Any fan of Silent Hill already knows about the issues plagueing this collection's launch. However, these issues have now been dealt with for the most part, leaving a game that does justice to two of the most intruiging horror releases ever.
Silent Hill 2 has been regarded as one of the best video game releases of all time since it's debut back in 2001. It's graphics were revolutionary, it's story was one of the first to feature such a psychological twist and it's soundtrack was both haunting and disturbing. So over a decade old, this game still looks damn good, and it's plain to see that textures have been upgraded and sharpened. However some exteriors look very dodgy, with blocky textures and rough shadows. This really doesn't ditract much from the experience. What is an issue, is the rendering (or lack of) the pre rendered cut scenes - they really don't look as gorgeous as they once did and it can be jarring to have a sudden switch between in engine graphics to the movie sequences. Character models look great from a distance, better than before even. Gameplay wise, the controls are relatively basic, but can be awkward - this hasn't changed since the game's release, and really helps make the game so atmospheric. Modern gamers probably wont like the control scheme, but there are options to change it slightly. In terms of audio, games don't get much better than Silent Hill 2. Theme of Laura and Promise are two iconic tracks to the franchise, and fit so perfectly with the games suppressive, moody but exhilirating ambience.
Silent Hill 3 is another cult classic. It takes all the successful parts of it's predecessor and combines them with a more vibrant character, Heather. The story is very suspensful, and paced a little faster than Silent Hill 2, however not quite as memorable. Firstly, this game is graphically superb considering its age. It even gives some current-gen games a run for thier money. Bar the odd close up, this game looks smooth, sharp and runs with only a few minor frame rate issues. Sometimes it's hard to remember you're playing a 10 year old game! Gameplay is almost exact to Silent Hill 2, but slightly more action orientated, with faster enemies and an emphasis on melee combat. It actually makes the game a lot more tense than its counterpart. The design of the game is perhaps less metaphoric and more literal, again hightening the intensity. Another fantastic soundtrack, and the first in the series to feature lyrics in the main theme, You're Not There. There are some very haunting moments as well, and the music is very diverse.
Since the success of the recent patch that fixed the main issues with this re-release, this is one of the most played games on my shelf. Silent Hill looks and plays better than ever, and is a testement to the horror game franchise. I just wish they would go back to this formula, the series has suffered over the years.
If you loved the originals, its the right time to re-experience them in thier HD glory. If you're new to Silent Hill then keep an open mind and enjoy these very atmospheric, disturbing games. Gems like these don't come around very often.
If you have Never played Silent Hill 2 or 3, and are over the age of 25, you have nothing to lose here and two genuinely true classic survival horrors to discover. The reason I say 25 is just a guide due to the different mechanics used here compared to what I class as 'modern' games. The controls and camera are old school, which adds an abundence of atmosphere but will frustrate the younger crowd. If you played these back in the day, you honestly have nothing to worry about here unless you are a die hard fanatic verging on OCD. The last patch for the PS3 fixed the major issues and the two games play like a dream. If you're not sure, wait for a price drop, if you're tempted, just get on with it and buy the blooming thing!
Alot of reviews complaining about graphics here but ignoring the 'fog issues' which don't seem to happen on my version I'm quite enjoying playing the games and given I was in my early teens when the second one originally came out playing through again while actually understanding all the visual imagery used etc is giving me a fresh outlook on the game's story. The hd graphics are better than alot of people seem to be saying but again these are old PS2 games at heart with a bit of gloss.
The controls for both games haven't changed from the originals but they are basically a 'survival horror' style setup so given that the gaming industry doesn't cater to that market anymore some younger people may not enjoy it.
I also have to add that the new voices on Silent hill 3 wind me up quite a bit especially as they are not optional as in SH2 but if you've never played the original version you'll probably not care.
I had read reviews on how bad the game was in terms of graphics and the port job. Don't get me wrong like most other people who have reviewed and played on these games before it's a brilliant horror game. I used to play on it time and time again on PS2. But after I read reviews I decided to give it a go as it couldn't be as bad as people were saying right? Wrong.
SH2 the fog is only bad on cut scenes other than that it was fine, the frame rate was awful as soon as more than one enemy came on screen James started moving in slow motion which is terrible. But I kept on playing but it just got worse to the point I had to wait to move James and by that point I had already got Game Over!
SH3, well it's just unplayable to the point where I switched it off 10 minutes into the game. It's just that bad!
Silent Hill fans, wait until they release something to patch it up or just don't bother. Take out your old PS2's and just play the originals otherwise you'll be dissapointed.