Zero Punctuation: Silent Hill Origins

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GloatingSwine:

Oblivion is the only game I think that has been improved by item degradation, and that only because of the high level armourer skill that lets you repair items to beyond 100% functionality.

Personally I'd be one rich elven thief mage and pretty far into major quests if it wasn't for the fact that I have to do hundreds of silly things to pay for weapon repair, especially the ruddy magic ones. It does make the game fuller and more challenging, but really really irritating at times.

I do very much agree that Dead Rising would be downright boring if the weapons never ran out. Definately the only game where weapon degradation is a good thing.

Well, the game was far from bad. There are bad things about it. Main problems was camera in fact. As for weapons. They should last longer, far longer.
Yes, it is quite a sidestep from a Silent Hill formula. On the other hand its more of a game. Controls actually work good this time (as they did in 4). Combat which is a MAJOR part of the game is hugely improved from his beloved second part. And story is as messed up as always. Now if they only put better puzzles in there while avoiding guess-o-matic system from previous games (now how would you guess that letting Walter keep his doll make him weaker as an endboss)

I agreed with everything you said about the Silent Hill series except for what you said about Origins itself. For a fan of SH2 surely the many similarities origins shared with it were nostalgically good for you too, and some of the area designs were ingenious like the theater. I also liked the concept of the Butcher and how this game at least had blood in it. Also Travis tayed in the town 'cause the chasms wouldn't let him leave. Nice review nonetheless.

I agree with you that Silent Hill 4 had the best story, but personally I think Silent Hill 3 was the best in the series. Don't get me wrong, 2 was brilliant, but personally I liked Heathers character more than I did James.

Also I do have hopes for Silent Hill 5, though I am kind of nervous that the developers have no idea what there doing. But who knows, maybe 5 will be a nice surprise.

I hear that in SH5 there is more inter-action with your environment. Like if you bump into stuff too much you attract monsters.

Chis:
Absolutely sublime from start to finish. Top form: I don't want to hear anyone complain about slow delivery this week, you bastards.

The only fly in the ointment: pre-Kid A Radiohead sucks and is for tragically emo teenagers.

What? No it's not....I'm not TRAGICALLY emo..
Pre-Kid A Radiohead should be thought of as a totally different band than post Kid A. I like both bands.

Yes, I am a Radiohead fanboy.
...........

The review was awesome. Good to see (hear, I guess) Yahtzee has regained the ability to mock games in a hilarious way at lightning speed. And the ending (involving the removal of spinal cords and feasting on ass) was hilarious. Now I feel stupid for admitting that. I've got such a sophomoric sense of humour.

Dark Shikari:
There has been a good game with weapon degradation--its called System Shock 2, Yahtzee ;) and I named it before the second was up, too!

Agreed with the rest of the review though.

That's the exception that proves the rule.

Count me in as one who pans SH4's story along with the gameplay.

The problem for me was that the story seemed a bit too standard j-horror, sometimes even slasher flick-ian.

There are folks lining up to be butchered by this supernatural madman, whom conveniently just can't do the same so easy to some regular schmo, a.k.a. the hero, and his girlfriend. Silly madman.

Mr. Madman himself is interesting (sometimes the only character that is so) but his characterization ends up getting lost in the endless explanation for how he can do what he does (mystic mumbo jumbo no one cares about).

He is invariably undone by the goodies being told of loopholes to his mumbo jumbo as if it was all some tax code to be dodged, all thanks to that specter in the ceiling with all the exposition. Goodies win or not, depending on ending, and Pyramid Head shrugs and goes back to being cooler than the entire plot of SH4.

It all sounds too shoehorned into a horror series that was doing ok without all that rubbish. That's probably because SH4 was intended to be a unique horror title, not an SH game (the shift probably occured in anticipation to the possible negs the gameplay would get).

I also don't understand why Travis can be subjected to critical grief when the original King Random Berk of Silent Hill, Henry, gets off with with worse. He is often but one line in SH4: "What the hell...?". At least Travis dares boldly to don the Marty McFly jacket.

Could've also been the horrendous, at times stupid gameplay that affected the narrative too much for me to appreciate it. Why is silly Walter insisting on ignoring Henry and Eileen and going after flying bugs in, er, his own dreamscape? Priorities much? Do the bugs remind him of cockroaches in his cereal when he was young? I've an urge to look up YouTube videos of people knocking those burping corpses down flights of stairs again...

I as well think that SH games are dead now...
I understood it right after i've heard that the series will be taken over by those western developers, Climax and The Collective.

First, if you look at their prior games, youll see that most of those games are mediocre at best (except the few racing games by Climax).
Second, even if they've had only AAA games on their lists, i doubt that they would have managed to get the atmosphere, characters, design and the story right...
I believe its only possible for Japanese folks with their twisted minds/ideas and unlimited determination. ^_^
Most original and crazy ideas come from japan (MGS, SH, Fatal frame, Katamari, Okami & etc), while nowadays here in the West people are only good at creating FPS games(with very few exceptions)...

Honestly, I think I can say that this is my least favorite review. I cracked a smile at the end, but I don't want to think that you're going the route of Kippurbird, even though, from this route, it seems that you are. If I'm ever obligated to see these reviews, someone please shoot me.

viciousmaniac:
Count me in as one who pans SH4's story along with the gameplay.

Mr. Madman himself is interesting (sometimes the only character that is so) but his characterization ends up getting lost in the endless explanation for how he can do what he does (mystic mumbo jumbo no one cares about).

I also don't understand why Travis can be subjected to critical grief when the original King Random Berk of Silent Hill, Henry, gets off with with worse. He is often but one line in SH4: "What the hell...?". At least Travis dares boldly to don the Marty McFly jacket.

Here, here! I can't shake the feeling Konami just rented a bunch of '90's-2000 era thriller movies and borrowed aspects from it and made an original drama off it; and as emotionally interesting as the whole child abondonment issue is in it, it doesn't help being able to note all of the game's movie references that are actually tied to the plot. Since when was Walter a hippy serial killer? I thought all he did was kill two kids and himself. And Henry is a total Bierficker.

I have to admit though, I found myself liking Eileen the most of that two dimensional cast and besides her good looks: she seemed to be the only character with an understandable emotional out put and despite continuity she seemed to understand what was going on better than Henry despite him basically repeating everything Joseph told him verbatim and I appreciate a woman with maternal instincts that knows how to fight (or at least tries to).

How would he eat his own ass? That especially hard because it's recursive, as you would have to complete the digestive system somehow. Also, weapon degradation is good, if it's slow. If it's fast, and has no repair system, no. Just no. Slow AND repair item, then great.

The oblivion one was meaningless and so might as well not have been there. It wasn't like things could ever run out whilst you were using them since you had to go to a city every couple of seconds so it just you meant that you would have to get all your stuff repaired every time you were there rather than actually changing your decisions. It was like a tax for playing the game, except you were already hoarding all your money on offshore bank accounts so the small amount they could sting you for just highlighted how you could afford houses in every city and get that guy to pay for curing him over and over and over.

Silly PSP, Trix are for kids.

Why does it seem that most PSP games nowadays seem to be screaming "Please buy a PSP! We're begging you. I don't want to die!"? Every game seems to be a revival. Can't they just let the thing die on it's own. I mean, I'm no fanboy, but the PSP is dying faster than the Gamecube (yeah I said it) and I don't see the point in all these "no look it's still breathing kind of" games.

Anyway, it was a good review. Not my favourite, but I laughed.

im too afraid to play silent hill. lol watched the movie - was ok, since i had a general concept of what the game was about, but for others who didnt said it didnt make anysense.

Sometimes I wonder what the Silent Hill series would be like if they took away all the monsters and bad guys altogether and made it just an exploration game of discovery. Do away with the crappy gameplay altogether and just have puzzles and story. Like a few here, I loved SH4's story (bland main character notwithstanding, but he wasn't meant to be the driving force behind it anyway), and think it could have been one of the greatest games ever made if they had made the whole game like the first section, just a Myst-style point-and click exploration game with no tedious action. Or maybe one final boss fight that gave it some action, but that wouldn't be essential.

But regardless, I agree 100% that the story is what makes it great, despite the fact that the gameplay leaves something to be desired.

(Oh, and at the risk of sounding even cruder than Yahtzee, I learned from one of the more hostile people on the Sillysoft forums that you don't have to remove any vertebrae to eat your own ass, you can just use a spoon and it works just as well. But to each their own, I suppose. :-) )

I don't think anyone who has ever played live RPGs can enjoy weapons degradation on any level, even if it's well done. Now, I'm not accusing Yahtzee of being one of those scary, aged nerdlinger types who used to get his jollies from a bag of dice, but if the DM hat fits, well...

Of course, I may just be angry because Yahtzee apparently hasn't been saving my lengthy emailed declarations of adoration. How long do I have to freakin' stalk someone before they love me?

Weapon Degradation

Fire Emblem Series
1-10

MightyMouse:
The oblivion one was meaningless and so might as well not have been there. It wasn't like things could ever run out whilst you were using them since you had to go to a city every couple of seconds so it just you meant that you would have to get all your stuff repaired every time you were there rather than actually changing your decisions. It was like a tax for playing the game, except you were already hoarding all your money on offshore bank accounts so the small amount they could sting you for just highlighted how you could afford houses in every city and get that guy to pay for curing him over and over and over.

It's mostly a justification for keeping the Armourer skill in the game. Which, as noted, eventually nets you a concrete benefit (as well as, of course, being a way to boost your Endurance, one of the more important stats early on).

Another good review....

I didn't mind the "slow talking" ZP episode, a change of pace is nice sometimes and it felt like you had really thought carefully about both your opinions and the jokes.

Could we get some PC gaming love next time, pretty please? Witcher maybe?
:)

diablo 2 was the first game that popped into my mind when the weapon degradation was mentioned

also, i've never played any silent hill so i wouldn't know about that, but for me second sight is the game that has the best story telling i've ever seen in a game

Haven't played Silent Hill in ages, I loved the original, I can still hear that creepy gate squeeking...
And here's some useless trivia: A Pennsylvania town named Centralia was used as the basis for the town in Silent Hill. For the past 45 years a mine fire has been burning underground there, releasing toxic steam and warping the streets. There is a seriously creepy old church and graveyard where steam rises up right amongst the headstones. (I used to live about 45 minutes away from Centralia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania

Think he was getting at over the top weapon degredation being a bad item, hence the Chocolate Katana reference.

Funny review once again.

The only Silent Hill I've played is the original on the Playstation. I got bored of running around in the fog being eaten by random creatures and listening to static. And I don't much like horror games (pee pants time), so any excuse to stop playing, really.

Yay! Amusingness!

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Khakidoo:
Haven't played Silent Hill in ages, I loved the original, I can still hear that creepy gate squeeking...
And here's some useless trivia: A Pennsylvania town named Centralia was used as the basis for the town in Silent Hill. For the past 45 years a mine fire has been burning underground there, releasing toxic steam and warping the streets. There is a seriously creepy old church and graveyard where steam rises up right amongst the headstones. (I used to live about 45 minutes away from Centralia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania

That only applies to the movie. The town in the game isn't based on a single place, it's an amalgam of all the small towns in which horrific things happen in all the books of American horror authors.

Weapons degredation in Baldur's Gate was a good idea, as it was actually built into the story line and only applied to non-magical weapons (which were so common that you never had to worry about it).
Oh and more to the point, a great review as ever.

nicwe...... yahtzee at his best.

To all those going on about games with weapon degeneration: Just because it's tolerable doesn't necessarily make it a good idea.

Excellent review Yahtzee, as always though I did feel you were coming more from the Silent Hill fanboy "I'm looking down on this" crowd rather than an unbiased "Yet another bad game" crowd. To each is own I suppose.

Since the thread is really off topic already, and weapon degradation is on the table. How about the worst game with it? Seriously I'd like to know, I haven't played many and I thought Condemned was pretty awful with it, so I'd like to see how far it can go. No "Fire Emblem" or "Dead Rising" or "Diablo" - for any thing you can dream up, these games most did a satisfactory job of it and really can't be put into a "worst" category (but the trolls will come anyhow...). In games like Diablo and Oblivion it's for the grind factor so I'm not a huge fan, but in Condemned it was pretty lame having to pick up a new crowbar every couple of feet, and a shotgun with only 2 shots in it? ugh...

Oh, but you DO go to Silent Hill in Silent Hill 4. There is Silent Hill Smile Support Society and Toluca Lake in there.

My only exposure to the Silent Hill series is "The Room" as well as walking by a Silent Hill movie poster... oh and C. S. Yahtzee's comments on #5. Personally I liked it for the approach to horror in which horror is the main thematic element. Good horror too, not the popoutboo type but the creeping "Did I file my taxes correctly?" horror. I didn't get very far into it because it wasn't very rewarding but I can see the charm.

"...name any game in which weapon degradation has been a good idea." I'm going to be Little Johnny Literalist and say pretty much all games weapon degradation has been a good idea. Never mind that most of those games wherein weapon degradation was a good idea didn't actually have weapon degradation and that most of those that actually did implement weapon degradation did so in an annoying way. How's that for numbingly literal interpretation?

The point was to get some needed breathing space between concept and implementation. What C.S. Yahtzee wanted to ask was "...name any game in which weapon degradation was implemented well" but he's not from America so I can forgive his passing familiarity with the English language. The answer to this better, more American, question is that... "well not many." Dead Rising is right on the edge between "well" and "passable" in terms of implementation.

Unfortunately, game developers are like only child 8 year olds with a crate and a half of toys. They are so proud of HDR this, weapon degradation that, bloom hoohah that they fail to temper their showing off with subtlety. Can you name any game that had ragdoll physics that didn't randomly blow a body across a room during the single player campaign? Any game featuring HDR that didn't do the now-cliche dark tunnel to super bright room?

Where was I? Oh right, if a game has weapon degradation they seem to think that weapons can't last more than a dozen hits/shots and self destruct. Not because it's pleasing, realistic, or immersive, but because they got it for Christmas and they'll be darned if you aren't up to your eyeballs in it.

prahanormal:
I agree with you that Silent Hill 4 had the best story, but personally I think Silent Hill 3 was the best in the series. Don't get me wrong, 2 was brilliant, but personally I liked Heathers character more than I did James.

I agree, just about 100 percent. :)

Just about. ;)

While SH2 is by no means Bad, for me it didn't match up to the terror that was SH1, and was later completely out done by SH3. If you had two catagories for SH games, those being Story and Horror, SH2 would score high for story, but moderate for horror. I felt SH 1 and 3 had big points for each. SH3 gets bonus points for being the closest thing to a sequal in all all of the Silent Hill series. SH4 was gripping, and I felt was capable of estableshing a pattern; High scoring for story (I loved learning what it was that barred the man from leaving his house), but moderate points for terror.

I havn't played SH O, but I trust what Yahzee is saying... well, not all of it. :D I'm hopeful for SH5. But if Origins didn't work up a good reason for this trucker to be in town, and didn't murder and eat his own children (for example) to give some form of tragity, then yes, failure of story. Posably even low points. I'll never know, because I don't own a psp. :)

Fingers crossed for SH5.

"Name one game where weapon degradation was a good idea."

System Shock 2. ^^

I don't know how you can diss Zim forums looking at your recent standards of writing. I mean come on, your humour's gone to hell, every other word is fag, shit, arse or cock. You spent too much time in America. Have a look at some of the old stuff on your site, or even the first two or so videos here. By comparison the recent stuff is pathetic. You can do better and I'd love to see it.

Khakidoo:
Haven't played Silent Hill in ages, I loved the original, I can still hear that creepy gate squeeking...
And here's some useless trivia: A Pennsylvania town named Centralia was used as the basis for the town in Silent Hill. For the past 45 years a mine fire has been burning underground there, releasing toxic steam and warping the streets. There is a seriously creepy old church and graveyard where steam rises up right amongst the headstones. (I used to live about 45 minutes away from Centralia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania


Lot of small towns in that area are being destroyed, some in less dramatic fashion.

Mine fires are pretty common anywhere you find abandoned coal, there's one been burning in Northwest Colorado since 1899.

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