Silent Hill: Shattered Memories review (Wii)

saimcheeda | 346d ago | User review
Reviewing: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
It's flaws are present but Shattered Memories is a brilliant horror game which will delight fans.
What are the horror video game franchises that come to mind? There may very well be none other than the Silent Hill series. Perhaps Resident Evil is considered as the best horror game out there but it was always more of an action horror series rather than purely horror based, especially in recent times it is completely action based. The Silent hill series meanwhile has always focused on spooking its player, usually employing quiet foggy places to put you at unease. It has worked for them, however, over the course of time has felt draggy for some. In Silent Hill: Shattered Memories the series formula continues somewhat but like the re-imagined story, the game play and the setting is also realized in a different way.

Storyline wise the game succeeds in sending its message to the player, the tone, the acting the chills preceding a sudden attack by monsters are executed effectively. You will play the game as the character of Harry Mason, a father who finds himself waking up from a car crash only to find his daughter missing. Thereafter, throughout the game your task is to help Harry get to his daughter. Along the way Harry comes across the ghosts that reside in Silent Hill. Shattered Memories offers a complex story line which is a delight to uncover. It is the story that easily carries the game on its shoulders. There are many twists and surprises to be revealed, at numerous points you'll find yourself annoyed that the cut scene has ended and you have to play more to go forward in the story line. The game has plenty of supporting characters, each of whom Harry comes across in his travels, each of whom prove only to increase your confusion and curiosity as to where the story is going. All of this sets up the finale which some could guess beforehand but makes the impact it has no less powerful. The unique aspect of the Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is the fact that it is you who decides where the storyline progresses. This is done through a number of "doctor therapy sessions" that take place numerous times in the game. The doctor asks you to respond to his questions, the answers given by the player help shape the characters in the story. For instance, if the player responds in an introverted manner, the character of Michelle will be built in that way. This gives the game a ton of replay value for you to go back and start over again to see the different outcomes.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is one of the games to be released on the Wii which truly captures the potential of the Wii remote. Every decision of yours, even storylines, are guided using the remote. You will be using Harry's flashlight in the game, this works perfectly with the remote giving you the flavor of the atmosphere in game. To actually feel all of it the best way to play would be with the lights closed. The torch illuminating the path in front of you will feel be a beacon for your enemies but also will be your only way to go ahead. Other tasks include picking up things and assembling them together to open up pathways for Harry. You'll also be using Harry's phone, this is a very important feature, using it can show you things which you wouldn't be able to see with your normal vision. One of the most heart pounding moments are the ones where you're supposed to use the camera to see ghosts hiding in the vicinity. As soon as you locate them a boom is heard which will definitely make you a jump a few times. The town is used to induce fear into the player and that it does, Finding the source of the disturbance will lead to a spooky moment and the receipt of an eerie voicemail or text message on your cell phone, which helps to explain the significance of that particular localized haunting. You'll feel scared to go forward but the lure of the story reveal will be strong enough to motivate you forward.

It's not all perfect though, the game can't keep up with the chills throughout so in these moments the creepy scale is dialed back for chase sequences which almost prove to be a deal breaker. This is a real shame as these occur right at the points when you're about to uncover something major in the plot. Here game play consists of frozen environments where monster chase you around. These monsters differ, again due to the player's psych profile answers, they can range from skeletal corpses to bloated cadavers. The only instance they might scare you is at their initial introduction, thereafter, evading them simply feels like a boring chore. Your only defense against them is by igniting a torch to counteract the iciness from them. This sounds simple enough, however, these monsters are way too many and the only resistance Harry has is to shake them off of himself. If the monsters succeed in bringing you down, you're returned to the beginning of the maze to try again, they can sometimes take several tries, these mazes are frustrating.

The Soundtrack of the game deserves a clear ten. Half of the chills you feel are because of the beautifully placed pangs of noise when you come across something. In the instances where the player comes close to a hidden ghost Harry's light begins to flicker rapidly, the rush of sound followed by total silence are what precede the huge pang of noise. The fog covering the entire town, snow all around Harry and the eerie tense music offer exquisite game play moments. Voice acting is efficient, the characters succeed in selling the tension of the story and the regular change in characters, how they suddenly disappear and reappear with no notice only adds to the oddity of the game.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a game which you can enjoy by yourself or with your friends, it doesn't matter because the chills in the game are enough for everyone, it's such a shame the chase sequences were so poorly added. If done correctly, this surely would have been a guaranteed A list game, similarly the short length of the game is a letdown. These are just a handful of flaws but make a huge dent on the quality of the game. A seasoned gamer will take no more 5-6 hours to finish the game in his first play through. However, the brilliant execution of the Wii remote helps in the moments where you just want to unearth the plot and the creepiness of the town, which is different in every play through, makes this trip to Silent Hill completely worth it.
Ups
Wonderful Atmosphere
Great game play when subtle
Lot of replay value
Downs
Horrifically bad chase scenes
Too short
Score
7.0
Graphics Good enough for Wii players but a huge step down for those accustomed to HD graphics.
9.5
Sound Very well executed, enhances the game play.
8.0
Gameplay Would be perfect if not for the chase scenes which spring up at the wrong moments. At other times it is a treat to expereience.
9.0
Fun factor Even if you aren't playing, just watching the game will entertain.
0.0
Online
8.3
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
coolbeans  +   346d ago
Interesting for you to bring up this review now since I'm going back and forth as to whether or not I should try this. It seems like a good game, but then the Wii doesn't get much playtime. I'll have to make some time for this one down the road.

Thanks for the review.
GmP  +   344d ago
Great review. Nicely worded and original.
HarryMasonHerpderp  +   342d ago
Hmmm.
I thought it was a good game in its own right but did not find it scary at any point. It was far from what a Silent Hill game should be (scary, disturbing) but I enjoyed the profile thing and I thought the controls were pretty cool for the way you used your torch to look around.
If I had it my way I would have made the game,
1. Its own story and not a re-imagining
2. Different more scary enemy types
3. Creatures in the real world or at least not make it so obvious when the enemy's will show up
4. Change the ice for something more disturbing
saimcheeda  +   339d ago
I didn't play the original silent hill so I don't know what i missed out on, the enemies weren't scary but I felt the atmosphere was and the snow was used well. It was there so the player wouldn't be able to see what waited ahead of him.

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Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Average Score 7.9 Reviews(86)
Release Dates
PS Vita Release Dates
PS2 Release Dates
US 19 January 2010
EU 05 March 2010
PSP Release Dates
US 19 January 2010
EU 05 March 2010
Wii Release Dates
US 08 December 2009
AU 05 March 2010
EU 26 February 2010