Developer: Climax Studios / Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment / ESRB: Mature (Blood, Drug Reference, Language, Sexual Themes, Violence) / Played on: Wii / Price: $39.99
Hello and welcome to another Video Game Review courtesy of Machinima.com. I’m Rob Talbert here to give you the skinny on Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for the Wii. This game takes the plot from the original Silent Hill game and completely re-imagines it. If you were expecting just a graphics update to the game then get ready for a surprise because Shattered Memories does a whole lot more.
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If you aren’t already familiar with the plot, let me get you up to speed. Players take control of Harry Mason, a man who is on a desperate search for his missing daughter Cheryl. Harry is drawn to the snowy town of Silent hill on his search and this is where things go off the deep end for Harry. The town is seemingly deserted and caught in the grip of a snow storm… Harry soon realizes however that he is not alone in the town, and it’s inhabited by extremely frightening creatures.
If you are a fan of the original Silent Hill you should know that Shattered Memories is a pretty big overhaul. This time around the game utilizes a psyche profile system that customizes the game to players’ psyches. During the game you will encounter a psychologist who will ask you questions; depending on the answers you give the game will change accordingly. Giving out sexually-themed answers will alter the appearance of the monsters in Silent Hill by adding phallic shapes to them, and it will also change the appearance and way other characters will interact with you. It’s a very intriguing addition that can provide players with multiple playthroughs of the game, giving them different environments, characters, and endings.
Shattered Memories is big on dishing out the scares. You are armed only with a flashlight and a cell phone in the game, no weapons at all. This means that you will not be fighting any enemies in the game; instead you will be running from them. This gameplay element really is frightening. Every time you see a snowstorm whipping up it’s a signal that enemies are inbound and it’s time to get your ass to a safe location. It absolutely instills terror in players every time since you know that it’s time to run. I really enjoyed this aspect of the game. It’s a relatively new concept in gaming, not being able to fight, and I think a perfect fit in a survival horror game.
Shattered Memories looks phenomenal on the Wii. It’s great to see the original Silent Hill re-imagined in such a gorgeous way. Character animations are all done extremely well and I really liked the way that the whole feel of this game has been remade. The game has little to no loading times which is great as an experience, but that does effect the framerate in certain places in the game. A small complaint in an otherwise great looking game.
One of the things that the Silent Hill series is known for is the amazing sound that goes along with it. Shattered Memories is no different thanks in large part to Akira Yamaoka’s amazing soundtrack. The voice acting is all top notch which really helps to contribute to the overall creepy mood that the game establishes. Big A-plus in the sound department
I say this every time I review a Wii game, and I’m going to say it again… the controls always make me nervous on the Wii. Once again I am proved to be an over-worrier as the controls in Shattered Memories are a breeze. The game has you controlling a flashlight for the majority of the game and it’s mapped to the direction you point the Wii-mote at the screen. The controls are pulled off without a hitch and they help to make players feel like they are in the world of Silent Hill.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a great breath of fresh air in the Silent Hill series. It takes all of the things that the series has made great and expands upon them in a whole new way. While the game is a little short, around five to six hours, the psyche system should provide players with incentive to go back and play through the game multiple times.