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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!

Missing since: 28 Oct 2013
Notes left: 109
Last seen at: Los Angeles
I played through this game on the PSP when it came out and tried to follow the crummy story. Then I tried again recently and actually felt insulted by this game. I mean these "puzzles" and mechanics felt as if they were meant for a Dora the Explorer game. So linear and basic it hurts. And collectibles that go nowhere...

Anyone else felt their intelligence insulted by this game?

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Mar 2010
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No, it felt like they included puzzles because they were expected to have them on the Silent Hill checklist (and for expository and metaphorical reasons). I certainly felt disappointed that the puzzles weren't more substantial than they were, but the puzzles did not detract from what I liked about the game. The collectibles as well- it was something that lightly layered on the story without impacting my time with the game in a negative way.

The only way I would have felt my intelligence was being insulted were if the game had featured multiple difficulties for puzzles and the ones in SM had been on the top of the spectrum. That or if I actually believed that an entire team of developers specifically had it out for me and were constructing this elaborate wrapper to disguise their passive aggressive attempts to mock my intellectual inferiority.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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What Typo said. The puzzles were an afterthought, and really they should've been allowed to forgo them if they thought they weren't necessary. They're pretty much there for symbolism.

And frankly, I never did like puzzles distracting me from story progression; I just put up with it. And Shattered Memories has one of, if not my favorite Silent Hill story.

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 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 03 Jan 2005
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I didn't take it as an insult to my intelligence; I just took it as the dev team not making puzzles a priority. A little disappointing, but wasn't a huge deal to me.

I also wouldn't say the collectibles "go nowhere"- true, they don't help you physically progress through the game, but each one has a meaning/ a connection to a memory. Her boxing them up at the end of the game is symbolic.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 12 Feb 2009
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Did you also thought that the twist at the end was an insult? Because the story was one of the best, if not the best, of the entire series. Spitting on it would be just... Dumb.

AuraTwilight wrote:
And frankly, I never did like puzzles distracting me from story progression; I just put up with it.

This.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Nov 2010
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Maybe the audience that Climax was hoping to have gravitate towards SM were people they deemed a lot less capable than a "hardcore" gamer. From the interviews that I've read, prior to SM's release and after, it seems like they really were trying to gain the attention of the huge install base that was the Wii players... people that could play a fantastic game that wouldn't stump them with puzzles or combat (not saying that the chase sequences weren't difficult).

As for me, personally, I actually had no problems with the puzzles being how they were.
I never actually thought that maybe they were implemented because:
1. It's a SH game
and/or
2. It's a Wii, it has motion controls, so let's put them to use.

I would not like to think those things honestly because I really did enjoy the puzzles.
There were no brain-busters, but that wasn't the point. I thought all of the interactions with the world through grabbing things and using various motions alongside the cellphone made for really engaging gameplay.
It never frustrated me... only intrigued me.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!

Missing since: 28 Oct 2013
Notes left: 109
Last seen at: Los Angeles
Mephisto wrote:
Did you also thought that the twist at the end was an insult? Because the story was one of the best, if not the best, of the entire series. Spitting on it would be just... Dumb.

AuraTwilight wrote:
And frankly, I never did like puzzles distracting me from story progression; I just put up with it.

This.


Actually, yes. It was a stupid story. It captivated me at first, yes, because I felt it going somewhere. But that twist was weak mostly because I must swallow a hamfisted, turntable, sugar spooned twist that may as well thrown in Kaufman as her incest fucking uncle since it carries little energy from the developed and oriented story and delivers just junk food. It all felt like afterthought even if not intended too. Even Homecoming's PHead ending felt more intact although that was bologna tacked on for giggles. SHSM ending was no more than a boo, a twist to make it all philosophical and mysterious! It's sad too because I believe ghosts exist in memories and SHSM is near literal in that delivery, but I still dislike the ending.

And the puzzles, symbolic as they are, still are basic motions. Held no interest of mine and only slowed the pace of exploration with monotonous tasks. They were added as an afterthought because they realized the game was a straight forward chase when not exploring boring sets and building up a shaky story that doesn't do anything or go anywhere.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Mar 2010
Notes left: 1875
Last seen at: Los Angeles
JayQuinzel wrote:
But that twist was weak mostly because I must swallow a hamfisted, turntable, sugar spooned twist that may as well thrown in Kaufman as her incest fucking uncle since it carries little energy from the developed and oriented story and delivers just junk food.
...
SHSM ending was no more than a boo, a twist to make it all philosophical and mysterious! It's sad too because I believe ghosts exist in memories and SHSM is near literal in that delivery, but I still dislike the ending.

I'm not sure I follow. How is strongly foreshadowing the ending constantly through the events, imagery, and characters in the story hamfisted? You could just simply say you didn't like the ending/storytelling/game, and I would understand that. However, I don't think "hamfisted" is a term that applies to the delivery of the ending, in this case.

Additionally, I don't follow your line of thought as to why the "twist" was done to make the conclusion "philosophical and mysterious." They clearly spell out how the game's events relate to the ending (especially since they are catered toward how you interact and make choices in the game).


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 12 Feb 2009
Notes left: 7950
Last seen at: Nowhere
I'm not talking about the
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Harry is dead
thing. I had a feeling that this was true since the beggining of the game.

I'm talking about the whole journey. That everything was
[Reveal] Spoiler:
happening in Cheryl's mind
. That was goddamn amazing.

EDIT: Damn spoiler tags. The ones from the previews forum layout were fucking better.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11371
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
Again, what Typo said. There's nothing hamfisted about foreshadowing the ending of your story in basically everything under a symbolic context. That's just...good writing, basically. Almost every thriller story that's stood the test of time has done it.

Also, there was really no other place for the story to go. Harry's experiences were getting less and less real and reliable, all the characters were interfering with his ability to meet Cheryl, and pretty much everything had to do with Cheryl's life, mindset, and suffering in his implied years of absence.

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I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Mar 2010
Notes left: 1875
Last seen at: Los Angeles
In the purpose of turning this into a more productive dialogue-

When exactly did you sour on the story? Was it really there at the very end of the game with the reveal? Was it a series of things leading up to it? You made it sound like you were enjoying the plot for a while, so what was it that you liked? Personally, I enjoyed the setting/premise (as I did in the original), but I was quite fond of them using my experiences to subvert my expectations and to compliment their re-imagining with new elements.

Regarding your dissatisfaction with the puzzles and story, what were your feelings on the actions you did in Kaufmann's office?


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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 12 Oct 2010
Notes left: 1446
Last seen at: Chicago
I agree that the puzzles were weak. Personally I really like the puzzles in SH games, they fit with the game's indentity really well, and add a form of gameplay that makes sense for the series. But yeah, it would have been better to have no puzzles at all than the half-hearted puzzles in ShatMemz.

JayQuinzel wrote:
Actually, yes. It was a stupid story. It captivated me at first, yes, because I felt it going somewhere. But that twist was weak mostly because I must swallow a hamfisted, turntable, sugar spooned twist that may as well thrown in Kaufman as her incest fucking uncle since it carries little energy from the developed and oriented story and delivers just junk food. It all felt like afterthought even if not intended too.


I agree with you. Though, I think the problem isn't so much the twist as it is the rest of the story. The twist invalidates the story, and makes everything you do feel meaningless. And that's kind of a problem.

More than that, though, I just really dislike the writing in ShatMemz. Hamfisted is a good word for it... it feels forced. Kaufman's idiotic speeches, Michelle and her cringeworthy arguments with her boyfriend, Dahlia's akward seduction attempts. There's even something a bit unlikable about Harry's character which sours the rest of the character interactions.

It's definitely one of the weaker stories in the series, IMO. Not as bad as Homecoming or Origins, but vastly inferior to anything in the first four games.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
Notes left: 5077
Say less, do more.

If I wasn't such a fan, I'd say it's rather disturbing that Dark Souls can convey so much more weight by leaving the player alone to think about the hints they drop than modern Silent Hill has gotten, by desperately trying to be deep, personal, and relevant.

At a certain fundamental level, SH's priorities have gotten skewed. Thanks to SH2 (namely), it's gotten that reputation for depth and has, ever since, tried very hard—too hard—to capitalize on it, without acknowledging that depth is a connection between itself and the player that requires the player to bring something of themselves to the equation.

This also requires—very difficult for a writer who thinks him/herself a "deep" person or believes they're saying something worth saying, which they must if they're gonna write anything, at all—allowing the player to not care and get on with it, if the subject matter doesn't resonate with them on that personal level.

Otherwise, *motions to topic* this. Shattered Memories, however well it stacks up against the rest of the new series, is honestly very full of itself: The cost being that when it doesn't connect, it comes off as being very far up its own ass.

It doesn't help that Konami, like every other third-party developer, has misunderstood what the Wii was about. It's about "normal people," non-gamers, and bringing them into the hobby. Unfortunately, the narrative of "the casual" was taken too seriously and we got too many simplistic (rather than an old-school style simple) games. So, Shattered Memories is left only with its plot, which either works or doesn't, and very little else to engage the player.

Frankly, that's unacceptably narrow design, when I think of it.

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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 12 Oct 2010
Notes left: 1446
Last seen at: Chicago
Kenji wrote:
Otherwise, *motions to topic* this. Shattered Memories, however well it stacks up against the rest of the new series, is honestly very full of itself: The cost being that when it doesn't connect, it comes off as being very far up its own ass.


Very well said.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Nov 2010
Notes left: 981
Last seen at: Kentucky
Despite loving SM, I can very much get behind that counter-argument Kenji. What an awkward way to feel :)

I'm going to go ahead and put in a vote the SM's Harry was terrible.
He is so bland and colorless. I can see how that fits into SM nicely, considering the story, but bland is bland. Harry could've been handled a thousand times better.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
Notes left: 5077
thy_butcher wrote:
I'm going to go ahead and put in a vote the SM's Harry was terrible.
He is so bland and colorless. I can see how that fits into SM nicely, considering the story, but bland is bland. Harry could've been handled a thousand times better.

It's funny that you should mention Nü-Harry, because he's the optimal symbol.

When we talk about him, we're inevitably comparing him to OG Harry, who truly was bland and colorless (if not outright goofy, at times). How many times have we made fun of his utter lack of inflection in describing his supposedly precious little girl?

Compared to that, Kirk Thornton (I'm using IMDB 'cuz I'm lazy; disclaimed if I'm wrong, of course) put what I presume to be vastly greater effort in trying to make Nü-Harry a more human and complete character. A lot of work was put into making him malleable depending on that much-vaunted psych profiling system, and his motivations and interactions very clearly change with the profile.

Yet, Michael G wins out, and I'd go so far as to say it's directly related to SH1's greater viability as a game, stronger atmosphere, and therefore greater ability to forge that connection with the player. OG Harry, because we go through every ordeal he does, takes on our own attributes and proves his affection for Cheryl by the horrors he's willing to subject himself to on her behalf. Also, OG Harry really doesn't say or do anything to contradict what we've added to the character by action and imagination.

Nü-Harry runs from some monsters and does a few simplistic puzzles. Therefore, he (like the whole game) ends up riding entirely upon the strength of the plot and its ability to connect with the player entirely on its own merits. Sometimes, this leads to massive contradictions from what the player has brought to the table, which is where the opinions on Nü-Harry being a douche all spring from, I think.

Meanwhile, OG Harry can get abducted by fucking aliens in a flying saucer, leaving us with a cheesy off-key sci-fi outro, and we still think him the better man.

tl;dr, This is why writing is hard. :P

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Mar 2010
Notes left: 1875
Last seen at: Los Angeles
Kenji wrote:
This also requires—very difficult for a writer who thinks him/herself a "deep" person or believes they're saying something worth saying, which they must if they're gonna write anything, at all—allowing the player to not care and get on with it, if the subject matter doesn't resonate with them on that personal level.

Otherwise, *motions to topic* this. Shattered Memories, however well it stacks up against the rest of the new series, is honestly very full of itself: The cost being that when it doesn't connect, it comes off as being very far up its own ass.

It doesn't help that Konami, like every other third-party developer, has misunderstood what the Wii was about. It's about "normal people," non-gamers, and bringing them into the hobby. Unfortunately, the narrative of "the casual" was taken too seriously and we got too many simplistic (rather than an old-school style simple) games. So, Shattered Memories is left only with its plot, which either works or doesn't, and very little else to engage the player.

Frankly, that's unacceptably narrow design, when I think of it.

You're absolutely right, and those are completely valid criticisms of the game. Also, if it didn't resonate with someone, that's fine. This isn't some new phenomenon to the series, so I never expected every person that played it to like it. : P
On the flipside of that, there will also be people that play for the story but don't like how the game plays. In that case, is what shattered memories does a better option for that person than playing a tank controlled character managing health items, weapons, and ammo? I don't mean this to sound like some qualitative "x is clearly better than y." Silent Hill has always had gaping flaws in the department of gameplay, but it's nice that they try other things. It's unfortunate, like I said before, that the mechanics in SM are anemic at best, but it is consistent and unobtrusive enough that I was able to enjoy my time with it more than something like Homecoming. That doesn't excuse it, but I'm also glad we didn't get a jumbled mess of over complicated mechanics for the sake of complexity.

Not to go too far off on a tangent but-
It's also possible for games with more substantial gameplay attempting to tell a "deep" story to become a painfully frustrating trudge. Spec Ops: The Line was universally praised for its writing and commentary on modern military shooters, but I thought it was some of the worst, on the nose writing I had encountered in video games. To make things worse, I wasn't having any fun while playing it. Against my better judgement, I stuck with it, in hopes that there would be a turning point that changed my mind. After the credits had finish rolling, my mind was still unchanged, and I just chalked it up as "not for me." The Last of Us also falls into that camp with me, and people love the gameplay and story to death. Neither aspect connected with me, despite my initial enthusiasm for the title, and that's fine. There were just numerous times where I would have loved a "skip" button to get me through the gameplay I had no enjoyment for. Perhaps this is a product of getting older/less free time/appealing to a different generation, but that's another conversation altogether.

SM definitely has its own objective share of problems, and I agree with your complaints. They just didn't interfere with what I liked about the game.


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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Silent Hill: Fisher Price!
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Dec 2009
Notes left: 855
Last seen at: New York
I'll have to agree with what most people are saying. I was not offended by the childishly easy puzzles. The entire game was easy as hell, but I still loved it. Even if a game is part of a series, I like to judge it on its own merit. With Shattered Memories, a "REIMAGINING" as they INSISTED on calling it, it was a bit easier, too. Did the game accomplish what it set out to do? Yes, I think so. I feel as though its experience is more like a movie, but still was only doable in video game form. I'll say the childishly easy puzzles could have been excluded completely and I would have loved the game for its story, tension, and immersion just as much. However, I still wasn't offended by them.

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