Dear Konami Customer,
Thank you for contacting Konami Customer Support about this issue. We understand your frustrations at having waited so long for an announcement regarding the patch for the XBOX 360 version of Silent Hill HD Collection and that unfortunately we are unable to patch the game.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, and would like to extend the warranty, should you have purchased the game new prior to 08.08.2012 and still have your original receipt from a recognized retailer (not eBay or, for example, a 3rd party seller on Amazon), we would like to offer you an exchange.
We will send you a prepaid shipping label for you to return your copy of Silent Hill HD Collection for Xbox 360, for one of the below games:
**This offer is subject to availability and should we run out of a specific game we will contact you to select another. This offer is only good for North and South American residents.**
We must receive your agreement to this exchange before 10.07.2012 for your game to be eligible for exchange.
Konami just sent me this E-mail in response to my request for a videogame:
Dear Konami Customer,
Thank you for contacting Konami Customer Support. We are not offering free videogames, but we will honor and extend the warranty should you wish to exchange your game. Do you have your original proof of purchase?
Konami Customer Support
Hours of Operation:
Mon-Fri 8:30AM to 5:00PM PST
Great. I don’t need a free game, I didn’t even want that in the first place. What I want is my money back. I did not spend $40 dollars to get a unfinished version of the PS2 version of these games. I could’ve gotten a refund too, had they announced ALL of this earlier. If I would’ve known how bad the game was I wouldn’t have wasted my time or money. If I would’ve known the 360 version was not getting a patch I would’ve returned it within the time limit that GameStop gives customers. But, no. People said this all was for a quick buck and now I can see this was true. Why else would you lie about the game, and then hold off on saying “Oh, yeah, sorry, but no patch” until you’re sure there is no way of people getting any kind of refund? I cannot believe all this trash and drama is coming from Konami. I’ve never been more disappointed in a company or so close to just stopping all my business with them. I’m going to see where my email takes me and let this simmer a few more days. But, I’m on the edge of never buying another thing from Konami be it game or what ever. You may have just lost me as a customer and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
PlayStation 3 Online Patch Deployed. XBOX 360 Patch No Longer Scheduled for Release
Today, Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. announced that while a PlayStation®3 online title update for Silent Hill HD Collection has been deployed for download via PlayStation®Network, plans for an XBOX®360 title update have been cancelled due to technical issues and resources.
Understanding the issues some users are experiencing, KONAMI issued a title update for Silent Hill HD Collection (PS3), which fixed frame rate issues as well as audio-synching and other reported issues. KONAMI apologizes to any players who are continuing to experience these issues on the XBOX 360 sku.
This is seriously outrageous. They screw up the game and full well know it’s not a completed game. They decide to release it anyway. So now, forever, I’m stuck with a game that has terrible textures, no fog, audio glitches and some places missing them completely, audio sync problems during cut scenes, video lag which was even worse in SH3, and just a ton more problems that make it virtually unplayable.
So they decided to release it and just “plan to fix it later”? And, now that that’s not going to happen, what are we, the consumers, supposed to do? Just accept that? You, Konami, provided me with a game that wasn’t even finished and all you offer in return is an apology for any inconveniences? No, I want my money back.
I’ve never been so angry at a video game company before. Thanks for dicking over the 360 owners of the Silent Hill HD Collection, Konami. I’m not sure who in your company made the call to push out this unfinished garbage and call it done in the first place but this is disgusting. My game has so many issues it’s a strain to even play. I don’t want your apology, I want my money back. I’ve never been more disappointed from your content and apparent lack of interest in your consumers than today.
(Silent Hill Historical Society)
To be kind to those who haven’t yet played or beaten the game I’m going to be placing the spoiler related parts at the end of the article, hopefully followed by a cut. I want to really talk about a few things that some people wouldn’t be too happy to have smack dab in the middle of a paragraph. If you’d like to read those things by all means but please don’t be upset if you ruin the game.
Silent Hill Downpour is the eighth installment in the Silent Hill series. Developed by Vatra Games, the third western company to take on the series, many people had their doubts the game would amount to anything. Many people feared that such a young company didn’t have enough experience capable to produce an efficient sequel to bring the series out of its rut. However, Vatra did a valiant effort to show what a western Silent Hill could be capable of.
Downpour introduces the option to stick around and fight, or to high tail it and run. More often, you’re going to find yourself on the run. The game has a system with the weather; the worse the storm is the harder the enemies are and the more there will be. I found myself dodging into any available house way too frequently to out wait the storms. It would be a few minutes after the last one when another would start up. Eventually, I got fed up killing time in some random basement and rushed through the town.
I also chose to skip out of combat because of how many enemies the game was throwing at me. I regret playing on Normal as I feel Easy may have toned that down a bit. I was always in combat leaving little room to really explore and look around town. Combat wasn’t terrible, at first. Paying attention to each enemy revealed their attack patterns, so holding down the block button until the right moment left them open for me to wail on. In the beginning the patterns were fairly simple and always the same, I hardly took damage. But, as soon as they grouped up it was over. I had no choice but to run or I’d be stunned, jumped, and clawed until the screen went dark. Also, towards the end of the game forget patterns and forget even attacking. The later enemies do massive amounts of damage, are too quick to outrun, attack in packs, and just left me overly frustrated.
Don’t even bother picking up the handgun either, it’s not even worth your time. It’s so wild and difficult to aim that I only used it once and never even considered touching it again. The shotgun, on the other hand, was a beautiful weapon. Perhaps it’s due to it’s wide range when fired, but it never let me down, not even when blocking. Ammo is definitely scarce, I only found two pistols and a few boxes of ammo, but I don’t think it’s realistic to find a gun or boxes of ammo in every single home, dog house, and vehicle. But, that’s just my opinion. The shotgun, on the other hand, has ammo littered everywhere when the weapon becomes available. If used wisely, you’ll never run out.
The wonky combat is thankfully overpowered by the brilliant atmosphere. I haven’t seen atmosphere this great since the earlier installments. It’s dark, dismal, and fantastically creepy. The music was a shocker. While it definitely gave the atmosphere some definition, it wasn’t noticeable. I had gone in expecting heavy metal Korn songs throughout, but I don’t even remember hearing that ‘main theme’ that was released in one of the trailers. The only time I really noticed the music was in the beginning of the game. The rest just seemed to be ambiance, creepy sounds, and vocal gibberish or cries. The multiple radios scattered around town played some music, but I didn’t really stick around long enough to fully listen. I do remember hearing some music from past games. When it comes down to it Daniel Licht did a nice job. Don’t worry you Akira Yamaoka fans, there’s nothing terrible here. The dialogue may put you off, however.
Throughout his journey, Murphy meets few inhabitants of the town. While some have nice dialogue, others sound really fake. One character calls out for help in such a monotone way it sounds like they where recording in a library and weren’t allowed to scream. I want terror, like the character is meant to be displaying. It was depressing to be pulled back to reality due to unrealistic dialogue. Murphy’s voice actor did an excellent job of producing a believable tone depending on the situation. The characters themselves were pretty believable, however most didn’t really serve a purpose. Maybe it’s due to me playing through it once but some characters really didn’t need to be in the game at all.
Like in Homecoming, Downpour brings back the choice options. Well, not really. You are prompted twice to make a decision and neither time did it amount to anything different, except the ending you get. It felt really tacked on, lazy, and, to be honest, unnecessary. Another returning piece of game play, Downpour let’s you peek behind a door as you’re opening it. This lets you survey what’s in the next room before committing. However, this also feels like it was just added in for the sake of adding it. It’s a nifty feature, but it doesn’t amount to anything. Anything behind the door will spot you when you open it, even a little, and they don’t go away when you close it. It’s also, unfortunately, not available when you’re in Silent Hill exploring the town. So, you’ll never know if the storm stopped and the enemies chasing you have left unless you continuously go through what ever door you came in to check.
A big thing that was often talked about in interviews was the transition into the Otherworld. Many people weren’t happy about Homecoming taking it’s transition from the movie, among other things. Downpours transitioning tends to occur when Murphy is around water. Now, this isn’t all the time. When a huge water source starts flooding the room you’re in, however, get ready for the jump. The actual transition itself is quite like Homecoming, but it’s more of things fall and float away into nothing rather than that burning effect. I’m not entirely sure, however, why water plays such a huge role. You’d think this would be a better option for Alex’s Otherworld than Murphy’s.
In the Otherworld there are many elements that are brought back from past games, like giant fans, chain link floors, rusted textures everywhere, etc. What’s new is that you won’t be getting a chance to explore and really observe this world. Most of the time when you get sent into the Otherworld, you’re going to be running non-stop. There is this black hole that seems to vaporize the area around you. If Murphy gets too close to it, it begins to rip parts of him away, slowing the area around him. If he lingers for too long and the force touches him, it’s instant death. The Otherworld is a panic induced run from start to hopeful finish. This gives the player the same feel as in Shattered Memories when the town freezes over.
The only real bug related issue I had with this game was the ever constant auto save feature. There is no option to save the game yourself, which was sad to see go, and on multiple occasions did this auto save feature fail me. I’d get so far in the game, have the icon appear in the corner of my screen as I continued to progress, and decide to take a break or finish up for the night. The next time I’d pick it up I was set back five or ten minutes. I don’t understand why it was telling me it was saving when it truly wasn’t. Other times this wasn’t an issue, but it tended to be where it mattered, making me really miss the save spots. Another prominent issue that happened when the game auto saved was the lagging. Every time the icon appeared on my screen, the game would freeze up, jerk, and Murphy would jump a few feet forward on my screen. This never froze my game, causing me to restart, but it was frequent enough to be annoying. The game auto saves about every room you enter or when you walk onto a new street, so it was quite often. I’m not sure how they missed this, as it happens all the time, but can only assume it left in due to a press for time with all the set backs. However, I never once had a game breaking glitch or bug that caused me to restart my file over. And, for that, I’m very thankful as I wasn’t that lucky when it came to Homecoming.
I’m also sad to say that I think my biggest complaint, over all the good and bad, is it’s not a Silent Hill game. It really had nothing to do with Silent Hill other than Murphy happened to be transferring to a prison either in or near the town and the transfer bus ended up crashing in the town. Homecoming was more of a Silent Hill game than this. Don’t get me wrong it was a very good game that I’m happy to own. It will be something I replay and enjoy. But, it was more of a personal story than anything. The story is all laid out for the player also, no big twist or ritual that involves Murphy in some way. No boss fights a long the way that relate to the main character. I’m not even sure the enemies had much symbolism to them. References and nods to past games replace the symbolic meaning that could have been. I’m just left disappointed when it comes to that aspect of the game.
Silent Hill Downpour is a roller coaster ride. It has plenty of good points but it doesn’t really try to hide it’s bad points. The great atmosphere draws the player in to the point where it’s almost suffocating, but the combat and lag spikes hold it back from a greater potential. And, when it comes down to it, I was left overly disappointed by the way the game is read like an open book and ultimately isn’t a Silent Hill game. However, it still proved to be a chilling and fun experience that I will gladly like to relive in the future.
Amanda Zinni (Xbox 360)