It had all started with the Sega Genesis I got as a Christmas present from my parents many years ago. That was my first gaming system and the first batch of many videogames I would play in my lifetime. I’d play Sonic the Hedgehog and Streets of Rage for hours on end until I had them nearly memorized. Amazingly, my Sega Genesis system still lives on today and I’ll never get enough of those pixelated 90’s graphics and simplified gameplay.
It wasn’t until the purchase of a Playstation 2 system some years later that I wanted to try my hand at my playing ‘real’ games like everyone else had been playing for years (we were a little behind in the technology department at my house). I had just recently watched the Silent Hill film and was in love with the twisted creatures and abandoned resort town. When I found out it was based on a series of videogames, I immediately knew where I would begin.
Unfortunately, the original Silent Hill game for Playstation 1 tends to be on the expensive side for my budget, so I started out with Silent Hill 2. The game follows a man named James Sunderland as he follows clues in his deceased wife’s letter asking him to meet in their ‘special place’, the resort town of Silent Hill. Once in the town, James battles demons all around him and within himself as well.
As I began navigating James through the fog, beating down deformed creatures with a measly wooden plank, I knew this was the start of a beautiful relationship. The plotline had me hooked, and with each footstep that echoed as James walked down the narrow hallways of an abandoned apartment building, I fell more in love.
I was intrigued by the little details, the mysterious stains on the ruddy carpet of the apartments, the remnants of people no longer present. Each time James opened a door, I felt my heart race a little at the thought of what might be waiting on the other side. The adrenaline of each boss fight felt incredible. So this is what it’s like to play a REAL videogame, I’d think to myself.
I felt myself becoming a part of the world of Silent Hill. It’s the kind of game that really draws you in and engulfs you in the story and the different situations occurring. The cut scenes would leave me wondering what I had really gotten myself into. The music would echo hauntingly in the background as I had James explore the town, hoarding as many health drinks as humanly possible.
As I neared the end of the game, I felt almost disappointed that soon it would end. I beat the final boss with a triumphant feeling, and got the extremely depressing “In Water” ending that left me feeling accomplished regardless. It wasn’t long before I was scouring the internet to buy the other Silent Hill games for Playstation 2. I wasn’t disappointed with any of them, and there have been plenty of times when I go back and play through Silent Hill 2 again for old time’s sake. I think I’ll always have a ‘special place’ in my heart for it, after all.