Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Scary Game Review: Silent Hill 4: The Room

What is the Game About: 

You play as Henry Townshend, who lives in South Ashfield (yes, this game, for the most part, doesn't take place in Silent Hill! I know, weird!) He moved to South Ashfiled, is happy, loving life, but something really weird is going on. His apartment, room 302, holds some strange secrets. He can't escape his room. His front door chained shut and he's having these weird and nightmarish dreams. He tries every little thing to get peoples attention to try and escape from room 302. He'll look in the door's peephole, see various people, and pound on the door, but nothing works. He can look in other peepholes in the walls (peeping Henry should be his nickname), but nobody knows what the hell happened to the guy. His only escape? Going through these big tunnels into the Otherworld (every Silent Hill game has this scary, freaky bizarro like world). Once escaping from various worlds, a new tunnel will be created that leads to a new Otherworld. 

Henry is also hearing a lot about these murders carried out by a supposed copy cat who is carrying out the same motives as notorious murderer, Walter Sullivan. Walter died by committing suicide in his prison cell ... or did he? Poor Henry meets these people before they become victims and are murdered. 

My Spectator's Review: 

I'm trying something new with my reviews, I got the idea from Youtube star Andre, better known as the guy behind Black Nerd Comedy (really funny stuff. Check it out). I'm going to give you the Good, the Bad, and the Cool or Scary (not sure which). Break it down a little bit. 

The Good: 

I loved the movie 1408 with John Cusack. It's basically one of the very few horror movies I've watched and loved. This reminded me of it, but in 1408, John couldn't escape. I mean, imagine a game where you stay in the same room for the entire duration (unless it's "Hello? Hell...o?" I totally need to do a review on that game). You'll get bored, surely, but that's not the case. I like unique ideas or ideas that goes a different direction than previous installments of a series. 

Silent Hill is of course, either the town is calling them (like SH2), or someone needs some answers, so they go to Silent Hill (like SH3), or some little twerp runs out in front of someone and when they chase said little twerp down it leads them to Silent Hill (SH: Origins). This game doesn't go that route. Instead, it's telling a story of events that happened in Silent Hill, a serial killer is on the loose! And upon going to these strange Otherworlds, you put the pieces together. 

Also, the serial killer's old apartment when he was a kid was ... 1408. No. It was 302, Henry's current apartment. 

You also bump into some interesting characters. 

This is Cynthia. She's having the same dilemma as Henry, stuck in these weird dreams. Though it's never said that she is stuck in her room. She's convinced that this is just a dream and that Henry is a part of it. She also tells Henry if he can do something for her, she will give him a "special" favor. What is this special favor she speaks of? Sadly, we never get to know. I know your sad, so here's something that will cheer you up. Thank goodness for Rule 34! 

You're welcome. 

Cynthia's future doesn't look too bright. Her fate is revealed in the "Bad" section. 

This is Frank Sunderland, Henry's superintendent, who drops in quite a bit during the game. Though most of the time you see him through the peephole of your apartment door, he seems like he knows more than he's putting on. During one peephole conversation, Frank tells Eileen, Henry's neighbor, that he remembers something like this happening to the guy who lived in Room 302 before Henry. The guy apparently went crazy and then Frank mentioned an umbilical chord he has saved ... what?! 

Doesn't his last name seem familiar? It should. Frank is Silent Hill 2 protagonist, James Sunderland's, father. 

And just so you know, Rule 34 does not apply for Mr. Sunderland. I ... uh ... don't swing that way, you know. 

Eileen Galvin is Henry's neighbor. She is one of the main stars of the game. She seems like a nice person who shows genuine concern over Henry's disappearance. There is a peephole that goes to her apartment where you can spy on her ... errr, get intel. Actually, there is no intel, it's totally spying. 

She is also sucked into Walter Sullivan's screwed up Otherworlds. She is found in Apartment World on the ground, bleeding. She claims that a little boy saved her from a man in a trench coat. Little boy's name? Walter Sullivan! Odd. We'll find out why there's a little Walter and a big, scary Walter later (or will we? Check out the Bad section for further details). Eileen is found in a hospital bed in Hospital World and joins you on your quest to escape from this horrid nightmare. As you will see in the Bad section of this review, Eileen does follow you, but it doesn't go without benefits. She can defend herself with weapons you find throughout the game that ares specifically for her. She can either use a purse, a chain, or a nightstick. Though she can defend herself, she can't join you in certain areas, because of her injured arm. So, if you go down a ladder, shes stays, and you have to come back and get her (hoping she didn't die while you were out.) Although this may seem like a bad thing, I didn't think so. I think it made the game more challenging that you had to risk leaving her behind to achieve other goals to move on. That's my opinion. 

Also, she can wear this in the game ... (Rule 34 does apply to Eileen, but not with this outfit. Konami, the makers of the Silent Hill games, made this themselves. Those perverted bastards! Much love to them! :D) 

The Bad:

Ugh. Much like other games, this game does have some bad going for it. Here's a list:


I don't know if she's okay, Henry. Let's see what she looked like when you asked her that in the game. 

Does she look OKAY, Henry?! 

1A. Also, the game didn't really give us enough time to invest interest in Cynthia. She only joined us for a short time. Maybe it's better that way, but I couldn't really get into her death, because she wasn't around for only a few minutes it seemed. 


Henry's over use of the simple question, "What the hell?" I don't know how many times he said it, but it was too much and it really got annoying. 

3. Henry has to be the most boring protagonist in a game EVER. His voice is always bored and shows no enthusiasm whatsoever. Either the voice actor was phoning it in (actor's fault) or that's the direction he was given (director's fault). Even when he made an effort to sound surprised, it sounded lame. Then again, Silent Hill is a hit and miss with voice acting. 

4. Some of the stock sounds are cheesy. There's one common enemy called the Sniffer Dog. They look like zombified dogs, which is scary, indeed. But when Henry kills them, by stomping on their necks, they make this ridiculous Jaguar growl sound. Sure, it may sound intimidating, but trust me, it's not. 

5. Remember all those worlds you had to go through before? Do it again! But this time it is a lot harder than before: more enemies, including ghost enemies, which are practically invincible unless you have a sword (which you can only use once and then it's gone. Unless you find another.) Also, even though Eileen goes with you to all these worlds, her AI isn't the best. She is really good at helping you against the monsters, but when you're booking it, she'll just stand there.

I just found this repeat of the worlds to be extremely boring. Granted, there were a few gems in this, such as Walter (adult version) chasing you through the worlds with various weapons, which made it scary. There was also some new areas that I thought they did a great job in (such as the last bit in Building World). But other than that, this part was boring and I felt that the team behind The Room ran out of ideas and just said, let's do all the worlds over again! Yeah, sorry guys. Snake eyes on that idea.  

6. I felt the final boss fight was anticlimactic. Considering the game is over 10 years old now, I think I can talk about it, but if you want it to be a secret, then skip to the Scary section. 

Anyway, before the end of the game, Eileen says she wants to help little Walter. She feels horrible for him and feels that her and Henry are the only ones that can stop killer Walter. Henry enters a portal like thing in a secret room in apartment 302 and inside you find this large humanoid creature. Now, a teleporting Walter that you can't even touch, along with a possessed Eileen heading for a pool of blood that's going to kill her seems intimidating, but it's too easy. It's a very simple boss fight for the final boss. 

All you do is set the umbilical chord by the creature and you grab these spear like things that are on the walls of this new world. You then stick them in the creature, said creature dies once you kill it, and Walter becomes mortal. Walter seems hard to kill, but eventually he does die. That's it. Also, the good ending, leaves nothing for you to go by. It just shows Eileen in a hospital and shes says she has to move. That's the whole jist of it. Not great. 

7. No boss fights, except for the finale of the game. I guess it isn't horrible that they only had one boss fight, but still, it's Silent Hill. They should have had more. 

8. Why was Little Walter there? Was HE a ghost too? To me, this wasn't explained, unless HarshlyCritical missed it his walkthrough I watched. But ... it wasn't explained as to why he was there. 

The Scary: 

If there's one thing about this game I can't knock, it's the fact that it had some pretty freaky enemies. Silent Hill games usually do a really good job with creating some twisted foes for the player to either fight or flee. The Room is no exception. Check some of these out: 

Twin Victims. Found in the Water Prison level. They whisper stuff at you ... as they try to kill you. Creepy! 

Yes, this is a female enemy. It is known simply as Patient. They're tall, disfigured, and are pretty ... pretty scary that is! 

Ghosts are a common enemy in The Room. They will appear as floating enemies, who can stick their hands into you and kill you on the inside. But also, as you progress in the game, your apartment (your only sanctuary) can have hauntings. You must put down a Holy Candle to be rid of these evil specters. 


Do I think this game is worth a watch? Yes, if you're a fan of the Silent Hill games. Worth a rewatch? No. I think there were some good moments in it, but for the most part I would have to say (for right now) this is my least favorite Silent Hill. It's far from terrible, but far from being a great game. It did have some good ideas, but the problems with it outweighed the good of the game. That and I felt it was TOO long. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's just my opinion. 


Future reviews on the way:

Alien: Isolation 

The Evil Within 

Ghostbusters: The Video Game 

Bioshock Infinite's DLC - Burial at Sea Episodes 1 and 2 

The Walking Dead by Telltale Games Seasons 1 and 2 

And some Amnesia custom stories 

All these are on their way! If you enjoy my reviews, do let me know in the comments section below of some games you would like me to review. Thanks for reading and take care!

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