Posted By Dena Natali about 1 year, 6 months ago
The Game Den: Silent Hill Homecoming, 10.0 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
The Game Den covers the OTHER black sheep of the Silent Hill series.
Climax and Double Helix haven’t made their homework and they just put things that are “supposed” to be in a Silent Hill game without understanding what IS a SH game. To turn this wonderful title into “Saw: The Videogame” and later into “Hostel: The Videogame” is unforgivable.
Loved the review, Dena and the Pinhead shirt too!
This is a really interesting game, you peaked my interest in the silent hill games, with your silent hill one and two reviews. And I think that this game, had potential to be a reboot for the next gen systems. I think that’s were they went wrong, they didn’t think that they could find a new audience and also please the existing fans with a new reboot for the series. I think that a NEW silent hill game for the next gen systems it would get sales for the systems and generate revenue for the console bosses. Having a brand new idea for a game and running with it and having it be legitimately scary would have been fun. And this game had that potential and I don’t see that it accomplished those ends.
You say that the cult is the reason for everything that’s going wrong but I don’t remember that.
I remember that the reason for them sacrificing the children was said to be for the town of Silent Hill. That it was a ritual to keep Shepherds Glenn from being effected by Silent Hill itself. The cult was made up of people that had banded together because of the pact being broken and were determined to try and fix the problem, though through less than humane methods.
But maybe I’m remembering wrong.
When playing this alone and extrapolating all the imagery and atmosphere in a dark room, I loved this game. Sure, the combat annoyed me, and that sewer level totally didn’t need to be there. I also didn’t really care for the overuse of Elle, and Wheeler was…I don’t even know why the hell he was in there – I found him to be very distracting, to say the least. It was only when playing this with my buddies, the Backseat Gamerz that we all found it to be a dull experience. Conclusion: play it alone, or with a group of people that are in the spirit of being scared and haunted.
I’m glad you touched on all the great points of this game! I was pleased to see how much you enjoyed it and the plot – much more so than I expected, actually. Good work as usual, Dena!
Overall, I really do like Homecoming. It’s not perfect, and like you I gave up becuase of all the combat. But they really did try with this. I don’t have trouble with the Cult’s looks becuase I figured they are more of a sister sect then the main order, seeing as they were trying to get away from the Silent Hill. To me its fitting they’d have their own look. But yeah, I don’t care for having them be actual enemies.
The story with the cult as a bigger focus, again makes sense to me. These were people trying to get away, and end up doing horrible things to achieve that goal. No matter how you look at that, even if it remained more subtle, they would have been a major driving force. When Silent Hill starts taking over, of course they are going to go after Alex in hopes that maybe killing him will fix things.
My issue with how the cult looks isn’t about the fact that they look different–I think some people are missing the point with that bit.
It’s the fact that all of a sudden, they need gas masks and such because there’s an underground coal fire. If there’s been a coal fire, then why didn’t any of the previous cult members need protective gear? Because it just started and already bad enough to spew ash into the air? That’s the point I’m trying to make: it’s inconsistent.
As a SH fanatic, i have to say something. Or write… Whatever. Silent Hill’s uniqness comes from the fact that it is a series created by japanese, who percive the medium of horror quite differently than american or other west cultures. That’s why sequels created by american developers are so dissapointing. And this is why SH is a dying franchise. American studios can’t achieve the perfection of SH2, by copying that game in different ways (sorry Homecoming’s story is too similiar), and any kind of innovation is despised by oryginal fans (vide Shattered Memories).
What kills the game for me is that Alex is not a soldier!, did he learned how to fight and use guns in a mental institution?, was he in Arkham Asylum or something?, from that point it just goes downhill, why is he so good at fighting then… also, he way he kills his brother is… I don´t know, I just thing Alex could have saved him somehow, it was just a little hit to the head, and if that was enough to knock josh unconscious, he shouldn’t had sunk so quickly, but that was my feeling Anyways, Great review Dena,
It was in the middle of the night and it was pitch dark outside–I don’t think the flashlight would have worked underwater for too long.
Well, yeah, I just wonder how quickly and unconscious person sinks but I don´t have any strong argument to justify my complain about Josh death, and when you put it that way, I don´t think I’ll jump blindly into pitch-black water
I remember playing Homecoming soon after it came out and after I had seen your Silent Hill 2 retrospective. And during the part of the game where I had to kill cult members it made me reflect on the whole Eddie scene in SH2 and thought “Oh, this is gonna chap Dena’s ass.” lol
Personally I felt really uncomfortable having to kill them. Especially considering that the ambiguous mythos of Silent Hill punishes “sin” and killing somebody is a big one.
So the movie once again leeches its way into the games …err…
good god poor alex
is it just me or does alex look like nathan drake?
If you like pushing around furniture and breaking stuff in a horror game, check out Obscure and Obscure 2. Bonus, both games can be two-player.
Homecoming is another story that, with some tweaking, really could have been a MUCH better and more well-recieved game. They tried to do new things with it whilst trying to stick to a fairly familiar Silent Hill atmosphere and, dare I say it, “formula”, but the end result is kind of like “Origins”. It’s a mixed bag in many ways. True, the gameplay is too much like an action game. Maybe they were trying to do this to appeal to more mainstream audiences. And yeah, Alex is really vulgar and immature a lot of the time, but there’s a great deal of fridge brilliance to be found in the game, Pyramid Head’s appearance included, since he’s described as the “Bogeyman” who comes to “chop off your head”, a figure that Alex always thought of as a punishing force that finally comes for his father, though ignoring him. And there’s even pictures you can collect with quite the interesting POEM…
” Remember to always behave, for sins he won’t abide.
He wields a rusty, jagged blade, to cut out your insides. ”
As such, I can be a BIT more lenient to Konami for including Pyramid Head. The parents talked to their kids about the Bogeyman and in the cult mythology, a man in a pyramid-headed robe was a popular torturer, remember? Jimmy Stone? That was revealed in Silent Hill 4. As such, it’s not too much of a stretch to think that there’d come an idea for the parents in the town to think up a punishing force that would resemble the Pyramid Headed man they knew from the original cult. They wanted to think of a bogeyman, the first person that comes to mind is someone already famous for torturing people.
The reason everyone’s not warming up to Alex: he didn’t get sacrificed, as such, they blame both him and his dad (at least, the ones that aren’t ga-ga over killing their own kids) and even his attitude makes sense: he was still an immature young adult when his brother died, and he’s been stuck in that mindset since he entered the hospital. Mentally, emotionally, he hasn’t matured at all…until he gets confronted with the horrifying truth, and the manner in which they revealed it was indeed quite chilling…and the final battle INCREDIBLY fucked up, but in such a beautifully-well-done and designed manner. The boss fights really are quite wonderfully done, and their designs are truly captivating, as are the character designs, as you mentioned.
The UFO ending in this one isn’t as funny or good as the one in Origins though, but it tries to make up for that in having multiple endings. Whether it succeeds is a matter of differing opinion. The music is rather good, especially the titular song “One More Soul To The Call”, which is GLORIOUS. But I gotta admit, I’m surprised you didn’t crack more “Hostel” jokes. First the torturous cross, then ol Alex wakin’ up in that chair…if it were me, I’d have been tempted to splice the scene of the main character slitting the murderer’s throat with footage of Alex slitting Curtis’s throat.
So I agree with you. There’s parts to really like about the game, and parts to make you swear like Pottymouth Alex. All in all though, I admire it for what it tried to bring to the table, and am amazed at the depth they tried to put into the design. For that, I salute Double Helix…and I salute you, Dena!
And hey. It’s definitely not nearly as bad as that Silent Hill FPS, which offered NO explanation whatsoever (not even a throwaway line) for why the monsters appearing looked the way they did.
“First the torturous cross, then ol Alex wakin’ up in that chair…if it were me, I’d have been tempted to splice the scene of the main character slitting the murderer’s throat with footage of Alex slitting Curtis’s throat.”
That would involve me watching Hostel, which is something I refuse to do =P
You gain wisdom, child! (Bows deeply)
Eh, I wasn’t so drawn into the story. I borrowed it from a friend, and I couldn’t bring myself to be interested enough to finish.
That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the game wasn’t just Dead Space set in Silent Hill. Don’t get me wrong; I found Dead Space to be very fun, but as an action game, which wasn’t remotely scary. The Dead Space style would’ve clashed horribly with Silent Hill, but it was what I expected with the franchise being handed over away from Team Silent.
While some of the swearing does seem to be awkwardly placed, I do feel like it’s a sensible reaction. I would be freaking out to the point of swearing constantly in that situation. Hell, given the running theme of sexuality in SH2, I think it would fit for James to shout “Fuck!” a lot, wouldn’t you say?
Seriously though, good review. I mostly agree with the rest of it. Some of those bosses had much creepier designs than the common enemies I encountered, and there definitely was too much focus on the combat. Anyway, keep up the good work.
I always loved that line when Alex said “Bitch” the first time I played and heard it I “LOL.”
I remember when I first played this game and also basically quit because I got frustrated with the combat. I used the pipe because in past Silent Hill games that was the most powerful melee weapon most of the time i.e. Silent Hill 2.
However, I found out after constantly having issues with the combat that the knife was the best weapon. Now that I think about it I also resorted to Youtube to watch the rest of the game and then went back after seeing the combat in action done the easiest way.
I also remember having many glitches with the game i.e the screen turning black during the sewer level, and I think I had a glitch during the Scarlet boss. But overall I did love the bosses in the game.
As for the story I hated that Alex’s regressed memory was more or less the same as James. It basically took away the impact of the story.
In the end though I don’t think the game is the worst in the series. I actually enjoyed it more then some of the other Silent Hill games.
I loved the video and am now going to watch your 0rigins review.
For the potty mouth, that could be adding to the idea that he was supposed to be a soldier… Soldiers tend to curse. A LOT. Meaning that if he were to react like a soldier, he’d be cursing at everything.
I never liked the idea that the town is evil and run by some cult. In my head every single “protagonist” of the series is just nuts, crazy in the head, with all the drugs floatin’ around and whatnot. Y’know, all the enemies are people or just in your head. And yes, that includes the cult members in homecoming, just becouse they seem human doesn’t mean they really are. They could be, uhh, a manifestation of Alex’s fear of coal miners? wut.
As for pyramid head, I never really got why people found it a bad thing that he appears in several places. I for one really liked seeing him in homecoming and hope to see him in the future, he’s kinda like the Fonzie of Silent hill. Well okay, it kinda screws with the idea that everyone’s nuts, but doesn’t ruin it, if you think about it. I’ve seen people mention that he’s the manifestation of the “protagonists” guilt and/or sexual frustration, which is fine, but I always thought of him kinda like a mental shield. All the shit seems to be happening where Alex is, maybe he’s the one doing all this but is just too messed up to figure it out, using PH as a scapegoat. And i never even paid any attention to the swearing before you mentioned it, if you’re used to swearing that’s exactly what you would say when you saw a house-sized mechanical spider rush at you. Anyway, in conclusion, I just don’t see why people see this as a bad SH game. The atmosphere’s there, the story’s there, knowing that there might be an enemy behind every corner just adds to the tension, the methaphores are well thought out, there’s loads of trivial things to notice that actually add to the story. The combat is non-silent-hill-ish but not in a bad way. It’s different but after you get used to it, it has a kind of a megaman-ish feel to it, knowing what to use, when to use it and how the enemies work, things to master. All in all, it IS a good game (not open for discussion). Just keep this in mind the next time you play a SH game, it makes it oh, so much more fun.
They… looked like monsters to you?
I came into this game knowing how bad it was, hell I have 2 copies of the game (don’t ask). And managed to complete it multiple times in the same week. While I didn’t think it was nearly as bad as people made it out to be and I did like some of the concepts and gameplay elements (like using specific weapons to get through certain areas) I’ll admit it is not a very good game and probably the worst in the series.
Also if there’s anything I have to disagree with you on it’s the graphics and, this might sound pretty dumb but in my opinion they’re TOO good. I find them too polished and they don’t look silent hillesque to me, they just look generic and uninspired. Oddly enough I think the graphics in SH2 and SH4 are actually the ones that work the best, they’re not great but I find that they’re outdated and grainy look actually adds to the atmosphere of the game and make them feel more….For lack of a better word…Old, and that, for me, adds to the atmosphere and mystery of the game.
Okay, I’m just gonna say that that story is so damn creepy. XD
I’m never going to play these games (because I just can’t stand horror movies/games).
But I always enjoy watching these videos!
I’m hoping for an LP! (Not from this game, please, hehe). =)
You know I remember that time before the game came out, I read something in a Game Informer magazine (or perhaps somewhere else) that Alex in the game was meant to be like Dark Alessa from the movie. I never played Homecoming all the way through, but I’m glad that wasn’t the case.
I know this is totally off topic, but Dena I love your horror shirts! Where do you get them?
I rage quit right after the cult stole his Mom, so didn’t get to see all the fun gory child-torture. The story sounded really good actually. As you pointed out it was real combat heavy with random QTEs thrown in (which I’m terrible at!). Also, I”m a potty mouth as well, so this character has nothing on me!
Oddly enough I don’t mind the nurses showing up in every game. I feel that everyone has encountered a bad nurse sometime in life and they would have nightmares (or otherworld monsters) involving them. I just wish they would design them differently than making their skirts shorter and having bigger boobs.
Damnit, now I feel like playing a horror game, but I don’t have any! My friend keeps saying get RE 5, but it has QTEs too!
Play Silent Hill 1-4
The game could have been done so much better if the game wasnt developed by incompitent jocks (Double Helix/The Collective) as seen in this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2hHv0xrKcw
I liked the Cult, the costumes were silly though, one thing should be noted “The Order” fell apart after SH3 & 4, in Homecoming the cult was pulled back together by Hollaway, who started the “Sect of the Holy Way” to start following the way of the old cult in an attempt to free the Shepherd Glen citizens, she had somewhat good itentions to start with, but she ended up descending into madness and kidnapped people from Shepherd’s Glen and brainwashed them into following the Order.
One thing I really loved from Tomm (Konami producer) is he seemed to hint that even after Douglas’ and Joseph’s expose’s, the outside world never discovered about the cult, so Silent Hill remained as a nice holiday town (which we’ll see more of in Downpour).
btw, did you ever read the diaries they did on the official website? They added some cool stuff to the story -http://www.silenthillmemories.net/sh5/diaries_en.htm
Also, I always forget to add this, great video! I like how you didn’t go down the obvious route and just pick out the bad points *looks at TwinPerfect*
If nothing else, TwinPerfect is TEAM SILENT APPROVED.
The one thing that really annoys me about this game is the twist. As you stated, it turns out Alex wasn’t in the military but in a mental institution. This makes me wonder when he got so good with weapons. Speaking of weapons, they really messed up when they made the knife the best weapon in the game.
As far as reusing stuff from SH2 and the movie, yeah that’s HUGE no in the Silent Hill rulebook. Team Silent made it a rule to not reuse enemies as Silent Hill effects everyone differently hence why only James saw Pyramid Head and Maria in 2.
I’m surprised by how much you seemed to love the graphics. I’ve always noticed that people who seem to hate them game, always bring up that they think the graphics are terrible.
Then again, even though I watched the video, I’m still not really sure how you feel about the game oddly enough. This kinda reminded me of Phelous’s review of the game though, he didn’t hate the game, he was just disappointed by it.
I’d say it’s my favorite of the non Japanese games though. I really liked the combat myself, it wasn’t the clunky combat from the other games. It felt much more tight and fluid.
As for Pyramid Head being in the game. If you collected all the drawings in the game, he’s called the Bogey Man, and he’s said to be a force of the town, punishing people with guilt, like in SH2. It’s why he kills Alex’s father.
Sure it was fan service, but I think it made sense once you collected all the drawings. I’m not sure if you saw those, since you didn’t beat the game yourself.
Though as for actually wanting to believe that about Pyramid Head, that’s up to opinion.
I’ve part of the group that doesn’t mind him showing up, since there’s a newspaper article in SH2 that mentions Walter, and he talks about being chased by a being that sounded an awful like Pyramid Head, so I think other people then James can, and have seen him. I’d also bring up that painting in the museum in SH2, but from what I remembered in SH3, that painting in no longer there.
Edit: Ah looks like Specter already mentioned a few of those points, oops, hehe.
I’m just glad I’m not alone in some of these thoughts, haha.
“Then again, even though I watched the video, I’m still not really sure how you feel about the game oddly enough.”
Really? To quote my own script:
“So, to sum up, I generally love the story and characters, love the design of most of the monsters, hate the references to the movie, and detest the gameplay.”
I thought that summed it up pretty well. What wasn’t I clear about?
Yeah, I figured that, after I mentioned Phelous’s review.
You both seemed to feel somewhat similar about it.
So I guess you could say I wasn’t sure how you felt at first, then immediately contradicted myself by mentioned how I thought your view of the game seemed to fall in line with Phelous’s.
It didn’t seem that way when I first wrote the comment, haha.
Fair enough XD
I think I was a lot easier on it than Phelous was, tho. I think he didn’t even like the story or characters.
I did really like the boss battles in this game when I played. I thought the way they represented the sacrificed children was pretty creative and Silent Hillish. I liked the music as well. The overall game atmosphere also fit… it was just the characters… and the taking too many cues from the movie.. and the ripping off Silent Hill 2′s twist. Which I’m still not sure how its supposed to work since the kid did die of a drowning so… why didn’t that count? The mental institution twist took me by surprise, though.
I’m starting to worry that these third party companies think the movie is canon. Or that more people who are SH fans are fans of the movie or only KNOW it from the movie.
As for the monsters. …eh, a mixed bag. They look too clean and rubbery to me. Also the smog monster wasn’t really scary with its bright glowing colors, it was mostly just annoying. Also none of them seemed to really represent anything to Alex or give any clues about his personality or the revelation.
And I still think this one is better than Shattered Memories when it comes to being a Silent Hill game. Though I wouldn’t call either of them particularly good at that.
“Which I’m still not sure how its supposed to work since the kid did die of a drowning so… why didn’t that count?”
Because it was supposed to have been Alex. Josh was given the family ring because he was supposed to live on, procreate, and continue the cycle of sacrifice every 50 years. This is why the ring is shown so much after his death.
As for why Josh and Alex couldn’t have their places switched … I think Alex’s name etched on the stone, which he finds right before the final boss, is supposed to clue us in that it was decided long ago and couldn’t be changed.
Just seems to me the evil powers that be wouldn’t really care which kid it was It wasn’t like the rules said it had to be a first born or something.
But I suppose the ring and the etching could have something to do with it, perhaps it just needed to be established better.
and this is why i love your reviews dena, you manage to take something that built up so much internet bile it’s practicly seeping it, then you present that thing in a flattering way that not only shows us the flaws something has but also it’s good points too, overall making a very enjoyable review to both those who didn’t really like the game and those who did.
in the end my own opinion of silent hill homecoming is that it’s a game that had one too many mis-steps and made alot of hardcore (and even normal) fans angry at it, homecoming isn’t a bad game at all, sure it’s no mario bro’s or chrono trigger, but it’s deffently good enough to stand alone (but not good enough to stand against the other silent hills i guess)
Well, I’m glad you told me to wait before responding to this one, Dena, you did cover a lot of what I wanted to point out and weren’t as pointlessly antagonistic as most people who discuss the game. That said, i do have some issues here and it’ll be nice to discuss them with someone level headed for once.
First of all, about killing humans… Eddie, man. Just… Eddie. James didn’t even have to kill him, he won’t fire on you after he’s emptied his gun. Is a chubby guy with an empty revolver really a big enough threat to justify murdering? Eddie wasn’t even really a bad guy. So he shot a dog and disabled a bully, big deal. Doesn’t mean he needs to die. At the very least, James could’ve just walked out of the room. I mean, think back to Cybil. We at least had the option to NOT kill her. The option was there, and that kind of pokes a hole into the whole “no killing peoples” thing to begin with, but we didn’t HAVE to kill her. Poor old Eddie… Didn’t have a choice.
That said, I don’t think the cult members in this are the cult members you’re thinking of. Hey, if other people can throw out nonsensical fan theories, I’m gonna have my own based on in-game events, alright? From what I gathered, those were the people of Shepherd’s Glen who still followed the cult’s rules to keep the town safe and all that jazz. People had been disappearing for a while, Elle points that out at the beginning. Some were being dragged off by what appears to be Pyramid Head (As per the Child’s Drawings) and others were seemingly vanishing. To me, that seems like A) the town itself was punishing Shepherd’s Glen through the monsters and Pyramid Head for not completing the sacrifice, and B) the remaining cult members were trying to protect themselves and what was left of the town by trying to make up for that loss of the Shepherd sacrifice.
That would also explain the mining gear – improvised armor and weapons. The town is punishing the entirety of Shepherd’s Glen, they didn’t complete the sacrifice. That includes these cult members. They have to protect themselves, too, the Otherworld is obviously hostile toward them, the same way it is toward Alex and everyone else. Bear in mind the scene in the Otherworld version of Alex’s home, where the cult members are scrambling to get out before the Otherworld starts going after them. Plus, Ackers and Holloway were working with these people. Why would the Silent Hill sect of the cult welcome descendants of those who ran away from the town and its beliefs ages ago? And even if they did, why would they help them?
As for the nurses and Pyramid Head… They do make sense, to me at least. Let me steal an excerpt from my own article really quick…
The food here is terrible. My bed is stiff. There’s only one thing that makes it bearable: The nurses.
These girls are incredible. They have these pristine white uniforms cut right above the knee, their breasts spilling out from their shirts. Look, I don’t want to sound like a dirtbag or anything, I’m just saying I appreciate the military providing us with this one thing to brighten our days. Maybe it’s sort of like payback for getting us stuck in this place to begin with. I don’t know. All I can say is, ‘thank you.’”
That’s from a viral marketing blog that the developers put up. It’s referring to the way Alex saw the nurses while at war, but since we all know the truth about that, it’s safe to assume that he was confusing the orderlies and nurses from his time in the hospital with nurses on a battlefield. That explains the nurses perfectly, though it isn’t in-game, I can understand how a lot of people miss it and I can totally understand why some wouldn’t take it into consideration… But hey, people throw The Book of Lost Memories around like it’s the Silent Hill bible and it was supplemental material, too. As a bonus, shine a light on the nurse’s torso – they’re all pregnant, playing into the blatantly obvious birth themes throughout the game. They didn’t just steal the design, they explained it and worked in their own themes. Neat.
As for Pyramid Head… Well, you don’t want to hear it, but one theory about his existence in this particular game does go back to Adam. But you know all about that, so we’ll leave it there. The best theory I’ve seen, though, is supported by the Child’s Drawings. The drawings – at least one of them – feature a creature with a pyramid shaped head. The whole set of documents, however, keep the theory strong – they’re all depicting either events that haven’t happened yet (ie. the family of Robbie dolls with blood all over them referencing the deaths of the entire Shepherd family barring Alex), or recanting the things that Josh had either seen happening in the town or had heard about. It all references a “Boogeyman” taking people who don’t follow the rules. And you get this poem upon finding all the drawings…
Where is Steven, mommy? He can’t play and I’m sad.
You mustn’t ask, my darling–Steven has been bad.
Billy too, and Sally? Did they do something wrong?
I’m afraid it’s true, child–all your friends are gone.
Beware of he who took them–he goes by many names.
The Bogeyman, the Shadowed One, but all are he, the same.
For every sin a child has, must be a punishment to bear.
Your friends are now beyond our reach; trapped deep within his lair
And if they take what is not theirs, there can be no doubt.
He’ll stretch their skin until it snaps, and all the blood drains out.
Remember to always behave, for sins he won’t abide.
He wields a rusty, jagged blade, to cut out your insides.
The lying little children, with souls selfish and small.
Will find their wriggling tongues cut out, and nailed to his wall.
The bullies and their spiteful wrath will find torment as well.
Soon he will strike them where they stand and drag them into hell.
Child, you must obey your parents; do everything they say.
Little ones who do otherwise, he tortures in the flames.
Beatings cleanse the soul, they say, and that is what he’ll do.
If you don’t control your anger then you’ll feel his anger too.
You are your brother’s keeper, remember it always.
Or else, the Bogeyman will chain you underneath the waves.
And while the good children live, the bad ones cannot escape their fate.
For once you hear his screeching wail, it’s already too late.
So do not cry aloud at night, stay hidden in your bed…
Or the Bogeyman from Silent Hill will come chop off your head.
“The Boogeyman” being the name of PH in this particular entry. It seems to say that Pyramid Head was, indeed, acting out his punisher role, not necessarily on Adam alone, but on the entirety of Shepherd’s Glen. They didn’t complete the sacrifices, the town wants to punish them for it. It makes perfect sense, really. That, and it’s been hinted at that PH has, indeed, appeared to other people in the past. Remember the document you find in the dumpster in SH2? It’s about Walter’s trial and suicide. He mentions a “red demon” forcing him to commit the murders. On the one hand, this could be referencing Xuchilbara, but in context, it seems to be a direct reference to PH himself. You could say that it’s a reference to Jimmy Stone and all, what with the ceremonial headdress he wore resembling PH’s helmet… But SH4 wasn’t written at the time, I’m just chalking that one up to coincidence or the writers going back and looking through Walter’s mentions in SH2 for inspiration.
Otherwise, I liked the video, glad it wasn’t stupidly negative like most Homecoming discussions. Not to pimp my crap again, but you missed out on all the neat little foreshadowing moments. I discuss them in that blog I linked on the Origins video, give it a look. Some of the stuff might surprise you if you haven’t done the research already.
can has tl;dr version plix?
Even tho I’ve agreed with you on some stuff, I feel like you try way too hard to justify some things:
“That would also explain the mining gear – improvised armor and weapons.”
There’s still an underground coal fire, which is why I made it a point to show Alex running around near cracks in the ground that spew smoke. There was no coal fire in the games, only the movie. That’s a movie reference–whether or not the gear has other purposes is irrelevant because it’s pretty clear where it came from and the fact that it doesn’t fit in with earlier games–I could deal with movie references if they didn’t retcon the earlier games. That was a very sloppy move on the developer’s part and there’s no excuse for that as far as I’m concerned.
“That explains the nurses perfectly, though it isn’t in-game, I can understand how a lot of people miss it and I can totally understand why some wouldn’t take it into consideration…”
There’s more than one way to portray a sexy nurse. They picked the one used in the movie, added a detail or two and came up with an excuse for using it, the way 0rigins did. This doesn’t sway my opinion.
“As for Pyramid Head…”
Still didn’t have to be Pyramid Head. You can justify using it until you’re blue in the face, but it still doesn’t change the fact that it could have just as easily been some other monster. I disagree that Walter ever saw Pyramid Head, but for the sake of argument, let’s say he did–WE still didn’t see him in Silent Hill 4 because we didn’t need to. Just as we didn’t need to here either.
(EDIT – Sorry if my thoughts aren’t too polished … trying to type this out in a hurry because I’m supposed to be doing video editing =P)
I’m actually not sure which way they wanted to go with the coal fire thing. On the one hand, when Alex washes up on the shore he says something to the effect of “ashes…? No, snow…” If I recall. Referencing the out-of-season snow of the first game. But then we have the cracked streets spewing smoke. I don’t think it’s too hard to justify the mining gear, it’s just that the writers seemed split on this idea. No idea why they did what they did. But then, this is a series where people go out of their way to look for symbolism in creatures that star in games that aren’t even out yet, I don’t think I’m trying half as hard as most die hard SH analyzers.
This is true, but it’s nice to see that they managed to go with a similar design to the past games without hastily slapping together an excuse to use them. It’s influenced by the movie, that much is obvious, but the movie’s designs are fine… They just make no sense in the movie. They do make sense here, but recycling designs is always a bad thing. But I saw nothing wrong with the Creepers appearing multiple times and I had no problem with the Closers looking damn near just like the Mandarins. I don’t see much wrong with this. At least they explained it, rather than just slapping them in there like Origins.
What do you think the document was referencing, then, out of curiosity? I haven’t seen it discussed much and I’d like to see some more theories on that. I will say this, though – It COULD have been its own monster, but people still would’ve complained. It happened with the Butcher and it’s already happening with the hammer guy from Downpour. If there’s a creature in these games designed to punish, it’ll get hate. Fair or not. All I’m saying is, they justified his existence. They could’ve just dropped him in there for fun, but they went out of their way to explain it, whether it’s in a way that every player will see or not.
(Your thoughts are plenty polished. Just glad someone is being civil about this stuff. I appreciate the fact that you at least give other peoples’ theories chance like folks did with SH4 and your own views. )
Honestly, I’ve ranted about Pyramid Head so much that I’m pretty much burned out on it at this point. But just to clarify, when I say “another monster”, you seem to think I mean a thinly-veiled Pyramid Head (ie, the Butcher), which is the last thing I’d condone–I’m talking DIFFERENT, as in Valtiel or Walter Sullivan, similar role, maybe, but something original that isn’t a rehashed monster.
As for the memo, I think Silent Hill 4 pretty much cannonizes that it’s Jimmy Stone. I don’t really remember all the details about it, but either way, I like that they didn’t try to shoehorn PH into SH4–if anything, they went the other way, and at least gave a second option.
And that’s all I’m gonna say on that subject. My thoughts on PH and nurses has been pretty much exhausted at this point and I’d just end up repeating myself.
Hopefully I don’t sound too bitchy or nonsensical–it’s really late and I need to go to bed (which I will do, as soon as I hit “Post” =P)
Well that’s the thing, though. Valtiel and Walter serve entirely different roles. I’m all for a new creature, too, and I’m hoping the hammer guy in Downpour goes that route, but really, as far as “I’m here to punish you for your own crimes or your crimes against the town” kinds of things go – which is what Homecoming was going for with him – Pyramid Head can’t be beat. When you try to do something similar with a different creature, you get the Butcher or another, as you said, thinly veiled clone. Seems like we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I’ve never really fallen into the “PH should only have appeared to James” crowd and I do appreciate the writers of Homecoming at least explaining his appearance within the story and doing in a fairly vague, interesting, eerie way.
SH4 makes it seem like it was Jimmy, yes, but this is years before SH4 was written. In the context of SH2, a game where in PH is referred to as “that red pyramid thing” at least once, the appearance of a “red demon” to a murderer is a fairly obvious bit of foreshadowing regarding James, his actions, and Pyramid Head’s role. That said, I do like that they retconned that and made it Jimmy, it works really well and ties the games together. But I maintain that, in SH2, it WAS referring to Pyramid Head. But that’s me.
Don’t sound bitchy at all, man, just a subject you’re tired of. I’ve been there. But again, I do appreciate someone being civil about all this crap. You’ve had your moments with SH4, I’m sure, but you could stack every bit of hate SH4 got and it still wouldn’t compare to the nonsensical crap I’ve seen spewed about Homecoming. It’s not even that it’s not a good game or even that it’s a bad Silent Hill game, people just don’t WANT to like it. It’s like the RE purists response to RE4, except on a grand scale.
After from what I have read from the SH Wikia and FAQS I have once saved and reread over and over,I don’t regret in the slightest bit that I have not played this game myself.
What annoyed me is that they never established the relationship James’ dead wife Mary has to the Shepherds in Homecoming. It was clearly a reference to SH2,but at least SH4 The Room handled it better as we get to know a little bit about James’ dad.
Was she related to them or not?
Also the over reliance on melee weapons here is another thing as with The Room,I did not find too endearing as you will be using the knife and fire ax for most of the game. I can’t imagine playing a Resident Evil game where the knife is the most used weapon besides Code Veronica.
No way in hell would I attempt such a feat for 4 and 5.
Again PH …oh I’m sorry Boogeyman… showing up where he is not needed other than for fanservice. No Konami just no. He will not be considered a mascot no mater how much you try to shove him down our throats. It’s too late for that. It’s not like the series need one anyways.
The characters I didn’t care too much about nor for the story as it was extremely predicable.
I don’t have that much hope for Downpour but thank the heavens it is given more time to cook in the oven.
Homecming is more disappointing to me than the Room.
“Was she related to them or not?”
There’s no resemblance and Mary isn’t from Silent Hill, so no. It’s just a random reference that the developers felt like throwing in. Or maybe a weird coincidence, but probably not.
love the review and i completely agree with you on this one. over all i was really enjoying myself in this game but i also rage quite in the sewers i believe it was. the reason being is that there is a huge game breaking glitch in this game. if you defeat a few enemies then save then head into a big open area were a huge monster is supposed to appear he doesn’t. your supposed to fight 3 blade guys and then one of the big guys that have kind of mallet arms all in one go. there was no way i was doing that. unfortunately aswell you need that big guy to appear or your stuck in limbo grrrr.
O-o oooooooooooooooooooook maybe I can see why Australia did ban this game at first that Torture scene with Alex…that was a bit eeeeeew…
I’ll be honest I havn’t played this one myself but I don’t know why its hated for it being combat based,it makes more sense if the character is like Alex(even though in reality he isn’t a Soldier but still) maybe if I played the game myself I would understand….buuuuuuuuuuuut I don’t want to look at…that torture scene it does bother me as well
This game may be one of the only games in the series that I’ll end up skipping because it just looks like it would feel too much like a generic action game with the name slapped onto it.
People gave Silent Hill 4 crap for not feeling like a “true” Silent Hill game, but at least that *tried* to be its own entity, instead of ripping off the movie or rehashing old ideas. Or at least that’s how I feel.
But hey, Downpour actually looks kinda interesting. Least they hinted at the fact that there might not be a Pyramid Head in it.
10:05 “I heard that Curtis!” Holy crap, did you make a Spoony reference there? Nice review anyways. Something that I never liked about Homecoming is that it is very combat heavy. For those of you that say it was a good change of pace, I disagree. Silent Hill is based more in psychological horror more than survival horror. Some horror games like Dead Space work well with good combat systems, but Silent Hill is just not one of those games, especially since the combat contrasts with the bleak, helpless atmosphere that the designers were trying to go for.
That is, indeed, from Spoony’s Phantasmagoria LP. As soon as I realized the game had a character named Curtis, I knew I had to use it =P
I thought you’d be more harsh with the game and I’m glad you weren’t. On the other hand this is one of the games that I beat and never going to play again. Now it’s time to finally beat the first one, as the hd remakes are coming out soon.
No one is more surprised than I am XD
As for HD Collection, it’s only got 2 and 3 in it. No 1 or 4.
To me, based on what everyone has said (I never played this game) I agree with all your points, except 2 things….1. the combat, which to me, a combat system like that is welcome and sounds fun. I didn’t like the combat previously, this sounds like something I could finally get behind.
But other than that, 2. I know Pyramid head lessens the impact of him appearing before, but to me, Pyramid head looks so cool and iconic, I don’t mind it having him again simply just for fan service sake. But aside from him, I think all other enemies should be original for sure, and don’t like their re-use, including the nurses. Just seems like enemies for the sake of enemies and they’re saying “to hell with the symbolism” and saving the symbolism for the bosses only. Which is obviously not cool sense even the enemies should hold symbolism.
I also don’t like seeing the cult members and agree completely with all your other points.
I hope Downpour will be good, and hope we’ll see you do a gameden on it someday.
Wondering if you even read my comments lol,
Chris, a fan of your videos
“Wondering if you even read my comments lol,”
You said that last time. I’ll repeat what I said then: I read every comment.
Looks like you’re the one who doesn’t read MY comments >.>
That said, I can see people who have more patience and skill than me enjoying the fighting aspect. Unfortunately, the game is literally too hard for me.
and now i’m embarrassed. Alright fair enough XD
Ok now to read the rest of what you just said -reads-
as for the difficulty, fair enough. I guess I’ll have to try it to find out for myself.
Also, not sure if you ever saw me say before, but Silent Hill 4 inspired me to make a Horror Novel, and if I ever get it published, I’d love to send you a copy just to hear your thoughts on it Just an idea, if you don’t wanna though it’s cool.
I might not be able to get to it right away, but you can send it if you want and I can try to get around to it.
If nothing else, I could use something to read during my break at work–at this point, I’ve gone almost all the way through all the entries in Blogger Beware =P
I agree almost everything you said. I hated how much they followed the movie’s plot. And the combat was the one that finally drove me off of it.
The game also had almost no subtlety to it. The very first thing we see is the otherworld. It may be just a dream, but it doesn’t matter. Waiting for the otherworld is part of it’s dread. You could say the otherworld is one of the monsters of Silent Hill. All the other games spent a lot of time before we even saw a glimpse of one of the monsters. Here, it’s almost instantly shown.
Also, the transition to the otherworld is taken straight from the movie, which pissed me off even more. It’s too abrupt and quick. In the other games, the first transitions are always so subtle that you don’t even notice that you are entering the otherworld until it’s too late. I know there are some sudden transitions in the other games as well, but those are usually in places where the otherworld is already established.
One of the biggest things that annoyed me was the constant reminder that this game wasn’t being made by team silent. The reminder being the US flag on his coat. Every time the game did something wrong, I would get a glimpse of that flag and think “Goddamn americans ruining a good series”. And it’s not even America that is to blame. Konami disbanded Team Silent, not the Americans. It’s just that this game was my first Silent Hill with different developer, so that flag (and the Americans in general) became the target of my frustration. Which I have to apologize.
I always thought the movie’s transition looked cool and it’s … probably the only thing from the movie I don’t mind them using.
BUT, you make a good point about the lack of subtlety. The earlier games usually involved the transition happening while the character was unconscious. Maybe a good way to handle it would be to use the movie’s transition, but save it for later in the game.
As for the game starting out in the Otherworld … funny thing is that SH3 did that too … but as much as I love SH3, I wasn’t crazy about it starting that way. It was a dream sequence in that game too XD
Damn, I totally forgot that about SH3. It’s been so long since I last played that. I really dislike dream sequences in horror games (and in movies as well).
But yeah, I wouldn’t mind them having the transition effect later on in the game when the otherworld is already known to us. The only problem is that the transition is more awe inducing than fear inducing. It’s more “oh wow, I’m going to hell” type of transition when it should be “Oh shit, where the hell am I?” type of transition.
And I’m not saying that the original games did transitions perfectly either. There were some hit and miss transitions in those as well. But at least they were all different.
As a huge Silent hill fan, I pretty much hate homecoming . My Issues with this game are several.
1 . There’s no creepy moment’s in the game .
2. The story was too similar to sh2
3. In sh2 I cared about discovering what happened to Mary , In homecoming I couldn’t give a crap about Josh what’s his name
4.Pyramid head was original a manifestation of James mind , Homecoming screwed that over:P.
5. The story was so forgetful.
6. The monster designs , what where they represented as? seriously ? I get the bosses but the normal enemies you encounter:P
7, The cult from the movie ,why why why???????????
The list can go on but this was the most disappointing silent hill game I’ve ever played. I just needed to get it out of my system:P
At least Downpour looks promising:D
Here is the one ive been waiting for. Im glad to see you give it some good points rather than just flat out rage on it. Im one of the few people who liked this game lol I remember trying to defend it when it came out, I guess I was just glad to be able to play a new Silent Hill game and didnt want to hate it. I really hope Downpour turns out better although knowing me ill like it regardless unless of course it turns out to be absolutely horrid lol
I agree with nearly everything you said, but I actually liked the combat. I just thought the gameplay was better all around, even if it didn’t make up for the story not being as good as the first four games. There were some pretty fascinating environments too, so the game really did make me want to see where it would go next. Though the last area was a let-down, just fighting cult members until the extremely welcome final boss.
Anyway, I was wondering; How do you copy those title fonts? They’re not exactly something you find in Microsoft Word.
Depends on the title, but generally I end up doing a lot of it from scratch.
If it’s a title that has most of the letters making up “The Game Den” I can do some re-arranging of the letters of the game’s title screen, but I almost always have to do some serious tweaking for at least a few of the letters, like combining an I and an O into a D. I think a lot of the ones from this month involved that strategy.
Tho, depending on how generic-looking the font is, sometimes I can find a similar font and just alter it a little. For Silent Hill 2, I think I used Arial, or something, then just added the webbing between the letters by hand in Photoshop.
It’s a stupid amount of work for something that is only on screen for 30 seconds or so, but I consider it something of a personal challenge to replicate the game’s title screen as closely as I can =P
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