Thursday, March 29, 2012

Silent Hill HD Collection is Broken!

***Update: As of July 11, 2012 the new patch for the PS3 version of the Silent Hill HD Collection is now available for download on PSN and it works!***

If you're a huge Silent Hill fan like me, the thought of digitally enhanced high-definition graphics for "Silent Hill 2" and "Silent Hill 3" made you giddy with excitement. Finally, we would have a chance to see all the bloody nightmarish gore the way it was meant to be seen!

WRONG! "Silent Hill HD Collection" is broken. And this is after the 300MB patch for the PS3 version that was rushed out. It was a Day 1 patch that was supposed to fix the problems, such as stuttering, lag in screen loading times and texture issues. HA!

I've played it after the patch. Now when James is running he doesn't slow down to one step at a time, like he's hopping from one foot to the other in slow-motion, but the screen loading times are still horrendous. There is frame rate drops issues and loading problems that just shouldn't be there. They certainly weren't there in the original on the PS2 games. So, two old games, on a Next Gen system are suffering from lag, color wash out, texture problems and the scenery lost its depth? Why?!

Check out the animation on the water! Man, what?

Konami hired Hi Jinx (formerly Pheonix Soft) studios to port-- or change the game code so the PS3 can read the old PS2 games-- and add improved graphics such as high definition textures to the environment, the monsters and the characters. Unfortunately, instead of waiting to release the game when it was completely done, it was sent out broken. I'm not sure if Konami just didn't care, or if the games weren't pay tested before they were put to disc and shipped out. Either way, the problems that the "Silent Hill HD Collection" suffers from makes the games all but un-playable. You can hear more in detail about what is wrong with Konami from The Escapist's Jimquisition. (I will warn you though, he does drop a lot of F-bombs.)

The only good thing I can say about the "Silent Hill HD Collection" is that it has all new voices, which unlike most die hard fan-boys, I actually like because the new voice actors know how to emote. Fancy that...

However, along with the new voices, there are strange new monster sounds and music that was randomly changed in spots, such as the monk chanting sound when Heather encounters Claudia for the first time. It's now a strange electrical guitar riff. Shortly after, the soundtrack goes right back to the song that it was supposed to be all along. Why? I have no freaking clue. But, apparently if you change the audio setting from 5.1 back to the original, this stops the weird soundtrack changes. Of course, these changes weren't necessary to begin with.

Speaking of sound changes, James now sounds like an asthmatic dog in serious need of an inhaler.  In the original "Silent Hill 2" he used to sound how a person would gasp and pant for air after running. But now, whenever he stops running, there's this odd wheezing barking sound that is supposed to be him trying to catch his breath. At first I thought it was a new monster sound, then I realized that no, it's just James. Breathing. Ugh!

The graphic problems don't just end with the fog, the water or the textures. The actual colors of both games appear washed out and they are lacking the rich red sepia tones that the originals had. The road in "Silent Hill 2" is completely missing the broken concrete and the entire town lacks that run down look it used to have. It's almost as though the textures for the road and the buildings are not fully loading- they are fuzzy and it appears as though someone just cleaned the entire abandoned city up. Which is weird.

The worst part is that the fog is lighter. The fog used to mask a lot of the scenery loading or the "drawing distance" that occurred while the character runs through the streets. It was an oppressive entity that shrouded the entire town in thick blanket of white. But no longer. You can see everything ahead of you, and far too clearly. The monsters used to appear as foreboding bone chilling silhouettes looming  in the fog just before they staggered out towards you. Now you can see exactly what they are when they appear on screen, which ruins the overall mood and feel of the game.

Sadly, "Silent Hill 3" suffers from bugs and lag the most, as the programmers were too lazy to check for bugs before it was sent out.

Here's a video that pretty much says it all:
I'm keeping a close eye on the events as they roll out and as soon as I find out that they are sending out a new patch to fix the bugs, I'll let you know!

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  1. Nice job describing the technical shortcomings of this release. I remember playing SH2 back in college and being blown away by just how perfect it was. I was hoping to rekindle alot of those feelings and re-experience it all in glorious HD...BUT all I felt was dissapointment. Your video showed many of the flaws, but one of the most irksome issues I encountered was that the audio sync in every single dialogue was WAY off, compounded by the stuttering frame rate. For disclosure sake, I own the PS3 version. Yes I downloaded the patch, no it didn't seem to do anything at all. I even tried deleting the game install data, and re-installing change. I'm still a Silent Hill fan...but I feel like I was duped into paying a premium for a poorly ported product.

  2. I ordered this 'HD' collection as soon as I found out about it. It just came today in the mail (Australia) and I don't even want to open it. Silent Hill 2 is one of, if not my very favourite game of all time, and, having never owned a PS2 myself, I was craving being able to play ANY version of SH2 on my PS3. As long as it was as it was meant to be played. This release clearly falls short representing Team Silent's masterpieces on the current gen platforms and I feel so disappointed by that. Like many others have stated: these games have a legacy that needs to be handled with love and respect. So sad that Konami doesn't feel the same way. I would have been far more happy if they had just re-released the games (including SH1 & 4) on current gen consoles without changing a single thing. I think now I'll just go replay my 'HD' PC versions...