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sjdrek played Silent Hill Origins

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sjdrek said...
  • frustrated
  • Achieved
  • Completed
Beating Silent Hill Origins yesterday left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I unlocked Collector, Explorer, Savior, and after I started the new game +, the Codebreaker outfits. Of course I got the Moon Gauntlets which just happens from beating the game.
However, Silent Hill Origins sadly misses the point by a mile from the Silent Hill Series. I'm going to play through again to get the bad ending, and maybe the UFO ending, though I'm not sure it's worth it for me.
The following contains spoilers, so... don't read it if you want to be "surprised" by the water-thin plot.
It's really no shock that Alessa is using you to fight your fears, though how your fears unlock pieces of the Flauros isn't really explained. Something about you suffering like she did when you were a child would have been a good explanation, though they didn't really state that and just left it to be assumed, I suppose.
Alessa seems to only have enough power at the start of the game to manipulate you, you see no living people except people that Alessa has emotions tied to, which is fine, though if this is the case, Lisa should not have an appearance at all, because as of the game setting, she's not even a full nurse. Lisa's scenes also anger me, because of several reasons. Lisa is the nicest person in the world in the first game, but in this she just comes off as flighty and creepy. One time flirting with you, and the next, angry you interrupted her time with Kaufmann. Lisa's character deserves better than that.
Everyone has assumed that the demon in the Flauros you fight at the end is Samael. I hope this is not the case, as it looks aboslutely nothing like Samael. Others speculate it's a metaphor for the anger Alessa has inside her. That would be much more realistic, though the entire town is that metaphor/embodiment.
In the Silent Hill series, things are supposed to be surprises and twists and dark, but the troubles in Trevor's life are obvious as soon as you step into the locations. The hints are far too obvious and leave you to trudge through the next 89 clues and reveal with a patronizing feeling.
Another problem is the melee weapon degradation. Melee weapons were saviors in the original games, but this one where weapons break constantly because you've hit something four times becomes a major problem, since ammo is so sparse. The assault rifle is also way too powerful for a Silent Hill main character to get a hold of. Shotgun and Pistol are fine, but an assault rifle makes things a bit too easy, and should have only been an unlockable hidden item in subsequent play-throughs like the Rock Hammer/Chainsaw of Silent Hill 1. Luckily I got to taste just how strong the final boss was by having no ammo, having used it all to get through the final Hell-area on the way to the "other church", and had to use two ampules and the majority of my constantly-breaking melee weapons, but the fact I could down the demon with just those is very disappointing.
While I enjoyed the old locations from Silent Hill 1 and the characters revisited, I felt it was done incorrectly in the long run, and just made me want to play the original again. Dahlia was redesigned to appear a more... 'normal' person, which is agitating, especially since they're changing her even more in the upcoming 'Silent Hill: Shattered Memories' (Which I'll write a preview-speculization on next.)
Further problems are the atmosphere isn't quite what it was. The rusty, hellish "other world" is there, but not as strange as it should have been. It lacked the randomness of the original games' alternate worlds, where things just weren't there, or were there that aren't supposed to be, doors tended to remain unlocked in both worlds so you already know where you can go unfortunately, while in the original games you had no idea which would be open and which would be closed. The eeriness factor was also lessened by the lack of mutilated forms in the other world, appearing only near the end of the game, and places where The Butcher had been.
Which brings us to The Butcher. There are several problems with this homage to Pyramid Head, one of which is the blatant note you find in your travels that essentially states "The Butcher is scary. He looks like the Judge.", the Judge being Pyramid Head during Silent Hill's founding. Admitting that he's a rip off of the popular character, that has no reason to be in this game, is almost as bad as HAVING Pyramid Head in the game. Pyramid Head was only in 2 because your character felt guilty, and should only make appearances in games with such. However, Trevor has nothing to feel guilty about, he's simply blocking his past. The Butcher had no explanation for why he was trying to kill you, and was killing other monsters in the world. He just existed. And with the Assault Rifle, as noted, he was far too easy. I had assumed he'd make another appearance later and I didn't actually finish him, but it turns out I had.
The game overall is playable, enjoyable, but can grind on fan's nerves if they're as enthralled with the series as I am. People who thought Silent Hill needed to be more action-packed and focused should try this game, and everyone should play it that has a PSP because I have to admit, next to Monster Hunter the PSP is lacking really good games. But just don't expect too much dark and surprising if you're coming from the previous titles.
Silent Hill Origins

Silent Hill Origins (PSP)

Genre/Style: Adventure/Survival Horror
Release Date: 06/NOV/07
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Side note: The fact the Bad Ending cannot be acquired the first time through is strange to me. In the previous games I always got the Bad Endings first, being it was difficult to get the Good Endings. (Save Silent Hill 3 which was so obvious to a player of SH games it was almost as bad.) I don't know why they did this, other than perhaps make people feel cheery they could get it.
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