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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by Rodox_Head on Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:50 am

1. More ways to avoid the Raw Shocks during the otherworld sequences. It was damn near impossible to figure out where I was and I was just blindly running through doors the whole time until I ended up at the waypoint. The Raw Shocks gang up on you easily and overwhelmed me numerous times. Sure there's the flare and the hiding spots, but there were only about one of each during each sequence.

2. Some areas were a bit hard to navigate and felt bland, like the forest stage. Then again, I hate forest levels.

3. Throughout the whole game I couldn't help but wish they based the character of Dahlia Mason on Jodie Mason. I just didn't feel any kind of chemistry between Harry and Dahlia. Mainly their differing appearances, whatever I guess I'm shallow. :roll:

4. The ending felt a bit quick and anticlimactic. If the true vision of Harry is supposed to be based on how we control him, we should have been shown more than just one quick cinematic displaying that. Silent Hill has always been good at groping at the inside of your mind (this game was no exception to that btw), but if I didn't have the emotional connection to the story that I did, I may have felt a little unaccomplished. I also grew up with a broken family and by the end I was emotionally drained.
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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by what on Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:39 am

I don't get this idea that it would be scarier if you had weapons. The first few games were far less scarier than they could have been because you were always carrying around a whole arsenal of weapons and ammo, which let you kill just about anything that actually poses a threat to you, which made the overall threat of the monsters vastly less than it could have been. And, having a variety of five monsters is not realistically less repetitive when you encounter those same five monsters over and over again and they quickly become an annoying obstacle, rather than something to be feared. It's not like this series ever really made the most of the variety it had, anyway. Yeah, you had some different monster designs, accompanied by slightly different behaviors, all handled with the same basic, boring violence you see in almost any video game. It's like, if you're not killing things with violence, it's not a video game or something.

It's a complaint that puts me in the mind that there are fans who just hate the idea of anything unfamiliar in their Silent Hill game.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by jam6i on Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:46 pm

The forced removal of weapons and combat worked for the game. I mean, stripping e whole game of combat really helped serve the game as a whole. Since the gameplay was evenly divided between therapy sessions, town exploration and chase sequences, having combat would have made the other non-combat sections feel really awkward. It would have been silly to walk around the snowy town equipped with all these weapons that you had no need to use.

And if they gave Harry weapons to use in the enemy encounters, there would have to be dumb reasons for the game to constantly be taking them away for the exploration segments (such as in Downpour, their silly reliance on weak bridges whenever they need a justifiable reason to rob you of all your weapons.

And of course, because of that twist ending....

REVEAL SPOILER
Allowing Harry to only use a flashlight and occasionally a flare helps keep him "neutral" to Cheryl. He's a man with only the bare essentials looking for his daughter...

If the game gave Harry weapons, it could bias Cheryl's imagination (or another way to say, it would mean Cheryl was automatically biased on how she viewed her dead dad, regardless of how she remembered him).

If Harry had weapons and used them ,it would mean Cheryl had a predisposed ideal of her dad using various weapons and, most importantly, being violent, regardless of which ending you get.

Also, let's not forget that the Raw Shocks are literally abstract manifestations of Cheryl's desire to be with her dad...and it makes sense for her "imagined dad" to simply be evasive and hiding. It would make ABSOLUTELY ZERO SENSE (within the context of the game) for Cheryl's Raw Shocks to be physically assaulted, beaten, or shot and killed by Harry. That would mean that, in Cheryl's long bouts of depression, she often imagines Harry physically assaulting and attempting to murder her.

Forcing Harry to use just a light and flare is a much more story-driven necessity than some people think

Even more, the flare itself can be seen as somewhat symbolic. Why do the Raw Shocks cower when the flare is lit? Why is it only when everything is dark, can they chase Harry? That's because Cheryl chases the vague idea of her father, and whenever he is "illuminated" (such as the flare being lit) it scares Cheryl. The actual idea of "knowing" her father is scarier than she'd like to admit. The Raw Shocks chase an idea of Harry, not Harry himself.

This also makes the flashlight worse to use because the flashlight beam, when pointed at a Raw Shock ,will further obscure Harry, making it even easier for a Raw Shock to chase him, since that means Cheryl is chasing an even less-concrete vision of her dad..


So giving Harry the ability to actually fight is just ridiculous, and undermines the story the game is trying to tell. If the lack of weapons is seriously a problem with you, then you aren't understanding the tale it's trying to tell you, and you probably just need to pick up RE5 or RE6 for your action-horror requirements.

Shattered Memories is a brilliant story, delicately woven into this tapestry of intrigue and suspense. A lot more thought and care went into SM than people give it credit for. I'd say SM goes right alongside Silent Hills 1, 2, 3, and 4 as "incredible tales" that the writers really cared about.

SM probably was the sole beacon of intellect during the 2nd generation of Silent Hill tales (from Origins to Downpour).
-Origins was terribly written but had good level design.
-Homecoming was just terribly written and looks like a steaming pile, and also doesn't have much reason to exist.
-Downpour was a fantastic game, but the story was lacking in some parts. Downpour is still a great story...but it could have been a little more....

Shattered Memories was just amazing on all counts!
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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by Guerilla on Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:47 pm

what wrote:I don't get this idea that it would be scarier if you had weapons. The first few games were far less scarier than they could have been because you were always carrying around a whole arsenal of weapons and ammo, which let you kill just about anything that actually poses a threat to you, which made the overall threat of the monsters vastly less than it could have been. Yes, having a variety of five monsters is not realistically less repetitive when you encounter those same five monsters over and over again and they quickly become an annoying obstacle, rather than something to be feared. It's not like this series ever really made the most of the variety it had, anyway. Yeah, you had some different monster designs, accompanied by slightly different behaviors, all handled with the same basic, boring violence you see in almost any video game. It's like, if you're not killing things with violence, it's not a video game or something.

It's a complaint that puts me in the mind that there are fans who just hate the idea of anything unfamiliar in their Silent Hill game.
Comments like these just reaffirm what I dislike about the fanbase. They only seem to give a shit about the story and say fuck you to anything else pertaining to game design. All they request is the gameplay be dumbed down and streamlined enough to not interfere with their artistic stories.

SM's gameplay isn't being criticized merely because it's different. Otherwise, I would dislike every single post-SH3 game in the series instead of just SM alone. SM's gameplay is criticized because it uses ideas that functionally give the gameplay less variety than its predecessors. People, just because these are survival horror games does not mean they shouldn't be trying to build on their predecessors. That's what sequels are supposed to do. Take what works, improve on it, and you can do this while adding new ideas. SM's ideas are a slipshod, woefully miscalculated attempt at a Zen like less is more perspective.

And can we cut out the pretentious nose turning of 'violent gameplay' and not be so ignorantly dismissive? It doesn't make anyone any more sophisticated or intelligent by taking a hipster like stance on something that isn't story related for once. SM's gameplay is not being criticized merely for lacking violence or blood n' guts but because there isn't as much to do when stacked up against earlier entries. This isn't limited to just combat either. Take a good look at the puzzles. 90% of them consist of 'click on the handle, pull back on analog stick, and solve insultingly simple puzzle'. Or how about the lack of inventory management? Big part of exploration in earlier games is exploring the environment trying to find what you need to progress through the game. SM's gameplay isn't hated because it isn't an exact duplicate of the early SH games. It's criticized because it takes away a lot of features and doesn`t offer much of anything to make up for those features.

The nightmare segments are linear, on rails, rollercoaster ride whereas earlier games basically dropped you into an interactive Dante's Inferno and encouraged you to explore the area. Yes, having five different creature designs with distinct looks and different AI really is that less repetitive than dealing with one repetitive monster type that repeats the same attacks over and over and warrants using the same tactics over and over: run. I can tell you first hand I damn sure don`t use the same exact strategy in dealing with Closers that I used in dealing with Slurpers. Sure, you can hide from the Raw Shocks, but I can't tell you how many times I've managed to get through each nightmare segment just be repeatedly running and never stopping. It's the same thing from each nightmare segment to the next. Chase sequences over and over. Here's the snag about chase sequences. They only work when the player isn't outright told they're in the game and instead catches them by surprise like how SH2 handled its Pyramid Head chase sequence in Brookhaven's Otherworld. And they have to be used sparingly. Not lazily copy and pasted in each nightmare segment and passing it off as quality gameplay because 'less is more'.

With combat, yes, it really does offer more variety because (duh) more factors are at work than just run, run, run. Do I have enough ammo? How about health? If I do, then I don't have to worry about engaging this monster and run away. But I may have to come back to this area later to solve a puzzle so maybe I should? Or I am low on health. Should I risk engaging the enemy? If I do, what weapon should I use? Will it be good enough to down them or should I use another weapon? How many rounds will I need to use? How many hits will they take before my weapon breaks?

See, you don't ask yourself any of these questions in SM because you don't have any options. The only solution is the same one you're always encouraged to use: run. Even Haunting Ground lets players do more than just run away from pursuers like crafting evasive weapons and using Hewie.

I mean did you really hear any complaints out of SH2 removing combat from the player? Not really. Which shows the gameplay factor of combat itself isn't really something that needed to be taken away. Just as long as the player has the option to fight or flee. That`s how the early game offered more variety than SM. Sure, Silent Hill isn't a sandbox game like Grand Theft Auto that features hundreds of things to do. But that does not mean we should be settling for stripped down gameplay because 'oh, it's a survival horror game'. No. How else would we have gotten Fatal Frame and Siren if we stuck to that narrow minded way of thinking? Like it or not, people, these are video games. People do like having things to do in them. If I only wanted interactive movies I'd go play a David Cage or something. There is more to Silent Hill than the fucking narratives, folks. And that`s the way it should be.

I very much do understand the tale the game is trying to tell. What I'm telling you is I didn`t like the tale it was trying to tell me because it wasn't emotionally engaging, it was all a roller coaster ride that deprived me of gameplay in favor of presentation, and ultimately wasn't anything we had not seen before. Again, the topic is asking what you would do to improve Shattered Memories. It doesn't say you are under any obligation to like the solutions people suggest. To me, SM had so many issues that my proposed ideas to make it better would warrant having to remake the game from scratch.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by Rodox_Head on Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:05 pm

@Guerilla

I'd offer a rebuttal, but I think jam6i explains everything perfectly.

All I wished for with the chase sequences was to be able to stop to get your bearings once in a while. It got a little too frantic for me and I, in turn, just found them frustrating.
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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by Guerilla on Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:21 pm

I just don't believe in excusing bad gameplay design with the idea of 'but it fits in with the story!' Again I'm playing a game. You cannot rely on using story as your get out of jail free card. Because then it has to be a damn good story or the whole thing fails. Besides, I already said earlier in my other post that I don't like the story SM told, and I would like to see it improved by using a new story that doesn't rely on SH1. Also, don't assume people just want "action horror" like RE5 & just because they rightfully criticize SM for its gameplay failures. That statement doesn't work when previous SH games had combat but aren't called action horror games in the same vein as RE4-6. Not to mention Jambi misses the point. You say it would have been silly to walk around town with weapons you had no use for? Well, that's why you, oh, I don't know, put enemies in those sections to use them for. You kinda missed the point of what I was referring to in my earlier criticisms. And not just have monsters to fight mind you. Have more in general to do in the game because I don't notice so much what's been added to the gameplay so much as what's been taken away. I don't care if it makes sense in the context of the story. Story should be an excuse to strip down gameplay to the point of lacking diversity of previous entries. It's lazy gameplay design. If you want to use story as a justification for gameplay changes then create another story. Because the gameplay really didn't make me feel any more immersed in the story and vice versa. It just felt like a waste of time.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by what on Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:36 pm

SM's gameplay isn't being criticized merely because it's different.


Yes it is. Virtually every single complaint that you have is that it is different from what you are used to and expect. It takes away all those 'features', like killing hordes of cookie cutter monsters and derivative puzzles and unguided exploration and all these other things that were either completely derivative or of no material importance to the experience of the game. In this thread called "Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better", all of your suggestions imply "put back all of the tired, old gameplay concepts most of us got bored with ten years ago" and none of them are new ideas or improvements upon any of the series' formulas.

Sometimes, less is more, and though you may hate to hear it, Silent Hill isn't a series people care about because it has ever innovated in terms of gameplay. At best, the game has given us gameplay that doesn't get in the way too much; at worst, gameplay that is bad to the point of complete distraction. If you want a horror-themed game that is more about combat than story, you're barking up a completely wrong tree.

YMMV of course. I think Shattered Memories could have been improved in a lot of ways. There could have been more randomness, could have been more creative ways of evading enemies, totally should have been better puzzles. Reverting the gameplay so that it was basically just like playing the previous six Silent Hill games would not have qualified as an improvement in any of these respects. In spite of its deficiencies, all that old cruft needed to be ejected. I'm absolutely okay with the fact that it was. In spite of what you insist, that seems to be the biggest problem you have with the game. For example, do any of us really want any more of the "60 second segment of storyline, giant building filled with completely arbitrary obstacles and monsters that pose no legitimate threat to you, 60 second segment of storyline, giant building filled with completely arbitrary obstacles and monsters that pose no legitimate threat to you"? I don't know about you, but I've played that game too many times to want to play another one just like it.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by Guerilla on Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:43 pm

No, it isn't. You need to go back and reread my posts. I've explained in great detail that it's being criticized because it lacks depth and doesn't offer anything of substance. SH4 changed quite a bit from previous entries but I still enjoy playing that over SM because despite a lot of the problems it feels like I'm actually doing things unlike in SM. The room aspect was a nice, different albeit underutilized idea. I liked the idea of hauntings and having to exorcise them. Being able to witness changes in the environment both inside the room and out as you progress through the game. Heck, I even liked the inventory limit even if did get annoying at times and I can understand the complaints about it. It was a game rich with potential.

So you need to stop ignorantly assuming just because I level criticisms at SM's gameplay that all I want is combat. More so when I have already explained the other issues I have with the gameplay than just lack of combat. Look, I get that you really like the game as I've seen quite a few of your posts praising it. But you need to quit trying to hand wave legitimate criticisms others may have about the game as 'oh, he just wants more of the same' or 'oh he just wants to kill things'. Don't be a fanboy. I love the rest of the games but I'm not going to pretend for one moment they don't have their issues because they all do.

I want new ideas but not ones that put a ball and chain on the gameplay. Not hard to comprehend. It can't just be change merely for the sake of change. The old hat 'but SH has never been about gameplay so it should not try to improve on it!' excuse is so played out at this point.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by what on Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:39 pm

So you need to stop ignorantly assuming just because I level criticisms at SM's gameplay that all I want is combat. More so when I have already explained the other issues I have with the gameplay than just lack of combat.


It's not just the combat you want back. It's the moon logic puzzles. It's the "exploration". I get that. I don't think any of it was integral to the series, and even if it was, six entire games of it should have been enough.

If you want to improve the gameplay, let's look in new directions. I'm tired of playing the same game over and over again with a slightly different setting and characters. Whether or not Shattered Memories capitalized on all of the changes it attempted, it was long past time to attempt them. The old formula was much of what was choking the series to death, and the attempts to tweak the formula over the course of 4/O/H rather categorically failed to breathe life into a rotting corpse. Rehashing gameplay concepts that were born from hardware limitations of the early 90s (and remained unchanged in any useful way since) don't constitute improvement or innovation.

To say that Silent Hill has never been about the gameplay isn't quite right, though gameplay has never, at any point, been the primary attraction. You might even go so far as to say it's not about the story, so much as it is having a scary experience. The only thing less frightening than familiarity is safety, and one crippling, immersion-destroying flaw in all of the previous games was that it was far too easy to neutralize threats. It stops being scary when you can kill anything, or just duck into the next room knowing it can't follow you. I don't get how that kind of threat is scarier than one which can't be killed or stopped or even slowed down in any significant way. Having the ability to not only defend yourself against, but to easily dispose of, monsters, makes them annoying, not frightening.

I can agree with many complaints about the way Shattered Memories executed, but whatever its flaws, it introduced changes that made it an experience that I couldn't effortlessly predict, and put the story way out front where it belonged. Wherever the series goes from there, it should attempt to improve upon those elements instead of ditching them for familiar, boring old survival horror gameplay.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by Princess Kenny on Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:15 pm

The only thing that would make the game better would be to include either reduce or complete take away the chase sequences. Instead have the option to fight or Run.
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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by Guerilla on Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:11 am

It appears what is going for a distance record in missing the point in sooo many different areas of this discussion. Time to dissect.

what wrote:It's not just the combat you want back. It's the moon logic puzzles. It's the "exploration". I get that. I don't think any of it was integral to the series, and even if it was, six entire games of it should have been enough.
First and foremost, those 'moon logic puzzles' stuck with players' minds and require a dumb truck more amount of thinking to both create and solve in contrast to click and pull on handle elementary style puzzles that congested SM. Two or three of them may have been fine, but using them as your primary point of reference for the majority of the puzzles in the game? No, fuck off with that shit. Second off, the 'exploration' is kinda, sorta, regardless of whatever inane reasoning you use to downplay and dismiss it, the entire goddamn point of the gameplay. The absolute core of it. At this point I'm either forced to declare you a troll or simply having a really slow moment. No well adjusted person who has played this many games in the series would be claiming exploration has never been integral to the series. That'd be like saying driving has never been integral to Gran Turismo. In any case, your statement is the summit of naivety, and we shall move on.

what wrote:If you want to improve the gameplay, let's look in new directions. I'm tired of playing the same game over and over again with a slightly different setting and characters. Whether or not Shattered Memories capitalized on all of the changes it attempted, it was long past time to attempt them. The old formula was much of what was choking the series to death, and the attempts to tweak the formula over the course of 4/O/H rather categorically failed to breathe life into a rotting corpse. Rehashing gameplay concepts that were born from hardware limitations of the early 90s (and remained unchanged in any useful way since) don't constitute improvement or innovation.
Stripping down those gameplay concepts to their bare minimum and tossing in a few poorly realized gimmicks like the phone and the psyche system (which was basically a far less subtle version of SH2's method of unlocking endings) is not the answer either. I agree wholeheartedly in adding new ideas, but taking away established concepts that worked in some ass backwards attempt of 'less is more' doesn't work. Again, it cannot be any change merely for the sake of change. There has to be some logic applied to it. SM's lacked logic because it came off as a dropstep that lacked many things of the earlier games. And if taking away more of the gameplay is considered 'innovation' then this discussion isn't worth having. That kind of thinking is currently one of many things killing the industry.

what wrote:To say that Silent Hill has never been about the gameplay isn't quite right, though gameplay has never, at any point, been the primary attraction. You might even go so far as to say it's not about the story, so much as it is having a scary experience. The only thing less frightening than familiarity is safety, and one crippling, immersion-destroying flaw in all of the previous games was that it was far too easy to neutralize threats. It stops being scary when you can kill anything, or just duck into the next room knowing it can't follow you. I don't get how that kind of threat is scarier than one which can't be killed or stopped or even slowed down in any significant way. Having the ability to not only defend yourself against, but to easily dispose of, monsters, makes them annoying, not frightening.
Goddamn, there is so much bullshit in this post. First off, the claim that a game stops being scary when you can kill anythihg has far too many counterexamples effectively disproving that notion. Most notably the fact that the Silent Hill series has attained a reputation for being among the scariest survival horror games despite having the ability to kill monsters since its inception. Silent Hill isn't alone either. I'll direct you to Fatal Frame. No you don't technically kill enemies in that game, but it's the same concept: you're provided abilities to eliminate threats. Yet do you ever hear of anybody claiming the ability to exterminate ghosts in that series diminishes the fear factor? Hell no. For one, the first person view adds a restriction that increases the tension factor, but it's also a restriction that makes sense because you're aiming a fucking camera. Secondly, ghosts are frequently respawning at random intervals so you're never completely safe. In SM, the fear isn't present at all because even though you can't fight, you're faced with an incredibly bland, uninspired monster. Just this one monster. In chase sequences. These monsters keep using the same method of attack. You keep encountering them in the Nightmare sequences over and over. The solution is always the same: run, run, run. All this keeps happening everytime you enter a Nightmare sequence. That's not scary. That's repetition. Like you said, familiarity can kill the fear, and the familiarity of SM putting you through the same situations that demand the same solution over and over kills the fear factor because you've seen it so many damn times and you'll always exactly what you have to do to deal with the Raw Shocks: run away. for the billionth time.

They should have taken a page out of Haunting Ground's book. THAT game is how you do a survival horror game with focus on evasion whilst adding fresh new ideas such as using Hewie as a means of protection. Haunting Ground progressively introduces new stalkers who don't all act exactly the same and the setting is always changing. Then there's the alchemy portion of the game in which you can craft several different items to help you deal with the stalkers. And of course there are the hiding places. There's more variety to its gameplay than SM thanks to being able to utilize several different means of temporarily incapacitating or evading enemies. That's what SM lacked. And not only in the way you dealt with monsters but with everything about the gameplay as a whole.

what wrote:I can agree with many complaints about the way Shattered Memories executed, but whatever its flaws, it introduced changes that made it an experience that I couldn't effortlessly predict, and put the story way out front where it belonged. Wherever the series goes from there, it should attempt to improve upon those elements instead of ditching them for familiar, boring old survival horror gameplay.
No, story should never supersede gameplay as the primary focus first in a video game. Like it or not, that's exactly what these are: video games. I don't buy into the BS reasoning of "well, it may not be a good game but it is a good experience". The video game IS the experience. There has to be something to bring people back because once you get the full story, that's it. You can't go back and repeat being able to learn the story for the first time. This is where gameplay picks up the pieces. Gameplay is not the only element of Silent Hill, but it is and should be the core foundation. When you're putting so much focus on story and presentation that it comes at the expense of gameplay you're doing it completely wrong. Especially if it involves taking away elements we saw in previous games. That's laziness not innovation. Innovation in an ongoing series is being able to maintain the gameplay elements of the originals AND being able to bring in fresh new ideas that mesh well with them. That's the mark of true innovation.

So now keep that David Cage method of game design the hell out of Silent Hill. what can make some very sound points sometimes, but every once in a while he has those days where's just off his rocker with a bag of blow or something.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by devil hunter on Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:53 am

Guerilla wrote:1. Doesn't matter if it's a 'what if'. The topic clearly asks what you would do to improve SM and I would improve by not making it an unnecessary and largely unfulfilling 'what if' in the first place. I have no desire to see alternate spins of SH1's characters. I'd much rather have a new tale with characters that starts from scratch. Not uses SH1 as its basis.


So you don't want new takes on the ideas, SM was pretty original take on SH and it proves that you don't even need a cursed town or anything supernatural to have a SH game.

Guerilla wrote:2. Yes, the story was about mental delusions
REVEAL SPOILER
Cheryl's refusal to see her father for what he was.
The aspect of making the story about guilt or mental problems is so played out at this point I want something new.


But it wasn't about guilt. Besides, if you want to look at it that way, SH3 and 4 were also about mental problems. Does that suddenly make them SH2 like?

I never understood why people have such a problem with such storylines but nobody ever complains about the cult aspect.

Guerilla wrote:So I'd like to change that by changing its overall premise. And I went I'm tired of the guilt trip and mental delusion plot devices I was speaking more of the series as a whole than SM in particular. But that's why it's so tiring in SM because by the time this game came out, a lot of its big revelations had more or less already been used.


By changing the overall premise you'd have to change the whole game and possibly making it less unique in the process.

By the time SH1 came out a lot of its big revelations had been used as well, same for SH2. Those games didn't have original stories and some of their plot points were already cliche when those games came out.

Guerilla wrote: So it can be done.


So, why is ice out of the question then? Who says the same can't be done with ice?

Guerilla wrote: The house looking different doesn't change anything about it so why should I care what color it is? Point is each playthrough feels the same regardless of the narrative choices. The lack of gameplay only compounds this problem by drastically reducing the replay value. Because once you've seen all the story has to offer, what's left to bring you back for more? Not much of anything really.


What does that say about the gameplay in other games? You change even less in those games, every playthrough is the same. Same thing, once you've seen all the story has to offer, what's left to bring you back for more?

I mean, shouldn't SM at least be praised for doing more than other games when it comes to that? Why is it seen as one of the flaws? Shouldn't all games be flawed when it comes to that?

Guerilla wrote:Second off, the 'exploration' is kinda, sorta, regardless of whatever inane reasoning you use to downplay and dismiss it, the entire goddamn point of the gameplay. The absolute core of it. At this point I'm either forced to declare you a troll or simply having a really slow moment. No well adjusted person who has played this many games in the series would be claiming exploration has never been integral to the series. That'd be like saying driving has never been integral to Gran Turismo. In any case, your statement is the summit of naivety, and we shall move on.


I wanted to write something here, but I'm not sure if you're talking about the chase scenes or?

I don't think the right word to be used for gameplay in certain SH games is "exploration" because you're not really exploring much in some games. The levels are linear, lots of doors are broken or locked, so that limits you a lot more.

I guess it can be said that you're "exploring" while you're trying to find items you need to progress, but that's still linear gameplay, going through point A to point B.

Games like SH1 and Downpour have exploration because they're open world and you can find some secrets etc., things that are not mandatory for the game, but can help you if you find them or just cool to look at (like a certain Easter Egg in Downpour).

If the linearity is a problem, what does that say about SH3 and 4? Those games are super linear.

Guerilla wrote:With combat, yes, it really does offer more variety because (duh) more factors are at work than just run, run, run. Do I have enough ammo? How about health? If I do, then I don't have to worry about engaging this monster and run away. But I may have to come back to this area later to solve a puzzle so maybe I should? Or I am low on health. Should I risk engaging the enemy? If I do, what weapon should I use? Will it be good enough to down them or should I use another weapon? How many rounds will I need to use? How many hits will they take before my weapon breaks?

See, you don't ask yourself any of these questions in SM because you don't have any options. The only solution is the same one you're always encouraged to use: run. Even Haunting Ground lets players do more than just run away from pursuers like crafting evasive weapons and using Hewie.

I mean did you really hear any complaints out of SH2 removing combat from the player? Not really. Which shows the gameplay factor of combat itself isn't really something that needed to be taken away. Just as long as the player has the option to fight or flee. That`s how the early game offered more variety than SM.



There's a simple problem if some things with the gameplay aren't solved. SH2 suffers from that problem. You say those gameplay elements offer more variety, but what if enemies are easy to kill and you have a lot of ammo and med kits?

You're just going around shooting enemies and sometimes healing and you're never in danger of losing the supplies because there's many of them. That's not the gameplay that offers variety.

Because running away and using an item to ward off enemies isn't the only element of SM's gameplay. What about the questions etc.?

Just because you don't have health, ammo and weapons doesn't mean the gameplay is greatly stripped.

There's one thing you wrote earlier that I need to point out:

Guerilla wrote: You say it would have been silly to walk around town with weapons you had no use for? Well, that's why you, oh, I don't know, put enemies in those sections to use them for.


In SH2 when you get stuff like guns you really don't need anything else, the plank is pretty much useless, you have something a lot more useful and powerful.

It's not like some enemies require the use of melee weapons because it's easier to kill them with them and some enemies are more vulnerable to fire arms. But that could've been prevented with the lack of ammo, but you have a lot of it, so, yeah, some weapons are pretty much useless when you come to a certain point of the game.

You don't have to worry about those things. Remember the pipe you can find in the game? That thing is practically useless, by the time you find it you already have a handgun with a lot of ammo and the area you visit also has a lot of ammo and enemies which use pipes as weapons, why should you use the steel pipe there when it's safer to just shoot them? Later you find even more powerful fire arms.

Steel pipe could've been removed from the game and it wouldn't change anything.

Guerilla wrote:the psyche system (which was basically a far less subtle version of SH2's method of unlocking endings) is not the answer either.


It doesn't matter if the system wasn't subtle, it's a much better system than the one in 2. You can't do it in a way that would make it subtle anyways, without making it less complex.

Guerilla wrote:I agree wholeheartedly in adding new ideas, but taking away established concepts that worked in some ass backwards attempt of 'less is more' doesn't work. Again, it cannot be any change merely for the sake of change. There has to be some logic applied to it. SM's lacked logic because it came off as a dropstep that lacked many things of the earlier games. And if taking away more of the gameplay is considered 'innovation' then this discussion isn't worth having. That kind of thinking is currently one of many things killing the industry.


Do you have the same problem with SH4? That game also removed certain things which were present in earlier games, like the flashlight, the radio (some people don't even notice it doesn't have them), the unlimited invertory etc.

I mean, why did it remove some of those established concepts if they worked?

Besides, "taking things away from gameplay" is a wrong way of looking at it, they wanted to make a different gameplay, not remove things from it. I'm talking about both SH4 and SM. Whether they worked or not is a different story.

Guerilla wrote:Goddamn, there is so much bullshit in this post. First off, the claim that a game stops being scary when you can kill anythihg has far too many counterexamples effectively disproving that notion. Most notably the fact that the Silent Hill series has attained a reputation for being among the scariest survival horror games despite having the ability to kill monsters since its inception.


I don't think he was saying that the game stops being scary when you kill things. I think what was trying to say that if you can easily heal yourself and kill enemies that the game stops being scary. That's the problem SH2 has and it's one of the reasons why it's one of the least scary games in the series.

Guerilla wrote:No, story should never supersede gameplay as the primary focus first in a video game. Like it or not, that's exactly what these are: video games. I don't buy into the BS reasoning of "well, it may not be a good game but it is a good experience". The video game IS the experience. There has to be something to bring people back because once you get the full story, that's it. You can't go back and repeat being able to learn the story for the first time.When you're putting so much focus on story and presentation that it comes at the expense of gameplay you're doing it completely wrong.


Look at Telltale's The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. There's really not much gameplay in those games, they're more about the story but people love them, they got great reviews etc. And you can go back to those games because there's a lot of choices you can pick so it's worth it to see what will happen if you chose answer A instead of B this time.

Guerilla wrote:So now keep that David Cage method of game design the hell out of Silent Hill


People gotta stop bringing up David Cage because he didn't invent things like that. Games that are more like movies than games existed way before he started making them. The ironic thing is that at least his games offer a lot more things you can do during gameplay than certain other games like Dragon's Lair, Braindead 13, Telltales The Walking Dead etc.

Guerilla wrote:what can make some very sound points sometimes, but every once in a while he has those days where's just off his rocker with a bag of blow or something.


Notice how I responded to you without calling you crazy or something.
 
 
 
 
 
 

what

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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by what on Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:00 am

Guerilla, this is a debate over personal preferences, first and foremost. I've said what I have to say on the matter, other than to point out that you're being outright nasty, and I am not treating you in a similar manner. Strongly consider toning down the insults and directed profanity. You can get a point across without being as abrasive as you are being.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by jam6i on Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:53 am

It's cool to hate a game, ya know. But hey, you don't have to be so crude when trying to make points. Coming off as rude and nasty invalidates whatever arguments you have (even if those arguments might be accurate). People take you serious when you aren't making backhanded comments.

And it's also okay to concede on some points. Compromise, you know? It makes for better discussion when you're willing to consider alternate viewpoints of your beliefs (it's why people like the Tea Party members get so much flak, they hold such rigid conservative religious ideals and aren't willing to compromise for sake of discussion).

Like. I have a ton of complaints about Homecoming. The game is awful. But I've been forced to admit in the past that some of my beliefs aren't so bad...it's okay to be wrong.

SM isn't as egregiously bad as you seem to think it is. Yea it's true that some things are irksome (like to heavy reliance on motion control to solve puzzles, thereby "dumbing down" the puzzles to make motion control even work), but it isn't as bad as you make it out to be.

I'm willing to accept the loss of smart puzzles in exchange for the KICKASS flashlight system. SM has the sickest flashlight from the entire franchise, and it's mostly because of the wii's motion control (and is another reason why the ps2 port sucks...the game was designed from the ground up for the wii's special features, and the ps2 port robbed the game of it's specialized features).
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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by Otherworld on Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:01 pm

No, story should never supersede gameplay as the primary focus first in a video game. Like it or not, that's exactly what these are: video games. I don't buy into the BS reasoning of "well, it may not be a good game but it is a good experience". The video game IS the experience. There has to be something to bring people back because once you get the full story, that's it. You can't go back and repeat being able to learn the story for the first time. This is where gameplay picks up the pieces. Gameplay is not the only element of Silent Hill, but it is and should be the core foundation.


I have to disagree here. Although I do believe that both gameplay and story are both equally important elements for most games, in a SH game the story should always trump everything else. Monsters, gameplay mechanics, etc, can and should be derived in part from the narrative. SM follows the same formula as Jam6i pointed out earlier. For a Silent Hill game to work, gameplay has to take aspects of the narrative and incorporate it into the gameplay. That is the true core of the franchise. It's how everything else in the game is derived from the narrative.
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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by Guerilla on Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:10 pm

Dead wrong. Story should never come before gameplay, and I don't care how many 'games=art' fanboys try to claim otherwise. This is an interactive medium. Player interaction is the entire point of the experience. Focusing in avant garde story to the point of less focus on gameplay is bad game design. Silent Hill didn't even attain a rep for its story focus until SH2 came out and everybody wet their pants over it. Most of the praise you heard of SH1 came from its gameplay of exploring an empty town and its attempts to freak you out. The story was never given the heavy amount of praise like SH2 received. And that was fine. It was a fine game even if it did have a derivative story. Because the hook was the exploration of the town in both its normal and altered states. I beyond sick of the "story first, f*** everything else" mindset the fans want to restrict the series to.

And I'm seeing somebody unironically claiming, on a Silent Hill fan forum I remind you, a lot of the gameplay in the Silent Hill can't be considered 'exploring'. I mean fucking goddamn really? You're missing the point of the linear criticism I directed at SM. I was referring to how linear SM's GAMEPLAY was. I'm not even talking about making the games sandbox. We're not talking size and scope of the game. We're talking about how the gameplay is barebones. Just because Silent Hill isn't Grand Theft Auto doesn't mean the gameplay isn't focused on exploration. Yes, early Silent Hill games are just as linear as SM. But here's the thing: they have more gameplay than SM does. You have to be incredibly delusional to not see that. How is all the street roaming, environmental investigating, item hunting, and so on not considered exploration? More so considering you have to do all that in order to beat these games.

Jesus Christ, this fanbase sometimes...produces some of the most unorthodox, logically devoid comments. It reminds me of that one guy I heard on Whitney's podcast who stated Silent Hill isn't supposed to be fun.

Oh, and the reason SH4 doesn't receive the same criticisms as SM are because it suffers from different problems and the few things it did remove, unlike SM, were accommodated by other gameplay additions such as the room aspect, hauntings, and a more overall focus on strategy. The radio is still present but serves a different function and frankly the game showed it wasn't necessary. The flashlight, well, the levels were lit well enough that it wasn't necessary. But despite not having to rely on darkness, the levels still produced a lot of interesting design and imagery. It does get deserved flak for repeating said levles over and over again. But all things considered, there was a lot more ambition, untapped potential, and just overall more things to do within SH4 than there ever was in SM.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by jam6i on Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:45 pm

I think Book of Memories kinda showed what happens when gameplay trumps story. Yea BoM has a story...and it seems interesting enough from what I've read...but it's hidden behind a giant wall of "excessive gameplay".

There's too much gameplay and not enough story in BoM.

SM hit a pretty nice balance of gameplay and story. It was divided up quite well between three distinct styles (exploration, chase, and therapy) so it never really lost the attention of the player since you were never doing the same thing for too long. It's a formula that's pretty neat, and there aren't many games that are broken up in such a way.

SM didn't need excessive amounts of gameplay. That's not how it was written. It was written to be a slow-burn mystery...including too much action would have ruined the experience it was trying to convey.

I honestly believe if it HAD combat and focused more on gameplay, people would have complained even more because the combat would have felt unnecessary and out of place and (like I said earlier) once people reached the ending and understood what was happening, everyone would have realized how little sense it would have made to be able to fight and kill the raw shocks. It just wouldn't have made sense, and people would have known it.

The game was designed and written from the ground up on a combat-less experience. It's inherent to the game, period. If that's a problem you can't overcome, then you simply don't like the game. And it's fine to not like a game.

I'm currently playing Murdered Soul Suspect. It's a piece of trash. I'm having an awful time playing it. So much of it is just garbage. And that will never change. Just accept it and move on, I guess.
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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by what on Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:17 pm

Guerilla wrote:Dead wrong. Story should never come before gameplay, and I don't care how many 'games=art' fanboys try to claim otherwise. This is an interactive medium. Player interaction is the entire point of the experience. Focusing in avant garde story to the point of less focus on gameplay is bad game design.


Do you recognize the assumption behind this assertion? It's very similar to suggesting that books should never focus more on imagery than on words because books are supposed to be about reading words. You don't get to be the sole arbiter of what makes game design good. Silent Hill is, was, and will always be a game that is driven first and foremost by its own narratives and mythology. It could work just as well, and perhaps in some ways much better, if it was handled in the format of a Telltale interactive story. You might miss the standard gameplay elements, but I'm quite confident that you'd distinctly be in the minority.

Silent Hill didn't even attain a rep for its story focus until SH2 came out and everybody wet their pants over it. Most of the praise you heard of SH1 came from its gameplay of exploring an empty town and its attempts to freak you out. The story was never given the heavy amount of praise like SH2 received. And that was fine. It was a fine game even if it did have a derivative story. Because the hook was the exploration of the town in both its normal and altered states.


I've been active in this community since there was only one game in it, and I can categorically state that this is completely and entirely false. The game was scary and there was some exploration and people loved both of those aspects, but it was the mystery of the story that made people talk about it and theorize. There was plenty to talk and theorize about even back then. President Evil's plot guide for the first game expresses many of the subjects that were hotly debated and discussed. The story has always been the hook because story is uncommon in video games. It's something most games don't even bother with today. There's nothing about Silent Hill's gameplay which hadn't already been seen and done before in many other games. It was nothing more than a way to give you something to do in between story segments. I'm sorry if you don't like that, but it's beyond obvious. The gameplay in Silent Hill has never integrated with the story very much because it's not that important. It just has to be good enough to not annoy people into quitting before they finish. Silent Hill 2 isn't the overwhelming fan favorite because it did anything special in terms of gameplay. In fact, it is the overwhelming fan favorite very much in spite of the fact that the gameplay is boring and completely derivative.

Just because Silent Hill isn't Grand Theft Auto doesn't mean the gameplay isn't focused on exploration.


No, but the fact that exploration is rarely encouraged, or even substantially rewarded, at any point in the series, does mean that the gameplay isn't focused on exploration. The games have virtually always held your hand and told you where to go. You always have maps and they are appended with plenty of details to make sure you don't get too distracted. Just because you have the freedom to go off the beaten path a little bit doesn't mean that this is an exploration simulator that happens to be scary.

Oh, and the reason SH4 doesn't receive the same criticisms as SM are because it suffers from different problems and the few things it did remove, unlike SM, were accommodated by other gameplay additions such as the room aspect, hauntings, and a more overall focus on strategy.


None of which made it a substantially better game than it otherwise would have been. None of it added anything that was vital to the gameplay or story. They were gimmicks, however occasionally interesting. Superfluous fluff.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by Parvatii on Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:43 pm

"Story should never come before gameplay" is very pretentious. It assumes this is why one plays a game or should. It assumes the premise of story trumping gameplay to make a game "bad". I mean, well, it'd make most rpgs "bad". I don't believe this to be true ans while gameplay can be important, I think story is more important.
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How Silent Hill: Shattered Memories could have been better

Post by Rodox_Head on Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:57 pm

I really don't get how the amount of gameplay differs in SM compared to any other SH game. It's like when people complain about David Cage games being "just quicktime events" and not "Real games". I actually like the idea of quicktime events being a major plot mover. It keeps you on your toes at times.

I also happen to like the idea of not fighting and learning how to avoid the monsters, I just don't think it was perfected and it left a little to be desired, but It in no way kept me from continuing the game. Shattered Memories has probably been my most immersing and, dare I say it, most frightening SH experience since I first played SH2&3 (the first SH games I played).
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