Review: Silent Hill 2 (Xbox)

Review: Silent Hill 2 (Xbox)

Part of the 9 days of Heck. Do I need to even say anything? Its one of the greatest horror games of all-time!

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Year: 2001

Played on: Xbox

Also on: PS2, PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Developer: Konami CET

Publisher: Konami

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Even in my restless dreams, I see people who haven’t played this game!

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Date posted: October 30, 2017

box

PREMISE

The Silent Hill can be considered a tragedy if you think about it. Starting out strong with 1999’s Silent Hill for Playstation, it showed us a world somehow more messed up then that of Raccoon City in the Resident Evil franchise- a city that’s personal and harsh. No, I’m not talking about Detroit for the 100th time! The series would prove to be even better with each entry, peaking at 3. Then 4 came out, and the original team kind of went there separate ways. Several games followed, but you can tell the original people responsible were long gone now. However, something good was beyond the horizon- a new Silent Hill game, headed by the one and only Hideo Kojima, was in development. Of course, this didn’t last long, as Konami is more interested in losing money playing pachinko. What a way to fall, Konami- one day making masterful games, next making pachinko machines for a quick buck…

Now you know the series has fallen, its time to look at what is arguably not just the best game in the series, but one of the finest horror games ever created. Its time to enter Silent Hill once again.

This tragic story follows a man named James, who received a letter from his wife. The problem? His wife has been dead for some time! He is told to go to Silent Hill to look for her, and discover what really happened to her. The rest is for you to find out.

The game is pretty much your typical survival horror fare- solving puzzles, roaming around dark environments, and fighting monsters. However, unlike Resident Evil and the like, the game has less emphasis on combat and more about the environments and puzzles. There are not a lot of weapons, and that actually works to the games advantage!

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Still cleaner then your local WalMart’s bathroom!

PROS

Silent Hill 2 probably the best atmosphere in video game history. I mean it! The environments are desolate, indoors is always dark. As you trot along though abandoned apartments, hospitals, hotels, and dark tunnels, the atmosphere is always thick with dread. There feels like there is no safe haven for the monsters in your head. It feels like a nightmare, but you don’t want to wake up; your somehow enjoying this place!

Silent-hill-2-xbox
The game is actually 99% atmosphere, 1% hot gas

The radio is also a brilliant game mechanic- static will alert you to any monsters that be in the present area. It adds to the games haunting atmosphere. What’s so eerie about white noise anyway?

The story is surprisingly tragic. No spoilers, but damn, it just hits you. You meet other characters along the way, and instead of terror, you are filled with sympathy for them. Be careful, as some of them are NOT your friend.

The game has multiple modes of difficulty, some increasing the difficultly of enemies, others changing up the puzzles and their difficulty. This is refreshing, and keeps you coming back. Add to this multiple endings, and you’ll want to visit Silent Hill over and over again- even when you start to question your sanity.

The bosses are great. Pyramid Head is pretty much iconic, but there are other bosses too. I won’t spoil them, but there pretty great. Some are even surprising!

JamesReflection

CONS

I really can’t think of a lot of bad things to say about SH2. I guess a lot of people won’t like the way you attack- you have to hold a button and press another button, which is a bit awkward. Also, the things you need to do to get some of the endings are a bit vague, and can be kind of a pain, pretty much requiring a guide to get, but have good pay offs, especially the joke endings.

A note about the different ports and versions of this game- first of all, the original Xbox release gets a lot of flak for no reason- in fact, it has a somewhat higher resolution then the PS2 version! Other then that, it has all the content of the “Greatest Hits” version of the PS2 release. The PC version is actually the best version, I heard, but does not have a Steam or GOG release, sadly. Avoid the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, (Silent Hill HD Collection) as they were incredibly butchered!

Again, there is nothing wrong with the OG Xbox version. Its the Xbox 360 version that is hot garbage!

FINAL VERDICT

I don’t think there is anything more to say. Silent Hill 2 is a horror masterpiece. It set the gold standard for horror games today, a standard a lot of games will never reach, sadly. It is a must play for any and all survival horror fans. Silent Hill awaits.

7score

Agree? Disagree? Good! Leave a comment about how terrible my taste is in the comments below!

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