Recently I’ve has returned to one of my favorite video game series of all time, Silent Hill. Although the first has aged graphically, it’s still an artistic masterpiece featuring some of the most amazing atmosphere and sound design of any game ever, and the level of tension it maintains is unmatched. I spent literally hours on edge making my way through that godawful hospital, and from there the nightmare doesn’t end until the game’s close.
The sequel keeps up the high level of quality with a stronger storyline and unbelievably messed up second half; there have been many times I have literally yelled “#%@* this!” at the TV (seriously – special characters and all), often when encountering a certain geometry-headed gentlemen, and at other times when the games just go out of their way to mess with you. (Those who have experienced the hotel at the end of Silent Hill 2 know EXACTLY what I mean.) I was pleasantly surprised to find both the first and second games just as excellent as the first time I played them, although the third suffers somewhat with a second playthrough, due in part to the slow and poorly-paced first half, before picking up in the second, with an absolutely triumphant close. I have to say that Silent Hill is the rare series wherein every entry has something to offer; even the most lacking Silent Hill game still has some great scenes and clever ideas, which is more that can be said of most video game franchises.