Last year, one of the games we looked at was the first chapter of Higurashi When They Cry.
I enjoyed it quite a bit and mentioned at the end that I might not wait long before starting the second chapter.
…Well, I got distracted by other games and didn’t get around to it.
But then, with the idea already floating around in my mind that I should play Chapter 2 this October, the Silent Hill news came out. The exciting surprise that Ryukishi07 is writing Silent Hill f spurred me into action, and I began Higurashi When They Cry – Ch. 2 Watanagashi.
This chapter doesn’t pick up where the previous chapter ended, but instead starts at an earlier point. Once again, it begins with a lengthy few hours of lighthearted slice-of-life antics. It felt to me like that section actually lasted longer here, but that might just be because my knowledge of the first chapter already had me on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Sure enough, things in Chapter 2 eventually take a dark turn. Both chapters of Higurashi do an excellent job of building up a pleasant atmosphere and then twisting it with unsettling events. Both also involve the same core elements – murders and disappearances rumored to be part of a legendary curse. However, they take these aspects in a different direction.
While the first chapter built up a terrifying sense of paranoia, Chapter 2 almost feels more like a mystery, with piece after piece of the unsettling incidents coming to light.
It’s still very creepy, and the later parts had me invested in what would happen next. The more I think about it, the more interested I am to see what Ryukishi07 will do with Silent Hill. His writing has that blend of occult and psychological horror that Silent Hill did so well with.
Higurashi When They Cry – Ch. 2 Watanagashi is another interesting read, and I don’t think I’ll wait quite as long this time before starting the next chapter. In the meantime, don’t forget that you have up until Monday to join in the conversation and participate in this year’s Celebrating All Things Spooky contest!---
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