Published on December 21st, 2009 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories review
Release Date: December 8, 2009
Developer: Climax Studios
Platform: Nintendo Wii [Reviewed], PlayStation 2, PSP
Silent Hill:Shattered memories is a re-imagining of the original Silent Hill on Playstation 1. Although this version has made some changes which I would like to refer to it as “inevitable improvement,” in both aspects it is something that Konami can be very proud of. The motion controls and the improvement of visuals are just a few of the things that really solidify this title. 10 years later this release will shake up a new generation, but still keeps its already fans at bay.
In the game you play as Harry Mason. You have been in a car accident and are on a mission to find your daughter. The game itself begins to psycho-analyze you while you play and does take it that extra step to “get to know you.” What better way to play a survival horror that makes you jump after some suspense, but also gets to know you at the same time. This Silent Hill goes the extra mile and brings you in total control, if you think so.
The controls of the game are very comfortable and easy to get used to. First lets run through the nun-chuck controls. The joystick is used to move your character. The Z button is held down and used to run, while the C button is commonly used to ignite flares. The remote by far is the best button and control scheme that I have seen. Like many of the first person shooters on the Wii, the remote is used to look around and move in the direction in which you are aiming. In SH:SM, the 3rd person view is very well involved and works great with this motion scheme.
The directional pad is used to quick access various items on your cell phone while the – brings up the phone itself. The + button is your flashlight shutoff, and unless you are playing in a well lit room and not by yourself, I would advise you to keep it on. The remote and nun-chuck are used together to throw down objects and to move others. Unlike games like The Conduit, it does not necessarily take away from your previous perspective or put your view off the screen in harms way. The speaker on the remote is used throughout the game for different reasons, none of which I would like to disclose so that you may be able to experience it for yourself.
The visuals in the game are very well done. Everything from the gloomy night snow scenes to the nightmarish portions look excellent. The flashlight that is used throughout game play casts light into the direction you are facing and is a great effect throughout. There are a lot of interactive items throughout the game. For example, when you are overlooking a peak in the game with a monument sign near it, just reading over the sign prompts Harry to say something to the effect of “ Huh, you learn something new everyday.” There are just a ton of little things that made this game a worthwhile play.
The story line is the biggest reason for playing this game. There are a ton of things that are reflected in this game that were done in the original. There are also areas of “improvement” that I don’t think take away from it at all. The biggest seller is that fans of the original can like this game as well as people who have never played it before.
A positive aspect to this title is the amount of content that can be found throughout the game. There are various “memories” scattered that can be picked up and stored, or even used for puzzles. Without a strategy guide, this makes a very fruitful experience.
Some other positives are the development of the game over time. Utilizing technology within the game play, i.e. the cellphone and GPS movement. This really is a re-imagining for a next-gen console.
Some of the biggest issues were to leave combat out of this title. To leave combat out is one of the things that tears fans of the franchise away from this game. Let me say this, it does not dent this title whatsoever.
The only negatives that can only really be found with Silent Hill: Shattered Memories are some minor camera issues. Turning in tight spaces may only prove to be minor glitches. Other than that, the game provides a great experience, with great game play, and is a very worthwhile title.
+ Motion controls are excellent
+ Gameplay is intuitive and fine tuned.
+ Improvement of the overall story.
– Minor camera issues.