David Klein On June 12, 2008 at 7:50 am

A popular trend nowadays for getting new content to the quickly aging Playstation 2 seems to be porting PSP games to the system. This trend is continuing with the release of Silent Hill Origins, coming out 4 months after its initial PSP release. So far its been fairly successful for past games such as Grand Theft Auto, and Ratchet and Clank, so lets look if that continues here.

The creators of the series have gone back to the very beginning of the series to tell the story of Travis Grady, a common truck driver who stumbles on a house fire while driving through the city of Silent Hill. He then runs in the home and saves a little girl trapped which starts the paranormal events of the rest of the game. The story is surprisingly engaging for essentially a portable game, with a decent amount of cutscenes telling a decent story.

While the story is okay, the gameplay is where it starts to fall apart. The game features a very simplistic battle system of just holding down the R1 button and button mashing to your heart’s content with whatever weapon you may have equipped. So the game basically just devolves into pressing the X button as fast as possible. After which your enemy falls to the ground, so you just let go of the R1 button and quickly press down X to finish it off. At this point, i expect a bit more from my survival horror games than a whole lot of button mashing.

Another point of frustration while playing the game is the simplistic camera controls in the game. The original PSP game had no dual analog camera and this hasn’t changed in the PS2 version. This feels like a step backwards in the series from when playing a console version and you’re left wishing they had took the time to implement it. Your relegated to simply centering the camera forward which falls short when an enemy surprises you from behind.

The series takes another step back from previous Silent Hill games since you can’t adjust the level of difficulty of the puzzles found within the game. So if you aren’t used to the game logic from other Silent Hill games then you’ll be finding yourself getting lost very quickly within the first hospital level. Its expected that new players will be able to understand the hints found within notes and know for example what color pills to give each doll in one given puzzle which to most players will seem quite arbitrary. This is completely unacceptable, especially since previous games have had the option to choose the difficulty for both the action portions and puzzles.

If the puzzles for the game don’t artificially increase your playtime then you won’t be finding much playtime within the game since the game is only about 4 to 6 hours. While this is a $30 budget title, there are few titles nowadays on the PS2 that you will find going for the full price $50 price tag so that excuse begins to wear thin.

With all the criticism said about the gameplay, the graphics and sound are fairly decent. The voice acting is done fairly with no real complaints to be had there. The sound effects while not spectacular by any means are on par most other survivor horror games. Graphically its what you’d expect from a high quality PSP game, so while it won’t blow you away they are as good as you can hope for.

If you’re a fan of the Silent Hill series then you’ll most likely find your moneys worth here since it stays true to the console versions. However if you’ve never played the series then this is not where to start with limitations brought from it being initially a portable game and steep difficulty on puzzles for new Silent Hill players. At $30 USD you can make better use of your money perhaps by buying the Grand Theft Auto or Metal Gear Solid collections if you missed any of those.


The gameplay is there, if your not expecting anything special then you might enjoy yourself.


Graphically, the game looks good for a later gen PSP game.


The voice acting is well done and the sound effects do their job.


Fans of the series will enjoy Silent Hill origins, otherwise stay away.

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