jam6i

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The Negatives of Silent Hill Homecoming

Post by jam6i on Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:56 pm

I don't doubt the game's vision. I've said it before that there are moments, really brief moments, where you can just feel like a superb horror game is trying to break through and reveal itself. But the game is just so weighed down with mechanical and technical problems, a visual style so utterly grey and bland it's sleep-inducing, and a story riddled with so many tiny little plot holes it just never gets through.

There are just so many tiny little moments in the entire game that just break it down. The game has a list of problems so long one could write a book on it. And even recently things have been pointed out to me that I never noticed that just add to that list.

Like, someone pointed out to me recently that in the lair drill chair sequence, when Alex breaks free of the chair, you can see the leather cuffs on his wrists, but when the camera shifts to show the closeup of the drill entering Holloway's jaw, just a few frames later, the leather cuffs have disappeared. Where did they go? The game never shows what happens to them. They just magically disappear a few frames after the last you see them.

Before:
Image

5 Frames later:
Image

Where did they go? Did Alex stop, put down the drill, take off the cuffs, pick the drill back up, lean back to Holloway, and then shove the drill into her jaw, and did Holloway just stand there while he did it? The cuffs straight up vanish. That's no exaggeration. They flat out vanish. It's a continuity error that really shouldn't be present in a SH game, and something I don't think a team that cares about details would have missed.

And it was also pointed out that during that scene Judge Holloway is wearing high heeled shoes on a grated floor. She should have been falling all over the place during that scene when talking to Alex, unless each step was carefully placed so that the pegs would always land on the thin metal slats. Which is ridiculous. What really happened is Holloway's character model has high heels, and they straight up forgot about it when making that scene.

The game is just jammed full of little moments that just take you out of the experience. The fact that you can stun lock basically every enemy with the standard default weapon. The fact that they didn't realize a handgun's collision can be used to pass through any barrier. The fact that you can accidentally use a serum because they mapped a perishable to an inventory system that allows you to use items by letting go of the button. The fact that certain parts of Rose Heights cemetery sometimes don't load on time. The fact that more than 2 or 3 enemies on screen can severely damage the framerate. The fact that at certain loading screens the game has a high probability of crashing. The fact that simply firing the shotgun can drop the framerate. The fact that literally every branching dialogue tree ALWAYS ends up at the same outcome, rendering all choices pointless. The fact that Elle is hanging up missing persons flyers next to a crashed police cruiser with mutilated corpses around it. The fact that Toluca Offices has a map for it, even though you never pick it up, suggesting Alex just always had a map of the building on his person. The fact that Scarlet sometimes glitches out and gets frozen in place. The fact that the camera can clip out of bounds at certain moments during fights (like in the Ashpyxia fight) making it impossible to see what you are doing for brief moments. The fact that Wheeler will sometimes stand in a doorway in the hell prison and never move, forcing a reload (also known as poor NPC programming). The fact that the Needler gets an introductory cutscene in the hotel AFTER Alex has already encountered it in the elevator. The fact that shutting off the power at the W&P building seemingly turns off the sun as well (and that it somehow doesn't affect the area near the bait shop). The fact that the Shepherd house has no door connecting the garage to the main part (what kind of house is built so that the garage isn't connected?) The fact that health items you pick up in the nightmare hospital sequence carry over to Shepherd's Glen even though that is established to have never happened in the first place so where did those items come from? The fact that the bleeding effects on Doc Fitch somehow look worse than PS1 graphics. The fact that Alex washes up onto the Toluca docks beach which is impossible because lakes don't have tides that would be able to do that. The fact that at certain points in the game the flashlight provides almost no illumination in near darkness. The fact that Alex's character model has been known to disappear during cutscenes (and I even found a way to completely remove Alex from the entire game through a really easy glitch). The fact that Alex takes a drill to the leg and walks it off like nothing happened, no blood or anything, just like it never happened. The fact that the dress form in the basement falls into the water with absolutely no splash effect or sound, it doesn't affect the water at all. The fact that Wheeler has like ten knives stabbed into his torso and ONE MED KIT is somehow enough to not only keep him alive, but allow him to totally walk out at the end alive and well as though that wasn't a horrific injury that should have punctured many vital organs.. The fact that...oh I'm done. There are many more problems.

I don't doubt their vision. But the final product, the end result, is just really shoddy. It's okay if people like it. But I can't help but wonder just how many people would cut it the same amount of slack if it were not a Silent Hill title. If this were a game by some unknown developer and were simply titled "Homecoming" it'd probably be viewed the same as other buggy and broken games like Ride to Hell Retribution or Aliens Colonial Marines.

The laundry list of problems, if this were not a Silent Hill game, would make this game a laughing stock of the industry. People would use it as a "how not to make a game" standard. I'll admit the only reason I don't hate it is because it's a SH title, and try to find enjoyment from it.

But if this weren't a SH game? It'd be in the trash. Along with RE6. It's just a really low quality horror game, especially when compared to all of it's superior brothers and sisters.

There are some good moments, yes. I like the initial sequence in Shepherd's Glen, the music and ambiance creates a really lonely and haunting setting. I like initially searching the Shepherd house for the same reason. I like *some* aspects of the hotel level. I think the boss designs were phenomenal and really creative, would have been right at home in the earlier games.

Besides that, not really a fan. I like games that are made with thought, love, time, care and patience. Homecoming feels rushed, sloppy and not thought out. Even for Yamaoka, this is not his best work. Besides a few well known tracks, most of the sound work for HC is really uninspired and tired. By that point he was burned out I think.

And this is "Negative of Silent Hill Homecoming" thread so it's totally okay for me to express my feelings here. This isn't "Positives of" thread. I would never post this there.
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Naroon

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The Negatives of Silent Hill Homecoming

Post by Naroon on Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:59 pm

And this is "Negative of Silent Hill Homecoming" thread so it's totally okay for me to express my feelings here. This isn't "Positives of" thread. I would never post this there.


I didn't read all of that text wall, but I was never implying you weren't allowed to express your feelings here. It's just that everyone's already expressed how they felt about this game numerous times before, so there's no need to have some back & forth trying to convince anyone of anything here.
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The Negatives of Silent Hill Homecoming

Post by jam6i on Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:11 am

It's cool. I'd say I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything but my wall of text would suggest otherwise.

I envy the people who can look past HC's laundry list of narrative holes, narrative inconsistencies, continuity errors, mechanical issues, technical issues, and design choices. I personally expect more integrity from a game built for this series.

It's not like I enjoy heavily criticizing a SH game. I wish HC were up to the level of *most* of its comrades. I wish it were better.

Perhaps in the future it'll be remade.. That would be very nice.
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The Negatives of Silent Hill Homecoming

Post by amurderousbeing on Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:45 am

I personally can't handle the story and the way it develops. It doesn't have the depth and complexity that I'm used to Silent Hill having. I also couldn't handle the way that it kept you in the dark about the story
REVEAL SPOILER
until the very end, when Judge Holloway just sits there with you and tells you all of it

None of the other Silent Hill games had to do that, they let us figure it out. That was such a huge part of the games for me, and Homecoming lacked it.
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Otherworld

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The Negatives of Silent Hill Homecoming

Post by Otherworld on Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:35 am

Homecoming suffered right from the very beginning. When Josh was supposed to be another " Alessa"

Seen here ...



In a way we kind of dodged a bullet with Homecoming, as the version we finally got ( as bad as it was ) actually saved this franchise from some very real embarrassment.

As Alessa and Josh were slated to make an appearance together in a dragon ball Z type fight over Toluca Lake .....

:grenade:

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Lost In The Fog

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The Negatives of Silent Hill Homecoming

Post by Lost In The Fog on Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:49 pm

And thus Tomm Hulett saved the game from being a total disaster..

But negatives? Hm, what can I say that hasn't been said before?
- predictable plot-twist regarding Josh
- too much gore? Not too sure, I actually found it better than James just dying even though he should have been split in half by PH's Great Knife
- human enemies! The last part, in the lair was anticlimatic and lacked about anything resembling SH
- Judge Holloway
- deputy Wheeler, token stereotype whose only purpose is comedic relief, something this series does not need
- a puzzle from the movie, are you kidding me?
- slider puzzles. These don't belong in gaming. Period.
- far too many plot twists in mostly all of the endings
- Pyramid Head
- recycled Lying Figures
 
 
 
 
 
 

Otherworld

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The Negatives of Silent Hill Homecoming

Post by Otherworld on Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:36 pm

As bad as it was it could have been a lot worse ..... :coffee:
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clips7

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The Negatives of Silent Hill Homecoming

Post by clips7 on Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:45 pm

Otherworld wrote:Homecoming suffered right from the very beginning. When Josh was supposed to be another " Alessa"

Seen here ...



In a way we kind of dodged a bullet with Homecoming, as the version we finally got ( as bad as it was ) actually saved this franchise from some very real embarrassment.

As Alessa and Josh were slated to make an appearance together in a dragon ball Z type fight over Toluca Lake .....

:grenade:

Image



:lol: :lol: :lol: ...Can you imagine that?...this would have been called Silent Hill "The Movie" for real...not only because of it taking some designs from the movie itself, but because only in a SH movie would you see somebody actually say "yeah we'll have Alessa and Josh fight over the lake...tossing lasers at each other".

AS bad as "Revelation" was I could actually see somebody wanting something like that added to Revelations or to the movie franchise itself, but not to the game franchise... :| ....I was shocked that those idiots at Konami EVEN entertained that sort of concept...yes Tomm saved what probably would have been the LAST SH game...
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Royal Fizzbin

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The Negatives of Silent Hill Homecoming

Post by Royal Fizzbin on Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:48 pm

Recently gave Homecoming another shot after 8 years. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t sit all too well with me in a number of areas.

This game consistently delivers some of the most monotonous level designs in the franchise. Most of the levels are devoid of anything interesting to see, and the scenery within several levels is very repetitious (being the case for the Graveyard, Hotel, Sewers, and Prison). Almost like copy and paste the same rooms and halls 20 or so times to make a level kind of stuff. The nightmare world is a visual improvement, but somehow seems less populated with creatures and feels less dangerous (minus the bosses) than the fog world.

The overall Josh/Alex story felt a little corny and predictable--not predictable based on well placed clues and hints woven in throughout the game, but predictable because of its path parallel to a certain past SH experience. The narrative felt ham-handed, being very thin throughout most of the game and then dumping out all at once on the backend which really hurt the pacing. Was any reason given as to why the Shepherd parents didn’t follow through with the original plan for Alex? How did the accident with Josh in any way affect what they needed to do with Alex in order to protect the town? There is only a letter where the father talks about how he suddenly decided he can’t protect Shepherd’s Glen (presumably by making the sacrifice) and he instead decides to go to Silent Hill to fight evil. What exactly was he going to do? Fight the order because of the abductions? Or maybe seek out and confront god hoping to end the curse? Sorry if the explanation was there and I just missed it, but this particular story element felt very weak. Another part that confused me, why was the mother in the near catatonic state? Was the order brainwashing her? Was it because of the onset of the town curse? Was she like that because of Josh disappearing 4 years prior? Did she just get done watching Dude, Where's My Car? The purpose and reason for this element of her character never became clear to me. What about the other 3 founding families, didn’t they notice that Alex was missing for 4 years? Wouldn’t they have asked Adam, “Hey, you know that thing we’re all supposed to do pretty soon to protect the town?… Well, where the hell is Alex?”

As far as characters, Elle and Wheeler are not bad, but the game doesn’t give either of them any real relevance to the main story (aside from the decision to save Wheeler or not), nor does it make either of them all that interesting on their own. Although it could be argued that as a character Wheeler was a throwback to Cybil, I suppose. But if both characters presence were removed from the game and they were merely alluded to through notes and such, it wouldn’t hurt the game at all, in fact that might add to the sense of isolation. Curtis was one of the more interesting people early on having a really effective buildup and introduction to his character. There was definitely potential to further explore and expounded on him, unfortunately his final role turned out to be essentially nothing more than a glorified order soldier to fight towards the end. Also the parts of the game that allowed for interactive dialog came across as really undercooked and mostly an unnecessary game element.

Being prompted to mash a button to cut through a wall, or hack through some boards, or wiggle out of restraints, or shake off some bugs, it’s very videogame-ish and hurt immersion. Blood spattering on the screen belongs in a Mortal Kombat game, not in SH. This system for navigating items and weapons was not my favorite, not by a long shot. The knife is generally the best weapon of the game, which isn’t necessarily bad I guess, but kind of strange. Outside of using guns occasionally in boss fights there was no reason to equip any other weapon, because any other weapon was a tactical downgrade from the knife. I almost suspect the boarded and jammed doors were added so that the ax and pipe had a reason to exist in the game at all.

I’m not trying to attack the game or anyone who enjoyed it. These were just some of my own personal issues with it. This one tried some different things that didn’t quite work out well, plus it sounds like the game was hampered by a fairly messy production.
 
 
 
 
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