9.2

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories review
Silent Hill's New Tourism Route

The good:

New fresh game style, music, new story line (kinda), new puzzle system, controls

The bad:

new game style, no combat/not action oriented.

Summary:

The story set up is based off the original Silent Hill from the PS1 with things like character and the driving plot, but includes a lot of fresh elements making it its own game. The game uses a new nightmare setting turning everything into ice and has Silent Hill set in a snowy setting. The combat system has been replaced with a more suspenseful escape system. The music is marvelous and nail biting.

STORY
Even though the game uses similar characters, shattered memories creates a new overarching story. The story also has a system of analyzing your actions of the game with specific endings which is a fun novelty, though it doesn't create a great deal of replay value. The game almost works like a movie with a strong narrative. The ending itself is powerful and a slight tear jerker.

SETTING
The new Silent hill isn't set in an ash filled town but rather a town in perpetual night and snowing. This setting is okay because there is no plot directly involved with the town being previously set afire. It still takes place in Silent Hill with new "demons" that haunt a new characters life.

VISUALS/SOUNDS
With the PSP having limitations (my medium played) the graphics were acceptable but with such a good story, should have been a large console release. Character models are still distinct and recognizable to enjoy character relation. The music is engulfing and the sounds of the monsters send shrills. The voice actors do a good job as their character roles. Special story related items that are discovered have an eerie sound once discovered and adds to the Silent Hill suspense along with a visual distortion.

GAMEPLAY
The biggest change in Shattered Memories, is the new way monsters are encountered. Instead of a combat system or using weapons, the game has a system of enemy evasion and escape. It's a unique concept in video games to run/avoid combat. That necessarily doesn't break the game or the series but instead creates a new way to experience suspense in Silent Hill. This new system of combat includes evasive maneuvers like throwing down lockers to block the monsters path and highlights doors that can be used to quickly advance to the next room. In the normal game play, its plays like a classic adventure with puzzles that show case the creativity within the team. Some puzzles in the game move the camera into first person and reflect control (reflecting the Wii's port). And some puzzles requires the camera on Harry's phone.

CONTROLS
The PSP controls are easy and comfortable with the d-pad working as hot keys for the cell phones features. The lack of a second analogue stick takes away the ability to aim but the game's normal and nightmare modes function fine without it.

Should you get it?
I recommend the game to anyone new to the series, looking for a horror genre, or something with a strong narrative. The game isn't long but worth at least looking into a rental.

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