In my restless dreams,
I see those games.
Silent Hill 2 and 3.
You promised me you’d bring them to me
again someday.But you never did.
While Resident Evil ushered in the popularity of the survival horror genre back in 1996, 1999 saw the release of the game that set the standard for horror games today, Silent Hill revolutionized the horror genre with its use of psychological horror, symbolic monsters, and complex characters. The game spawned several sequels which even more well-recieved and continued to raise the bar for all survival horror games. Then Silent Hill Homecoming came along and the downward spiral began, ditching the the concept of mostly evading enemies for more melee savy protagonists. This past month saw the release of two Silent Hill titles which were the long awaited Silent Hill Downpour (and the subject of an upcoming review) and a Silent Hill HD Collection consisting of Silent Hill 2 and 3, which are generally considered to be the best in the series. Are they worth purchasing again in HD........no and I'll tell you why. (Warning this review will be very brief)
The story is the exact same as in the PS2 versions so I'll provide a brief synopsis of both game's story. Silent Hill 2 is disconnected from 1 and 3 and other than the fact that it takes place in Silent Hill, the story revolves around James Sunderland who has recieved a letter from his supposedly dead wife Mary beckoning him to their "special place" in Silent Hill. Upon arrival though he is greeted by a slew of armless monsters and eventually the iconic Pyramid Head which he must confront as he solves the mystery of Mary's letter.
Silent Hill 3 is a direct follow-up to the first game and stars 17 year old Heather Mason the adopted daughter of the protagonist of the first game Harry Mason. Heather encounters a mysterious woman named Claudia and soon after finds herself in an alternate dimension persued by hideous monsters who seek to capture her. Heather must evade these monsters and discover what Claudia wants with her. Avoiding spoilers these stories are still as excellent as they were on the PS2. As such there is not much to say. So you must be asking yourself "what is so wrong with this game then" well thats in the next section.
This HD Collection is GLITCHY! Sound glitches plague nearly every moment of these games such as audio cutting out, distorted sound effects, and delays between voices and mouth movement. There are also numerous visual glitches in Silent Hill 2 such as missing fog effects when walking around outside. Also Silent Hill 2 has the option to play the story with new voice actors, however the difference is minute as both versions have hit or miss moments in the voice acting, however Silent Hill 3 does not have an option to play with the old voices, and making that worse is the fact that the new voices are HORRIBLE! I know this is a rather abrupt ending to this section, but these issues are what completely ruin this HD collection, especially when these games are both still available used on the PS2 for a far lower price.
Gameplay is the exact same as in the PS2 and Xbox versions of the game and both Silent Hill 2 and 3 use very similar methods of control. You run around the area looking for clues, and attempting to advance the story, however impeding your progress are the Silent Hill monsters that must be either evaded or killed and often evasion is the best choice as health and ammo pickups are rather limited. As is the case with most Silent Hill games you're vision is obscured either by the infamous Silent Hill fog or by darkness, so to help guid you around you are given a flashlight and a radio that emits static when monsters approach which you have the option of disabling for an added challenge. Puzzles in Silent Hill are particularly noted for being incredibly difficult on the higher difficulties. Many puzzles require things such as higher math and even knowlege of the works of Shakespeare. The gameplay still holds up very well but is once again eclipsed by the many glitches in the game.
I apologize for this incredibly brief review but...there is really nothing more to say than this HD Collection is ultimately not worth it. The original games are still up for sale at used game stores for a much cheaper price than this glitchy mess. If these issues are patched I'd definitely change my tune and give this HD collection a higher score, but for now avoid this Collection and get the games for the PS2 or Xbox.
F- Too glitchy and expensive to justify purchasing over the PS2/Xbox versions.