Monday, October 13, 2008

Silent Hill: Homecoming (2008) XBOX360 Double Helix Games

If you're a fan of the Silent Hill series then you'll enjoy the newest installment. If you're not then you might want to skip Silent Hill: Homecoming.

The good:
  1. As sick as it sounds - it's nice to be back in Silent Hill. The place still looks like an ashen wasteland. When the claxons ring I still get a chill knowing that the whole place is going to become an industrial nightmare within moments.
  2. The monster design is potentially creepier than any of the Silent Hill series. Yes, your favorites are back but the bosses are turned up to eleven. I think I said, "Oh, you have got to be fucking kidding me." when I confronted the third boss. That was one of the better boss fights I've played in a long time.
  3. Boss fights. I can't remember the last time I had a good solid boss fight outside of a RPG. While the fights in SH:H aren't particularly difficult they definitely have the, "What the Hell am I supposed to do now?" factor.
  4. Industrial hell looks awesome on the next-gen system. Double Helix Games went kind of beserk designing the Hell levels, cheers to you guys.

The bad:

  1. Welcome to Silent Hill where the air is filled with grey dust, horrible beasties want to make your insides on the outside, and the camera control stills sucks. While yes it is a bit better - the right analog controls the camera like any other game of its ilk - the camera moves like a GTA VC yacht. I also had trouble with the pitch - with or without an inverted Y-axis. For some reason the camera work was slow and awkward while moving around and trying to survey the environment but was convulsive during combat.
  2. Combat. Dear anyone who makes a Silent Hill game, every game in the series has had crappy combat control. You should know this. If you know this then why does it still suck? There were moments when I ducked or dodged correctly and either I was hit or not. In SH:H the protagonist is a soldier - hence Homecoming - so you'd think he would've received some military training. Maybe it was it was the Special Olympics Brigade. I eventually just said the hell with it and ran past monsters and saved ammunition for boss fights.
  3. Level design. Perhaps it's because this is the fifth time I've been to Silent Hill but I got bored after one night of running through the same halls and corridors trying to find a door that actually opens and isn't locked or jammed.
  4. My number one complaint - even if it's number four on here - Silent Hill: Homecoming your puzzles are terrible. I realize that a majority of people in this world have a hard time walking and chewing gum at the same time but come on...seriously? Just because shifting around some tiles to make a picture might tax the minds of mouth breathers every where doesn't mean you have to dumb down the game. Why didn't you design a dual difficulty like in the old Silent Hill title (2 or 3 I can't remember now)? You have one difficulty for monsters and one for puzzles. As it stands Professor Layton wouldn't even wipe his nose with these "puzzles".

When all is said and done and all bitching aside - it's a Silent Hill title and it's October. I wanted something scary/creepy to play and SH:H worked out just fine to fill the slot. Plus I needed something to distract me from the waiting for Fallout 3.

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