Game review: Silent Hill (1999)
What's up, you sweet pussyboi's? Today, the game that I am going to review is one that I would say got overshadowed by it's very popular and well recognized sequel, that's right you fucking virgins. I'm talking about the original
Leisure Suit Larry Silent Hill. For those of you uncultured swine reading this who haven't heard of this game, Silent Hill is a horror/survival game which was developed by a company known as Team Silent, and then published by Konami. This game was originally released for the Playstation back in 1999 in North America, but was also ported to the Playstation 3 around a decade later. (Surprisingly, the game was released in Japan and Europe later on that year. Considering who made the game, you would have figured that it would be the opposite with Japan getting it first, then the US and EU getting the sloppy seconds.)
In my humble but totally correct opinion, this game laid down the foundation for what would be one of the best horror/survival series ever made. Yet, no one ever really talks about it. For example, you'll easily find people rubbing their micro dicks over their pants when discussing the second and third game, but maybe once every eclipse you can find a single man who brings up his love for the OG, right before his mother brings him his chicken tendies and capri sun. It even gets ignored by the companies that made it in a way, as it wasn't even included in the Silent Hill collection released a handful of years ago. And, while this game did have it's flaws, I think it is really underappreciated compared to the rest of the series. So, lets take a look back at Konami's first venture into the
shithole known as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania foggy town of Silent Hill, babyyy. Also, this will include SPOILERS because this game is old as fuck, so I wanna do things differently.
Silent Hill puts us into the shoes of our main character, Harry Mason. Harry is just a run of the mill father, as average as can be. A man who probably drinks cheap beer while watching baseball. You know, an ancient boomer. The game begins by showing us Harry driving his daughter Cheryl to Silent Hill as part of their vacation. As any family who smoke meth and shoplift whole chickens up their assholes would do. At the edge of town, Harry has to swerve the car to avoid hitting a girl standing in the road and ends up crashing his car. He awakens in town and finds that his daughter has gone missing, and sets off to try and find her dumb ass.
He quickly realizes, however, that Silent Hill is not the town he thought it was. While he came expecting to find his hentai harem of women and kilo's of cocaine, he instead only finds fog and monsters. But, not the tentacle porn kind. After you've been playing your way through the town for an hour or two, you'll find that the game takes on some large changes which make it a more dark and creepy experience overall. So far, you've been searching for Cheryl, fighting off zombiefied dogs, children trying to rob you off your V-bucks, mutated bird monsters, and other strange creatures. All of which are typical things we see in survival horror for the most part. This is all towards the goal of making your way to a tower located at the school building. Once you get to the top of the tower, you proceed onward to climb down the other side. Only to find that you have ended up exactly where you've started, making you feel PTSD from those dozens of hours you spent playing Dark Souls.
But, this time around the environment is different. Night has fallen, and your reality has become warped and corroded. This is your introduction to the Otherworld, where things like Neil Breen films and Scientology make sense and are common place. Some real scary shit, eh? As you play along, you will make your way into the Otherworld quite a bit. I think this really is what helps make Silent Hill into a genuinely creepy, unsettling horror game. The Otherworld is a filthy, rotting world that looks and feels unnerving. It leaves you wondering which side of Silent Hill is the real one, and are the NPC's also as high on Krokodil as Harry? Or, does he just have dementia or some shit. A lot of questions get brought up thanks to this decaying, twisted world. And, you'll have to do a lot of exploring and backtracking at times to figure it out.
So, lets talk about some of the big pro's of this game. The dark, ever creeping atmosphere is definitely the driving force in this game. There is definitely a tense atmosphere while playing the game, especially when encountering monsters. Even when working your way through multiple playthroughs to get all of the endings you'll still find yourself feeling your penis shrivel up here and there. It's nice that not everything diminishes right away while playing this, as I feel like a lot of horror games flop these days in aspect of causing actual anxiousness or scares.
I'm sure this will be dependant on the person, but one thing I enjoy is this game doesn't hold your hand at all with exploring and finding things. It's a nice breath of fresh air not having some annoying NPC power walking in front of you every 40 minutes. There is no HUD interface so anytime you need to check your items/equipment and health, you must bring up a separate screen and manually check yourself. And, while you can find maps in the town, there is no main map menu available. You will also have to manually read the maps and figure them out on your own, with the maps only updating once you've either uncovered barricades blocking your way or broken locks. While it isn't perfect or anything, it's nice. But, maybe that's just my nostalgia boner.
The combat of this game definitely fits with the horror/survival genre of old. Expect to have to be strategic with how and when you want to act. Often times it's a much wiser decision to just skirt by the enemies instead of actively engaging them, as ammo is quite sparse throughout the game, and Harry isn't a CS:GO champion or anything. Most of the combat devolves into physically beating the monsters with melee weapons, so get ready to lay some pipe again and again.
Another cool element of the combat in this game is the small radio that Harry brings with him, which will start making eerie crackling and static noises as you near monsters in the fog. An alarm system going off letting you know at any moment something could come from any direction to slip a finger or two up your rectum. It's an interesting mechanic and helps with the spookiness. Another fun thing the game does is alter your environment around you. You might go one way, then when you come back that same way there is a wall all of a sudden. It feels like there's something in the fog watching your every move (like when you pull up your favorite lesbian porn on your phone, or wonder what your spread asshole in the mirror looks like), and altering your path to drive you specifically where it wants you. Quite a few horror games have taken this last element and incorporated it, and while not all games have done a great job with it, I think Silent Hill incorporated it well.
Things get a bit different outside of the normal Silent Hill areas, however. The Otherworld levels often get much more tense with an air raid siren going off to signal that shit is about to go down. An extremely important part of traversing and fighting in these areas involves using your flashlight, as it is really essential to be able to get around in the darkness filled world. It even affects the ability of reading the maps in the game, which is a cool component in my opinion. The combat is still the same here, but enemies spawn in greater numbers and you're bound to have a few close calls.
Of course, not everything in this game is wonderful. There are some things which can for sure be criticized with this game. One of which is that figuring out how to activate each of the endings is a pain in the scrotum. For example, one ending depends on if you find a bottle or not in a certain characters apartment building. Shit like that can make you want to rip your nipples off and eat them like grapes, as you'll have to really scrutinize your conversations, text crawls, and environments to make sure you're not missing anything. Though, I'd assume a fair amount of players are too busy scratching their nutsack and simping for e-girls to care about getting multiple endings. So, maybe that's just me.
A big thing which could have been better was the graphics. Even for it's time, they weren't really considered all that great, so I could see this being a turn off. They took a different approach from something like the Resident Evil series, having a more free moving camera and a 3D world, instead of the sometimes frustrating fixed camera angles and pre-rendered backdrops. However, it just didn't work too well. The cutscenes, however, are quite good for their time, and even hold up somewhat in this day and age.
I think another part of the reason why this game is overshadowed by Silent Hill 2 are the enemy designs. Most of the enemy designs (Not counting the bosses) are somewhat generic and don't feel all that memorable afterwards. Which honestly is something I would consider a bit lame. Where Silent Hill 2 had the contortionist nurses and Pyramid Head, this game has zombiefied dogs, mutant birds and giant insects. Obviously in comparison you can probably feel your butthole drying out and puckering up. However, while the enemy design is bland, the setting/tone of the game makes up for it.
Overall, while there are issues with Silent Hill, this game is still an excellent entry in the history of survival horror gaming. I don't know if this game would give you all a wet spot in your shorts these days, but I'd definitely recommend you go try it out if you've never played it. I feel that it's a shame that this game has gone into obscurity, in a way, even when it's spawned so many sequel games and paved the way for even better stuff. The world design, narrative, characters and atmosphere are all pretty solid, and there's plenty of replay-ability to the game with 5 different endings. So, stop playing your fucking Minecraft and Warzone and give this game a try. Pussies.
Thanks for checking out the review. Take it easy until next time, doods.Later