There will be spoilers in this solution.
Since the Laser Pistol after achieving the UFO ending has already been covered, this solution will be for those that don't want to use the Laser Pistol and use default weapons found in the game. I've not used the Laser Pistol yet, so I can't comment on that. I did get the UFO ending on my play through Hard Mode, so I'll toy around with it once I go back through the game.
I will also be outlining tips since there really isn't a solution. The solution is simple: complete the game on Hard Mode. It's the same game as a Normal Mode game except it's a tad more difficult.
The best thing I can tell you about rolling Hard Mode with default weapons is to save health items. SAVE, SAVE, SAVE. The game is incredibly easy up to the Police Station and then the level of difficulty changes quickly. Once you get used to the Schisms, the game gets easy yet again, but Schisms introduce a new level of difficulty.
When I say "save health items" I mean to be smart with them. If you just saved your game and then used 3 Health Drinks on a fight with 2 Schisms, then that's a waste. Just /quit the game and try again. You can do the same with bosses.
Speaking of bosses, they're the easiest part of Silent Hill Homecoming. Their attacks are telegraphed and you can see them coming long before they reach you. It may take a few times, but you'll learn them. So don't wast too many health items on them.
Conserve ammo. Your Pistol, Shotgun and Rifle only hold a certain amount of rounds and you can only hold a limited amount. A good way to remember how many rounds YOU can hold is that the amount is double of how many rounds each weapon holds (e.g., the first pistol holds 5 rounds in the weapon itself and you can carry 10 rounds on Alex).
A key to keep from wasting ammo is to know how many you can carry and how many you can use. You can obviously consult a walkthrough and know when the next ammo drop is coming up, but if you're like me and don't like using walkthroughs, you want to be safe so you don't waste the limited supply of ammo in the game. What I personally do is use my ranged weapons once I get full on ammo.
Example: If have 5 rounds in my Pistol and 10 rounds on me, I will use 5 rounds on the next enemy I run into.
This leaves me 10 full rounds to use in case of an emergency and room to pick up a full pistol ammo drop. I do this will all ranged weapons. Killing enemies from a distance will also keep your Health Drink consumption to a minimum.
Weapons to use on each enemy:
Let me say one thing about ranged weapons real quick: don't bother using them on any boss except the last boss. Seriously. Ammo is scarce and the bosses are a joke. It's the groups of enemies where you should used ranged weapons the most. Using a ranged weapon to kill one enemy quickly then swap to a melee weapon to finish off the last enemy.
For example: If you're fighting two Order Members, plug one with a pistol/shotgun/rifle and melee the other with a knife.
You'll soon find out that the best non-boss weapon in the game is the knife. It's fast, you can spam combos on many enemies and take no damage and it works well on everything but Smogs, Needlers and Siam (if you don't know how to defeat a Siam).
One last tip: I recommend playing the game for your first time on the recommended brightness. Be it Normal Mode or Hard Mode, play it the way it was intended on your first play through to get the most out of it. If it's your second playthrough, turn the game brightness up. This is helpful when trying to avoid those pesky Nurse fights as it allows you to see obstacles lying around when you're trying to sneak around with your flashlight off.
They're fast and you need to be fast. The knife is the fastest melee weapon in the game. A,A,A,X attacks until they drop. Don't bother dodging unless you get hit. Just spam the above combo. You can avoid most fights with nurses and this is a good thing because they will fillet you like a king salmon. Just turn off your flashlight and walk by them... and don't bump into anything.
Additional comments: talk about wanting to put a bag over her head...
At least until you get the Crowbar, but I still prefer the knife. Ferals are fast, their lunge is somewhat difficult to time and they can out run you. If you must run, dodge as they gain on you and don't hold the lock-on button while dodging. Just dodge in the direction you're running.
- Crowbar, Steel Pipe.
Use the pipe until you get the Crowbar. Let the Lurker lunge at you once and dodge. After that, use one A,A,X combo and then a charged X attack while it's on the ground and that will crush it's head. After you crush it's head, immediately dodge or roll backwards because Lurkers sometimes get one last final attack before dying.
- Either Axe.
Be aggressive with Needlers. Use a non-lock-on roll (B) towards the Needler and immediately lock-on and swing your Axe with an X attack. This swings your Axe up in an uppercut motion and will sometimes kill them instantly if you hit their heads (this happens quite a bit actually). You'll also rarely take damage using this tactic. Needlers will block some of your shots with their legs, but one of three things will happen here: you hit them, you decapitate them or they block. You will not get hit at all if you're fighting one Needler. Don't bother playing the dodge game with them and your best chance at a head shot is in the open. Cornering them will still net you the win, it just takes longer because they block more due to you likely having bad positioning for having to stay aggressive.
Any ranged weapon will work. But just shoot the Smog in the lungs when it opens it's ribcage to attack with it's smog. Two shots from a Pistol or one with a Shotgun will kill the Smog. Remember that the lungs have to be expanded - if you aim
- Knife, Shotgun, Crowbar.
It's rare you'll face one Schism at a time and you can face up to three (right after fighting two no less - but this can be avoided). When you're fighting two, kill one with the shotgun (2 close-up shots from a Shotgun will kill a Schism - shoot it, knock it on it's back, run up and put some more buck shot into it) and then swap to the Crowbar and try to corner the remaining Schism and attack with A,A,X combos non-stop. If you don't get them cornered, only use A,A attacks until you get them cornered. Schisms stumble out of range when you attack them and if you're not in a corner, you're going to miss your X attack leaving you open for damage.
--Two Shotgun blasts at close range will kill a Schism.
--One Shotgun blast and one shot fo the Rifle will kill a Schism.
--One Shotgun blast and Two Pisto shots will kill a Schism.
- Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Crowbar, Knife.
The Rifle is best with Pistol being the next best. These should be take out at a distance if at all possible. The female side is a Siam's Achilles Heel, but it's best to just not mess with them and kill them from a distance head on. If they get close to you, switch to the Shotgun. Only use the Crowbar or Knife as a last resort. Meleeing a Siam takes some well-timed dodges and getting behind them to cut up/crush the female side.
++Order Member (pipe)++
- Knife, Pistol.
Lock-on to the Order Member carrying the pipe and immediately attack with A,A,A,X combos. Don't worry about charging your X attacks, just use the aforementioned combo and you'll get golden. Fight ALL Order Members in the open. Do not corner them or fight them near obstacles (unless you're in a doorway and keeping another Order Member behind the doorway). The reason being is that the Order member will likely dodge your first Knife attack, however, when he dodges it brings him closer to you. He will sometimes block an attack with his pipe as well. Just keep spamming A,A,A,X Knife attacks. If you get hit, dodge but being aggressive will likely keep you from getting hit.
++Order Member (Rifle)++
If you get two Order Members, one will likely carry a Rifle. Put two Pistol rounds in the head of the Order Member (pipe) and kill him (head shots do more damage). Then attack the Order Member (Rifle). This is backwards of what logic would seem to dictate, but Order Member (Rifle) seems to take more damage than Order Member (Pipe) as it has always required 3 headshots for me to kill them). When you kill Order member (Pipe), run towards Order Member (Rifle), lock-on and dodge immediately because he will try to butt-stroke you with his Rifle. After the dodge, simply use the A,A,A,X combo and immediately dodge because another Rifle butt is coming for you. Repeat the combo and dodge series until Order member (Rifle) is dead.
Good luck and hope this helps. I was going to put boss strategies in here as well, but decided to leave them out since they're a small part of Silent Hill Homecoming... not only that, this solution is rather lengthy. That said, if anyone is having trouble with bosses, just let me know by posting a comment.