Does Silent Hill need fixing?
I was inspired to write this piece by Naygom’s last bit on Killer Instinct, so allow me to open by ripping him off.
Do you remember when Silent Hill was cool? Do you remember the disgusting, grimy visuals throughout the series? Do you remember replaying for hours to get all the endings, outfits, weapons and all the other unlockable extras? The cold sad voice of James’s dead wife calling your name as you walk away from the bars in that hotel in Silent Hill 2? I do, so why the FUCK doesn’t Konami?!
OK, after that horrible bit of blatant plagiarism let’s talk about Silent Hill, a series that I love so much. Silent Hill was a survival horror game released in 1999 that very quickly became THE horror game to play. It was scary, but a different kind of scary, it was more subtle and psychological; you weren’t scared because of big monsters or anything basic like that. You were scared because the atmosphere was oppressive and the content of the story and visuals would get under your skin and creep you out in a way that’s really hard to explain properly.
Then a couple years later Silent Hill 2 came along and knocked it right out of the goddamn park. What is considered by many to be the best horror game ever made Silent Hill 2 is a classic game about a man’s tragic journey through ‘Silent Hill’ in search for his dead wife. Everything that was in Silent Hill is in the second installment but done better. Great story, wonderful visuals and that same brand of Silent Hill creepiness that will keep you up for nights on end after your first play through. 2 years after that Silent Hill 3 came out and kept up the standards and fleshed out the story of the first game while keeping up the standards set by the second. A year after that, Silent Hill 4 was released and while it was a bit of a misstep it managed to maintain the same sort of feel as the others despite having piss poor gameplay so it still holds a fond place in the heart of a lot of fans.
But then it all went wrong, starting here.
After Silent Hill 4 the series was over in the eyes of the original developers known as Team Silent. It was done, but Konami wasn’t. Silent Hill was outsourced to western developers and the first game we got out of that was Silent Hill: Origins, a game with its heart in the right place but obviously the people in charge didn’t quite understand what they were dealing with. Then more and more games came out, Shattered Memories, Homecoming, Downpour and most recently Book of Memories along with tons of other media like movies and comic books.
Literally ALL of these games missed the original point and were led by teams of people who had no idea what the hell they were doing and while I could point the finger at certain individuals (and I have done in my blog) if I started doing that we’d be getting off topic.
So Silent Hill is a piece of shit now and this is not opinion to be discussed. I’m sorry to any readers out there who may enjoy new Silent Hill, but if you do, you have no idea what the hell you are talking about, straight up. It sounds like a horrible elitist thing to say but if you had even a basic understanding of the original 4 games, you’d realise why new school Silent Hill is an abomination.
So how do we fix it? I’m about to give you an extremely short list of what can be done about Silent Hill, so let’s get it started.
1. Get rid of fucking Pyramid Head
Pyramid Head has become the series mascot and it’s sad in a way. He’s a cool monster but if you were happy to see him in the movies or in Homecoming then instantly you are put into the camp of people that need to go back and review Silent Hill 2. He is not some mascot to be shoehorned into every game. He is a manifestation that is specific to James Sunderland, the protagonist of the second game, and if he is found ANYWHERE else he instantly doesn’t belong. His character gets cheapened in every other game he appears in where he doesn’t belong and Downpour did something even worse by cheapening him as a concept. If these new Silent Hill developers are going to make new games, stop relying on this guy or better yet, stop relying on this goddamn concept.
2. Don’t Fix it
No, I’m serious, stop making Silent Hill games. Hiroyuki Owaku has finished what he intended to do, it’s dead, done, finished and, if you make any more games then you’re basically just writing goddamn fan fiction.
The series legacy has already been ruined and there is now this new wave of “fans” who just look forward to their next chance to hit a bunch of spindly enemies in the face with a fire axe and that’s not what Silent Hill was ever about. The original, expertly crafted story regarding a creepy town with a tragic past is done and all this extra content being developed to “flesh it out” is ruining it.
So that’s it, the best way to fix Silent Hill is to just let it die. Maybe we could also jump into a time machine and prevent anything from Origins onwards being created but that isn’t realistic, so let’s just settle for having its legacy not being shit on any further.
Just to finish, I’ve gone on many a rant about Silent Hill, so here is some further reading:
Also, if you want to clue yourself in about Silent Hill without shitting your pants, hit up YouTube and search for “The Real Silent Hill Experience,” probably one of the best things ever created by fans for anything ever. Thanks for reading!
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