Streets Of Rage: Silent Hill

Year: 2015
Platform: Windows
Genre: Action/Adventure
Review Date: 4/18/16
Rating: **

A fan-made mash-up of two of my favorite things: "Streets Of Rage" and "Silent Hill." Despite being a little rough around the edges, I found the game to be utterly delightful. Using the OpenBOR engine as a base, the levels have been re-imagined as various locations in "Silent Hill," including foggy streets, vacant apartment buildings, creepy hospitals, blood and rust stained bathrooms, and ultimately the Toluca Lake Hotel. The player characters are re-skinned versions of the existing SOR cast, featuring Axel/James, Blaze/Angela, Skate/Heather, Lisa/Maria, Big Ben/Eddie, Adam/Travis, and Pyramid Head himself. The game boasts an extremely impressive roster of enemies plucked from every game and movie in the "Silent Hill" universe, and I was constantly surprised by the new creatures that kept appearing over the course of the game. The levels do a very good job of recreating the "Silent Hill" atmosphere and the boss fights are quite clever. The game also includes toilets as breakable items, which is a humorous touch.

Unfortunately, the game falls short in the controls and the enemy AI. The controls are a bit loose and sloppy, and not all of the standard SOR moves are supported. In particular, Blaze's back attack, low sweep, throw, and directional special aren't available, and her forward slice (my favorite move) is frustratingly difficult to execute. Additionally, you can't vault over enemies, which is another one of my favorite tactics. Most of the time, the difficulty is just about right, but some of the more powerful enemies will kill you with just one or two strikes. And if they knock you down, there's no way to get up, defend yourself, counter, or escape because they'll just keep hitting you until you die. Fortunately, you can save your progress between levels, but you'll end up burning through lives very quickly.

For the most part, the game looks great, but there are some levels where the color palette is unattractive and the details lack polish. The game uses music from the "Silent Hill" games, which does an excellent job of setting the tone. However, the monotonous industrial sound can get a little overwhelming after a while. Overall, if you're a fan of the source material, "Streets Of Rage: Silent Hill" is definitely worth spending a couple of hours with.