Silent Hill is one of my favorite series out there and each game that is released brings something new to the table. While I may love the Silent Hill Series I will not play them more than once because I get scared easily. One of the games that I will never go back to is Silent Hill 4 which is one of the scariest games out there in my opinion although some of my friends disagree. While we may disagree on Silent Hill 4 we do agree on one thing about Shattered Memories. Never play Silent Hill Shattered Memories because it will make you cry and not because it's a good survival horror game.
SHSM is a re-imagining of the original Silent Hill game. The story is similar to that of the original Silent Hill. You play as Harry Mason who is trying to find his daughter after an accident in the town of Silent Hill. Harry apparently has always lived in Silent Hill but is assumed that he is suffering from amnesia after the accident. While the plot may be the same, the gameplay has changed dramatically and the events of the original Silent Hill have been changed as well.
This reimagining brings Silent Hill into the 21st century. Henry can use a variety of items and one of the items that you use the most is your cell phone which can take pictures and act as a GPS as well as read messages. The cell phone also makes strange noises whenever there is an enemy nearby or it interacts with something in the area Henry is in. The camera can be used for many things but its main purpose is to take pictures of the supernatural. The GPS also acts as the map of the original Silent Hill and tells you where to go in the area.
While all those new features are fine and dandy there is one that is missing and I for the life of me cannot figure out why it was removed that it actually makes me want to cry. Combat. All you get to do is run which is really no fun. If an enemy catches you, you must shake it off by moving the Wii-mote as well as the Nun-Chuck in the direction that you are told to move it in. Because it all depends on the sensor bar you must be in the center of it otherwise it will not read your movements. After a while it really gets annoying that you just want to put the controller down and play the original Silent Hill. Aiming and looking around isn't also the most fun thing to do. If you point the Wii-mote outside of the area the screen will just start to turn really fast.
There is really nothing scary about this Silent Hill game. All you do is move forward during combat and most of the time enemies will attack from the front while Harry tries to avoid them. This takes away from what made Silent Hill on the PS1 a really great survival horror game. Most of Silent Hill is easily seen from a distance and because there are no surprises in the corner awaiting you there is really nothing to look forward to. From time to time a ghost or an entity will creep up on you but that's it.
Graphically Silent Hill looks great on the Wii and the characters are greatly detailed. The game performs really great and there are no slowdowns as you progress. There are hardly any loading times and you transition from area to area smoothly by going to the next room. Even walking around with the camera does cause any lag within game. There are graphical corruptions from time to time which are easily noticeable but nothing that will change the way you feel how the game looks.
The developers really did a great job on how you can use the Wii-Mote to move objects as well as interact with the environment. Some examples are opening a door by twisting the knob and roll down a car's window by moving the Wii-Mote in a circular motion. If the combat was added to this game I think it would have been a great re-imagining to the series but all you can really do is pop a flare and shake enemies off as well as hide like a little girl.
The voice acting is great at times and not so great. You will eventually get tired of Henry's whining and bitching (Yes I know he lost his daughter but whining and bitching won't bring her back now will it) and other voice actors in the game seem to be trying too hard. The music and sound effects are what truly make a Silent Hill game a true Silent Hill game. This isn't a Silent Hill game. While the sound effects are on par with the game most of the time, the music doesn't really get you into the game. I remember when I used to get chills and I still do when listening to the background music in Silent Hill 1, 2, 3, and 4 but this game misses that special note.
Silent Hill Shattered Memories will bring you hours of gameplay. The puzzles are ok and the story is decent at best even though it has the same plot as the original Silent Hill on the PS1. I just wish they would have added a combat system to the game. I love Silent Hill but I cannot believe they have done this. In order to keep my sanity I have to keep telling myself that this game never existed and that all of my time spent playing it was all just a horrible nightmare. If you're a Silent Hill fan you will be disappointed with this release. I can't do more than put this game on my Do Not Play Pile and I wish I could but sadly I can't. Now if you'll excuse me I need to go back to crying because I can't believe that Konami would do this to my favorite series.
Life Span: 6/10
Total Score: 50/100
-Donny De Leon