Nintendo Power's Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Review

#1 Posted by Jeust (10654 posts) -

Nintendo Power has already reviewed the new Silent Hill episode.
 
Here follows the review...
 
 

Fractured Fright

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a bold, ambitious attempt to reinvent survival-horror. It’s a game of big ideas, intended to break the shackles of genre tradition and create a more convincing nightmare. That if falls just short of those lofty goals is a disappointment only because we have to settle for something merely good when the potential for greatness is so explicit.

Still, this return trip gaming’s creepiest zip code is worth taking. Few, if any, Wii titles provide a more immersive experience. For starters, wielding the Wii Remote as a flashlight works brilliantly (no pun intended), and the lighting effects that accompany it are truly impressive. So, too, are your surroundings, which boast an amazing level of detail- each locale feels unique and realistically adorned (if a bit dilapidated, of course). The game also uses the remote as a phone to great effect, with calls and voice mails playing through the controller’s built-in speaker. I was so strangely compelled by this particular feature that I couldn’t help but call every number I found printed on a sign or billboard (all of which actually work). A GPS and other relevant applications are accessible from your phone, as well, eliminating the need for any sort of onscreen display. Plus, the ways you interact with the world are very organic, making intelligent use of the Wii Remote without going overboard. It’s all in the name of creating that suspension of disbelief- making you feel like you’re really in Silent Hill.

To pull you in even further, Shattered Memories employs a psychological profile, kicking off with a therapy session in which you, the player, must fill out a personality survey. Your answers will affect the game in a number of way, from the appearance of certain character to how the story unfolds. Additional session are sprinkled throughout, acting sort of like thematic chapter breaks and building on your profile. The Silent Hill series has always had a strong psychological component, but this novel approach makes it more personal. The game really does get in your head, and you’re constantly wondering what you’ve done to make things a certain way. (Fair warning, though: the therapist asks you some pretty personally and potentially embarrassing questions, so you may not want to play with friends in the room.)

Yet for all the great work it does drawing you in, the game is never able to leverage that into something truly scary. It’s uncomfortable and unsettling, to be sure, but doesn’t leave your nerves completely frayed like the first three games in the series did so effortlessly. The main source of terror is supposed to be the chase scenes, which are triggered when you reach certain points in the adventure that have you running away from monsters. It’s a great idea in theory, and I certainly don’t miss the awkward combat from previous installments, nor the mood-breaking tedium of scouring the town for weapons and ammo. But the fact that you’re in danger only during these scenes removes a lot of the tension from the rest of the game. They’re not very dynamic either; aside from knocking over the occasional bookshelf and picking up flares to keep the monsters at bay, you’re really just running from point A to point B. A few more items or environmental interactions would have gone a long way.

The reduced emphasis on horror puts greater importance on the game’s puzzles. Fortunately, they’re some of the best in the series- creative and varied, yet never obtuse. Plus, the clues are always cleverly integrated with your surroundings and do a nice job of encouraging exploration. The narrative is quite engrossing as well, and concludes with an inspired twist that you’ll never see coming.

So though it may not be the unqualified success we were hoping for, Shattered Memories proves an audacious and ultimately compelling experiment. We only wish it put our extra pairs of trousers to better use.

-Steve T.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories – 8.0

+ good use of Wiimote
+ great graphics
+ psychological profile which affects game based on choices
+ creative and varied puzzles
- not particularly scary, lacks sense of danger

 
Also if anyone is interested in original soundtrack accompanying the game, check 
 
What do you think about the game?
 
Are you going to buy it?
  
Cheers
#2 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Review talk is here. ;)

#3 Posted by Cadmus (290 posts) -

8 from NintendoPower .. that means when the real reviews get out it's probably going to be much lower.  Shame because this was the first wii game that I was genuinely excited about.
#4 Posted by Tally_Pants (591 posts) -
@Jeust said:

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories – 8.0 

- not particularly scary, lacks sense of danger

...Isn't that the entire point of the game, to keep you on edge the whole game; thats why you don't get weapons and are always fleeing...
Nintendo pretty much shot itself in the foot with that one line...
#5 Edited by Linkyshinks (9880 posts) -
@Tally_Pants said:

" @Jeust said:

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories – 8.0 

- not particularly scary, lacks sense of danger

...Isn't that the entire point of the game, to keep you on edge the whole game; thats why you don't get weapons and are always fleeing...Nintendo pretty much shot itself in the foot with that one line... "
 
It is indeed a dumb comment given the fact that's exactly why there are no weapons in the game. Perhaps they think that even with the lack of weapons, it's still not a scary game...  
 
It's independently run now, they have no connection to Nintendo in an official capacity.
#6 Posted by Willy105 (4690 posts) -
@Cadmus said:
" 8 from NintendoPower .. that means when the real reviews get out it's probably going to be much lower.  Shame because this was the first wii game that I was genuinely excited about. "
Actually, since it's from Nintendo Power, the other reviews are bound to be HIGHER.
#7 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

It gets very mixed reviews so far, like most Silent Hill games it's love it or hate it, coupled with the long time series fan expectations which may be more critical towards it for the things it does differently, possibly forgetting how stale the franchise became and how it's impossible to get it how it used to be since Team Silent is no more. I do think it isn't as scary or disturbing as other games but that doesn't mean it's bad.

#8 Posted by Tally_Pants (591 posts) -
@Linkyshinks said:
"@Tally_Pants said:

" @Jeust said:

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories – 8.0 

- not particularly scary, lacks sense of danger

...Isn't that the entire point of the game, to keep you on edge the whole game; thats why you don't get weapons and are always fleeing...Nintendo pretty much shot itself in the foot with that one line... "
 It is indeed a dumb comment given the fact that's exactly why there are no weapons in the game. Perhaps they think that even with the lack of weapons, it's still not a scary game...   It's independently run now, they have no connection to Nintendo in an official capacity. "
yeah i used to be subscribed to NP and igot the notice with one of my issues that they had been taken over by another company and i recieved one more issue after that and then no more... and my subscription was far from over. but i really didnt' care because i knew the magazine was gonna go way down hill once that happened
#9 Posted by luce (4045 posts) -
#10 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

GT Review:
 

   

Gameplay 7.7, Story 9.1 - Exactly how it should be. The game is the antithesis to Homecoming, and that is a good thing.
 
GT, too, seem to have prefered a slight shift in the action: A little less in the nightmare sequences, a little more in the snowy sequences. It made me think of the following scenario:
 
- Tone down the difficulty of the nightmare sequences a little bit
- Start the game with the legendary steel pipe or any other kind of weapon, introduce spare enemy encounters in the snowy world yet have Harry quickly realize that weapons do not affect the creatures, and that Harry  can only harm them by using his own hands / physically touching them. This would use mechanics similar to the Nightmare-world moves, or similar to No More Heroes' wrestling moves. 
It would not change the core gameplay in any way
It would create the (now missing) sense of dread and threat in the exploration scenario
Because these encounters would be very rare, and can only result in one of the participant's demise,  they can and should each be designed very carefully, or be affected by the psych profiling, or feature more than the one "raw shock" enemy type the game has
 
Spare, single, carefully designed encounters with single creatures in the snowy world that Harry can manage +  an overwhelming crowd of more aggressive creatures in the nightmare sequences that Harry must run from. No weapons involved. This would be both true to the popular formula and the new vision, it would have been an easy way to add to the game's length as no direct storytelling/additional environments/voice acting would be involved, and it would've given the game that extra bit of suspense some reviewers are missing. 
 
Of course, I don't know how much sense "creatures in the snowy world + Harry's touch harms them" makes in the overall story as it is. I will see.

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