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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Nov 2010
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^ Well, that is a majority of Downpour's monsters. :)
The other two are essentially the same, so 3/4 is pretty good.

I prefer Downpour. Homecoming just felt so cheesy at times.


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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 20 Jul 2004
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My main gripe with Homecoming is how small Shepherds Glen and Silent Hill feel. There really was no exploration at all in Homecoming and that REALLY hurt the game imo. I couldn't help but think while playing what it would've been like to explore Bartlett's Winery, or to see and explore the houses that belonged to Holloway, Fitch, Bartlett.. Homecoming left a lot to be desired, and could've really been a success with more content.

With that said i liked the atmosphere, loved the monster/boss designs, the combat/gameplay, and i actually like the story. I didn't really see what Alex did to Josh as the twist in homecoming, i think it's moreso the revelations of the pact between SG and SH, the sacrifices, and the truth about what was supposed to happen to Alex had Josh not died.

As far as Downpour goes, i really don't like the game, but i'm hoping that with the patch i can actually play the game and hopefully complete it. I've already sold it, but i wouldn't mind shelling out $20-$30 or so when it goes on sale.


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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 10 Oct 2008
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Quote:
IDK...i kinda saw both plot twists early on...in Homecoming, they made it painfully obvious that Josh was dead just by his behavior early on in the game and in Downpour, you knew there was something that Murphy owed that cop just by his behavior...the twist would've been better in Downpour if they didn't make Frank who was so obviously a "dirty" cop.


Well I didn't clarify this, but the twist in Homecoming I was referring to was the sacrifice every fifty years (that was supposed to be Alex) and how he was never actually in the military. I mean there were the slightest of hints but I wouldn't exactly say you were given any information that really gave that away blatantly.

Downpour on the other hand, had the opening scene where he kills Patrick Napier after commenting they were neighbors. Also one of the earliest memos you pick up identifies Charlie Pendleton as being missing. Then we get several memos of a child rapist/pedophile. I put that one together pretty quick about what happened. Then we also get all these scenes of George Sewell being a really bad cop and several memos about how Frank Coleridge is trying to report Sewell for misconduct. Those memos tied together with the badge with a black stripe, spelled it out. I still liked the storyline a lot though.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 22 Jun 2006
Notes left: 1924
Last seen at: Katz Street
^None of that was really a twist and meant to be hidden though.

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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour

Missing since: 20 Jun 2010
Notes left: 1626
Silent Fantasy wrote:
^None of that was really a twist and meant to be hidden though.

I agree. It was pretty obvious from the get go regarding Napier.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
He was a sequestered prisoner, which was pretty much the first thing he said to Murphy. Prisoners are usually only kept away from the general population when their crime involves children (what with the terminal case of the deads such people tend to get when around other prisoners). Then Napier's reaction when Murphy said they were once neighbors made it clear Napier either did something to Murphy himself or his child. As unpleasant looking as Napier was, he didn't look too much older than Murphy, so it had to be his child.

As for the other stuff; the memos pretty much spelled everything out. Really, the only twist for me was...
[Reveal] Spoiler:
...the identity of the wheelchair monster, as well as the dual meaning to the bogeyman monster.

Still, it was an enjoyable game.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 22 Jun 2006
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Last seen at: Katz Street
And also, not every story relies on twists. Downpour didn't come off as trying to force anything of that nature like Homecoming and the other SH games did.( force =/= bad. I like well done twists such as those in this series )

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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 10 Oct 2008
Notes left: 884
Silent Fantasy wrote:
^None of that was really a twist and meant to be hidden though.


See I don't think they intended or realized they made it so obvious. It was just that people could be so familiar with a few notions like sequestration in American prisons that it seems that it was meant to be out in the open.

I think they seriously underestimated peoples abilities to put it together. I admit I could be wrong though. My main reasoning for this though is that they keep putting in additional memos quite farther into the game about personality disorders that pertain to child molesters as well as that photo of how they lure children in (usually neighbors, hint hint). Lastly you get a memo of a psychological profile of someone that should be kept out of the general population of prison. That seems to me at least rather pointless unless they didn't intend you to get it completely yet.

The whole concept of Murphy being a hardened or malicious prisoner was pretty much revealed to be wrong very early on. Who wouldn't have at least some sympathy for someone who killed a child molester/murderer in prison. I felt early on Murphy was someone perhaps mistreated by the system or in the wrong place at the wrong time rather than someone who might be a bad guy.

I think it wasn't intended because imagine how much different the plot revelation would have been with only the most minor of changes. Say the whole conversation in the opening scene was just Napier saying "why" and Murphy only saying "you know why" in which a brutal murder then occurs. Then lets say when we find the memo that distinctly says Charlie Pendleton on it, instead of this time saying his full name it just says Charlie or better yet has no name on it at all. With that alone you might have really thought Murphy was a rather brutal guy until you started getting the memos in the centennial building that describe Napier and the whole lose of a child psychologist memo. They threw it away too quick and I don't think they meant to.


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 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 08 Jan 2006
Notes left: 4060
Last seen at: Carrollton, TX
I'm absolutely convinced that the creators of Downpour simply didn't intend to implement a twist ending. It doesn't come off that way at all; they simply reveal details of the story little by little so that you're constantly wondering and questioning what you think you know. The player is kept in a place of delicious uncertainty that lets us respond to important story revelations with "Ohhh, so that's why," instead of ". . .Called it!" Downpour invites us to speculate. Homecoming feeds us one story, then tells us "Ha! Tricked you!"

Twist endings are effective when used sparingly. You can tell a great story without one, and I'm really pleased that Downpour did this. Homecoming made it seem as though the Silent Hill series was headed into Shyamalan-ville where everything had to be built around a big twist at the end. I was worried for a little while, but this latest installment has put my mind at ease.


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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 10 Oct 2008
Notes left: 884
Twist was a bad word on my part then. That's why I'm now switching it to reveal, which is better to describe what I'm trying to say.

I still say it was hard to argue that some of the most important features of Downpour's plot were not thrown out at you very early. I'm just arguing that I don't think it was intentional on their part, I still think they underestimated SH fans ability to piece it together.

I don't think you were supposed to truly get why Murphy killed the prisoner (Napier) in the beginning until maybe after the centennial building. However they way they used memos in the game gave it away much earlier than intended.


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SHH Cult Subscriber
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 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 08 Jan 2006
Notes left: 4060
Last seen at: Carrollton, TX
I still maintain that there's not any one particular moment when that information is supposed to be revealed. The story is revealed slowly, and you can piece it together at your own pace. If you suspect that
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Napier killed Charlie
early on in the game, that doesn't harm the story in any way.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Our protagonist isn't searching for the truth about what happened to his son. The hints that reference Murphy's past are purely for our benefit, and there's nothing about Charlie's death that would be surprising. We're just kind of peeking over his shoulder and speculating about his experience.


(marking spoilers is courteous, maybe we should do that)


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 16 Oct 2010
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I agree to the fullest, JuriDawn. The "slow-cook" style of the story is probably what I enjoy most about Downpour.

I never once felt I was ahead of the game, like with Homecoming, but that I was offered various plausible tracts to pursue (not referring to the side-quests here). Each of them offered new insight to the themes and plot that weren't just thrown down for me. Studying the game's themes and motifs became just as important to understanding it as a whole as reading the memos, solving the puzzles and exploring the environments.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour

Missing since: 08 Oct 2009
Notes left: 88
Downpour definitely had its share of flaws but I unquestionably preferred it to Homecoming.

Homecoming did have its moments, such as:

- The bosses, I liked the symbolism of the creatures as well as the actual fights.
- The Shepherd house (both versions) was really well done, and the music that played when you enter the non-otherworld house really helped create this melancholic feeling that was a little bit depressing, you really got a sense of it as though it had been lived in by this family and some horribly tragic things had happened.
- A couple of otherworld sections like the otherworld house and Hell Descent were really cool. Though alot of the otherworld was pretty uninspired and I didn't like the bland orangey look to alot of it, it kinda felt like the regular environments with some weird filter over them and not that much difference with a few exceptions.
- Better monster designs than Downpour, not that they were that amazing, but ones like the Schisms for example succeeded in freaking me out in the way that a Silent Hill creature should.
- Possibly better (or at least more consistent) sound design than Downpour.

But I hated most of the story and cutscenes, something just felt really tacky about alot of the voice acting. The acting, animation and actual story all felt americanized in a cheap, hard to describe way. The story starting out pretty intriguing and could have been great but it turned to absolute shit and that pretty much ruined it for me for good. I hated most of the characters in the game which made it hard to get into the story much. I can't play Homecoming for more than 10-15 minutes nowadays without actively disliking so much about it that it's hard to tolerate.

Downpour wins in the following categories for me:

- Story, characters, cutscenes etc... Not perfect but a shitload better than Homecoming
- Level design, some awesome levels that are still fun to explore on repeat playthroughs
- Otherworld design. I did wish there were some darker and more traditional otherworld parts but it was still very well done, though the spinning blades and all that stuff made it feel too video gamey and was a cheap way of creating 'tension'. Despite those flaws it was infinitely more memorable than Homecoming's otherworld for the most part.
- Combat (technically it's probably 'worse' but was better implemented as far as combat in Silent Hill games goes, wasn't forced on you as much as Homecoming)
- Exploration, definitely the deepest exploration in the series
- Atmosphere
- I really liked the final boss fight and the symbolism behind it
- Town roaming/exploration. I felt like it was missing some intangible factor while exploring the town, I think sound design could be blamed for that but it was still very immersive and enjoyable, just would have been nice if it felt like the whole town was completely fucked up like in the old games, rather than it was just a desolate dreary place with some random monsters occasionally popping up. I really wished there had been a day/night system so it'd get darker, or even an Otherworld part of the game that took place in the actual streets.
- Sidequests - some of them were a little out of place but they were still enjoyable and didn't really detract from the main story since they were optional and it was up to you when you wanted to start them.

I hated most of Downpour's monster designs, they all had potential but ended up far too generic with the exception of the dolls and the final boss. The screamers could have been scary, some of the concept art of them looks awesome, but I didn't feel like they ended up being very scary at all and on top of that they were just annoying as fuck with that scream thing they do which was completely retarded and reminded me of one of Sindel's special moves in Mortal Kombat 3... The prisoner minions/juggernauts were fucking abysmal. Weeping bats were cool at times (I thought they were somewhat scary in the parking lot when they were on the ceilings alot) but looked ridiculously out of place most of the time, especially when you'd been walking around town for 20 minutes and all of a sudden one would just appear, without any sense of foreboding or tension (another issue with the monster design in general)

The sound design I felt was lacking alot in parts (but definitely had its moments). The 'suspenseful' music that plays while you're roaming the streets could not be more generic and I would have preferred dead silence to that. Most of the monsters sounded too generic, though I liked the Dolls sounds and the huge sustained "AH!" sound when you kill one. The prisoner minion's grunts were so fucking generic it was depressing. I think better sound design would have made up for alot of what I felt was lacking in the town exploration, it's hard for it to feel like Silent Hill when there's some generic music that sounds like it was taken from a TV movie playing in the background. Needed way more industrial noise, or at the very least some decent ambient tracks. I liked the actual soundtrack though, there were a few really great tracks on there.

Wasn't really a fan of the post-final boss bit of the game, gameplay wise... I liked the story for the most part, though a few of the cutscenes start to get on my nerves after repeat playthroughs, Anne's voice actor & character annoys me a little but nowhere near almost everyone on Homecoming so it's nothing too major. I felt like they intentionally tried to make Downpour less overtly scary (not when compared to Homecoming but the series in general) in both the visual and sound department and I must admit that annoyed me greatly despite loving the game in general.

All that being said, I rate Downpour around the same level as 3/4/Origins/Shattered Memories, they all kinda alternate as my 'favorites' below the first two games which are easily my favs in the series, but Homecoming is dead last without a question.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 22 Jun 2006
Notes left: 1924
Last seen at: Katz Street
supperhater wrote:
that scream thing they do which was completely retarded and reminded me of one of Sindel's special moves in Mortal Kombat 3...


You just ruined Downpour for me. :lol:

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WARNING: Some Parts of Reality May Seem Violent or Cruel.


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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Dec 2009
Notes left: 857
Last seen at: New York
I'll start by saying I really did like both of them. So this isn't a huge, unorganized rant, I'll try and keep my comparisons pretty simple:

STORY
Homecoming's story was... hit and miss. The things it did right it stole right from SH2, aside from the sacrifices, which made the bosses deeper. Downpour's story was less reliant on a twist ending, which I liked a lot. It just kept you guessing until it revealed the story.
EDGE: Downpour

GAMEPLAY
Homecoming's combat system was pretty good, and you COULD run from most of the monsters in the game. Although I'll admit there were some cheap parts, and you could cheat the combat into an easy victory with combos like A, A, X repeated. But the combat was much better than people make it out to be.. and made sense in context, although It's all a bit too much when you're fighting humans in the end. This is not my beautiful Silent Hill! The gameplay in Downpour was very much like the old-school games. Heavy on exploration and puzzles, which both worked very well. The combat worked just fine enough, as the protagonist is a scared, vulnerable dude, not some crazy war hero. The only problem here for Downpour is the lag. Although I liked Homecoming for the most part, Downpour actually felt like a new entry in the series, it felt right. Right down to the iffy fighting.
EDGE: Downpour

ATMOSPHERE
Homecoming had a good atmosphere, I think. It took a bit too much from the movie, even though the developers stated the otherworld was Alex-exclusive. Then again, it does make sense in context for Alex to have a dank, musty, rusty industrial war hell. The game pulls it off half the time... the other half it's too much like the movie, or trying to hard to gross you out. The atmosphere in Downpour...is excellent. I love how the game has a slow buildup, much like the olden days.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
You don't even get into the town for a while. An hour or two! And I loved it. I felt more progression.
The otherworld isn't hellishly scary, but it's creepy and fits with the game's slower feel. When wandering the streets, and the rain picks up, man what a classic Silent Hill feeling I would get from that. And did I mention the exploration in Downpour is some of the series' best??
EDGE---- Downpour!!!

I didn't even mean to praise the game as much as I did, I guess I like it even more now than I did first playing through. The only things that get in the way sometimes are the technical hiccups and some lame monster designs. Everything else is very Silent Hill.

SHH- 7/10
Pros- Some great otherworld moments (Hell Descent), great monster design

SHD-8.5/10
Pros- Excellent atmosphere and exploration, best SH story in a while, classic gameplay, relatable protagonist.

I dig it..much more than Homecoming. And I feel like, much like the older Silent Hills, people will start to enjoy this one more with time.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 22 Jun 2006
Notes left: 1924
Last seen at: Katz Street
Mantorok wrote:
Twist was a bad word on my part then. That's why I'm now switching it to reveal, which is better to describe what I'm trying to say.

I still say it was hard to argue that some of the most important features of Downpour's plot were not thrown out at you very early. I'm just arguing that I don't think it was intentional on their part, I still think they underestimated SH fans ability to piece it together.

I don't think you were supposed to truly get why Murphy killed the prisoner (Napier) in the beginning until maybe after the centennial building. However they way they used memos in the game gave it away much earlier than intended.


You make it seem like the developers didn't know what they were doing. That we are ultimately smarter than them and they couldn't get anything by us. Now, the memos giving info away early, that should tell you in itself that they want you to know and to keep up. There just isn't much there that I think they were trying to hide from you for a twist so much as slowly give you the story as a puzzle and expect you to put it together yourself. There were a few times in the game where something would happen or be talked about as if you should know already. The game doesn't insult your intelligence like Homecing did. So I do not think there was a twist at the end as much as completing a puzzle.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Dec 2009
Notes left: 857
Last seen at: New York
Silent Fantasy wrote:
Mantorok wrote:
Twist was a bad word on my part then. That's why I'm now switching it to reveal, which is better to describe what I'm trying to say.

I still say it was hard to argue that some of the most important features of Downpour's plot were not thrown out at you very early. I'm just arguing that I don't think it was intentional on their part, I still think they underestimated SH fans ability to piece it together.

I don't think you were supposed to truly get why Murphy killed the prisoner (Napier) in the beginning until maybe after the centennial building. However they way they used memos in the game gave it away much earlier than intended.


You make it seem like the developers didn't know what they were doing. That we are ultimately smarter than them and they couldn't get anything by us. Now, the memos giving info away early, that should tell you in itself that they want you to know and to keep up. There just isn't much there that I think they were trying to hide from you for a twist so much as slowly give you the story as a puzzle and expect you to put it together yourself. There were a few times in the game where something would happen or be talked about as if you should know already. The game doesn't insult your intelligence like Homecing did. So I do not think there was a twist at the end as much as completing a puzzle.


That's actually a really good way to put it. Completing a puzzle. I concur.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 18 Jun 2004
Notes left: 867
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The fact that Napier was a sequestered prisoner gave me a few good ideas as to why Murphy would want him dead. Turns out my first guess was the right one.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 09 Jun 2012
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Homecoming by far, if you really come to think about it, homecoming's linearity gives it a replay value much bigger than downpour, cause in homecoming there can be things you missed and can look up easily on your next playthrough but downpour just feels dull and boring all the time.

here are some elements that each game has better:

atmosphere: homecoming has it for me, dark and deppresing, unlike downpour's blue and dull atmosphere, all the buildings and interiors in downpour look the same, its almost seems as if they ran out of budget.

Voice acting: I think a lot of fans of the series can agree that homecoming has the best voice acting in the series this far.

Monster design: homecoming again, the symbolism is perfect, i was so shocked when Siam's designer told me it was Elle's creation!, a manifestarion of her mind and her fellings for alex. and vice versa, Donwpour's designers must be ashamed of themselves, Kenzie laMar should have been called in for downpour.

town exploration: downpour has better exploration overall, shepherd's glen felt to little. along with silent hill in homecoming

character design: probably a tie, i think alex is a better protagonist than murphy, and the secondary characters in downpour could not have been less developed than they were.

otherworld: homecoming by far, you could actually EXPLORE IT, in Downpour you can't because of that stupid god damn Void chasing you all the freaking time, that to me was one of downpour's biggest let downs along with the loss of yamaoka and monster design,

i think overall homecoming is a better game, but could've had better exploration.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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How does linear gameplay INCREASE replay value?

Quote:
Voice acting: I think a lot of fans of the series can agree that homecoming has the best voice acting in the series this far.


I played Shattered Memories, so...no.

Quote:
Donwpour's designers must be ashamed of themselves, Kenzie laMar should have been called in for downpour.


Plenty of fans would dislike that, since a huge criticism of Homecoming was it's uninspired and derivative monster design. Regardless of Downpour's monsters, they didn't directly copy other SH monsters.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: Homecoming vs Downpour
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Dec 2009
Notes left: 857
Last seen at: New York
I must say I actually liked the monster design in Homecoming. It's the best of the newer games by a mile. As far as the voice acting goes, I definitely don't think Homecoming is the best. Alex was a good protagonist (although I like Murphy better) and it wasn't bad, but Shattered Memories' voice acting is near-perfect.

Homecoming has the worst exploration of the series, and Downpour has the best. Although I guess Homecoming is a bit more open than Silent hill 3... but it's still very linear and SH3 is a far superior game overall, so it's completely forgiven.

Really, in my opinion the only thing Homecoming has on Downpour are the monster designs, having Akira's music, and the lack of void chases. (Which are OK... I really want to explore during those "otherworld" sequences, but they were still pretty well done. Probably the least frightening out of any game in the series, I was more on edge exploring the town and places like the Devil's Pit than during those sequences.)

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