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Silent Hill 2 - PS2 vs XBOX

Jun 8, 2004
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So I want to get Silent Hill 2, but I notice that the greatest hits PS2 version has all the supposed new features the xbox one has. Does anyone know if there is any difference between the versions? Does the xbox one have better graphics at least?
 

jooey

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they're practically identical. I think the xbox ver. has slightly fuzzier cutscenes or something. in case I'm wrong, you can get maskrider to provide a blow-by-blow.
 

ourumov

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As far as I know the difference in graphics is that the XBOX version uses per pixel lightning while the PS2 one per vertex lighting.
All this results on the XBOX version looking slightly better but from what I know it isn't that crutial...


Our Silent Hill expert, Maskrider, can elaborate better than me. I think CVXFreak also can say something about it.
 

SHOCKIE

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I love this game,i own the Xbox version,i don't know which one has the best graphics but what i do know is the Xbox version has 5.1 DD :D
 
Jun 9, 2004
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I have the original PS2, XBOX release, and PS2 Greatest Hits version.
The Greatest Hits version is the best. Why?

It has everything the Xbox version has, sans the per-pixel flashlight, which doesn't matter.

It retains the FMV cutscenes from the original PS2 version.


What's wrong with the Xbox FMV?

They are shitty WMV encoded, so they are noticably grainy.

They run at 30fps. Maybe you think that doesn't matter, but check out the 60 fps PS2 FMVs and then come back to me. (this is FMV framerate, NOT in-game framerate)

The sound gets out of synch. In fact, the rolling spoiler movie is so long that they removed the voiceover all together in the Xbox version, since the voice was never going to synch with the lips anyway.


Get the PS2 Greatest Hits version, the clear winner, unless vertex lighting explodes your head, or something.
 

maskrider

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X-BOX version and PS2 GH version is exactly the same in terms of gameplay and content.

FMV quality is higher on PS2, which uses MPEG-2, X-BOX uses RAD Game Tool's Bink.

X-BOX has 480p output while PS2 does not, X-BOX is a little bit more detailed than PS2 but X-BOX stutters more.

X-BOX has DD 4.0 output, PS2 is Stereo (with S-Force).

TV card capture of PS2 version


Frame buffer cap of X-BOX version
 

dark10x

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As suggested above, PS2 version is the best...

The PS2 version has the most complex fogs effects. The XBOX and (especially) the PC versions feature lower quality fog. The PC version also lacks the soft shadows of the PS2 and XBOX versions. Also, some of the textures in the XBOX and PC version lack proper filtering (point sampled, it would seem). If you want to compare, run down the forest path at the beginning (after the first save point) and open the gate. The camera should be facing the gate and behind you, there will be an open gray area. This allows you to clearly view the fog in motion. It becomes very clear that the XBOX and PC versions are lacking in comparison...

Honestly, the PS2 version really is the most polished of the bunch and offers the best experience I'd say. The lack of progressive scan on the PS2 release isn't really a huge deal, as the game is intended to look a bit grungy...
 

maskrider

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If PC version is to be added to the mix, I would say the PC version is the best (forgot if a USB Gamepad adaptor for PS2 DualShock2 works with the game), because you can save anywhere, can play at high resolution and you can play the FMV using the Bink video tool, the game is essentially the same.

The graphics difference is not really that important unless you watch them closely or do a side by side comparison.

Other than the PC version, the X-BOX version doesn't have much advantage over the PS2 version (and vice versa).
 

dark10x

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The hard shadows in the PC version look pretty bad in comparison, though, and I don't think anyone's first experience with SH2 should be on the PC. There is something about it that just made it feel...wrong. :\

SH3 on the PC is a kickass port, though. It duplicates the visuals of the PS2 version perfectly and runs at 60 fps (provided your PC is fast enough).

Still, for SH2, the PS2 GH version is the most solid package.
 

maskrider

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dark10x said:
The hard shadows in the PC version look pretty bad in comparison, though, and I don't think anyone's first experience with SH2 should be on the PC. There is something about it that just made it feel...wrong. :\
Well, I put the advantage of saving anywhere, higher resolution and playing the FMV over the differences in graphics features. (you can't play the FMV easily on PS2 and X-BOX version)

In terms of graphics and graphics alone I would agree the PS2 version is the best overall, but there are other advantages with the different versions.
 
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The SH series is about Survival Horror

Surviving is not about quick saving every few steps. The save points in any survival horror title are a purposeful gameplay limitation to force the player to feel tension about the possiblity of being killed. Quicksaving will kill all the tension. Why would you want to play Silent Hill without tension?
 

dark10x

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Silent Hill 2 is an atmospheric game. Consider the fact that YOU have played the game several times before and are quite familiar with it. The ability to save anywhere and view the movies at any time certainly becomes welcome at that point...

However, I feel that saving anywhere is actually detrimental to the experience. The game is about atmosphere and tension, and while it certainly is not overly challenging, surely you could see how the feeling of oppression the game attempts to create would be damaged by this feature. The save points also played their own role in the game (IMO), and removing their need just doesn't seem like a smart idea. Quicksaving is one of my pet peeves already, so the thought of adding it to one of my favorite games is just a painful idea. It doesn't aid your experience.

The resolution is actually in the same boat. Playing in a high resolution does not aid the experience the game is setting out to create. I simply feel that those two features you mentioned are not conductive of a good Silent Hill experience. Like I said, once you've become familiar with SH2, it might be nice to fiddle with...but the first time through? No way...

The video playback feature is hardly important for that first time experience either, but that's certainly not a bad addition...
 

maskrider

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:lol

Take it easy, guys.

Yes, I have played through SH2 more than 6 times and I sure am quite familiar with the game.

Different people have different ways to play games, with or without quick save the atmosphere makes no difference to me. The tension while playing the game does not go away because I am able to save quickly. Just that with quick save I can save near the fights and don't need to do things all over again when I die. (and you can say how can first timers know where to save before the fights, ha ha ! Save when you hear the sound).

edit: BTW, the tension in SH2 to me doesn't come from the battles, but the atmosphere itself.

The characters and the locale show up better on high resolution. And I am a video freak and I watch the FMV from time to time.
 

dark10x

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edit: BTW, the tension in SH2 to me doesn't come from the battles, but the atmosphere itself.
Same here, but that's doesn't change anything. :p

What you can't clearly make out can often add tension. If you are viewing something at, say, 1600x1200...details suddenly become too defined. It shatters the "smoke and mirrors" effect the game occasionally has. You can clearly see how everything was created...
 
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maskrider said:
edit: BTW, the tension in SH2 to me doesn't come from the battles, but the atmosphere itself.
How could there be any tension if you never had worry about getting killed? The atmosphere of the game is based upon danger, danger from cruel monsters, cruel monsters that you're going to have to fight.

Spoiler Time!
The amusemnet park haunted house in SH3 is a good example.
The first time through it was creepy as fuck because in addition to having genuinely creepy atmosphere I was worried about what was going to jump out at me 'round the next corner. Something new? Something that will kill me?

Now, on a replay, I know that there is nothing dangerous in the whole joint
until the red fog at the end,
so I just run through as quick as possible ignoring the atmosphere. No battles = no danger = no tension.

Now, conversely, working through the
SH2 hospital will always put me on edge because not only are the nurses
disturbing, but they are dangerous and a near constant threat. Do I have enough health items to complete my business before the next save? I'm sure I do, but even on my 12th playthrough, I'm still going to feel the tension about it.
 

maskrider

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dark10x said:
Same here, but that's doesn't change anything. :p

What you can't clearly make out can often add tension. If you are viewing something at, say, 1600x1200...details suddenly become too defined. It shatters the "smoke and mirrors" effect the game occasionally has. You can clearly see how everything was created...
Well, viewing the characters (especially Maria) and the monsters in their full glory makes me happy. The foggy place is still super foggy on PC version.



I literally stopped at the first mountain pass the first time I play SH2 (on PS2 for sure, that's my first SH2).



ArcadeStickMonk said:
How could there be any tension if you never had worry about getting killed? The atmosphere of the game is based upon danger, danger from cruel monsters, cruel monsters that you're going to have to fight.
The sense of separation, the silence, and the danger does not go away even if I can save anywhere, may be just me. Heh !
 

dark10x

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Mask, you're on the right path, but go all the way down past that save point. When you exit through the door, the camera should be facing a gate and there will be a large open area where you can simply watch the fog churn. If possible, you should snap a shot of that place on PS2, XBOX, and PC. However, you'll notice the biggest difference while actually watching it. Seriously, go try it. :)

The fog on XBOX and PC works very differently.
 

maskrider

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dark10x said:
Mask, you're on the right path, but go all the way down past that save point. When you exit through the door, the camera should be facing a gate and there will be a large open area where you can simply watch the fog churn. If possible, you should snap a shot of that place on PS2, XBOX, and PC. However, you'll notice the biggest difference while actually watching it. Seriously, go try it. :)

The fog on XBOX and PC works very differently.
You mean the
graveyard
?
 
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dark10x said:
Yep. The gate at the beginning...
Big difference, just looked at it. Xbox simply has less fog on screen at any given time.

Also, displaying both versions on the same TV through component (no 480p), the Xbox is brighter, resulting in a more wased out look or easier to see environments depending on your preferences.
 

BuckRobotron

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I had SH2 original PS2 and have SH2:Restless Dreams (RD) Xbox, both concurrently until a couple months ago. Original SH2 looks far inferior especially in lighting and in-game graphics while the prerendered cutscenes do indeed have more clarity in direct comparison. As suggested by others, Greatest Hits PS2 apparently generally catches up to the Xbox version in in-game graphics, save for the flashlight depending on who's talking. Can't verify anything with SH2 GH myself.

So it comes down to to controls, especially given that I liked the feel of the Xbox controller. The initially awkward strafe (on face buttons on Xbox, shoulder on PS2) becomes second-nature and in fact isn't important in SH2 anyway, and otherwise I prefer the Xbox controllers (both types). I've done 10-star rankings in SH2 Xbox and can only recall a couple spots where I might have strafed, and then probably just for the hell of it. It was only necessary for me in one spot to strafe for 1-second to the side to help secure a 10-star. Other SH2 fans probably know what spot I'm talking about...

Strafe became significantly more important in SH3, so SH3 specifically feels tied to the PS2 controller, and that strafe issue might have been a problem if there was an SH3 Xbox, even for those who prefer the Xbox controller(s) otherwise.

Ultimately, it may boil down to whether you plan to buy SH3 PS2 later. In that case, a save from either version of SH2 PS2 will provide extra cutscenes for SH3. That is exactly why I had a PS2 version for a little while beyond the curiosity factor of how the non-RD original version looked.
 

BuckRobotron

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ArcadeStickMonk said:
Excepting the lights and 480p support, tell me how the PS2 version looks far inferior.
I'll tell you under the assumption that you don't have experience with the original PS2 version, and thus the request.

Darker, mudddier, more aliased, duller colors (great scene to compare all of this is early on the
room with the shopping cart/handgun
and), lighting was yellowish, jagged, very easy to detect shifting "rectangular" components of the flashlight as it shifted on wall or especially when walking the streets (this is of consequence in SH2, not something to be excepted)....
:lol
 

Fatghost

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I have the PS2 GH version and the Xbox Platinum Hits version, and the textures look much cleaner and higher res on the Xbox.


in the apartments, check out the wall paper, looks way better on the Xbox
 
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BuckRobotron said:
I'll tell you under the assumption that you don't have experience with the original PS2 version
Haven't read every post in here have you?

Darker, mudddier, more aliased, duller colors
Darker, I will give you. Xbox's brightness setting 1 is brighter than PS2's brightness setting 2. I think I prefer the colors on the PS2.

Muddier, aliased. I don't think so. Outside of 480p I'm not convinced that it's any more aliased, and the "muddy" part prolly goes with the "darker" part.

Duller colors? Absolutely not. Totally not. I-just-looked-at-both-versions-ten-minutes-ago not.

lighting was yellowish, jagged, very easy to detect shifting "rectangular" components of the flashlight
Yeah, 'cuz it's vertex lighting on the PS2 and per-pixel on the Xbox. We've already covered this. In fact, I requested that we drop it. It's known. We know it.
 

dark10x

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You DO realize he was comparing the ORIGINAL SH2 (PS2) to the XBOX game...right?

On an analog TV, the PS2 version is only slightly more aliased. It makes a much larger difference on an HDTV, of course, but that all fits into the lack of 480p. Remember, SH2 PS2 uses a full frame buffer...so don't attempt to pass off jaggies as some typical PS2 issue in this case.

Your comment on the colors is an interesting one, of course, seeing as that we disagree so heavily. I find the XBOX vesrion to appear rather washed out in comparison to the PS2 version.

It seems that you are referring to "lighting" in general as the single dynamic light which makes up the flashlight beam. THAT is the one major improvement that the XBOX version adds. It uses a perpixel flashlight beam as opposed to per-vertex on PS2. Hardware limitation, plain and simple, though some games have found ways around that.

PS2 versions features (in my opinion) superior color saturation, considerably thicker fog effects (not debatable -- and quite important during outdoor scenes), and does not have issues with timing and lip-sync present on XBOX. 480p support and a perpixel flashlight are the ONLY benefits I see in the XBOX version. The PC version is a step below that as well, since soft shadows were removed.
 

dark10x

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maskrider said:
Screens cannot show it well, I have recorded 3 videos from PC (SH2 US), X-BOX (SH2RD JPN) and PS2 (SH2RD JPN) and am currently encoding them.
I assume that you saw the difference I was talking about then, right? :p
 

BuckRobotron

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ArcadeStickMonk said:
Haven't read every post in here have you?

Darker, I will give you. Xbox's brightness setting 1 is brighter than PS2's brightness setting 2. I think I prefer the colors on the PS2.

Muddier, aliased. I don't think so. Outside of 480p I'm not convinced that it's any more aliased, and the "muddy" part prolly goes with the "darker" part.

Duller colors? Absolutely not. Totally not. I-just-looked-at-both-versions-ten-minutes-ago not.

Yeah, 'cuz it's vertex lighting on the PS2 and per-pixel on the Xbox. We've already covered this. In fact, I requested that we drop it. It's known. We know it.
Thanks for the input, but this qualified defense almost sounds like tacit agreement. It remains as I described it before, and for me the end result was a far inferior graphical presentation (in-game).

And as for colors, as with the rest of what I described, I can't believe we're looking at the same game. I "absolutely" disagree.

And the lighting is a big deal and relevant to any comparison between versions, just as is the fog issue which I didn't put much weight on (didn't even notice it) but others reasonably do. I wouldn't request people drop that, and wouldn't acknowledge it if they did.
 

maskrider

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dark10x said:
I assume that you saw the difference I was talking about then, right? :p
X-BOX and PC versions render the major bulk of moving fog at a lower position on the screen, PS2 render them at a higher position. They look taller on PS2, but that may just be because of their position.

Overall, PS2 version looks to have more fog, but that may be because of the position. And the fog disappear a little faster on X-BOX on PC.
 

dark10x

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Fatghost28 said:
They are very clearly not. Go check it again.
So, you are saying that they used new textures on essentially ONE surface? I've compared textures from the opening scene all the way into the town, and they are EXACTLY the same textures all the way through. The only difference I could find was that, in some cases, texture filtering was not used on XBOX. The grass in the cemetary, for example, is not filtered on XBOX.

maskrider said:
X-BOX and PC versions render the major bulk of moving fog at a lower position on the screen, PS2 render them at a higher position. They look taller on PS2, but that may just be because of their position.
There are simply more layers on PS2. In the case of XBOX and PC, individual fog clouds are more obvious.
 

maskrider

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nitewulf said:
on that note, which versions of fatal frame (1 and 2) are superior?
In which way ?

In terms of graphics ?

Fatal Frame II X-BOX is just a little bit more detailed than Fatal Frame II PS2.

For the first Fatal Frame, I haven't compared myself. The comment that I've read are mostly for Fatal Frame X-BOX is significantly upgraded comparing to Fatal Frams PS2.

dark10x said:
There are simply more layers on PS2. In the case of XBOX and PC, individual fog clouds are more obvious.
From what I saw, the major differences are the disappearing rate and the position. Disappear slower will mean more layers.
 

dark10x

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Well, there are more individual fog "clouds" on the screen at any one time in the PS2 version. You could say it is more complex as the fog itself is composed of more pieces. The area I pointed you to is just an example of the effect with no background. What you observed holds true for the fog in general in all locations.
 

BuckRobotron

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dark10x said:
You DO realize he was comparing the ORIGINAL SH2 (PS2) to the XBOX game...right?

On an analog TV, the PS2 version is only slightly more aliased. It makes a much larger difference on an HDTV, of course, but that all fits into the lack of 480p. Remember, SH2 PS2 uses a full frame buffer...so don't attempt to pass off jaggies as some typical PS2 issue in this case.

Your comment on the colors is an interesting one, of course, seeing as that we disagree so heavily. I find the XBOX vesrion to appear rather washed out in comparison to the PS2 version.

It seems that you are referring to "lighting" in general as the single dynamic light which makes up the flashlight beam. THAT is the one major improvement that the XBOX version adds. It uses a perpixel flashlight beam as opposed to per-vertex on PS2. Hardware limitation, plain and simple, though some games have found ways around that.

PS2 versions features (in my opinion) superior color saturation, considerably thicker fog effects (not debatable -- and quite important during outdoor scenes), and does not have issues with timing and lip-sync present on XBOX. 480p support and a perpixel flashlight are the ONLY benefits I see in the XBOX version. The PC version is a step below that as well, since soft shadows were removed.

Reasonable and well-stated.

The aliasing bugged me more than some others apparently, and it didn't take a large screen or HDTV to do it...just playing both through S-video on a 27" TV in this case.

Fog issues, didn't notice it, but if different and better on PS2, that can be of consequence similar to the lighting, in outdoor scenes as you said.

I did see the timing on the cutscenes go off when the opening movie was allowed to play a second time while leaving the game idel at the title screen, don't recall hearing anything off other than that...?
 

Fatghost

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dark10x said:
So, you are saying that they used new textures on essentially ONE surface? I've compared textures from the opening scene all the way into the town, and they are EXACTLY the same textures all the way through. The only difference I could find was that, in some cases, texture filtering was not used on XBOX. The grass in the cemetary, for example, is not filtered on XBOX.

Maybe it is because the textures are filtered differently, but it looks very different. Color is different and its much cleaner and more distinct on the Xbox version. I have my Xbox hooked up to Svideo on input 1 and my PS2 hooked up to Svideo on input 2 and flipped back and forth to check, there is a very noticeable difference on this particular texture.
 

dark10x

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Fatghost28 said:
Maybe it is because the textures are filtered differently, but it looks very different. Color is different and its much cleaner and more distinct on the Xbox version. I have my Xbox hooked up to Svideo on input 1 and my PS2 hooked up to Svideo on input 2 and flipped back and forth to check, there is a very noticeable difference on this particular texture.
Remember, the PS2 and XBOX versions of the game differ on the color side of things. I found the XBOX version washed out and brighter, but perhaps some people prefer that to the darker and richer PS2 game (which may be described as "muddy" or "too darK" by those that dislike the appearance).
 

BuckRobotron

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dark10x said:
Name your TV then.

I dunno if you just like washed out colors or what, but your comments on those colors confuse me...
Interesting

But then this is why I referenced that specific scene with the
red shopping cart where you find the handgun
. On my simple 27" S-video gaming TV, the Xbox version showed not only a brighter, but more vivid red, and not to a small extent, so much so that the PS2 version of elements in the same location seemed almost universally brown in comparison. Not coincidentally, the PS2 version of that scene also seemed less distinct from the dark/brownish-red background common to the game.

I'd agree that the PS2 version has higher contrast (going by memory), but the end result for me seemed to be contrasting black versus brown, with no other color punching through like in the Xbox version.

This also impacted things like red-clad Maria and even the flesh tones of characters. SH2 is never a vividly colored game, but I liked how the colors were presented better in the Xbox version.

All very subjective of course, but I wouldn't remember that otherwise unremarkable room I referenced if it didn't make a difference to me.