Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
An Excellent Addition to the Silent Hill Series
When I first heard that Konami was releasing a new Silent Hill game, I was ecstatic. When I heard it was for the Wii, I'll admit I was quite doubtful. Being a huge fan of the franchise, I'm used to the combat styles of the game and couldn't quite figure how the Wii was going to incorporate that style. However, I soon found out that the point of the creature chases (I'll get more into that later) were about escape and evade rather then fight, it made a bit more sense. I found the idea rather appealing because it was different from all the other Silent Hill games. Shattered Memories is much like a remake of the original Silent Hill, with the protagonist, Harry Mason, desperately searching for his daughter, Cheryl, after a car accident outside the foggy and snow laden Silent Hill. You journey with Harry throughout the town and what makes Shattered Memories so unique and thrilling is that it psycologically profiles the player based on actions and choices and changes the game accordingly. I've played it several times, and gone from having a main plot scene in a diner to a bar, with completely different character interactions. Along with the gameplay changing with the player, there are several playable scenes in which the player is in a psychiatrists office. Here, the player talks with the doctor, whom gives the player several pychological tests that also aid in the changing of the game. Another point of interest are the "nightmares", playabe cut scenes where the city of Silent Hill goes cold and freezes over. The player must direct Harry through the icy town and evade the creatures that come to life. It's all about survival and the player must throw the creatures off if they jump on Harry. The nightmares are all maze-like, with doors and ledges marked with blue that eventually lead to safety or will just lead Harry in circles. To help aid the player in direction and to move the plot along is the use of Harry's cell phone, which acts as a map and receives/makes calls and texts. It's rather fun to find random numbers all over the town and call them, just to see what happens. Although Shattered Memories is successful in many ways, it does have some faults in the controls. The Nunchuck is used for the flashlight and the main controller for moving, cell phone use, ect. Where these controls aid in making the game very realistic, they are also very frustrating at times, especially during creatures chases. When attempting to throw creatures off, if the player flicks the controls too hard, the game is less responsive. I also had many instances where Harry would get stuck in a corner or against a wall/door and not move, allowing creatures to pile on top of him and get game over no matter how desperately I tried to make run. Either that or he would swivel in aimless circles, not really going anywhere. Regardless of some techinical flaws in the Wii controls, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is an excellent game and can be played through multiple times. It's sure to be a hit with Silent Hill fans and those new to the franchise as well.