impacted in the least.

Also i dont like the idea that everything we see in the game are events that happened to cheryl. That makes the whole experience seem way too narrow and linear and seem too choreographed for my taste. I prefer it if theres lots of ghost stories left in the town. and mixed in somewhere amongst those are cheryls stories. And players explore the open world town to find her specific stories & follow them like clues leading towards the lighthouse. Thats far more interesting IMO and thats how i ret-conned it in my own head.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: The Review Thread
     
         
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
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^ Trying to rate the bad juju in someone's life is always a sticky situation filled with pitfalls. After all, no matter your trouble, it always pales to that African kid who has seen horrors we can't possibly imagine. Arguments like this always end with, "Yeah, well you were never forced to eat your parents' flesh at gunpoint, you bourgeois fuck!"

Kind of an argument ender, that.

Still, yeah, it's a scenario penned by those with cushy lives for those with cushy lives. Everyone's gonna react differently, and they can't be blamed for how they react. Some will say, "That's terrible," others, "That's just like me!" and still others, "That's it...?"

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Missing since: 03 Jan 2005
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To me, a big part of the emotional impact was
[Reveal] Spoiler:
realizing the person I thought was the main character, whom I'd been feeling emotions for throughout, was DEAD. It wasn't only a matter of feeling sorry for Cheryl. Not that losing someone you love (etc.) is insignificant, but... yeah.

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: The Review Thread
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Aug 2010
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Regarding the tragedy weight in SM,
[Reveal] Spoiler:
it's completely erroneus to blame SM for the lack of tragedy in Cheryl's life. It does not matter if there weren't enough downfalls in her life, as the one we have is enough. What the plot is trying to tell us is that it doesn't require much to completely screw someone's life. You don't need to kill your wife, your brother, 21 casual people or be impregnated by a malevolent diety to start your nightmare. SM perfectly depicts, in a real life universe, how a "plain" and down to earth event can change you and mark you for the rest of your life.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 22 Jun 2006
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mikefile wrote:
Regarding the tragedy weight in SM,
[Reveal] Spoiler:
it's completely erroneus to blame SM for the lack of tragedy in Cheryl's life. It does not matter if there weren't enough downfalls in her life, as the one we have is enough. What the plot is trying to tell us is that it doesn't require much to completely screw someone's life. You don't need to kill your wife, your brother, 21 casual people or be impregnated by a malevolent diety to start your nightmare. SM perfectly depicts, in a real life universe, how a "plain" and down to earth event can change you and mark you for the rest of your life.

Beautifully put. I have always felt the down to earth nature and relatability of SM is the reason many people, well, related to it. Moreso than the other games at least.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: The Review Thread

Missing since: 20 Aug 2009
Notes left: 29
mikefile wrote:
Regarding the tragedy weight in SM,
[Reveal] Spoiler:
it's completely erroneus to blame SM for the lack of tragedy in Cheryl's life. It does not matter if there weren't enough downfalls in her life, as the one we have is enough. What the plot is trying to tell us is that it doesn't require much to completely screw someone's life. You don't need to kill your wife, your brother, 21 casual people or be impregnated by a malevolent diety to start your nightmare. SM perfectly depicts, in a real life universe, how a "plain" and down to earth event can change you and mark you for the rest of your life.


your justification is circular

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Of course the tragedy she has is "enough" in the game. And "it doesnt require much to screw someones life up" in shattered memories, because thats how it was written. Thats my criticism. The writing is bad. Its weak.
If having divorced parents & a loved one die in an accident sent you into silent hill hell, i'd know tons of people who'd been to silent hill already, myself included.
Her tragedy is by far the weakest of all 8 games. and its not especially horrific in real life. I'm not asking for the writers to make her backstory the holocaust. But something thats not such a common circumstance (divorce & loved one dying in an accident). Its not very compelling to me & frankly its insulting to my intelligence.

sure a "down to earth event can change your life". But it doesnt silent hillify you


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Re: The Review Thread

Missing since: 05 Jun 2009
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born2kill wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Of course the tragedy she has is "enough" in the game. And "it doesnt require much to screw someones life up" in shattered memories, because thats how it was written. Thats my criticism. The writing is bad. Its weak.
If having divorced parents & a loved one die in an accident sent you into silent hill hell, i'd know tons of people who'd been to silent hill already, myself included.
Her tragedy is by far the weakest of all 8 games. and its not especially horrific in real life. I'm not asking for the writers to make her backstory the holocaust. But something thats not such a common circumstance (divorce & loved one dying in an accident). Its not very compelling to me & frankly its insulting to my intelligence.

sure a "down to earth event can change your life". But it doesnt silent hillify you


[Reveal] Spoiler:
Since when did a story being relatable become a bad thing? How many big-budget mainstream games do you play that take you, not into an alien, exciting world, but into something akin to your own life?
Cheryl's tragedy is common, but that makes it no less horrifying for her, or for anyone going through the same thing. Surely a game that elevates a commonplace event we've become jaded to, to full-blooded horror, is a good thing?

The plot is a tad melodramatic when taken as a whole, and compared with plot descriptions of the other games- but I felt the gameplay accommodated that step down from murder/cults/demons etc to grief and isolation. The experience of playing the game is much more subdued, and I felt it aimed for a tone of lonely, quiet contemplation more than anything.

We're all going to have different expectations of what an installment in the Silent Hill series should be, but for me it was refreshing to have something so grounded and empathetic towards those struggling with everyday life.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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The funny thing is that born2kill is 100% wrong.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Cheryl isn't even in a Silent Hill nightmare. She's in a real world nightmare. She's an ordinary person suffering ordinary problems and having an ordinary response to it that real people have in real life in response to real problems. He could call it weak or bad writing, but people have actually responded like this to these exact sorts of tragedies; especially people effected by lost loved ones at a young age. She certainly had a more realistic breakdown compared to James and his lol hollywood amnesia.

And yes, her response is irrational. THAT'S WHY SHE'S SEEING A THERAPIST. Dur. No Silent Hill protagonist has ever responded to things with 100% rationality. They're crazy. And most importantly, they're human.

Silent Hill is about more than the bad things you did. it's about a man looking for his daughter. It's about a young girl coping with loss and/or child abuse. It's about a man grieving over his sick wife he euthanized. It's about a man who wanted love so much, the lack of it made him suicidal. It's about a boy who wants to make his father proud. It's about a man who misses his son, and a woman who misses her father.


Silent Hill has always been about Love, more than anything else. Not evil, sin, or darkness. Love, and how powerful it is. Love, and how lost we are without it. Love, and how it was our only salvation against ourselves. Love is the most dominating force in the lives of humans in Silent Hill. It has the power to ruin a person's entire life. It has the power to save them, too. Love has the power to create stories. Without love, none of the events in Silent Hill matter or have any meaning.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 12 Oct 2009
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AuraTwilight wrote:
The funny thing is that born2kill is 100% wrong.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Cheryl isn't even in a Silent Hill nightmare. She's in a real world nightmare. She's an ordinary person suffering ordinary problems and having an ordinary response to it that real people have in real life in response to real problems. He could call it weak or bad writing, but people have actually responded like this to these exact sorts of tragedies; especially people effected by lost loved ones at a young age. She certainly had a more realistic breakdown compared to James and his lol hollywood amnesia.

And yes, her response is irrational. THAT'S WHY SHE'S SEEING A THERAPIST. Dur. No Silent Hill protagonist has ever responded to things with 100% rationality. They're crazy. And most importantly, they're human.

Silent Hill is about more than the bad things you did. it's about a man looking for his daughter. It's about a young girl coping with loss and/or child abuse. It's about a man grieving over his sick wife he euthanized. It's about a man who wanted love so much, the lack of it made him suicidal. It's about a boy who wants to make his father proud. It's about a man who misses his son, and a woman who misses her father.


Silent Hill has always been about Love, more than anything else. Not evil, sin, or darkness. Love, and how powerful it is. Love, and how lost we are without it. Love, and how it was our only salvation against ourselves. Love is the most dominating force in the lives of humans in Silent Hill. It has the power to ruin a person's entire life. It has the power to save them, too. Love has the power to create stories. Without love, none of the events in Silent Hill matter or have any meaning.


I think I love you.

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Rosewater Park Attendant
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Missing since: 12 Oct 2010
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I agree with born2kill, but for different reasons.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I do think the writing is quite bad, but not because her story is too plain and down to earth. I actually think that making her story relatable is a good idea, in theory. The problem is the way the story is told doesn't really serve that type of down to earth story, in order for that kind of drama to work Cheryl has to be a real character who we get to know, rather than the "ghost character" who's mind we explore but we never spend any real time with. Harry is the character you actually get to know throughout the game, and it's his conflict which drives the narrative, but in the end that conflict and the relationships he forms with the other characters turns out to be meaningless.


And to make matters worse, most of this game's dialogue ranges from humdrum cliches to cringeworthy garbage. So yes, I think the game is badly written, but not for the same reasons he's giving.

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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 05 Aug 2010
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@born2kill: So, I'm not gonna say much as others mostly did it for me.

One thing I wanted to add.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
There's also a fundamental fact you're missing here. That is the universe. The universe SM was inserted in is different from the witch burning, cult leading, child sacrificing and most important town power perspective. Nothing actually sent Cheryl to the clinic but Dahlia herself. There was no tragedy-meter that delimited Cheryl's entrance to the Otherworld, as there is no Otherworld, just a young girl's loneliness and confusion.

Although, I must point out that neither in the universe of the other titles the pain and suffering must be up to an abnormal and unconventional level. Take for instance Laura. She must be the lousiest character in the series to you, as her justification is just a common circumstance.

What is more, the reason for each protagonist's entrance to the town is not the tragedy, but the plain peeled human feeling hiding behind that tragedy.


Therefore, if anything, it's your justification that's circular, as there is no silent hillifyication in SM. And so, what you're actually blaming, if you permit me to point out, is the universe itself.

Tillerman wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Harry is the character you actually get to know throughout the game, and it's his conflict which drives the narrative, but in the end that conflict and the relationships he forms with the other characters turns out to be meaningless.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
But Cheryl is Harry. Harry's character and behavior actually serves two aspects of personalities: Cheryl's personality and Cheryl's vision of Harry's personality. It's all Cheryl.

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Last edited by mikefile on 17 Feb 2013, edited 1 time in total.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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Tillerman wrote:
I agree with born2kill, but for different reasons.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I do think the writing is quite bad, but not because her story is too plain and down to earth. I actually think that making her story relatable is a good idea, in theory. The problem is the way the story is told doesn't really serve that type of down to earth story, in order for that kind of drama to work Cheryl has to be a real character who we get to know, rather than the "ghost character" who's mind we explore but we never spend any real time with. Harry is the character you actually get to know throughout the game, and it's his conflict which drives the narrative, but in the end that conflict and the relationships he forms with the other characters turns out to be meaningless.


And to make matters worse, most of this game's dialogue ranges from humdrum cliches to cringeworthy garbage. So yes, I think the game is badly written, but not for the same reasons he's giving.


Did you enjoy Deadly Premonition?

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Rosewater Park Attendant
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Missing since: 12 Oct 2010
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mikefile wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
But Cheryl is Harry. Harry's character and behavior actually serves two aspects of personalities: Cheryl's personality and Cheryl's vision of Harry's personality. It's all Cheryl.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
Isn't that a contradiction? He can't simultaneously be both her actual personality and her idealized version of her's father's personality. Actually I think he's just supposed to be the latter, and even if he was supposed to be both that's a stupid idea because they'd both dillute each other.

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