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Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams


Sometime between now and summertime, a movie based on the "Silent Hill" video game series is set to be released in theaters (the posters are out now, and the picture of the little girl with no mouth is effective), and realizing that I have never played one of the games, I picked one up in the bargain bin for $10 and gave this thing a roll.

"Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams" is a lot like the "Resident Evil" horror game series, save for a few changes.  "SH2" is...

  • Less violent
  • Less interesting
  • Less puzzle-driven
  • Easier
  • Shorter
  • Much more difficult to actually see what the fuck you are doing

In "SH2", you play as James, a guy that lost his wife to a fatal illness three years ago.  Prior to your involvement in the game, James gets a letter in the mail from his dead wife, asking him to come to Silent Hill, a strange place that is apparently deserted save for a lot of zombies and a few whacked-out survivors.  Now, even though this wife is dead, James still decides

"You know what, fuck it--I'm just chillin' at home right now anyway, why WOULDN'T I make a trip to this deserted town where there are a bunch of vengeful zombies strolling around?"

and, wham, we've got a game.  Most of the time, you wander around time picking up items that solve puzzles, while intermittently killing the aforementioned zombies with sticks, handguns, and other assorted goodies.  There are plenty of maps around, and the plot basically drives you forward the whole time without really giving you the chance to get lost, so most players will get through the main game in about 10 hours (it took me 11).

But, while playing "SH2", I couldn't get the "Resident Evil" games out of my head, because in terms of an experience, nothing beats the first "RE" game for me...truly a scary atmosphere, featuring a limited number of saves, the requirement to store items, increasingly difficult baddies and a cool set of weapons.  That, and a truly fantastic ending, with a great end boss to top it all off.  Ahh, the good ol' days...hopefully, the "Silent Hill" movie will be better than this business.

Rating:  Rental


Feedback?  Comments?  Salma Hayek's digits?


Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09