Zero Punctuation: Silent Hill: Downpour

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exobook:
What is it with Yahtzee and english jokes?
All we need is a joke about Milton Keynes and we'll have the set.

Well, he was born and raised in England. He didn't move to Australia before he turned twenty or something.

I agree with everything Yahtzee said here. I would also totally play the game "Scary things in dirty rooms" it sounds great!

exobook:
What is it with Yahtzee and english jokes?
All we need is a joke about Milton Keynes and we'll have the set.

Yeah well, he is English after all... Besides I like it, makes a nice change from all the constant American references that I miss out on.

FoolKiller:
Yea... that was the hard part for me. The slow down because of the constant auto save. The game actually saves about once every ten seconds.

Ahh but it doesn't. The save icon pops up randomly and without any real reason or tangible prompt. If you quit the game after one of these so-called "saves" it will actually dump you some way back because it never really saved there at all. I learnt that lesson the hard way.

I think it's tragic that the original Silent Hill implemented the fog simply because of technical issues, namely that the PS1 couldn't handle a very large draw distance. Now the fog has become an iconic part of the game and yet we are presented with technical issues because our more advanced consoles can't keep up the frame rate! Funny how the world goes.

Nile McMorrow:
*Reads the credits.* Don't worry Yahtzee it's apparently common to miss Silent Hill's map at the start of the game, at the petrol station. Currently watching the 'Two Best Friends' Lets Play of it. Much better than playing the game myself. Did you happen to miss the Flashlight at the beginning as well?

Absolutely LOVING the best friend's playthrough! Simply hilarious.

Gorilla Gunk:
Am I the only person who doesn't mind the monster designs? I kind of like them.

I think that's the problem right there. You're not supposed to "like" them, you're supposed to be reviled by them, horrified and disgusted. Like Yahtzee said, they're just dudes. Ain't nothing scary about dudes, even if their eyes have been forced open or they scream at you. Frankly the screaming female ones are ridiculous and they make me laugh a bit. Always brightens my day when they come shambling over!

themutantlizard:
i hope he reviews Asuras wrath next

I hope he doesn't. I already know what his answer is. He hates it. Alot. It's not like a game it's an anime and he hates animes so grrr grr all around.

I didn't even know this game existed before now, but then I've never been into the Silent Hill series; and when I say "never been into" I mean I've haven't played a Silent Hill game in my life.

Proverbial Jon:
I think that's the problem right there. You're not supposed to "like" them, you're supposed to be reviled by them, horrified and disgusted. Like Yahtzee said, they're just dudes. Ain't nothing scary about dudes, even if their eyes have been forced open or they scream at you. Frankly the screaming female ones are ridiculous and they make me laugh a bit. Always brightens my day when they come shambling over!

The "You're not suppose to "like" them" argument just doesn't make sense to me. I've quite liked past SH enemies. I don't really see he problem with Downpour's enemies being human-looking. Previous SH games had the nurses which were just, um, nurses with fucked up faces, and Pyramid Head is just a dude with, well, a pyramid on his head, not to mention the ghosts in SH4: The Room.

Well, signs of improvement are always good, by this rate we should be playing the best Silent hill ever with Silent Hill 18.

As an aside, what's so difficult about navigating sonic in 3D? I played the adventure games when they came out, when I was like 10. Are you really saying you can be outgamed by a ten year old just getting into gaming? That's quite embarrassing Yahtzee.

Yahtzee, have you ever played the Fatal Frame series? I can't speak to any after the first one because it scared me so badly that I quit playing. I'm curious what your take is on it, maybe for the Extra Punctuation for this weeks video. It's an old game but it really nails the survival horror concept to me. You have a reason to press on, you have an intense feeling of vulnerability, and you are forced to take a good hard look at the horrors that are pursuing you in order to defeat them. Literally.

As far as your Context/Challenge/Gratification concept goes I think it really nails all three, and the reason I didn't finish it wasn't because of a failing on those points, it was because I was too much of a pussy. I respect that a game forced me to that point because I have not found any movie to be particularly scary since I stopped being 12 years old.

ForgottenPr0digy:
yeah the monster designs in this game sucks

homecoming had better monster designs and no one but me liked that game

I liked that game too , and no it didn`t had good monster disigns , because almost every monster was ripped from the pevious games (only the banana moster was new , and cool ) .

it just me or he sound slightly depressed about marking it down? cause it kinda dose

but it's good to hear they are at least taking step in the right direction.

>.> ahh.... map drawing ....

graph paper strewn about the floor, marking out rooms, and where items where as i went .... Metriod was such an adventure that first time

Distorted Stu:
It's weird im watching "two best friends" play through this and their views are the exact oppisit.

Well IGN said quite the opposite of what yahtzee said
YH- good combat and real survival
IGN-bad and reppetitive combat
YH- not scary
IGN - Real terror .
Ive never seen so mixed opinions about a game .Every other reviewer hates what the other loves .Strange

I wish they could just stop making Silent Hill games. Also, I wish developers realized that what the Silent Hill Team had was talent in videogames, film and literature which is why no one is ever going to make Silent Hill 2 happen again. Also, I wish I had my very own Unicorn pony. Doesn't hurt to try.

So... Will he review Kid Icarus: Uprising or Xenoblade Chronicles? I'd like to see either of those.

I think those Extra Credits folks that used to be here made a good point, with that horrors are a dying breed because of the improving graphics. Also, get SH back into Japanese hands.

Balkan:

Distorted Stu:
It's weird im watching "two best friends" play through this and their views are the exact oppisit.

Well IGN said quite the opposite of what yahtzee said
YH- good combat and real survival
IGN-bad and reppetitive combat
YH- not scary
IGN - Real terror .
Ive never seen so mixed opinions about a game .Every other reviewer hates what the other loves .Strange

If I remember correctly, Yahtzee said that the combat was good because it fit the world better than commando Homecoming. It was clunky, I think he used the word sticky, and you could run from it.

The problem is, IGN doesn't get that you were never supposed to feel like combat was your real option in silent hill. They are abominations from hell, not the Putty Patrol from Power Rangers.

The "professional" reviewers were mostly unkind to this game (looking at you IGN), but the average user score for SH:DP is actually around 8 out of 10. Personally I'd give it 7.5/10. Definitely worth playing if you're a fan, but don't expect it to change your life or anything. And yes, the monsters were mostly too generic, although the atmosphere was quite well done. I didn't mind the combat and didn't notice much loading (360 version) even though everyone seems to harp on about these issues.

That was by far the best episode in a long time! Far from yawning out some jokes over some game he didn't care for at all, it's clear that this time Yahtzee really DOES care, and it shows. Good critique and good tempo.

Gorilla Gunk:

Proverbial Jon:
I think that's the problem right there. You're not supposed to "like" them, you're supposed to be reviled by them, horrified and disgusted. Like Yahtzee said, they're just dudes. Ain't nothing scary about dudes, even if their eyes have been forced open or they scream at you. Frankly the screaming female ones are ridiculous and they make me laugh a bit. Always brightens my day when they come shambling over!

The "You're not suppose to "like" them" argument just doesn't make sense to me. I've quite liked past SH enemies. I don't really see he problem with Downpour's enemies being human-looking. Previous SH games had the nurses which were just, um, nurses with fucked up faces, and Pyramid Head is just a dude with, well, a pyramid on his head, not to mention the ghosts in SH4: The Room.

I was never a fan of the ghosts from SH4, for mostly the same reason. I mean something as literal as a ghost in something as creative as a Silent Hill game always jarred with me somewhat.

Silent Hill 3 had the best designs for monsters and there was nothing human about them but I never really found them all that scary...

The nurses specifically were a manifestation of James' sexual frustration so they had to be sexy to a point so keeping a certain amount of their humanity is understandable. Plus there's something rather terrifying about a nurse who wants to hurt you with a steel pipe. I can't even begin to explain why PH works even though he's just a dude with a pyramid, like you say!

I think you might have a point here, the more I think about it the more I see the human creatures are the more effective. However it doesn't change the fact that I don't find Downpour's enemies scary. Perhaps it's the way they have been used. In SH2 the manequins would just stand in the dark until you approached with the light, the straightjacket things would kind of convulse towards you or slither across the floor and the nurses sort of limped awkwardly and sometimes took pot shots at you with a revolver. The abstract daddy would try to eat your face etc...

Downpour just tends to chuck a load of enemies at you and they all kind of rush you, flailing blindly. With the exception of the weeping bat, that guy's just a jerk. I guess they need just enough hamanity for us to be able to relate and just enough mutilation to keep up the WTF factor.

Love the quip about Blackpool. Totally right!

I agree that Downpour could have been scarier, but it still had at least a very strong atmosphere and as far as I'm concerned the story was awesome, though I've only got one ending at this point. I'd easily put this game right up there with Silent Hill 2 and 3 if it wasn't for the framerate lag and glitches. I wonder if Yahtzee didn't have any of that in his copy?

To any fan of Silent Hill, I heavily recommend checking this one out at some point, at least if you find out that there's been a patch.

FoolKiller:

porpoise hork:

Its probably because they keep releasing them way too often.

Eight games in 13 years isn't bad. I think its a nice rate.

True, but how many of those were actually good.

The monsters are actually just guys...!? Wow, that kills the sale and the rental right there for me. One day I would like to know why western developers have no imagination.

Yahtzee can take his jabs at Sonic and shove them back up his ass. No it wasn't from 1996 on, it was from 2005 on when Shadow the Hedgehog came out that the franchise had gone through hard times and lately they've been actually fixing that.

Pretty much all the people that agree with your "Sonic doesn't work in 3D" bullshit are nostalgically blind retro fanboys that are another example of why we can't have nice things in this industry anymore and I'm pretty convinced many of them are the same kind of ignorant Sonic fans that make those shitty recolors on YouTube and DeviantArt all the time. Stop listening to them, Yahtzee and start listening to the real Sonic fans. The ones that actually acknowledge that there are good 3-D Sonic games.

But really other than getting that off of my chest, solid review.

Dastardly:

I'm glad to hear about a game moving in the right direction on the survival part of survival horror. I'd argue it's the more important element of the two, really. If you're not fighting to survive, you're not going to be scared by much of anything, but when your survival is at stake, nearly anything can become scary...

Just tired of Monster Hunting Games masquerading as "survival horror."

You're right, Resident evil 4 DID ruin the rest of the series.

Fan anger aside, I was really looking forward to Downpour, but if it's not scary there's no point in spending the money or time.

Contradiction #1763:

You complain that an inherent plot point in Downpour changing based on your actions cheapens the experience. How is it then different from your Heavy Rain review, where you argued that the big revelation should've been different each time? Could you maybe clarify once and for all what form of story-telling you incline to?

Heavy Rain had a murder mystery. The game could have had multiple paths to decide who the culprit was. I think Silent Hill has the "dark past" problem marked down first, then builds enemies, rooms, and plot around that. For example, what would be point of "big titty zombie nurses" if the guy's problem revolved around vehicular homicide? I guess they at least didn't pull the DE: HR "Endingtron 5000" BS. That would be awful.

He's not going to review Xenoblade. No way in hell. He's has an admitted disdain for current JRPGs, and he chewed his own face off after FFXIII.

Where Downpour falls hardest for me is the creature design and I'm glad Yahtzee alluded to that in the review. Even the lackluster silent hills could be counted on for some appealingly surreal monsters. Not nearly enough of that this time around.

Proverbial Jon:

Gorilla Gunk:

Proverbial Jon:
I think that's the problem right there. You're not supposed to "like" them, you're supposed to be reviled by them, horrified and disgusted. Like Yahtzee said, they're just dudes. Ain't nothing scary about dudes, even if their eyes have been forced open or they scream at you. Frankly the screaming female ones are ridiculous and they make me laugh a bit. Always brightens my day when they come shambling over!

The "You're not suppose to "like" them" argument just doesn't make sense to me. I've quite liked past SH enemies. I don't really see he problem with Downpour's enemies being human-looking. Previous SH games had the nurses which were just, um, nurses with fucked up faces, and Pyramid Head is just a dude with, well, a pyramid on his head, not to mention the ghosts in SH4: The Room.

I was never a fan of the ghosts from SH4, for mostly the same reason. I mean something as literal as a ghost in something as creative as a Silent Hill game always jarred with me somewhat.

Silent Hill 3 had the best designs for monsters and there was nothing human about them but I never really found them all that scary...

The nurses specifically were a manifestation of James' sexual frustration so they had to be sexy to a point so keeping a certain amount of their humanity is understandable. Plus there's something rather terrifying about a nurse who wants to hurt you with a steel pipe. I can't even begin to explain why PH works even though he's just a dude with a pyramid, like you say!

I think you might have a point here, the more I think about it the more I see the human creatures are the more effective. However it doesn't change the fact that I don't find Downpour's enemies scary. Perhaps it's the way they have been used. In SH2 the manequins would just stand in the dark until you approached with the light, the straightjacket things would kind of convulse towards you or slither across the floor and the nurses sort of limped awkwardly and sometimes took pot shots at you with a revolver. The abstract daddy would try to eat your face etc...

Downpour just tends to chuck a load of enemies at you and they all kind of rush you, flailing blindly. With the exception of the weeping bat, that guy's just a jerk. I guess they need just enough hamanity for us to be able to relate and just enough mutilation to keep up the WTF factor.

Yeah, I was going to say they the monsters are fine, it's just that they're not utilized well. The should have given them different behavior patterns. The Weeping Bat and the ghost-mannequin-sex-doll-thing seem fine but more could have been done with the Screamers and Prisoners. If I would have done it I would have had the Screamers mope around crying like the Witch from Left 4 Dead, only attacking when you get near them. Prisoners I'd have wait standing and facing the corner of rooms like they're in timeout (Because, well, they are prisoners and they are being punished, makes sense to me /shrug) only attacking if you make a lot of noise or get close to them.

I also read that there's a sidequest that features a Screamer that's only visible through a mirror. Seems like they missed a golden opportunity for a really interesting enemy.

ForgottenPr0digy:
yeah the monster designs in this game sucks

homecoming had better monster designs and no one but me liked that game

Lies! I liked homecoming and I know people who liked it too...

but yes the monster design in downpour is meh...

MichaelMaverick:
Contradiction #1763:

You complain that an inherent plot point in Downpour changing based on your actions cheapens the experience. How is it then different from your Heavy Rain review, where you argued that the big revelation should've been different each time? Could you maybe clarify once and for all what form of story-telling you incline to?

silent hill is (as far as i can tell)a manifestation of a persons guilty mind.the setting and monsters have to symbolise the crime committed by the protagonist. James smothers his wife so the monsters are all effeminate thus increasing the mind fuckery.
all that is lost if the crime the protagonist committed changes depended on the actions taken by the player.imagine if in SH2 there was a choice in the game that would change james from wife killer to bank robber.the whole set up would then make no sense because the scenery would have no relationship to why he is in silent hill.
i think.

MichaelMaverick:
Contradiction #1763:

You complain that an inherent plot point in Downpour changing based on your actions cheapens the experience. How is it then different from your Heavy Rain review, where you argued that the big revelation should've been different each time? Could you maybe clarify once and for all what form of story-telling you incline to?

The entire genre of HR was mystery, and, I don't know about you, but I can't enjoy mysteries I know the answer to. Silent Hill isn't a mystery, because in SH2, we didn't know anything was being hidden from us until the end. It seemed like there was just some evil shit going down, and every human being in town was being attacked. In the end, though, it was revealed that there was something behind it all, aka James's psyche. In Heavy Rain, we knew something was being hidden from us, but it remained the same without any other purpose to the game's story but the mystery.

And yet he wonders why some of us enjoy new Zelda or Mario titles where they remain as fun and amazing as they've been, managing to slightly change the formula here and there while keeping the core of it intact, even occasionally being better than the heavy hitters in our nostalgia. Be careful of that pedestal, it might not last as long as you think.

Wow, everyone's really mad at and/or critical of Yahtzee today.

I'm glad that he brought up a lot of the things that were bothering me (the monsters being a big one) but the things that made stop playing and peer at the screen quizzically with my mouth open were more completely unsubtle. For instance, the invisible cop cars that become un-invisible when you get close enough to them so that their sirens go off and monsters appear. NOT SO SILENT NOW, IS IT?

Perhaps the mannequin ghosts. Not even kidding. There are MANNEQUIN GHOSTS. I think they're supposed to be projections from the mannequin, but you know what's scarier than attacking mannequins? Real mannequins. Anyone who can tell me why something unmoving and non-threatening will almost always be scarier than one clearly out for blood will win the golden horror award. Two paragraphs minimum.

Another thing that's still bothering me; you just run into people. Who's that? Oh, it's some dude, he'll commit suicide later. Who's that? Just a homeless guy who will open a door for you in a sidequest, little else. Who's that on the radio? A DJ. He's not important and kind of annoying, like if Three-Dog came to Silent Hill. Feeling lonely yet?

MichaelMaverick:
Contradiction #1763: You complain that an inherent plot point in Downpour changing based on your actions cheapens the experience. How is it then different from your Heavy Rain review, where you argued that the big revelation should've been different each time? Could you maybe clarify once and for all what form of story-telling you incline to?

Heavy Rain ends the same way, leaving no room to re-play except to kill or not kill characters for giggles. I guess you get different endings, sort of, except the killer is the same. The purpose of the game is to understand the mystery and survive challenges. There's no point doing either of those again.

Previous Silent Hill games allowed for replayability by being so dense that you enjoy the game even MORE the second time around because you're understanding things like symbolism that went over your head before. Unlockable weapons and outfits were just a bonus. This only works if the "twist" remains constant in the story, like Silent Hill 1 and 2, while Downpour has many "twists", each more "twist"-y than the last and changing every time you play.

Contradiction denied.

Im starting to think I should play SH2. Subtle hints here and there you know?

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