Rodox_Head

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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by Rodox_Head on Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:40 am

jam6i wrote:Can you imagine if James Sunderland said "oh boy the park is this way, i can even see it from here, but I probably should check out these apartments first"? Yea, the wall was there for a reason, to forcefully break up the game's locations. If you are going to push your characters on a linear path, at least make it more interesting than "eh, I dont want to now".


If I recall, James wouldn't progress through the apartment building until he met Eddie.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by jam6i on Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:57 am

HoneyandtheBear wrote:
jam6i wrote:Can you imagine if James Sunderland said "oh boy the park is this way, i can even see it from here, but I probably should check out these apartments first"? Yea, the wall was there for a reason, to forcefully break up the game's locations. If you are going to push your characters on a linear path, at least make it more interesting than "eh, I dont want to now".


If I recall, James wouldn't progress through the apartment building until he met Eddie.


Which, to my defense, i also didn't like so much. It felt too artificial to have James say "some force is holding me back". Ya know...what force? Eddie's puking buttcrack isnt a force strong enough to hold shut doors.

I believe the "force" was at the Woodside fire exit....wasnt it? I think. It would have made so much more sense for the fire exit key to be found in the room adjacent to Eddie's bathroom. This would have forced the player to meet Eddie before getting the fire exit key, while also eliminating the "force is holding me back" thing.

And the fire exit key we get in the game now could instead have been replaced with something else, like maybe the orange juice pack...although that would have been comical watching James bust a hernia reaching for Orange soda.

I'm really nitpicking,though. These aren't issues that make me shove chopsticks in my eyes, but are still minor gameplay elements that make me go "lol okkkkkk...."
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by Meltdown on Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:30 am

I did not notice too much difference between Origins and other Silent Hill games as far how obvious it was you are on a semi-linear path. These games are, honestly, fairly linear and closed. There is not a whole lot of options as far as choosing where to go and when to go there in any of them. You are sort of forced to go from a to b, and whether its Travis being a lazy douche or James and the "force" doesn't really stand out to me while I'm playing the game.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by devil hunter on Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:08 am

SH3 and 4 are even worse when it comes to linearity, really.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by Meltdown on Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:23 am

devil hunter wrote:SH3 and 4 are even worse when it comes to linearity, really.

Really? I feel like SH3 was one of the more open games, but perhaps it was just an illusion. SH3, for me, was definitely the more disorienting games. It definitely had that "weird" factor we keep talking about. That weird or disorientating factor may have given the appearance of being less obviously linear.

To reiterate, I definitely think most SH games are very linear. Some just hide it better than others. Compare them to sandbox games and its very obvious, or even compare them to a game like BioShock. BioShock's Rapture rarely felt linear because there were logical reasons for why you could not enter some regions, or why you couldn't progress without first doing a specific action or visiting a specific area.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by jam6i on Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:22 pm

SH2 is fairly open, and gives you a pretty good amount of freedom.

SH3, however, is painfully linear. From the onset its just one straight line to the end. Wake up in mall>mall nighmare>take subway home>train stops in sewers>>exit sewer to construction building>leap from construction building to office complex>leave office complex and walk 100 yards home>car ride to silent hill>jog from motel to hospital>leave hospital and go to motel>go towards end of nathan avenue>magically transport to amusement park>solve linear sequence of puzzles of park>carousel fight>enter strange church>defeat Silent Hill.

The only instance of even *slight* exploration is in Silent Hill when you can enter Heaven's night. Thats the only time in the entire game you aren't doing something plot specific. But even then, its still found on the dreadfully straight path to the end, and consists of one room with like two items and a throaway line to a past game.

Downpour and 1 are the only games in the series that aren't so painfully linear. The series isnt really known for being open world.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by Meltdown on Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:42 pm

jam6i wrote:Downpour and 1 are the only games in the series that aren't so painfully linear. The series isnt really known for being open world.

True.. I felt like SH1 was pretty open just because you could spend so much damn time walking on the streets of Silent Hill lol. But you're right, all but Downpour and 1, you had to go to each location in a specific order. Which doesn't really both me, it just depends on how well they hide or explain it, and some of the games do it better than others.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by jam6i on Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:35 pm

Shattered Memories attempted to hide it's own linearity, but only ended up making it more obvious.

"Ooh...I can go down THIS hallway...oooorrrrrr....I could go down THIS hallway! Whatever shall I do?"

They implemented the whole "forking paths" philosophy, but forgot to actually make it meaningful. What good is a fork in the road if you'll end up at the same bowl within 5 minutes anyway? It's a not-so-clever way to give the illusion of an expansive game. Everything in SM is just one giant bright blue/neon arrow with flashing lights yelling "this way, idiot."

I can actually give Homecoming some credit, because they actually offer player choices (albeit very tiny ones) such as being able to explore town hall before visiting Alex's house, or exploring the Cemetary to complete a totally optional and in no way plot relevant side-quest.

And yes, Origins is atrociously linear. The game literally consists of level hopping from one location to the next, with the streets acting as monotony-breaking scenery. Sure, you can visit the records office, but it just contains clippings for plot strings we already knew about and an array of items for Travis to stuff down his pants pockets.

Well, since I'm at it, might as well attack the last game, the room. The Room is a textbook example of copy and pasting in a professional work by any one team. The Room carries the stench of awkwardness as you are forced to trudge through completely identical carbon copies of the levels you just spent the last few hours trying to get through.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by Rodox_Head on Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:20 pm

devil hunter wrote:SH3 and 4 are even worse when it comes to linearity, really.


Second only to 4 in this regard, SH3 had such a "jumping through hoops" feeling out of all the SH titles I've played. Almost all of the first half of the game was completely unnecessary. Sure the mall was a good introduction, but the rest just seemed like filler to me.

"Can I go home now?"
NOPE, spooky subway
"The train stopped, am I home yet?"
NOPE, spooky sewer
"I'm back on land, is home nearby?"
NOPE, spooky office building

I'm not really trying to defend Origins on this here, I can't even remember why you go the theater in the first place. I understand why Travis might not feel like entering a store if he wants to figure out what the f*** is going on though. Also, keep in mind that this was a PSP game, so they probably didn't want to waste the space on unnecessary areas.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by devil hunter on Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:14 am

Yeah, plus they like developed the game for months (quite literally).
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by Naroon on Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:37 am

The first half of SH3 being so bland is what eventually made me drop it from its #1 spot on my list of favorite SH titles. When you play the game for the first time, you don't notice it because it's so fresh and atmospheric, but on subsequent playthroughs, the first half feels like such a chore, because nothing really happens besides Heather getting closer to home.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by Meltdown on Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:42 am

NarooN wrote:The first half of SH3 being so bland is what eventually made me drop it from its #1 spot on my list of favorite SH titles. When you play the game for the first time, you don't notice it because it's so fresh and atmospheric, but on subsequent playthroughs, the first half feels like such a chore, because nothing really happens besides Heather getting closer to home.

Totally agree. I'm replaying SH3 now and, damn, its just not as captivating as some other ones. After you find Harry, it really kicks in though. Still one of my favorite installments, just the beginning is just so much work for very little story.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by Naroon on Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:11 am

Yeah, SH3 picks up and doesn't let you down when you finally get to the apartment, but all that slugging through the subway and demented office building was just so draining... The subway was done really well in some aspects, because it's so easy to get lost in it (and it made me realize just how creepy it would be to be in an abandoned subway like that), but at the same time it could be annoying as hell getting lost for extended amounts of time, lol.

It's been *years* since I last played Origins, even though I liked the game. I do somewhat remember the flow of moving to different areas not making much sense (I still don't think I ever figured out why Travis felt the apparently natural instinct to go to the theater), but it was a fun game to me. I'll have to emulate the PSP version sometime.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by Deadalux on Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:57 pm

Origins is missing that gem that really makes a video game a silent hill game.
I've played the game and watched entire walkthrough's/play-throughs, so I have experience with the game.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by devil hunter on Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:29 pm

Deadalux wrote:Origins is missing that gem that really makes a video game a silent hill game.


And that is...?
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by jam6i on Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:36 pm

Travis' entire justifications for level hopping were held together with bandaids and chewed up gum.

Alchemilla:
Travis: "well, The doctor told me the girl didn't make it, and there's some weird stuff going on. But I survived, so it's time to go."
Lisa: "hey u don't know me and we have no connection, and I'm going across town to the town's mental institution for no reason."
Travis: "I should meet that nurse at the mental hospital, even though my job here is finished."

Cedar Grove:
Travis: "wow, this place was crazy, and I found out some stuff about my mom, but I survived, barely, and probably should get back to my truck."
*runs toward exit, passing by a randomly placed theater ticket*
Travis: "Hey this ticket wasn't here before. I should go to the theater, even though I officially have no reason to stay."

Artaud:
Travis: "wow this was scary. I found out a lot about Shakespeare's Tempest, and that was amusing. But I survived, and should really go home now."
*Walks past corpse*
Travis: "Hey, this random corpse is holding a key. The key is to a motel that I stayed at one time 20 years ago. I should go there even though I have absolutely no f*cking reason to not just hop into my truck and give this entire town a giant middle finger sandwich."

Travis has ADD. That's the only explanation for his jumping around town as though he were in a candy store. He pretty much just finds things and goes to the place where that thing came from.

That would be like Harry Mason going to the magic shop for finding a deck of cards in the school. Of James going to the grocery store because of the canned juice. Or heather going to the hair/beauty shop for finding a hair dryer.

Travis assuming he is being lead to places by people casually mentioning locations and finding random items is juvenile and lacks any logic. Had they actually taken the time to link the locations....

Alchemilla: Travis finds medical documentation in a doctor's office secret compartment detailing his relation to a mysterios case at cedar grove and, hey, Travis& last name is on the document! There's a good reason to go to...

Cedar Grove: Travis finds a solitary confinement room stuffed from floor to ceiling with Shakesperean literature and the ticket to the theater with the message "Travis, GO HERE". There's a good reason to go to....

Artaud: One of the "stage mirror other worlds" is a replica of room 502 from the motel, which Travis instantly recognizes, and finds a key to the room there. Which leads him to the motel.

Design of the game is highly questionable. Even for a series that forces you to suspend logic, this game still comes off as highly illogical.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by Naroon on Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:08 pm

^Amusing as that was, that all falls apart when you remember that Travis couldn't just simply leave the town, he was obviously being "held there" by Alessa. She wouldn't have let him leave no matter what until he either died or finished helping her out.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by jam6i on Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:54 pm

I dont think Travis was really held by the town or Alessa. He just simply never thought about leaving. Every time the heat died down, he just skipped to the next location like a schoolgirl playing hopscotch, blissfully unaware. He never really questioned his own involvement beyond "hey! You! " and "hehe....yea" (talking to lisa at the theater).
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by Naroon on Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:18 pm

As with the other games, if the player tries to leave the town, all of the relevant and logical pathways to do so are blocked and shut off. Moreover, Travis even expresses anger and annoyance at Alessa due to his unwillingness to be her pawn several times throughout the game. No SH protagonists have ever been shown to have the ability to just up and leave the Otherworld once they're in it, until they face their demons. Travis just so happened to have a sordid and dark past, and that combined with the fact that he ended up inadvertently trying to help Alessa meant that he was in it for the long haul.

It can be surmised that Travis probably traveled through the town as part of his job several times before the events of the game. He obviously never entered the Otherworld prior to that, so I think the only way to explain that is that Alessa played a hand in keeping him there for the sole purpose of helping her to get all the pieces of the Flauros.
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Silent Hill 0rigins is missing something

Post by jam6i on Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:00 pm

They could have done a better job conveying the point that either Travis was being held captive or he personally had a completely reasonable explanation for not jumping the fence.

Harry was desperately searching for his daughter. James was looking for his wife. Heather was looking for a particular person to kill and get revenge on. Henry couldn't leave his apartment. Alex was looking for his brother. Harry 2.0 was also looking for his daughter. And Murphy..well...lets leave Murphy out of this discussion, he had no real reason to stay in the town.

The lack of dialogue in the game had a lot to do with mixed messages. Whenever Travis met Alessa, the conversation was always the same:

Travis: "Who are you?"
*Alessa furrows her brow at Travis*

Later...
Travis: "You're that girl!"
*Alessa furrows her brow at Travis*

Later...
Travis: "What do you want?"
*Alessa furrows her brow at Travis*

Later...
Travis: "I have the pieces. Do you want them?"
*Alessa furrows her brow at Travis*

The same can be said of his other conversations:

Travis: "You were at the fire!"
Dahlia: "madness crazy kooky crazy gabble gabble dark demons buzzbuzz witchcraft angry beavers"

Travis walks in on Lisa and Kaufmann:
"Mind your own business and leave"

The game did a pretty bad job at giving the player information. Sure, we either already knew it, or could have at least surmised it. But a sign of bad writing is just flat out not telling the audience anything for sake of holding back information. I's possible to have dialogue without spoiling too much, but it can be detrimental to your story if you hold back information just for the sake of holding the information.

The game's dialogue was lazy, and that in effect had impact on the motivations of the characters. Who was Dahlia? Who was Travis? Who was this girl? What connection could they have? Why is Travis not leaving? They could have touched upon these topics without actually giving anything away, but instead chose to just restrict dialogue to a bare minimum, making it quite a silent game, and making the characters flat, one dimensional, unrelatable and dull.

Look at SH3: the dialogue was intense, in depth, and some cutscenes were fairly long. Some cutscenes dug right into the hearts of the side characters Douglas, Claudia and Vincent. We learned so much about these characters through dialogue and mannerisms, we knew their motivations, and what they wanted. We felt like we understood them...Yet in the end, we still didnt really know these characters, because they were so three dimensional and complex.

The same can be said for SH1, 2, and 4 (yeeeessss Henry has more personality than travis).

The most "character development" we got from Travis was him smiling as he walked back to his truck. I wanted to really feel emotion for Travis' backstory, but it felt painfully tacked onto the game as just a way to move the plot forward. Travis' backstory was an intangible McGuffin, it was an invisible way for the writers to drag the game through the mud towards its obvious and tiresome conclusion.

....but I love the game. It has a lot of flaws, but its not necessarily a bad game. It does,after all, include one of my favorite levels from all the games, the theater.
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