Silent Hill 2 is a god damn perfect game, absolutely flawless. I played through the first two Silent Hill games this week, and while they're both great, Silent Hill 2 really ought to stand out as one of the crown jewels of gaming. It's a fantastic example of an artistic vision coming to life.
Now that I'm a little older and a little more mature (I last played it in 2008), the game had a much larger emotional impact on me, and that's certainly something I was not expecting. I still don't get scared by games like this (in fact, I get this mentally orgasmic sense of glee from seeing the dried-blood, rusty, washed-out, neglected level of decay in games like this), but it resonated a little deeper with me.
Literally everything in Silent Hill 2 is perfect - yes, even the controls. I know there is a large group of troglodytes on the internet that shits all over tank controls, but it adds an extra level of tension and, well, involvement to the game, which lends itself really well to games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil. It's really a damn shame that the dumbest voices have created so many negative changes in the gaming industry.
There's also a particular sequence in this game that STILL stands as my favourite "level" in gaming, a good 7 or 8 years since I first played it. That's the whole section between the Historical Society and the boat ride to the Hotel. Something about that whole area, I feel like the most care and attention was specifically put into that part. There's all the different holes you drop down, everything's aged horribly, there's a morgue where bodies are being thrown down a bottomless pit, the prison's floors are littered with rubble and debris... Every time I play through it, I feel like I'm in heaven. I'm not sure if that's due to the underlying symbology of the area, or if it's because of my natural fascination with urban decay and abandoned places, but man... I thoroughly enjoy it.
I'm going to be playing through the Silent Hill series, from 1 through 4, plus Homecoming, culminating with a watching of the movie. Silent Hills 1-3 are absolutely incredible, and aside from some failings in SH1 that were common to PS1-era games (not the visuals though, oh lawdy), they're pretty much beyond reproach. I've never played Silent Hill 4, but I'm going in with full understanding that it's not TECHNICALLY a Silent Hill game, and I'm going to play it as such (if not secretly hoping it's a vague adaptation of Tommy Wiseau's The Room). Silent Hill: Homecoming is something I'd include on a "hidden gems" or "most underrated" list if I could be assed to make one. Yeah, it's a Silent Hill game made for "the fans", and that certainly counts against it, but you know what? It's a great game for what it is. The art direction is really great, and it was made with a high degree of care... Unlike that fucking PSV co-op game because what the actual fuck were they thinking?
Speaking of terrible gaming decisions, what in the sam hell happened to Konami? I used to have such a hard-on for them, but they seriously lost some gusto this generation. Why was Team Silent disbanded? Why has the MGS series been re-released 86 times? Why are you trying to follow Capcom and turn your credible franchises into action schlock? Fuck, guys. Get your heads in the game.
The movie's not terrible either. I mean, it is, but it's visually interesting, and I liked the Super Mario movie on that merit alone. I'd be curious to know how I react to it.
But yeah. That's about all I have to say about Silent Hill for the moment. I'm working on doing a bit of an In Memoriam for the PS3 library, but with my recent acquisition of Ni no Kuni (I got it and Dishonoured at 2 for $20 at EB), I may forgo doing so for now.
Talk about shit beneath this sentence.