Silent Hill: Shuttered Mammaries

Is bloody brilliant.

We were fans of the original Silent Hill, most of the sequels and even the film didn't suck too bad although it wasn't a patch on the games in terms of shit-your-pantiness.

Then there were those reboots on obscure formats (Origins anyone?). So it was with some trepidation that we played Silent Hill Slatted Marmosets. However, it turns out to be great. So great that only a bulleted list will do it any justice.

  • The game opens with a Cheryl section that almost puts the Jason section from Heavy Rain to shame. Our favourite game was waggle the wiimote whilst shouting Cheryl whilst looking at saucy pictures AS IF WE WERE WANKING. It works best when he says 'Sweedie' whilst you do it.
  • Dicking around with the mobile is awesome. It's like real life! But with better reception. And fewer Indian call centres. I think Harry kept it from the shrink but I bet obsessively phoning every single phone number you find is pretty diagnostic of mental issues. Brilliant.
  • The atmosphere and feel of America as potrayed to me through references as wide ranging as Twin Peaks, She's All That, X Files and True Blood has been captured perfectly. There are so many little intrigues drawn from Urban Legends and those ubiquitous childhood fears and fascination with hanging, drowning, getting lost in the woods etc. From the creepiness of rednecks and their fascination with hunting through to the cruelty of life at high school it is all very well captured here without feeling too much like cliche or without explicitly going on and on about the reference material like an attention seeking geek (Alan Wake).
  • The psychological profiling gimmick doesn't feel too gimmicky at times and the first quiz you have to do can be pretty probing. We've not played it more than a couple of times so it's hard to work out the nuances between the different responses but for the more obvious game alterations it does feel like the game has been personalised for you.
  • Initially the doesn't-work-so-well combat had us angry. You can barge off one or maybe two flesh mannequins but if three get a hold of you it almost inevitably spells doom. Then we remembered the old school games that didn't give you a single chance and if you died you had to start the whole game over again. So you have to run fat boy run, run for your life and don't press the look behind you button, creating a real sense of dread when you hear the screams of the flesh creatures and when the screen starts to statickify letting you know there's one-five monsters behind you.
  • The puzzles are fun in such a way that video game puzzle solving hasn't been for years. There's a real sense of accomplishment when you crack a puzzle and the game uses the environments in interesting ways (a password cracking puzzle springs to mind as being particularly satisfying). Exploring environs in the dark with a torch has never been so much fun. Even a bit where you're just sat in a squad car has you dicking around with every lever switch and handle you can find like an autistic child after a couple of litres of coke.
  • Some reviewers complained that it wasn't scary enough. Sections in the normal world never threaten you with death and sections in the frozen world are quite straight forward run and jump or die and restart affairs. Nevertheless, we still get the shivers at every alternative reality snapshot point and there is genuine fear when blindly running in frozen land.


If you haven't got it, then give it a shot. If you do have it then play it some more.

UPDATE: We forgot about Spit Roasting too! There's spit roasting in this game.

Comments

Michelle said…
Stunning post, all very true about dicking about with the mobile, never got old. Where's the spit roasting though?

I wouldn't describe it as a completely "brilliant" game though the actual Silent Hill bits were tiresome. I remember frantically looking at the map in those sections and seeing my jaggery, wavy circles. I had no idea where I was going half the time.
Cunzy11 said…
Well, maybe the spit roasting only appears if you get profiled as a filthy pervert but I was shocked to see a sign along the lines of "Tammy X was spit roasted here by the entire cuckoo offense" written on a white board in the first toilet you visit.

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