Video Game Closet: Silent Hill

Hello everybody! On this week’s video game closet we have the survival horror game Silent Hill.

SILENT HILL

Silent_Hill_video_game_cover

Developer(s) Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo
Publisher(s) Konami
Director(s) Keiichiro Toyama
Producer(s) Gozo Kitao
Writer(s) Keiichiro Toyama
Composer(s) Akira Yamaoka
Series Silent Hill
Platform(s) PlayStation,PlayStation Network
Release date(s) PlayStation

  • NA January 31, 1999
  • JP March 4, 1999
  • EU August 1, 1999

PlayStation Network

  • EU March 19, 2009 (withdrawn)
  • NA September 10, 2009
  • EU October 26, 2011 (re-released)
Genre(s) Survival horror
Mode(s) Single-player

At the start of the game, Harry drives to Silent Hill with his daughter Cheryl for a vacation. At the town’s edge, he swerves his car to avoid hitting a girl in the road; as a result, he crashes the vehicle and loses consciousness. Waking up in town, he meets police officer Cybil Bennett, who works in a nearby town, and realizes that Cheryl is missing. Finding that the town is deserted and foggy, with snow falling out of season, Harry meets several other people in the monster-filled town: Dahlia Gillespie, who gives him a charm, the “Flauros”; Doctor Michael Kaufmann, director of Silent Hill’s Alchemilla Hospital; and nurse Lisa Garland, who worked at Alchemilla. He also encounters a symbol throughout the town, which Dahlia claims will allow darkness to take over the town if it continues to multiply. Eventually, this darkness begins taking over the town. According to Dahlia, the girl from the road is a demon responsible for the symbol’s duplication. She urges him to stop the demon, because if he does not, Cheryl will die. Harry soon finds himself attacked by Cybil, who is parasitized by a creature; the player must choose whether to save her or not.

Silent-Hill

Scary Noises were the main reason I wanted to scream and cry while playing this game. As you can see, the graphics aren’t scary. However, you get a radio that emits static whenever a monster approaches. And some rooms just make scary noises to freak you out. The music involves lots of clanking and scary noises and honestly, well done to the sound guys because that’s the primary reason I had to stop playing – scary noise, can’t go on.

This is one of the greatest stories told during the PSX era. I don’t feel like I’m spoiling anything when I say you die in the first five minutes of this game. Or did you? The story is confusing and hard to understand but talking about any of it would ruin the experience. Half of the game you aren’t sure what is real and what isn’t or whether everything is a dream. There are multiple endings and some of them only add to the confusion. Every character introduced has their own connection to the story but don’t expect the game to hold your hand and explain it to you like they do in modern games, there is no big tie up at the end that explains everything.

download (1)kjhgI found the controls of this game really clunky and difficult to get used to. I’m used to a game where if you push left, the character moves to YOUR left. In Silent Hill, Harry (the protagonist) will move to his left. It’s also been a while since I’ve played a game that involves combat – it took me a few attempts to be able to kill these guys (first enemies in the game). This made combat incredibly difficult as it made the game just so much harder.

Many of today’s gamers are never going to understand why anyone could be afraid of anything in this game based solely on the graphics. The graphics compared to today’s standards are atrocious. You can’t make out things because they are so poorly defined, lines that should be straight curve and move, the colors blend and mix, the lighting barely feels like it covers a few inches in front of you, and even the cut scene’s graphics are laughable compared to most game’s normal graphics. The camera angles you see from would never make it in a game today. This is why when they redid this game in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, they couldn’t go for a straight remake of this game.

But what is here, especially if you can put yourself in the position to be open minded, is magic. The camera angles limit you most of the time so you can’t see around a corner, even when you KNOW something is there based on the radio static.

PROS:

  •  Fear.
  • Story.
  • Replay value.

CONS:

  •  Graphics.
  • Controls.
  • Camera angles.

SCORE: 7.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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Video Game Closet: Fatal Frame II Crimson Butterfly

Hello everybody! Today on our Video Game Closet we have the second installment of Fatal Frame series, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly.

FATAL FRAME II: CRIMSON BUTTERFLY

Fatal_Frame_II_-_Crimson_Butterfly

 

Developer(s) Tecmo
Publisher(s)
  • JP Tecmo
  • NA Tecmo
  • PAL Ubisoft (PS2)
  • EU Microsoft Game Studios(Xbox)
Designer(s) Keisuke Kikuchi
Series Fatal Frame
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, Xbox
Release date(s) PlayStation 2
JP November 27, 2003
NA December 10, 2003
EU April 30, 2004
Xbox (Director’s Cut)
NA November 1, 2004
JP November 11, 2004
EU February 4, 2005
PlayStation Network
NA May 7, 2013
Genre(s) Survival horror
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Optical disc

Fatal Frame II is set in the (possibly fictional) Minakami (皆神) region of Japan. While a dam is being planned for construction in a forest at this location in the game’s present, the site is also home to Minakami Village (lit. “All God’s Village”), a “[l]ost” settlement where the majority of the game takes place. The player learns that Minakami Village was host to the “Crimson Sacrifice Ritual”, the failure of which caused the settlement to vanish—thus earning it the name “The Lost Village”. In the game’s present, there is an urban legend about the Lost Village, where people who become lost in the Minakami forest will become trapped forever in the village.

The protagonists of Fatal Frame II are Mio and Mayu Amakura, twin sisters who are visiting their favorite childhood playspot in Minakami before it is lost in the dam construction. The main antagonist is the vengeful spirit of Sae Kurosawa, the sole Twin Shrine Maiden sacrificed for the failed ritual. She yearns to reunite with her twin sister Yae, whom she mistakes Mio for, and uses Mayu to try and complete the ritual with her. Other characters include the spirit of Itsuki Tachibana, a young man who also mistakes Mio for Yae, but instead tries to help her and Mayu escape; and Seijiro Makabe, a folklorist who visited Minakami Village with a Camera Obscura prototype (the same camera Mio uses in the game) and his assistant, Ryozo Munakata. Makabe later became a temporary sacrifice for the Abyss, known as a Kusabi (?). Although Mio and Mayu’s story takes place after Miku Hinasaki’s, the events of Minakami Village occur before those of the Himuro mansion in the original game.

fatal-frame-2

Overall, I have to say that Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly has to be one of my favorite games I have played on the Sony PlayStation 2. Are you in the mood for a game that not only screws with your mind and your eyes with some superb graphics and sound? Do you want to dress the scene in your own horror game? Look no further.  All  of the elements worked together to make a cerebral and visceral experience. You can check out a lengthier review over on Nerd Bacon Games here.

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This part is even going to be shorter than normal. I really don’t have many bad things to say about Crimson Butterfly. I really enjoyed the game, except all of the twin imagery. Yes I understand that it is central to the plot of the game, but I could have done without it. Your twin doesn’t really do anything to help you and just gets in the way most of the time. Now shoo Mio shoo! I don’t want you here.

PROS:

  • Art direction.
  • Story.
  • Interesting characters.
  • Horror

CONS:

  • Twin imagery.

SCORE: 8.5 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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Classic Video Game Closet: Tactics Ogre Knights of Lodis

Hello everybody! Today we have the last game of the Ogre Battle series, Tactics Ogre: Knights of Lodis.

You can check out these links if you want to read my reviews of other games in the series.

TACTICS OGRE: KNIGHTS OF LODIS

Developer(s) Quest
Publisher(s) Atlus
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance
Release date(s)
  • JP June 21, 2001
  • NA May 7, 2002
Genre (s) Tactical Role Playing Game
Mode (s) Single-Player
 
 

This game is set before the events of chapter five – Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen and chapter six Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber and seven Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together which run concurrently.

Ovis is brutally oppressed by the knights of Lodis. Alphonse Loeher is a knight in Rictor Lasanti’s military unit, the Order of the Sacred Flame, and he is sent to Ovis. When he is later separated from the main forces, he meets Eleanor Olato and Ivanna Batraal, two locals from whom he eventually learns the truth about the horrific events taking place in Ovis.

Various circumstances lead Alphonse to separate from Rictor’s main unit. As the plot unfolds, Alphonse begins to question the actions and motives of Rictor. He then begins his search for answers, starting with Ivanna’s uncle, the sinister regent Naris Batraal, and the sacred spear, Longicolnis, which is the only instrument that can pierce the skin of the fallen angel, Shaher. It is later revealed that Rictor initially knew about the sacred spear and wanted to obtain it for the Lodis empire. About halfway through the game, the player is presented with two choices, one of which eventually leads to his falling out with Rictor. In fact, the player’s choice will significantly affect all plot elements that follow.

There are five possible endings in the game (the Game Over scenario, which is gained by losing to the final boss, is also counted). The “A+” ending sequence features one additional scene which details Lans Tartare’s past, in addition to the entire “A” ending sequence. To view the A+ ending, several conditions must be met, including completing the game in under 25 hours. The exact ending sequence with which the game presents the player depends on, among other things, the significant choice that the player has made halfway through the game and Eleanor’s presence in the final battle. In particular, the “D” ending excludes Eleanor altogether.

Tactics Ogre: Knights of Lodis is the prequel to Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen. Knights of Lodis (Kol for short) is quite similar to Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, with only a few main key differences. First, the game play includes many of the same elements as ToLuct but shares the rest with Final Fantasy Tactics. It is a turn-based JRPG, which makes it all different from the other games in the Ogre Battle (MotBQ and Polc) saga. Secondly, the class list has been expanded yet again, now to a total of about 100 classes. That is way to many for a single game, but at least now it increases the level of customization. Lastly, The story follows a new character named Alphonse on a completely different continent as a questions the authority of his rulers, uncover the legendary spear Longicolnis, and destroy the great demon threatening the world. Just like in every other Ogre Battle game.

I have to honestly say the Knights of Lodis is my least favorite game in the entire saga. Its not that is was disappointing, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped. The story didn’t grab me as much as the others, it made me feel like I just had to trudge through it. I did enjoy Alphonse though, he was a cool character (especially since in the A+ ending is an important character in ToLuct!) I felt the graphics could have been better (but it was released on the GBA, so we already know how they screwed that up). Also thought that lack of multiple choices throughout the game that could change the story hindered the game. There is only one halfway through the game, while ToLuct has three.

PROS:

  • New game play elements.
  • Expanded class list.
  • Alphonso and Longiculous.

CONS:

  • Uninteresting story.
  • Graphics.
  • Lack of story-branching choices.

SCORE: 6.0 / 10

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