Heather, the main protagonist of Silent Hill 3.
If you know me, you know that there are TONS AND TONS of videogames I’ve never played. Sadly, although I consider myself to be a “hardcore” gamer, I really am not compared to most “gamers”. The reason for that is because, unlike other more productive people, I can never seem to find the time to play games. Period.
In fact, my most played system as of late has been my Nintendo 3DS, and that’s simply because it is the easiest system to play when I’m sitting on the throne…. And cause I’m a hardcore Nintendo fanboy to boot.
So I thought it would be fun to go through some of the games I’d LOVE to play and still plan on playing someday, but never have up to this point and why I want to play them. Maybe I’ll get to them at some point, and hopefully soon; but maybe not. We’ll see. Enjoy.
EPISODE #2 – SILENT HILL 3
System: PlayStation 2, PC
Re-Released: As part of the Silent Hill HD Collection for Xbox 360 & PS3
Genre: Survival Horror
Developed By: Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo
Is There A Digital Version?: No.
Heather in a wheelchair being pushed by the iconic Nurse enemies.
Silent Hill 3 is the sequel to Silent Hill 2 and the third game in the core series, following Silent Hill 1 for PS1 (1999, remade as Silent Hill Origins for PSP in 2007 and released for PS2 in 2009. You can buy Silent Hill 1 in it’s PS1 form on the PlayStation Network as a PS1 Original title) and Silent Hill 2 for PS2 (2001).
Silent Hill 2 was highly lauded and critically acclaimed as one of the scariest games ever made. That game made heavy use of atmophere, eerie music and strange noises and sound effects to trap the player in a constant state of fear. Fear of the unknown (made worse due to the thick fog, which made it difficult to see the city streets) and fearful suspense… you never knew when something was going to pop out and attack you… or if it would pop out at all.
Wrapping things up nicely was a very intriguing storyline where everything had a double meaning and was open to interpretation. Were those real demons you were fighting? Is any of this real, or all in the mind? In fact the game opened with the main character recieving a letter… from his deceased wife. “Dead people can’t write letters… our special place? Did she mean Silent Hill? The town of our honeymoon?” And the plot only gets more involved the further in the game you go.
Silent Hill 2 protagonist James in the iconic Bathroom opening gameplay scene.
However Silent Hill 2 had a few niggling issues. For one, the voice acting was atrocious in certain spots (although it grew on you the more you played it). It was about as badly acted as you can get… and that was something you just had to live with. Additionally, while the graphics were good, they weren’t mind-blowing.
But the biggest issue was the fact that the game was FULL of locked doors… rows and rows and rows of them. A lot of the scenery in the city looked exactly the same… quickly allowing dull repetition to set in and adding a layer of annoyance to the proceedings. And while the city was fairly large and open, the locked-doors aspect really hurt the sense of scope.
Enter: Silent Hill 3.
Heather failing to defend herself against a dog enemy in gameplay of Silent Hill 3.
With vastly improved graphics, a new female main character, a new storyline, and much improved voice acting, Silent Hill 3 set out to refine the pallete and give the player a more linear adventure where locked doors and endless paths of an open city that lead to no where was trimmed down. The game was highly lauded and critically acclaimed just like it’s predecessor, and I recall many reviewers saying it was much scarier than the first game.
Heather explores a bathtub. NEVER a good idea in a horror game….
So Silent Hill 3 has set atop my list as “most highly anticipated game I want to play” for a long, long time. The PS2 game was also fairly rare or at least uncommon, and it was a while before I came across it. I finally did at an entertainment store called Bookman’s. I bought it on the spot, and much to my delight it included a soundtrack CD! :D I love soundtrack CDs, and will buy a game just to get that extra.
I love me some Survival Horror games which is interesting, because I HATE horror movies and avoid them at all costs. Mostly on moral grounds, I hate to see women getting killed and I hate the realism of horror films. Real in that you are watching it all acted out by actual people… which is not something you get with a videogame.
Here is the very creepy intro to Silent Hill 3.
Silent Hill 2 has always ranked on the top as a favorite of mine. Of course, I went back and started playing it a bit ago… and I was shocked at how badly it held up by today’s standards. The biggest culprit being the sound of footsteps and other sound effects, with only one sound for various surfaces repeated ad naseum. I guess my favorite game of all time (and favorite Survival Horror game), Resident Evil Remake for GameCube, had spoiled me on the sound effects front, and the old PS2/Xbox Silent Hill 2 couldn’t hold up.
The erotic cover artwork for Silent Hill HD Collection (contains Silent Hill 2 & 3) for Xbox 360 & PS3
The great news is that it is now easier than ever to get Silent Hill 2 and 3 and play them, because both are available in remastered form for Xbox 360 and PS3 as part of the “Silent Hill HD Collection”. Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 even feature all-new voice acting! Although you can play it with the original voices if you want in SH2 (but not SH3… >_<). Both feature upgraded high-definition graphics and upgraded music & sound effects and all-new Achievements & Trophies to earn. Additionally, Silent Hill 1 for PS1 (a bonafide rare game, although not worth as much as it was before it was re-released) is also available for like $5 bucks on the PlayStation Network as a digital download for PS3 or PSP.
Silent Hill 3 is only available on the PS3 or PC in it's original form though, outside of the HD Collection re-release.
For Silent Hill 2, there are a number of versions so it gets kinda confusing (additionally, they have different subtitles in different territories. I’ll be speaking of the U.S. versions only). There's the original for PS2 (called simply “Silent Hill 2” and containing a black label), Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams for Xbox (which contained new additional content, the PC version of Silent Hill 2 was essentially Restless Dreams) and a re-released PS2 "Greatest Hits" version of Silent Hill 2 that contained all the Xbox Restless Dreams content (and a red label). I believe Restless Dreams was also re-released on Xbox as a “Platinum Hits” gray box version. The best version and the one you should get is the PS2 Greatest Hits version, or the Xbox version for slightly improved graphics.
There's also a PS2 three-game set called "The Silent Hill Collection" which contained exact versions of Silent Hill 2 Greatest Hits, Silent Hill 3 and Silent Hill 4: The Room for PS2 & Xbox. Unlike the recent HD Collection for current-gen systems, the last-gen “Silent Hill Collection” for PS2 & Xbox does not feature any glitches or bugs, as it contains the original games in their original forms. If you can find it, and don’t have either of these games (Silent Hill 2, 3 or 4) then this is probably the best buy.
Here's the beloved, beautiful intro to Silent Hill 2. I LOVE this intro!
I should also mention that Silent Hill HD Collection for Xbox 360 and PS3 is FULL OF bugs and glitches, audio problems, framerate problems, etc. meaning that, for now, it is best to play the original versions. Even though Konami patched the HD versions, but according to reports the patches have not fixed any of the issues. You also can’t listen to the original voices in Silent Hill 3, and some think the main character sounds much worse… so those are all huge knocks. I’d wait to see if Konami irons out all the issues in the HD versions before picking up Silent Hill HD Collection, and just concentrate on the originals for now if you still want to play them.
I was re-playing Silent Hill 2 for Xbox (the Restless Dreams version, which WILL WORK on the Xbox 360) a while back but got sidetracked and haven’t touched it in a while. I think I’ll get back to completing that after I finish The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and then FINALLY pop in Silent Hill 3! If so, look forward to a review of Silent Hill 3 (and Silent Hill 2) in the future.
Previous Episodes of “On the Cutting Room Floor”:
* Episode 1 – On the Cutting Room Floor: Games I’ve Yet to Play – EarthBound