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A black sheep in the series, yet it still gives me the creep

Posted: 24 Dec 2020
by TREX89
I finished Silent Hill 4 once again and I still don't get why all the fans are whining about that Silent Hill 4 is a bad game and so on... I believe Team Silent did an excellent job in doing something new and fresh as they originally intended.

This game basically subverts our expectations in many ways like
- no visits in Silent Hill
- environments are bright
- basic equipments are gone (flashlight, radio)
- our hero is an introvert, dull character (like most of us, just look at yourself)

My only concern is that every time a developer team tries something different, there would be always a fan who will be displeased.

I've just read an article that Silent Hill 5 would have been featured a creepy sunny Otherworld lol. It's a pity it never happened as the original team disbanded.

If a new Silent Hill game were come out I would see something original instead of the usual personal demons stuff and dead relatives. An elderly couple for example who had lost everything to the bank and lives in poverty as beggars. Or someone with a fatal cancer doesn't want to die. Or just an average guy who started to experience nightmare sequences during every day activities in the middle of a bustling city. Whatever basically...

I am curious what you think

Re: A black sheep in the series, yet it still gives me the c

Posted: 24 Dec 2020
by NanayaShiki
I like bold risks in video games. I think the direction SH4 was going in was one worth exploring and the game has some truly inspired ideas and moments.

But it's also held back by a lot of frustrating design choices, average at best level design, barely existent puzzles, and one of the worst second halves I've seen. I respect the game more than I like it. Though admittedly I haven't played it in a very long time, I do think I want to return to it sometime in the near-ish future. Maybe my feelings on some of it will have changed.

Re: A black sheep in the series, yet it still gives me the c

Posted: 24 Dec 2020
by Droo
The gameplay may be a bit shambolic but the symbolism and imagery in the game is up there with the best in the franchise. I've always loved 4 in all its weirdness.

Re: A black sheep in the series, yet it still gives me the c

Posted: 24 Dec 2020
by TREX89
NanayaShiki wrote:I like bold risks in video games. I think the direction SH4 was going in was one worth exploring and the game has some truly inspired ideas and moments.

But it's also held back by a lot of frustrating design choices, average at best level design, barely existent puzzles, and one of the worst second halves I've seen. I respect the game more than I like it. Though admittedly I haven't played it in a very long time, I do think I want to return to it sometime in the near-ish future. Maybe my feelings on some of it will have changed.
You summarized well how I feel, "respect" is the best word.

I love the idea that your own home becomes Silent Hill.

You can watch people from your window going about their normal lives... yet you're stuck in an endless nightmare you cannot awake from. Not to mention that the psychopath who is out to kill you was located inside your apartment the whole time. You know, this basic premise is more than enough to send shivers on my spine.

I agree that the gameplay was not that great, there should have been less focus on the combat and more on the evasion of the ghost victims. And yes, more puzzles and exploration.

In my opinion, Silent Hill 4 is an underrated gem worth trying out. If you don't mind the above mentioned shortcomings of this title, you will enjoy the game.

Re: A black sheep in the series, yet it still gives me the c

Posted: 25 Dec 2020
by Vixx
It's my favourite after SH2. I know Henry's weird and the ghosts are incredibly annoying, but in terms of graphical capacity, story, and enemy design - not to mention the OST - it's freakin' incredible.

Re: A black sheep in the series, yet it still gives me the c

Posted: 25 Dec 2020
by Droo
And now that the game has been rereleased on GOG, a whole new generation of gamers can get to know it!

Re: A black sheep in the series, yet it still gives me the c

Posted: 28 Dec 2020
by phantomess
I've always liked SH4 even though it's not one of my top favorites. It's got an intriguing story, and I love the design of the water prison and the concepts behind it. Not a huge fan of playing through all the levels twice or of the super annoying ghosts, but those aren't deal breakers for me and I still include the game in my series play-throughs.

Re: A black sheep in the series, yet it still gives me the c

Posted: 31 Dec 2020
by Droo
I wonder how it's done since its GOG rerelease.

Re: A black sheep in the series, yet it still gives me the creep

Posted: 17 Apr 2021
by Jonipoon
It's my favorite after SH1. Besides the incredible story, the feeling of being pursued and haunted was done excellently in this game. No matter how many times I replay SH4, I still get the chills when the ghosts haunt me, which is something that doesn't happen in the other games since all their monsters are so predictable on second playthroughs. I also love how the room itself gradually shifts from being your safe haven to a place of genuine fear. When you look back at it, it's always mindboggling how much it resembles P.T. with all of its hauntings and how you revist the same place that has undergone a few changes. Hideo Kojima was a fan of SH4, no doubt.

I think most of the reasons why people don't like SH4 are justified if you compare them to SH1-3, but they're still pretty stupid.

First of all, while the game doesn't physically take place in Silent Hill, the story is deeply connected to it. It showed how the power of the town had intensified so much to the point of being able to influence other places outside of Silent Hill, which is not only a fascinating concept but a logical one, too. We already saw that power reach Heather's town in SH3 anyway, and you spend more than half of SH3 outside of Silent Hill anyway so the complaints are a bit hypocritical. Besides, technically you DO visit Silent Hill in SH4 with the Wish House and Water Prison.

Secondly, the game is brighter than the previous titles and doesn't feature a flashlight or a radio. But the game doesn't need them, since the whole point of the game is about being pursued by the ghosts. And when the ghosts are nearby, the actually DO emit a "buzzing" sound that sort of reminds you of the radio. While I do think a flashlight could've worked, in many cases a flashlight would've ruined many scary aspects such as seeing the Doublehead monster from afar before they rush against you in 50 mph.

And lastly, while Henry is a rather dull protagonist I think he works in the bizarre situation he's thrown into. However, I must admit the game could've benefited from him being fleshed out a bit more, and many fans would've probably been more forgiving if that was the case. Still, personally, I wouldn't change a single thing about him. I mean, who wouldn't be all sleazy and bored to death after being shut in your own apartment for so long? Especially now after the coronavirus pandemic, I think more people can relate to this than ever before.

Re: A black sheep in the series, yet it still gives me the creep

Posted: 18 Apr 2021
by KageReneko
- no visits in Silent Hill: Being fair The forest world and the prison world are located close to Silent Hill, and you even have the classic Silent Hill's fog and darkness in the stairway that conencts the worlds.
- basic equipments are gone (flashlight, radio) : Well, the radio is still there but you can't carry it with you, it is in the living room and it has the same function, it emits static when your place is being haunted if I remember correctly, but you have to manually turn it on/off

Re: A black sheep in the series, yet it still gives me the creep

Posted: 18 Apr 2021
by Jonipoon
KageReneko wrote: 18 Apr 2021 - no visits in Silent Hill: Being fair The forest world and the prison world are located close to Silent Hill, and you even have the classic Silent Hill's fog and darkness in the stairway that conencts the worlds.
- basic equipments are gone (flashlight, radio) : Well, the radio is still there but you can't carry it with you, it is in the living room and it has the same function, it emits static when your place is being haunted if I remember correctly, but you have to manually turn it on/off
Many people didn’t even bother finishing it, I’ve heard of many people throwing away the controller once they realized you had to revisit the previous levels. So they wouldn’t know about the hauntings since that’s when they start to appear.

Re: A black sheep in the series, yet it still gives me the creep

Posted: 19 Apr 2021
by Lifetolifeless
I really couldn’t get on with this game back when I played and finished it for the only time I did. But I’ve been through a lot since then, and my tastes have evolved. Think I’ll give it another chance when I’m back home with access to my PS2 in October.

Re: A black sheep in the series, yet it still gives me the creep

Posted: 12 May 2021
by Hammerin'InMyHead
The benefit of hindsight will redeem this game.