A stylish DVD MENU style document, full of silent hill-ness.

User Rating: 6.2 | The Silent Hill Experience PSP
This... This particular item is hard to find in the UK.. HMV does'nt even know what it is, Gamestation thought I was on about the movie... Woolworths said "for psp? nothing for silent hill for psp is on our system (they didnt even have the movie)"...

Getting this title.. I had to go all the way to my chair, after all that, and order from Play.com (amazon do it, but not as cheap as play! (£9.99!).

Even this on ebay is a hard find for anything under £19 total. A rip off when play.com send it to you for free.

But why is this title so hard to get? Well, it's in a niche of its own. UMD titles being pulled off the shelves to stock more "sellable" ones like wedding crashers.. etc. Such titles like this, are hard to come around because of the ill fated UMD popularity.. (mini disc anyone?)

But, as soon as i got my shiny new copy from play.. i put it in, 4 mins of loading later.. i selected ENGLISH from the menu and there it is MIDWICH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in 3d pre-rendered animated glory.

The content in this is basically, comics (some are crap by the way) music selections (would be nice to select the music right off the umd from the psp menu.. but there you are thats sony for you), some pretty great interviews from akira yamaoka and Christophe Gans himself (im glad he did the movie, and nobody else, because after the interviews on this, you really understand the guy and he REALLY likes SIlent Hill for what it is.. not just saying "its scary.. i wanna make a scary film". He experienced the game, and wanted to translate that into another medium.

If you arent interested in this stuff. Then dont bother with that.
BUT if you are interested in comics, but never read the silent hill comics (out of choice i hope) then this is the perfect way to do so.. if only the battery lasted the full two hours that the comics go on for.

Thats right, two freakin hours of comics!

I found that overall, the comics were not as awesome as the metal gear graphic novel thingy. That was simply breathtaking, the images were clearer, you could stop and start it when you liked..
These comics are just an already made animation which plays like a movie. The music works really well with them too, sometimes its irritating to hear the same tracks over and over. But when some kick in, they really give a great atmosphere overall to the FEEL of silent hill.

But after those comics, frankly im just a bit sick of "*** you, what the ****, mother ******" from the odd scene here and there (something rarely used in the movie, and certainly not in the games... and the wierd stupid looking plant mouth things which are very.. lame (give me the armless man instead!)

These comics, they tell a wierd story yes, but they aren't entirely linked to Silent Hill. You could just of just showed people these segments and lie about them and say they were from comic series called "WTF".. people would believe you, because they don't really show you the Silent Hill we are used to.

machine guns, swearing, some really badly drawn characters.. after comic 3.. they get much better though. its just a shame for 40 mins they are pretty crappy for a silent hill story.

The best one, has to be the new one HUNGER.. its really good. Nice story, nicely paced and freakin wierd. (shame about the whole eating thing) but generally, its like columbo in silent hill. Great stuff! And it resembles that of the the animation comic segments used for max payne games (realistic faces etc). But it kinda is used alot less as the comic goes on.

I do suggest seeing this one last. Because if you go right into seeing this one, and then to dying inside #1.. it just makes #1 look like the worst thing, ever.

Well, the comics are great. Sometimes you want to skip some bits or read it at your own pace.. and its a bit annoying to have to read those texts (small as they are, and they move around too.. along with the images on screen). And ususally the text bubbles arent short spasms of text either, a freakin 2 min conversation can go by on one screen, but like will end up switching in 1 minute, not giving you enough time to apreciate the artwork and music..

Think of it like watching a foreign film with subtitles, but the subtitles pop up all over the place in bubbles and boxes.
You will end up having to plow through the text to make any sense of whats going on, but end up on SEEING what is going on because you subconciously constantly wait for these text boxes to appear before you miss them... its good for the first comic (dying inside #1) because the art is pretty awful in that and the text is far more interesting.

But why not just pause it when you wanna read? Well, its like pausing a movie. Its crap. It cuts off the atmosphere and sound... and..

Well, if it was like metal gear graphic novel, where you go at it on your own pace, without sound gaps from pausing, it would be awesome.
But make sure you have good eyes, and are an expert comic reader, because a casual user might find this a bit frustrating.

But then again, it will capture you into this kinda "read the text, oh, blood, ok.. read the text.... images.. text.. music... scary.. text..." and before you know it, you watched two comics already!
Hunger is the best one though ok?

The overall quality of this is great, but its like a DVD menu. Looping segments and sounds, repetetive animations... loading times...
And for some reason my psp always goes into french subtitles.. for every segment.. stupid thing.

My copy has some pixelation quality issues (not sure if its for all of them). With the interview with christophe. His face etc and the detail becomes blocky (like a badly encoded video download, or some digital tv interferance).
If its just mine, then there ya go. But if its for all of them.. its just wierd that everything else is sharp except for ten mins of that interview.

Well, there you have it. In a nutshell, you have a dvd menu style (animated etc and complete with looping sounds). You have some music tracks to listen to (shame you couldnt just listen to them seperately as i said before). You have some random pictures displayed on a looping dvd menu (shame you cant select these pics and zoom in or something).
You also get the intros to the silent hill games 1 2 3 and 4. And some wierd one featuring rabbits (but the music is good, different good). Oh yeah, some music for the hunger comic is music i havent heard before, its VERY good mind you. ANY fan will appreciate a remix of pyramid heads great knife dragging to a beat !!
And not forgetting the movie trailer.. in a crappy squashed version..

Oh yeah, one gripe i have... and its a fairly big one.. The trailers, the game intros, the comics.. DO NOT fit all the psp screen! Only the freakin menu does (and the interviews).
But the intros can be squashed to a 4:3 ratio, comics can be bordered almost ALL of the time like a widescreen movie.. but in certain bits, it zooms in to fit the screen (but only for a few seconds).

Its a great shame the trailer is such crap quality. Its squashed... it would be nice to take advantage of the whole psp screen konami! sheesh!

Overall, i may of gone on about this in a negative way.. but after playing metal gear graphic novel.. after seeing the silent hill movie.. i felt that even though this is a MUST HAVE thing for fans (to get the exclusive interviews and extra music and animated comic HUNGER is really worth £9.99 all by itself) everything else is a bit shoddy.
The animation for the menus, even though its awesome for the first 5 of six views, it can be annoying because you feel like just selecting the ones you want from a quickly acceessible list... but then again, the content on this is not THAT interesting enough, and the menu system actually flashes it all out...

and this is what it is. A great source of fandom for silent hill.. fans.. you find out a little more about silent hill with the interviews, seeing other peoples reactions and feelings to it. You get to have a bit of a good silent hill experience with the music and the menus. Some comics are very crap, but some are very highly recommended. If you love comics, this is great for you because you will be highly interested in these, silent hill or not, its just great to see them all animated with music which goes on que to stuff. (a voice over, and sfx would be awesome!!!)

Some things which COULD of been put on this, simply wouldnt be great on a psp. With me owning a ds, you just want to touch the screen to select what you want.. if this experience was on a UMD GAME disc, and not a MOVIE, it would be SOOO much better. More interactive, you could unlock things, make it more of a worthwhile read you know.
But this, could of been released on a dvd with more content.. Its a shame the umd movie format kinda lets it down in areas where it could of been awesome. But for £9.99, all is not bad! At least you get loads of extra stuff!
I highly recommend getting this, and the dvd movie. And really get into silent hill, you will appreciate this much more then.