Reviews and Problems with Silent Hill: Book of Memories
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Silent Hill: Book of Memories – Review (Vita)
7 September 2013
Excerpt: Silent Hill is one of the most recognised survival-horror franchises available on home consoles, dating back to the PS1 as the main competitor (and it still is to this day) to the ever popular Resident Evil franchise. Despite both franchises having their ups and downs, they’ve both ploughed on side by side ready to scare the next person with their unique art styling and build-up of suspense.
Summary: Silent Hill: Book of Memories has been a controversial release, despised almost from the outset by fans who viewed it as a betrayal of the series, an abandonment of the survival horror trappings that apparently must be reflected in every single Silent Hill game, spin-off or otherwise. I've been a staunch defender of the game's right to exist, declaring that no sequential game should be bound to the blueprint laid out in the original, provided the game itself turns out to...
Excerpt: Since the first Silent Hill game in 1999, the series has stayed the course, never slipping too far from the minds of the gamer populace and always keeping the fans eager for more. Of course, no game concept can exist and stay relevant without evolving and Silent Hill is no different. The series has changed and mutated as it continued, although has arguably never improved beyond the sheer genius of Silent Hill 2.
Conclusion: There is no mistaking that Book of Shadows is the most misguided attempt made on the Silent Hill series yet, completely lacking in any of the blood-curdling horror or psychological character development that once defined the series as one of the greatest horror franchises of all time. On the positive side, it’s not the worst attempt made either, barely avoiding complete disappointment by featuring a competent gameplay element that at least makes for a decent time waster.
Conclusion: Concept: Shove all the monsters, weapons, and trappings of a Silent Hill game into a subpar hack n’ slash with poorly implemented roguelike elements
Graphics: Impressive for a handheld. The bizarre meat monsters have an otherworldly Saran-wrapped gloss, but the camera is too zoomed-out to enjoy the details
Sound: If I have to hear my character scream after being knocked down again I’m breaking my Vita in two
Playability: Overall mechanics are easy to learn, but are too...
Summary: Plenty of franchises can make successful departures from one genre to another, whether for a one-off side story or an entirely new spin-off series. The experiment may inspire apprehension in the hearts of the series' fans, but it can also breathe much-needed life into something that's growing stale.
Pros: Addictive in the right circumstances, Some subtle nods to the series' past, Lots of replay value if you want it
Cons: Long load times, Occasionally frustrating combat, Randomized floors might involve too much backtracking
Excerpt: Silent Hill has been all over the place during the past five years. We have had titles ranging from the mediocre Silent Hill: Homecoming, through to the decent Silent Hill: Downpour, and the excellent Silent Hill: Shattered Memories . After the disastrous port of the HD versions of Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 , Konami are aiming once again to surprise us with Silent Hill: Book of Memories , a Vita title developed by WayForward (of Shantae: Risky’s Revenge fame).
Conclusion: After a rather unfortunate weekend for my personal life I wanted a good distraction from a game, and being rather mindlessly repetitive in its progression, Silent Hill: Book of Memories was not the best game for the task. That said, perhaps my viewpoint of the game is tainted by these expectations. As a pure time sink to waste an hour whilst on a train the game is an acceptable dungeon crawler, especially if you ignore any Silent Hill expectations you may have.