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The Silent Hill Experience Review

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Publisher: Konami Running Time: 2+ Hours 0 Minutes
Release Date: April 6, 2006 Format: UMD

When used as a multimedia device, the PSP is a versatile machine. Anything can be done or used on it: games, movies, music, the Internet and now, even comics. In time for the Silent Hill film that was released in theaters this April, Konami created a multimedia UMD for the PSP to excite gamers and Silent Hill fans alike. The Silent Hill Experience, chock-full of video clips and music from all four Silent Hill games, is something that all Silent Hill fans will want to check out.

Silent Hill Experience has a unique, interactive interface that is more in-depth than most DVDs or UMDs. By navigating the run-down Midwich Elementary School, the viewer is free to explore and also watch or listen to several different Silent Hill pieces. There are 21 tracks from the series’ composer, Akira Yamaoka, including the Silent Hill theme song. Something about the low tones, slow tempo, and the excessive use of the piano makes each track soothing but haunting; a perfect fit for the atmosphere that is cast in the game. There is a video interview with Yamaoka, who chose the 21 songs that best fit the series. Strangely enough, his favorite, “Theme of Laura� is nowhere to be found.

There are official trailers from all four Silent Hill games as well as a trailer for the film and a strange but decidedly eerie clip called the “Usagi Video.� The Usagi clip features a bunch of people in rabbit costumes creeping around and riding in elevators. I didn’t understand its purpose, but it was spooky enough to satisfy that urge. The best parts of the Silent Hill Experience are the half-dozen digital comics. They’re definitely terrifying in a Silent Hill kind of way: they’re dark, twisted, and gripping. They tell a story similar to the Silent Hill games and movie. They’re not in real time but they are done with transition effects, sound effects, and background music that set a decidedly appropriate tone.

The only complaint I have with this package is that the navigation takes a little too long. Flipping through menus takes a few seconds and I’m an impatient person, so when I want to see something, I don’t really care to wait for it. I personally believe that Silent Hill Experience would have been better off with a free-roaming interface, where the viewer actually controlled an on-screen character and selected the different pieces. The visual effects that accompany each move in the interface are pretty cool. When you approach the menu where you select music clips, music notes scroll across an empty book and then blood-red icons follow. It’s impressive and shows that Konami didn’t half-ass the presentation of this compilation.

The Silent Hill Experience is great for horror and Silent Hill fans alike. It’s not the most valuable package out there, then again, few UMD movies are really worth the money, but it’s an interesting one all the same. It’s safe to say that if you enjoyed the movie and you want to see more, you should check this out.

Movie: 8
Video: 8.5
Audio: 10
Acting: 8
Extras: 8
Final: 8.1
Written by Cliff Review Guide