Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Silent Hill: Homecoming: It Is Done.

The 'new game' on the title screen always amuses me.  Haha Silent Hill!  That will never happen.

So, Alex, if you can jump across that huge gap between buildings, why couldn't you FUCKING CLEAR THAT JUMP IN THE HELL HOTEL, HUH?

You thought you could distract me from the cult members sneaking up on me with the sounds of machinery, did you?  WELL THINK AGAIN.

Bam bam, motherfuckers.

Seriously, this room is really loud.  I really don't think this is up to OSHA standards.

Alex grunts like he's in a bad porn.  C'mon Alex, just take your pants off.

Actually, don't.  Please.

The streets have gotten a lot... oh, what's the word?  Bitier?  Yes.

I'm yet again in a cemetery.  This wall wants to know if I'd like to breach it.

Hell yes!

Once more unto the breach, dear friends!

These smoke monsters should be used in anti-smoking PSAs.

"I'm dead.  Don't smoke."

Health drink sitting on a dumpster.  That's... healthy.

Maybe I have the wrong idea about all these things crawling out of the sewers.

"I heard you running past and I Wanted to pop out and see if OH GOD MY SKULL."

Just a big misunderstanding.

I am getting really, really discouraged by the fact that there is a prison level.  Maybe it will secretly be good, like the sewer level.



Racist caricature is shouting at me over the walkie talkie again.


It's a match made in heaven.

Finally, found a map.

Would you look at this.  Oh no, it's so huge!

Oh, sorry, I was looking through my porn collection again.  Where was I?

What the fuck?

I shot a cult member in the head and apparently it caused him to defecate, because that was NOT the noise a dying man makes.

I really suspect the instructions to the foley artist for that were not "morning poo" but goddamn if he didn't have a vision.

Did I mention that the racist caricature is a cop?  Because the game wants to make sure that you remember that.

A giant hell beast comes crashing through the ceiling.  "You cuff him" intones my not-quite-politically-correct friend "and I'll read him his rights."

Ha ha ha ha ha.

I hate this game.

I'm a little relieved to find out that the morass of wires and switches isn't a puzzle that I have to solve, but a thing that only the racist caricature can control.  I am less pleased that now he won't stop fucking talking to me.

A shower room!

And then I hid in a corner for the rest of the game, the end.

Holy giant flesh spiders, Batman!

I really don't think this place is up to code.

I don't know how you managed to make a hell prison filled with horrors boring Homecoming, but kudos to you for the achievement.


Come on mom, this isn't the time to be playing Jesus.

Little spoiler here: from this point forward, I'll be allowed to make a series of decisions that will affect the ending of the game.  This is the first one: mom is tied to a rack, Torgo acting all over the place.  Should I put her out of her misery, or let the hellish machine rip her apart while I hide in a corner and whimper?

Too late, I've already decided.


This is the one time where the descent into hell actually makes sense.

Is that a giant green booger in a cage?

No, I'm sorry.  It's a giant green booger in a cage that is also a puzzle.

I think hell prison is actually tidier than the normal prison.


Everybody, all together now!


The next puzzle is gonna ask me what stands on four legs in the morning...



Booger monster is dripping black blood into the hole I'm meant to jump in.  I don't want to jump in that hole!

Alex and the fat man.

Squeeze through that tiny opening, fat man!

Yes, it's very comical.

Sorry, racist caricature is also fat.


Is that

It is!

It's the human centipede!

Now I'm a little curious as to which came first.


Alex is riding the human centipede monster like he's at a fleshy rodeo.


Oh good, I'm at the creepy Silent Hill brambles church.


A man is in the confessional and mistakes me for a priest.  Oh-ho, now we're a wacky 80s comedy.



The man confesses that he had two sons--one that he treated well and one that he treated poorly.  He treated the one son poorly to 'protect him from what must be done' and he wants forgiveness.

That's my dad, isn't it?

That's my dad and he was going to sacrifice me.


I am slightly more inclined to believe that Alex is former military after he survived that two-story fall.





Wait, maybe that wasn't dad.  Here he is hanging from a railing.





HAHAHAHAHA actually that explains a lot.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH shit.  Sorry dad!

Dad just got skewered by Pyramid Head.

Go and chase after Pyramid Head!  He's contracted to appear in this at least three times.

These stairs never end.  Do you remember Mario64, where the stairs up to Bowser would just go on and on unless you'd collected enough stars?  I don't think Alex has collected enough stars.


In previous Silent Hill games the motives behind the town--as a living entity, which it is--tended to be... well, not spelled out.

This game says fuck all that!


So the four founding members of the town of Shepherd's Glen made a pact with... something for their protection from the something that's in Silent Hill, where they came from.  They were required, once every 50 years, to kill one of their children.

Fair enough, I suppose.  I know I'd trust an entity that's agreed to protect me from evil by being slightly less evil.

Alex was supposed to be the sacrifice for his family, but his father couldn't do it.  And that's when the... something from Silent Hill unleashed hell on the town?

So they all decided to go back to worshipping the... something from Silent Hill instead.

And then a bitchy lady stuck a drill in my leg.

It's okay, I returned the favour.

I was off by about four feet, though.


A question for anyone who has played all of the Silent Hill games.  Is the big evil thing in the town something that they accidentally mined up?  Cause I'm really getting the sense that it's something they mined up.

Also this book rather explicitly told me.

The game has rewarded me for hoarding all my ammo and health items by stripping me of all my ammo and health items.  Cheers!

So I'm in this underground cult place, yeah?  It's all infested with cult members who I have to fight because they charge me when they see me and chase me around.  They're not avoidable.

And all I have is a knife because the game is a cunt and has taken all my belongings from me.  Scary, right?

When I target a cult member and quick attack it (A, A, A) he'll circle around me.  The third quick attack knocks him back enough so he can't attack, and then it starts again.

stab, stab, stab, step back, stab, stab, stab

Until he's dead.



The best part?  If there's two of them, the one you're not engaged with will stand back a bit.

"Oooooh, there's a bit of a fight here, what?"

It's Curtis the junkyard dude again!  Hey Curtis!

Curtis, why are you menacing my ex-girlfriend with a rusty saw?


Damn Curtis, I thought we had something special!

Curtis went to the same training camp as the other cult members.

Saw blades can't protect you from my killer moves, Curtis!

Stab, stab, stab

I've rescued annoying ex-girlfriend.  That means there are many more door puzzles in my future.



Ex-girlfriend doesn't follow me into certain rooms.  Like, you know, the room where I shoved a drill through her mom's skull.

That'd make the 'thank god we didn't die' sex really awkward.


ooooooooh jeez.  Um.  Should I... should I pull those knives out or... jeez.

The game gives me the option of saving him or leaving him to his grisly fate.  I elected to save him.  Now he won't stop gurgling.

Jesus dude, I gave you a whole medkit.  what else do you want?

I've tasked annoying ex to take care of racist caricature while I go and rescue Josh, the ungrateful whoreson.

"Be careful" she whispers "I can't lose you too."

I nod, knowingly.

Yeah baby, I know it.

Body bags!  Body bags!  What do you think's in these body bags!  Is it dead!  Bodies or... not.

To be sung to the tune of Spiderman, duh.

I've entered what is clearly a chamber of some sort.

Sorry, a Chamber.


Wait a moment.  I'm in Silent Hill, right?  These are the infamous Silent Hill mines.  So why is there a chamber dedicated to the Shepherd's Glen founding members?

I mean, they left the town and needed to be protected from the horrible gods of Silent Hill.  Wouldn't they be thought of as cast-outs?

It's the Exposition Chamber.

Boy, Alex sure gets into a lot of places with that ceremonial knife.  You wouldn't think they'd just leave that laying around.

Alex, why is it taking you so long to read this plaque?

And you're using your forefinger to trace the... oh, Alex.

Illiteracy is nothing to be ashamed of.

Flashback time!




Alex killed Josh.

Josh is dead.


Well, I was half right.

Also, good.  Little brat.

I think it's the final boss!


It's a baby with mechanical spider legs.

I give up.  Show's over.  There's nothing worse than this.

It's a fucking baby with mechanical fucking spider legs.

This is the most boring, idiotic, abysmal, repetitive boss fight that ever existed.

God didn't give you a dodge button so you could douche around, Alex.

Oh, I'm sorry.  It wasn't a giant baby.  It was a pregnant baby.  And it gave birth to Josh.

Um, are you just gonna leave your brother's corpse there, Alex?


So, um.

So Alex mentions to loads of people throughout the game that he's there to save Josh.  Did no one think to remind him that Josh was murdered?

By, you know, him?

It doesn't matter because he limps off into the grey fog with annoying ex-girlfriend!

And I, for some reason, unlocked the Big Rig Alex costume.


Gay jokes!

The end.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Silent Hill: Homecoming: Will My Torment Ever End?

For continuity, the first post can be found here
The second post can be found here
And the third post here

So in my last play through the split face monsters--who, thankfully, don't look like vaginas--swarmed around me and beat me up and called me several unflattering names.  It's now a month later.  Have the wounds healed enough?

I think I've purposely forgotten how to play this game.

So these monsters can rip me in half.  I'm actually impressed by that.

Run run run run RUN

The feeling of terror inspired by a creepy atmosphere and terrifying imagery has been replaced by the feeling of terror inspired by the fear that I'm going to die and have to redo this frankly impossible section.  Those two are basically the same thing, right?

Mini-boss time!  It's a giant lumbering mish-mash of random body parts.  When you kill it, you get an achievement called "Shades of James".  Ha-ha!

Oooooh man, it's funny when developers attempt to improve their shitty game by constantly referencing superior games.

Now annoying ex-girlfriend is with me.  She has a gun, right?  Or a knife?  She's capable of defending herself.  This isn't a escort mission, right?

Okay, now she's cowering.  This doesn't bode well.

Has anyone played Half-Life 2?  Do you remember Alyx Vance, who will kill the zombies for you as you shine your torch on them?  Annoying ex-girlfriend in this game does something similar.  If the zombies attack her--and they do--then she'll cower helplessly and whimper.  Yay!

Do not think I won't just leave this bitch to die.

Also, she's carrying around a stack of missing persons flyers.  You know what?  In a town overrun by hell, I'm not sure the missing people would be my first concern.

I wonder where the people are!  Well, taken away by the hell demons, I imagine.  Speaking of which, what's up with that?

There's a hole in the wall with dead people sticking out of it.  I understand that this is creepy, but it looks like someone was attempting to excavate dead people from the walls.

Maybe I've been playing too much minecraft.

"Oooooh, nice vein of dead people right here.  Anybody bring an iron pickaxe?"

I had to leave her and go find another gate to go through.  I bet she's tweeting about it right now.

"N the sewers lol hop I dun die :))))"

Alex, every time you grunt like an ape when you're just stepping up a small incline, a nearby hell-beast has an orgasm.

Did the army teach you to make so much noise all the damn time, you lumbering hippo?

I just restarted a section because I didn't use my bullets effectively.  See, this is engaging gameplay!

Spider monster out of nowhere!  That was genuinely scary, I jumped and everything!

Can it be?  Is the game redeeming itself in the sewer level?

A giant, placid, grey, underground lake.  Worrisome.

If this game ends up becoming really good, then what will I do?

The only monster that's getting tossed at me are the spider monsters, which are difficult but not impossible.  I am feeling a warmth in my black heart.

A giant crypt room with holes in the walls.  Ominous.

And annoying ex-girlfriend gets stuck in a room by herself again.  Idiot.

You know what? I'm going to let that one go, game.  It's a perfectly reasonable move to make to seperate characters, and it projects the fact that there's probably a battle coming up.  Okay?  But only this once.


Hahahaha, it turns out that they can't reach me if I stand on the derelict car. I'm the king of the world!

Wait, false alarm.  Still Alex.

And they topped it off with one of those body creatures, who still can't reach me on the car.  Hahahahahaha!

Growing out the back of this creature is a pair of lady's legs.  Are they... are they wearing ballet shoes?

Oh god, I think they are.

I'm in the post-hell invasion landscape of this ruined town, and I still can't bring myself to walk anywhere but the sidewalk.

I'm such a good citizen.

This also means I've emerged from the sewers.  Will the game continue it's not that bad streak?

HEEEEEEEEEEEY racist caricature is still alive!  HEEEEEEEY and annoying ex-girlfriend has been dragged off by demons!  Looks like the good streak continues.

It's the mysterious Doctor Finch!  Dripping blood and limping along.  That seems reasonable.

Alex sees that the doctor is carrying a rusty scalpel and is covered in blood.  He naturally assumes that the doctor has hurt his ex-girlfriend.  In a town filled with demons?

Alex isn't the brightest bulb in the box.

One, two, three, four, five sexy nurses!  Ah-ha-ha-ha!

Fuck you game.

I used all my bullets for the sexy nurses.

What just happened?

He opens a box, finds a doll, and faints.

Oh, and now we're in hell.

And theeeeere's Josh.  I'm starting to notice a trend in this game.

So I'm in a hospital, in hell.  Gosh, that seems familiar.

Also this game's version of hell seems more like a smelting factory.

The demons make cross beams for high-rises. When they're not invading sleepy Pennsylvania towns, they have a quota to reach.

Playing this level makes me realize something: Somebody has watched the Silent Hill movie.

At any moment I'll pass by a window.  Through it I will see Sean Bean sitting at a table, drinking a coffee.  He'll look up, wave, and turn into Pyramid Head.

That's when the dancing starts.

Josh running away from me in hell count: 3.

Even the most dedicated brother would shoot him at this point.

Just in the back of the leg, you know?  Slow him down a little.

You're really not changing my opinion of the whole smelting thing here, game.

Satan's the foreman.  He'll shout at me over the din of the machinery.

"Ain't seen no kids around here, son.  You best be off, now."

Satan is a good foreman.  Tough, but fair.

He pushes his hard hat back on his head as a quivering vagina monster with teeth slinks by in the background.

The vagina monster's on break.  Don't worry.

"The exit?" he says, surprised "It's just past the puzzle with the rusted fans, through the door that screams while you cut it open."


Josh running away from me in hell count: 4

In case it isn't obvious, absolutely nothing is happening in this game right now.

I spoke too soon.

Doctor Fitch is kneeling in an empty room, cutting himself.  I offer to patch him up.  "I don't want your help!" he hisses "These wounds cannot heal."

You know what?  I laughed at that.

Oh shit!

That's gonna leave a mark.

Boss battle!  So each boss is the hellish representation of a child of one of the prominent townsfolk, right?  This one is a demon doll.  The daughter loved dolls.  Do you get it?


I really have to watch this cutscene multiple times just so I can get to the boss that keeps killing me.  I may never be able to look a pair of boxer briefs in the eye again.

Y-you know what I mean.



I finished the boss battle with literally the minimum required amount of health left.  Time to run away from everything.

Run away!  Run away!  Run away!


I died immediately after saving, and when I restarted I was given half my life back.  Thanks, game.  I guess you don't have to suck all of my balls.

Wait a minute, wait a minute.  Is this a cult thing?

I found a ceremonial knife and some ancient texts.  This is a cult thing, isn't it?

Something about asking forgiveness from the city founders.  I have never been so into a city that I've been willing to join a devil cult over it.

Maybe I'm missing a lot by not attending the city council meetings.

"Next on our agenda is the issue of who gets to preside over the virgin sacrifice."

Vote Paul Smith for mayor, and he won't have your children ripped to pieces by monsters.

I made my way through a maze that ended in a sparse office underneath a tomb.  Life has gotta suck for that secretary.

"Oh, you know, the pay is good, but I come home every day smelling like corpses."

"And then I woke up last night and the cat was trying to eat my face."

"...of course, he's a cat so it's hard to tell if that's abnormal."

I'm just casually running past all the monsters now.

"Morning smog monster!"  "Morning Alex!  How's the family?"  "Still dead!"

And I'm back in the cemetary.  Brilliant.  I'm going to need a beer for this.

I've finally made it back home.  Mom is still sitting in that chair.  The game won't let me shoot her.

All of the hidden doors in this series are covered by empty bookshelves.  I guess cultists all use the same interior designers.

I can't avoid saying it any longer.  Everyone in this game has chiclet teeth.

Fuck you game, a sliding puzzle?

Fuuuuuuck yooooooh wait I solved it.


So mom was kidnapped by gasmask wearing dudes.  As they were trying to leave the house, we entered hell.

I've never actually seen anyone besides the protagonist enter hell before.

They looked pretty pissed about it too.

My house has turned into a hell foundry.

The secret to what happens after we die is that we all become blue-collar workers.


That is a pretty elaborate hell chandelier, actually.

Forget the puzzles, I'm really digging that chandelier.  Very post-industrial modern.

I mean, you wouldn't want to hang it just anywhere.  It would have to be a really open space, for one.

Oh, right, Silent Hill.

Great. Of all the puzzle houses, mine has to be the worst.

Hehehe, that monster was stabbed in the butt.

There's a lot of vaguely sinister writing on the walls in hell.  I wonder if some demon has that job.

"Okay Timinour, and today you're on graffiti duty."  "Oh but Sataaaaaaan."

I am free from hell.  YAY!

And there's the ex-girlfriend.  GOD DAMN IT.

That's it.  We're going to Silent Hill.

Dun dun DUUUUN.

Now, let's discuss a little Silent Hill history.  In Silent Hill 2 towards the end of the game, James has to row across the fog-covered lake to get to the hotel.  It's easily the creepiest, most genuinely horrifying part of the game--you, the player, are rowing across this desolate lake after being literally to hell and back, no sound but your oars hittig the water.  With each stroke, you become more convinced that a horrible demon that you're ill prepared to fight is going to come rising up out of the water.  In THIS game, we're taking a police boat across the lake towards Silent Hill--the apex of all evil, remember?--and we get a cutscene where Alex and and his ex flirt a bit.  See the difference?

And in this absolutely not at all scary cutscene, the suspicion actually pays off when we get attacked by gas masks again.  Good job!

Alex takes a punch pretty well, right up to the point where he rolls into the water.  Good one, Alex!

Hey Alex, why don't you yell some more?  I bet the gas mask wearing cult members are having a really difficult time finding you.

Racist caricature and annoying ex-girlfriend are both in prison, but for some reason racist caricature hasn't had his walkie talkie lifted off him.  That makes it really handy for Alex, who likes to broadcast where he is every single step of the way.


Cheers, mate.

Oh my god.

This game has twice directly referenced the Silent Hill movie.

I spit upon you, ptui ptui.

Edit: on this second to last Silent Hill Homecoming post, I want to take the opportunity to announce that I am planning on doing a series of video game story posts.  To that end, I would like to announce the winner of the "Which Game Is Alisa Going To Inflict Upon Herself Next?" poll.  

Drum roll please. 



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sherlock Holmes and the No Good, Very Bad Day

In this special, super, fun, exciting, fantastic... hold on, let me get my thesaurus.

...THRILLING Halloween blog post, I was torn between playing more Silent Hill: Homecoming or going back to my Sherlock Holmes roots. What ultimately decided me is that I absolutely despise Silent Hill: Homecoming, and Sherlock Holmes is great.

Tonight we're going to tackle The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire, in true horror fashion. There's a twist—any time anything happens that makes me roll my eyes, I'm going to raid my daughter's candy bag.


Sherlock Holmes, just like every other person, is suffering the ill effects of a depressed economy: he hasn't had a proper case in months. I mean yes, it certainly gives him plenty of time to be dour and attractive, but cocaine and tobacco don't exactly buy themselves. On the brink of joining the Occupy Wall Street movement—Occupy Canary Wharf, I suppose—he accepts a case involving vampirism. Can you imagine? I'm breaking out the tent just thinking about it.

He receives a letter from a solicitor's office, explaining that they had received a request from what is presumably a client of theirs, concerning vampires. Being a solicitor's office, they naturally forwarded the letter on to Holmes, and then sat in their office and stared at the wall for a while.

Holmes' reaction, being Holmes, is to scoff at the concept of supernatural beliefs and then immediately ask Watson to research vampires for him.

As they're discussing the necessity of taking a case that hinges on such an idiotic concept—and arguing about how they're going to buy dinner, I assume—Holmes realizes that he has a second letter, written by the gentlemen who, for some reason, asked a fucking lawyer for help with vampires.

Warning: the rest of this story has just so, so much racism in it.

The gentleman in question is writing on behalf of his 'friend'. I'm not sure why so many people in Holmes stories come to him needing help for a 'friend' when any small amount of research would make it obvious that they are talking about themselves. You know, the sort of research that a detective would do, over the course of attempting to solve a case. The case that they brought to him.

The story could essentially end with the letter, as Holmes basically solves the case and then uses it as an excuse to wander around Sussex for a while. This man has married a Peruvian woman, and in a letter that he is writing to a stranger (while he is pretending that he is writing about a 'friend') he admits that he is possibly not so much in love with his wife as he once was, given that she is foreign and all. I am not making this up.

“The lady was very beautiful, but the fact of her foreign birth and alien religion always caused a separation of interests and feelings between husband and wife, so that after a time his love may have cooled towards her, and he may have come to regard their union as a mistake.”

Fantastic! Really, you would think that this is the sort of thing that two people would hammer out before marrying and having a child, but who am I to say? After all, she is a pretty lady.

In this charming household of ill-disguised disharmony and contempt, there is a small baby and an older son, from a previous marriage. The older son was crippled due to an illness as a child, and subsequently can walk, but not well. And his father was recently remarried to a younger, attractive woman and now has a perfect, beautiful baby in the house? Okay, then.

The wife, in her scary foreign ways, has twice been discovered sucking at the baby's neck—where there is a large, unexplained wound—when no one else is around. The house is in a state over this, as can be imagined, especially given that she refuses to explain why she would do something so very creepy. Her husband decides that the only reasonable explanation is that she is a vampire. She is, after all, foreign, and probably has a suspicious accent.  

Also she looks like this.

Based on these glittering qualifications, Holmes decides to take the case. Now, the majority of the story is Watson writing about how scary and spooky and ethereal the wife looks, in all her vampire glory, so let's just go ahead and establish that there are no vampires in Sussex. I mean, there might be vampires in Sussex now, I can't really say. Nor am I interested. Please don't send me your pamphlets. But there aren't any vampires in this particular house in Sussex—just a scared lady, her racist husband, several maids that either talk too much or not nearly enough, an extremely confused baby, and a surly teenager. Have you guessed yet? In addition, they learn that the teenager is completely devoted to his father, but absolutely despises and is despised by his step-mother. Really? Are you getting it?

Holmes and Watson make their way to Cheeseman's... wait, what? Is that really what this village is called?

There's even a Mount Cheeseman in New Zealand.  Brilliant!

Anyway, they make their way to this absolutely not hilariously named village in order to have a poke around and stare at the local signs a bit. Holmes talks to the maids and talks to the villagers and talks to the teenager and talks to the fucking cows and it's the older son, all right?

The older son has been shooting—shooting, mind you, with a dart gun—poisoned darts at his newly born rival in an attempt to secretly off him.  

The mother, as mothers are wont to do, instead of telling anyone or anything like that, would then turn around and suck the poison out of her baby and occasionally beat the ever-living shit out of her step-son. This is the perfectly reasonable and logical explanation to this case, as a counter-point to the cah-razy idea that some lady is a vampire. Poisoned darts.

As a happy end to this tale, the wife comes clean and admits that she is a selfless, though clearly not english speaking victim, the husband is... well, the same as ever, and young surly teenager is, on Holmes' suggestion, shipped off to sea for a year. To cure him.