McMillan’s Codex 52 by C.T. McMillan
On The Real Silent Hill Experience
Only a few videos on YouTube can claim to be documentaries. Hundreds of thousands of videos reviewing entertainment media could be classified as insightful if the focus were not on theatrics and a notion that audiences have short attention spans. Not often enough do you find a critique so meticulously thorough in information that it transcends the humble confides of the Internet. The Twin Perfect channel knew better than anyone how to make such a video with their series, The Real Silent Hill Experience (TRSHE).
Started in 2010, the series covers the Silent Hill videogames, the spin-offs, movies, and comic books. The videos, 43 in total, discuss a different title and subject in as much detail as possible. To back up their statements, there are quotes and materials taken from the games and related behind-the-scenes footage. While there is an obvious bias, the fact that Twin Perfect took the time to provide evidence makes what they have to say compelling. They also use citations with the title, date, and publisher on display at the bottom-right corner.
Each episode details the rise and fall of Silent Hill, from the first to last, and everything in between. As Twin Perfect covered the games, the scale of the videos increased with the degrading quality. Another factor that played into the length was YouTube’s time restrictions. When they were lifted the titles Twin Perfect covered were contentious enough to warrant hours of discussion.
The longer videos are the best beginning in 2012. At the time the publisher Konami began excising their videogame department. Before the departure of Hideo Kojima, the company’s worst decision was the Silent Hill HD Collection. Featuring the second and third game, Collection was a treasure trove of glitches, re-recorded voice work, and graphical mistakes that ruined already perfect games. Twin Perfect covered all of these issues with the voice acting saved for a separate episode, comparing the HD re-masters to the originals in mind-numbing detail.
The limits put upon their abilities and scale likely contributed to the staggered release of videos. Following Collection came Silent Hill: Downpour days later and Twin Perfect’s review of the game did not come out until 2013. Two years later came an episode on the inspirations of Silent Hill before a review of Silent Hill: Book of Memories this year. For fans the wait was excruciating, but I think the long-term schedule made them more compelling.
Typical reviewers put out as much content as possible. To maintain an audience one must release new videos on a consistent basis. If episodes of TRSHE were released all at once in a row, I doubt some information would have come to light. The level of detail and research in each video is so meticulous, I cannot imagine what would have been lost if Twin Perfect had not taken their time.
The tragedy of TRSHE is that Silent Hill is more or less over. Book of Memories was the last series-related piece of media to come out. Silent Hills almost happened before the Konami/Kojima drama killed the project in the crib. Twin Perfect’s consistency in covering Silent Hill was so thorough there is nothing left to talk about. One solution could be to re-analyze Silent Hill: Homecoming and Origins, the start of the series’ decay, with as much depth as Downpour. Only time will tell.
I never thought about Silent Hill before The Real Silent Hill Experience. Thanks to Twin Perfect, I learned enough about the series to I feel as though I know games like the back of my hand. Above all, the effort of Twin Perfect is transcendent of the subject matter and platform. Even if you do not play videogames, The Real Silent Hill Experience is well worth a watch for fans of documentaries.