Let me just say I’m glad to be back from the Holiday break, let’s assume I was very busy kupo and I apologize to my fans who have had to wait for more reviews! Back on schedule now so let’s get this started kupo!
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Systems: Wii/PS2 Release Date: Dec 8th, 2009
ESRB: M for Mature
For those of you that have survived the horrors of the Midwest town of Silent hill, maybe it’s time for you to go back and revisit some memories with Climax Studio’s award winning “Silent Hill: Shattered Memories” a self proclaimed reimagining of the first game in the definitive survival horror series.
Shattered memories follows Harry Mason after a car crash that leaves him with amnesia and the knowledge that his daughter is missing somewhere in the snowy town of silent hill. The similarities with the first game largely end here as harry is not the man we know from the original outing on the ps1. As the game begins you are in a therapist office, a dr. Kauffman asks you a few innocent questions before handing you a short survey. On this checklist is very personal questions, do you like to drink to relax? Have you ever roleplayed during sex? There is only a few questions but to get the best results answer honestly, the game is watching your every move after all.
Which brings me to my favorite aspect of Silent Hill Shattered Memories, the game maintains a constant psychological profile on you the player. Every question it asks, every situation your put in and what you look at or do is monitored and factors into the ending you get and how your profile looks during the credits. Once again I stress, be as honest with yourself and the end result might shock you.
Now onto the combat/controls something that has been a problem in past iterations in the franchise. Let’s start with combat, there is none! Shattered memories opts out combat for a much more terrifying tactic in running through gruesome haunted houses style mazes full of creatures that adapt to your physiological profile and change to become more terrifying and disturbing to you as a player. These sections are sprinkled throughout the experience and serve to break up the slow almost disturbingly lifeless moments between them. Control wise it’s much more smooth and responsive from past entries and you’ll find yourself flailing to throw monsters off harry as you run for your life. In your right hand is your flashlight and this highlights the awesome real time lighting as the world is truly dark without your ray of light illuminating the abandoned city streets/buildings. In your left hand is the nun chuck with serves to move you around the environment and to occasionally help toss a monster off your back or crawl over a fence quickly with some waggling.
Another aspect of this dark descent into the frozen hell that is Silent hill is the superb acting. Harry feels like a real person and the small but important cast of characters all really shine leaving this moogle to believe that Shattered Memories might make a decent movie adaption if given the chance. Not to be unaffected by the psychological profile the performances change as well based on how you play the game so if nothing else try it piece together your memories in silent hill once or twice to see if you get the same result every time.
Over all I feel that Silent Hill shattered memories brought back everything I loved in the earlier games in the series, making up for some of the lack luster titles (Silent hill 4/Homecoming) and should be on every fan’s list of games to play if they haven’t already. For new comers I suggest keeping an open mind as you’ll be taken on a ride into a dark corner of survival horror that games like resident evil only wished it could obtain again (leave your action game-shotgun at the door). Ultimately I felt like the game was playing with me not the other way around by the end of this emotional journey.
[ + ] Story: one of the strong points in any game and this one delivers in spades, taking you on an emotional journey that you won’t expect until the heart pounding end.
[ + ] Graphics: some of the best graphics on the Wii, real time lighting and impressive otherworld transitions really bring the nightmare alive.
[ + ] Gameplay: from beginning to end your being watched by the game and everything is being changed and adapted to your choices. The controls are smooth and the chases are heart pounding.
[ + ] Replayablity: I’ve played through shattered memories five times now and never had exactly the same experience. The main storyline is always the same but nothing looks quite right. Like a memory it changes with each revisit.
[ + ] Opinion: easily my favorite game in the franchise and something every adult wii-owner should experience, it’s scary, its heart wrenching, its watching you! This is the best Silent Hill experience to date, don’t miss it.
I Rate Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 5/5 kupo!