Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Silent Hill 2 Expanded Editions (2001-03)


Genre: Survival-Horror / Action | Players: 1 | Developer: Konami

Unlike Rise from the Ashes, Maria’s sub-scenario was never released individually. However, I’m going to argue that because of it, the variously titled augmented release of Silent Hill 2 is significantly different from the original and is therefore worth addressing in detail, in the service of aiding potential or subsequent purchases. 

Right off the bat, I have seen this expanded version of the game advertised as containing new weapons. While undeniably factual, it sadly exists as a marketing machination and nothing more. They’re weapons for Maria, not for James, and they are simply variations of standard ones found in the main game, and the series at large. Put no weight into this bullet point.

The new endings are of course Maria’s and the UFO ending. It’s retroactively hard for me to believe that they initially left that out, but they did. If you’re the sort to shoot for the 10 star ranking, it’s a bit easier to do on the vanilla release as you don’t have to spend time doing a UFO run. One less available ending is one less ending to achieve. Maria’s is done well and cannot be divorced from her journey, hence it is a legitimate selling point.

That journey is the crux of the entire issue. Do I think her scenario is worth purchasing the enhanced edition of the game over? I personally feel it IS a worthwhile use of one’s time. However, I am very aware that I am a diehard fan of the game and consequently biased. It exists as part of Silent Hill 2 and gels with themes of the franchise and specifics of the game proper, so of course I would feel that it’s indispensable. To someone new to the game, I would objectively say: if you can find a version of it containing the extras for up to ~$5 USD more than the standard release, grab it to avoid having to double-dip, should you end up loving the experience. If you have the original and adore it, go ahead and double up. I cannot see a big fan of it being disappointed.

I’m not going to lie to you, it’s short. Incredibly so. However, the atmosphere is unique in the scope of the series and it’s even given nods in other entries. All of the following are the complete version of the game containing the additions covered herein:

Silent Hill 2 for Windows
Silent Hill 2: Inner Fears for Xbox (Europe)
Silent Hill 2: Director’s Cut for PS2 (Europe)
Silent Hill 2: Saigo no Uta for PS2 & Xbox (Japan)*
Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams for Xbox (North America)
Silent Hill 2 Greatest Hits release for PS2 (North America)**
Silent Hill HD Collec.....DON’T. YOU. EVEN. THINK. ABOUT. IT.

3½ NOPE Moments Actually Not Elicited By A Radio out of 5
This score is obviously for Born From A Wish and the UFO Ending



*Listed solely for completion's sake. DO. NOT. expect to be able to play this on a NA or PAL console, or it to be entirely in English.
**Be sure the disc is shown in listings before purchasing. I've seen listings on ebay that are the Greatest Hits case and the black-label disc. Make sure the disc has the red coloring beneath the PS2 branding. If it's the GH disc and the original case, however, I'd say snap it up. Best of both worlds!

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