Silent Hill 2 Restless Dreams(X-box) impressions...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Romier S, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    I'm gonna go ahead and write up another one of my impression/review for Silent Hill 2 Restless Dreams since I haven't seen anything posted yet about the game.
    First and Foremost I'm just gonna go ahead and say it...I am utterly biased with this game. I love Silent Hill 2. In the "game of the year" thread I chose SH2 for my game of year. I was really anticipating the X-box version for the Born from a Wish side quest and the other added extras. With that said, if you didn't like the story of the game or didn't enjoy the game for the PS2 this version won't change your mind. Its the same game. For those that haven't played the game....get ready for something special[​IMG].
    I have beaten Silent Hill 2 about 8 times on the PS2 and I am about 2 more sections away from beating it for the first time on the X-box (I am currently in the prison. Yes I know I am an utter dork but I've been playing the game all day since I didn't have work today[​IMG]). So I feel Im pretty qualified to comment on the quality of the game[​IMG]. Lets get on with it....
    Graphics:
    This game was no slouch on the PS2. It ran smooth as butter and it looked fantastic. Some did not like the grain effect added to the game but I am of the opinion that it very much enhances the mood of the game. I considered it to be one of the best looking PS2 games out there. The X-box version is even better.
    One not so good thing about the PS2 version was the decent amount of flickering and aliasing apparent in the backgrounds as you moved or even if you didn't move at times. It was a bit distracting but not anything that detracted from the game (In hindsight I didn't even notice it until I got compared the X-box and PS2 versions). One example is the fence that blocks the road to Silent Hill right at the start of the game. In the PS2 version the fence flickered and shimmered like crazy when you moved. Also the bushes in the background did the same. All this is gone from the X-box version. Everything is rock solid and you will not see a hint of flicker anywhere on the screen. This is a minor improvement and not anything to go crazy about but when comparing the two it is noticeable and it is one of the reasons it gives the X-box the graphical edge over the PS2 version.
    Believe it or not they added even more grit and grain to the game. They seem to have upped the graininess of the game and also softened and dimmed the picture from the PS2 version! THIS IS A GOOD THING! It adds even more atmosphere to the game makes things even dingier. Some may not like this change but I think its great. It makes the PS2 version look downright clean
    [​IMG]
    Also, the added lighting effect are very nice. You can now see the shadow of a creature that is coming from behind you completely engulf your character and cast on the floor in front of you. Its a nice effect and adds some good fright factor.
    Finally the framerate is rock solid. Contrary to some reports some have mentioned there is not a hint of slowdown in the game at all. It runs absolutely identical to the PS2 version. No worries here my friends.
    Sound:
    AH....Silent Hill 2 in 5.1.[​IMG]
    The 5.1 soundtrack is very nice. The radio static appears in the surround speakers as do some of the monster yells and cries.
    There is not much directionality in this track so dont expect that. There is some good use of the discrete channels every once in awhile though. Such as the yells of a dying man appearing in the left surround and scaring the poop out of me! The track has its moments and makes the disc even more worth the purchase.
    The center channel is again not used in this at all though. (Like most X-box games. I hope developers can get a handle on what is going on with this and correct it in future games)
    Story:
    Im not gonna go into much of the story. I'm sure you have all read about it by now. I just want to mention that no game and damn no near no movie has freaked me out as much as this game has.
    Rules for playing SH2:
    Rule #1 Play alone!!!
    Rule #2 Turn off all the lights and play in absolute darkness.
    Rule #3 Dont play during the day. Play only at night.
    Rule #4 Make sure its cold. Cold helps the freakiness for some reason. Gives you the willies[​IMG]
    Extras:
    Born From a Wish:
    This was the main reason for me buying this game and I have to say as of now its interesting. Its not mind blowing or anything but it is interesting. I have gone through about 50 minutes of the side story and it is developing well.
    I also wanted to comment on something that EGM wrote. In their review for the game they mentioned that the side-story was riddled with slow down. I honestly dont know what they are talking about. This story runs identical to the main game. It runs identical to the PS2 version of the game. Again I dont know what EGM is talking about here.
    Also the option to turn the grain noise effect on or off is now instantly in the options menu. You dont need to beat the game to unlock this now(WOOHOO).
    Gamplay:
    My one gripe. The X-box controller does not lend itself well to the game. The dual shock 2 is much better. All is not lost though. I was a dissapointed when first playing the game since I was using the default controller setup and it was really awkward. You'll understand when you play it[​IMG]
    The minute you pop the game in go directly to the option screens and change the controller setup to type#2. MUCH MUCH BETTER. Almost all of my issues with the controls were instantly relieved. I got a big smile on my face after finding that[​IMG](heaven forbid I read the manual) Its still not as smooth as the dual shock but it is adequate and it controls decently smooth.
    I wanted to mention load times too. In the PS2 version you would go into a room and you would see those little white footsteps while the loading screen came up (The PS2 load times were very fast in of themselves). The X-box has almost no load time. When you click on a door the screen will freeze for a moment and you will be on the other side. Rarely will you see the load screen! NICE!
    Summary:
    If you have never played this game and have an X-box and a PS2 ....GO BUY THE X-BOX VERSION!.
    If you are a Silent Hill 2 nut that has played and owns the PS2 version and you also happen to have an X-box...GO BUY THE X-BOX VERION! You'll get the definitive version of the game.
    For those who aren't Silent Hill 2 nuts and have played the game for the PS2 and own it (along with an X-box)....GO RENT IT![​IMG] I have to suggest renting it as the improvements are only major if you are an utter SH2 fan. For the casual person it may not be worth the money for an extra scenario and graphical improvements.
    PHEW! only 6500 characters for this! (man these reviews can get long!) Anyway I apologize for these lengthy reviews I've been writing lately. I just get too much into writing about all these good games[​IMG]. I'll shut up now...ENJOY!
     
  2. Dean DeMass

    Dean DeMass Screenwriter

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    Romier,
    Thanks for the review. I have been debating on whether or not I want to rebuy this game. I think I am going to stick with my PS2 version and just rent it to play the Maria scenario. I am looking forward to the 5.1 sound though. [​IMG]
    -Dean-
     
  3. Bjoern Roy

    Bjoern Roy Second Unit

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    What a wonderful review. Thanks Romier!
     
  4. Doug Miller

    Doug Miller Supporting Actor

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    I will agree that it's an impressive game. I had a PS1 and PS2 up until last spring -- I was a huge fan of Resident Evil, and wanted to give Silent Hill a try. I'm only in the apartments right now, having not had experience with the first one, I checked about every door in town -- what a waste of time!

    Overall, I love the visuals. My only gripe is with the game itself. I personally would have liked to have had more interaction with the backgrounds. I should be able to look in the cars, I should be able to look in the buildings. I can't interact with the scenery. The fog gets a little disorienting, I was happy to finally be inside.

    Doug
     
  5. Dean Cooper

    Dean Cooper Supporting Actor

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    I can't wait to play this game! Thanks for the review.

    Dean
     
  6. Heath L

    Heath L Extra

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    I've been trying to decide on which new XBox game to get myself with the $50 Best Buy gift card I got for Christmas and now this review clouded the situation even more. I've never played the Silent Hill series but I was/am a huge fan of the Resident Evil series.

    I'm torn between picking up Silent Hill 2, Amped, or SSS Tricky. I like games of the Silent Hill genre but I'm always disappointed with how short they are (I beat Max Payne in 2 1/2 days). I'm a big fan of sports games because they are different everytime and have great replay value.

    Will Silent Hill 2 let me down in this area? Should I just rent it and pick up one of the snowboarding games for the replay value?

    Opinions please.
     
  7. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    Let us know how long the Maria stuff lasts.
     
  8. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    Heath, you have a tough choice. Of course the best answer is to rent all 3 and then decide. If you can't, I'd just flip a coin.
     
  9. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    OK, I've been playing a little more now (I gotta go to work in about 30 minutes[​IMG]). Ive played through most of teh Maria scenario and I'm just about at the end. Ive got one last thing to do and I'm finished. All together the new scenario took me a little less than 2 and 1/2 hours to go through. Not exactly the 4-6 hours they were touting but hell its a bonus so I cant argue.
    The storyline to the Maria scenario adds a bit to the story of the game. It explains Maria's existence a little further and gives a good bit of insight into her character. If your a Silent Hill 2 devotee its worth the time to play it. It may not be worth a repurchase to some but I again would recommend renting it to play through the added scenario and check out the new stuff. From there you can make up your mind if you want to buy it or not. Again..Enjoy!
    Doug,
    I agree about the interaction with the backgrounds and the ability to enter buildings. The town would be even more interesting if you could do that. I can imagine that it would be difficult create, model and put enough content ineach building to allow you to go inside each one.![​IMG]
    Heath,
    Silent Hill 2 has at least provided me with a good bit of replay value. The game has 5 endings. With this version of the game you get the Maria scenario also.
    My first time playing through the game it took me about 12 hours to get through and I immediately started up a new game. If you are big into getting every little secret (like the chainsaw weapon and various others) the game will not disapoint.
    It does not provide the level of replay value something like SSX tricky would but it comes down to what genre you enjoy more.
    On the other hand if you only plan to go through the game once and not bother with the other endings or the secrets this may not be the game for you.
     
  10. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    I also bought the game and am enjoying it a lot. Even though I'm a Resident Evil fan at heart, this is the only on available on Xbox(for now) and I have to say, the game is scaring the crap out of me! On a side note though, I believe the sound is almost like the PS2's probably. While I never played the PS2 version, if you look at the back of the Xbox box, right beside the DD logo is a diagram of 4 speakers. Isn't this what PS2 uses for sound?

    In the end, great game!
     
  11. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Is anyone using this game on a 16:9 set? If so, how does it look?

    Oh and thank you VERY MUCH for the review. I appreciate it greatly!

    C. Ryan
     
  12. Barry S

    Barry S Stunt Coordinator

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    Just the thought of Silent Hill in 5.1 gives me the creeps.

    I wonder if there's any possibility of getting an upgraded version of Silent Hill 1 on Xbox or Cube? I would LOVE it if Silent Hill were available on Dreamcast, but that'll never happen. The closest DC has is Resident Evil Code Veronica, and I much prefer Silent Hill.
     
  13. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    Ok, I finished up the Maria sub-scenario. Final play time was 2 hours and 12 minutes. Everything considered it was pretty good. I was a little disapointed though at the end. You get some decent insight into Maria's character before she meets up with James in the Park and there is also a sub-story with a family (The baldwin) in a mansion that just goes totally unresolved. The family subplot was really interesting and I was getting into the whole unravelling of it all. Then just as the story started to really pick up steam it ended!! It feels like the developers wanted to put in more but for some reason stopped[​IMG]. ( I think a whole game could have been made out this scenario alone. You listening Konami?[​IMG])
    If anyone wants me to elaborate on the sub-scenario story more I will do so. In spoiler bars of course[​IMG]. Just let me know.
    Considering its a bonus though I cant complain. If anything it made me yearn for more Silent Hill and added even more to SH2. I hope Konami announces 3 soon.
    *Romier gets down on his knees and pleades for konami to get to work on the third one!*
     
  14. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    Is the game actually in 5.1 or 4.0?
     
  15. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    kind of 4.1 I'd say...I do get activity from my sub but I get no center channel at all.
     
  16. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    So is the sound improved at all from the PS2? I mean it sounds great and all, no complaints except, I thought they should of fully used the Xbox. This is the first game I've seen that isn't 5.1.
     
  17. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    That's a superb review. I'm finally going to get a PS2 in the coming week and plan to grab Silent Hill 2 for that, but if the X-Box continues to offer up these multi-channel 5.1 absorbing gaming experiences I can see myself stuck with Microsoft's box of tricks before the years end too.

    And all this from a chap who fifteen months ago wasnt huge on gaming. Everything's gone full circle, I feel ten again having all these toys to play with...

    Dan (UK)
     
  18. Sean Oneil

    Sean Oneil Supporting Actor

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    Great review Romier!
    It convinced me to go out and buy this game for my X-Box. So far, it is great ..although it will have to wait a little while until I am finished with FF X and Halo before I can really allow myself to get into it properly [​IMG]
     
  19. Dean Cooper

    Dean Cooper Supporting Actor

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    I finally got this game, I'm glad I waited for the Xbox version. [​IMG] The sound is so well done I still have the creeps. One thing that I've noticed so far is the atmosphere is perfect! Never have I felt so filthy after playing a game, I almost need to wash after playing a while its got me so immersed. I haven't gotten very far yet in the game ( just starting the second apartment building ) so I'll have more to say later on. Great game so far! [​IMG]
    Dean
     
  20. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    When I bought my X-box, I asked the guy about this game cause I never saw it on any of the shelves of the stores I went to find an X-box (best buy, circuit city, Compusa, funcoland, then EB where I bought my x-box). He said that somebody just returned one so I got it at a "for sale" price. I wouldn't say as a used price cause it was only 10% off but it was in perfect shape so I picked it up...

    I have never played the original Silent Hill when I had my PSX, but was interested in playing it, just never got around to it. Seems much like a cinematic RPG, sort of like Parasite Eve which I liked immensely. However, the controls for SH2 seem completely baffling to me. The camera view point is awkward and I find myself getting lost in a simple room just because the camera angle is odd. I thought holding the left trigger down would give you the front view but sometimes it does and sometimes it just rotates the camera, which doesn't help if James is in a small closet or crawlspace... I need to try that 2d controls that mentioned in the manual but I'm currently obsessed with HALO right now and RtCW on the PC.. But it is freaky and interesting so far..

    Graphics look real good, so far, I've only played it at night with the lights out.. I'm in the apartment buildings in the beginning and I just got access to the first floor apartments and need to explore those...

    Jay
     

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