This post is focused on the best version of the game to play; as well as the mods I will be using for the PC version.
Produced by Konami’s Team Silent, Silent Hill 2 launched in North America on September 24, 2001 on the Sony Playstation 2. Between this date and February 28, 2003, the game would go on to be released in Japan and Europe on the Playstation 2, in all three regions on the Microsoft Xbox (featuring bonus content), in North America and Europe on the PC, with the bonus content only present on the European version, and rereleased on the Playstation 2 with the bonus content included. Silent Hill 2 was rereleased in 2012 for the Sony Playstation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 as part of the Silent Hill HD Collection, which also contained Silent Hill 3. This may sound daunting if you are interested in playing the game but do not know which version to play, but this list is luckily quite easy to trim down. The HD Collection is a disaster plagued by technical and performance issues; you would be better off playing a version that will not ruin your experience. The rereleased version of the game on Playstation 2, labeled Greatest Hits, is superior to the original release on PS2 (Greatest Hits contains the bonus content not present in the original). The Greatest Hits version on PS2 is equal to the Xbox version; these versions are perfectly fine if you wish to experience the game. However, I would be caution about recommending the European version of these games. One unfortunate aspect of playing games in Europe (at least before the era of the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360) is the difference in Hertz. Hertz (Hz) is the standard unit for measuring frequency, and is the key difference between NA and EU in the older days of gaming: NA games run at 60 Hz, while EU ran at only 50 Hz. This lowered refresh rate means that EU games run more slowly than their NA counterparts, offering an experience that suffers in quality. Some EU versions of games offered 60 Hz modes, but I have no what the European versions of Silent Hill 2 run at; this is why I can not recommend them. This problem does not extend to the PC version however, and the EU version of the PC edition (entitled Director’s Cut) proves equal to the NA version, as both contain the bonus content. IN SUMMARY: Everyone should avoid the Silent Hill HD Collection on both consoles, Playstation 2 users should play the North American release of the Greatest Hits Edition, the North American Xbox version should be satisfactory for users of the console, and PC players should acquire which ever PC version they can get. Of these four versions, I would recommend the Director’s Cut version over the NA version, as most fan patches are designed with that version in mind, but the console versions are still fine if you are not willing to wade into the world of fan patches.
For this playthrough, I will be playing on the PC with the Director’s Cut version, with the Silent Hill 2 Widescreen Fix mod installed. This mod allows for custom resolutions, automatically sets the game to run on a single core (due to issues caused by using multiple cores), increases transition speed (reduces time required to open the map and move between rooms), and generally makes the port a more pleasant experience. I will also be using the official patch that Konami released for the game, which repairs a glitch experienced by some users where the sound would loop improperly. I will also be using XInput to give the game the ability to recognize my Xbox One controller, as well as Joy to Key to map the controller buttons in the same way as the console version. Finally, I will be using the Silent Hill 2 FMV Enhancement Pack, which replaces the FMVs with higher quality versions. It is unfortunate that so much effort is required to make the game playable, but I suppose the fact that it is possible to fix the 15 year old port at all is a plus. Konami, sadly, has never seen fit to create a modern release of the game outside of the ill fated HD collection. This leaves primarily pricey internet bids and less legal methods as the only way to acquire a functional version of the game, a true shame considering the masterpiece that this game is.
With the PC version of the game selected and the fixes installed, it is time to actually start the thing. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you in the next part, where we start the thing.
Thanks to http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Silent_Hill_2:_Director%27s_Cut for getting the game patched, as well as the following for creating the patches that make this game the best it can be:
Silent Hill Fog Fix: http://ps2wide.net/pc.html#sh2
Silent Hill 2 FMV Enhancement Pack: http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/files/file/874-silent-hill-2-fmv-enhancement-pack/
Silent Hill 2 Widescreen Fix: https://thirteenag.github.io/wfp#sh2
Silent Hill 2 Joy to Key Profile: