Silent Hill 3
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  • Konami
  • Konami
  • Adventure - Survival/Horror (example - Resident Evil)
  • 8/5/2003
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6  |  Why Are The Walls Bleeding, Mommy? (Silent Hill 3, PS2)
fishbulb , 9/6/2003 11:11:37 PM
Okay. Before I start, Silent HIll 3 is not scary. Silent Hill 2 was not scary. Silent Hill 1 wasn't scary either (well the controls on 1 and 2 were damn frightening but thats not the point...). I understand that this 'genre' of game is refered to as 'survival horror' and a lot of people consider this game scary, but it really isn't. I dont exactly know how you would make a game scary; perhaps having lots of stuff jump out of windows with loud clashy noises would do it. That would probably get old though... What the Silent Hill series is, is creepy. It's icky. Blood drips down walls made out of what appears to be human flesh, and monsters who look like wangs with legs attack you. It has an ominous music/sound effect structure that kind of keeps you in a weirded out mood while you are playing it.
But it's not scary.
The series also has a bizarre half-explained plot line full of cliche horror/comic book stuff about repressed memories and peoples' imaginations seaping into the real world to cause havok that permiates throughout the game (and the two previously released games).

Personally though, as far as I'm concerned, plot should be something that we see in the game, not something I have to read 15 pages written by insane fanboys that I found on Google in order to figure it out. Sure some of it is explained, but a lot is left alone, heck some characters that have important conversations with you aren't even given names (unless you look on Google for their 300 page backstories someone translated from a Japanese cereal box). Characters throw around interesting plot threads which are completely left dangling in the context of the game, and its quite disappointing (although I'm sure Konami isn't disappointed since they can just keep selling more sequels to fill in the gaps...)

So, what difference does all that make anyways? Hows the gameplay? Well, it plays a lot like Resident Evil, which is to say the default control is pretty crappy (but there's an option for '2D' control which makes it playable--yippie!) and most of the game involves finding a object somewhere and using it somewhere else so that you can get into a new room where you will find an object that you can use to open a door to get into another room which will obviously contain another object you can use to open another door somewhere else. Most of these rooms are swarming with monsters which you really aren't well equiped to fight. The game gives you a number of weapons you can use to kill them, but since there isnt really any way to dodge attacks most of the time you just try to kill them before they kill you. There's a blocking function, but honestly I think I used it about 4 times playing through the game. There are never enough bullets to actually kill anything with, in fact after recieving the sub machine gun, I don't believe I ever found a single bullet for it for the rest of the game. I guess I missed a stuffed bunny rabbit somewhere that openned up a manhole cover leading to a secret cache of them.

Despite my general attitude above, I honestly enjoyed playing through the game. Sure, its cliche go-here-pick-up-this, go-back-here-and-use-it-repea- until-beaten gameplay that's been around as long as I can remember playing games (who remembers Shadowgate? I don't know if it has anything to do with Silent Hill, but man that was a cool game...) but the overall feeling of weird disassociation that comes with playing the game and what I can make out of the plot kept me entertained enough for a play through. There are a couple puzzles which will require a bit of thought, and a couple of bizarre requirements for when to use specific items, but they aren't the focus of the game, and if you are looking for puzzles there are better places to find them.

After finishing it, you are given the option of 'new game +' which allows you to play through it again with new items which you gain by defeating it the first time depending on your performance, and to change your costume, which is occasionally good for a laugh. I haven't really delved too deeply into any of the game+ modes; honestly, I just don't have the interest. If you are the kind of person who would like to play a game over and over again to obtain every single object in the game and use advanced weapons to slaughter monsters without any challenge, this game offers many many hours of just such game play. If that doesnt sound monumentally entertaining you should probably just rent it.

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