My impressions

#1peacefulchaosPosted 9/27/2012 3:21:56 AM
So, I've just completed the demo, and I'm cautiously optimistic still. I'm not quite sure how I ultimately feel about it, because I'm torn between two different camps. While I can understand them wanting to stick as close to the feel of a Silent Hill title as a dungeon crawling spinoff can accomplish, I feel like trying to stay too true to what a Silent Hill game feels like sort of weighs down what could be a stellar gothic Lovecraftian dungeon crawler.

The controls feel tight, though the lack of an ability to combo your left and right hand does feel strange. Moving is solid and fluid, attacks are nicely varied between quick strikes for smaller weapons and slower, more powerful and exaggerated strikes for heavier ones. I found little use for the guns as I much preferred having two weapons that wouldn't leave me hanging as quickly, as I found repair kits more often than ammo, but I did end up at the fire boss with five extra clips and no pistols, so, there's that.

The graphics are a mixed bag. Most of the time they're pretty, some of the time their ugly, and other some of the time they're quite pretty. The environment at times is gorgeous, and at other times is pretty and at other times is just there, though the effects such as the fire look great. The only downside is that the fire looking so good makes other things, such as the blood, look less well designed, and the attention of detail to the background makes the actual map itself feel bland by comparison.

Exploration felt forced, and I felt like I either needed to have more enemies thrown at me, or more emphasis on exploration. I feel like not being attacked during transitions from room to room broke up the flow, as well as knowing for a fact that I would never be attacked when backtracking.

Combat was surprisingly stylish and responsive, but I feel like it's weighed down by the game pulling staccato movements to remind you "This isn't quite an action game." I almost feel like if they'd either married themselves to style, or slower methodical combat then fighting wouldn't feel so strange, but overall by the time I made it to zone 2 I was used to it and didn't mind.

Like others have mentioned, the game did feel easy, especially the puzzles, but by the same token the Butcher gave me a run for my money (especially when my mace broke, though my proudest moment was punching him to death :D), and I died the first time I fought the fire boss. Once I figured out his pattern he was cake, but it's nice that he gave me a run for my money the first time around.

The music, well, I honestly forgot that Akira Yamaoka didn't do the soundtrack! I was very pleased with it.

My only major gripes that I haven't referenced so far are that the load times...my goodness the load times are ridiculous, though I have noticed that actual game cards load faster than the memory cards. That, and the actual character herself. I found her very grating, annoying and rude (I played the goth), and would've liked to have options for my responses since they keep beating us over the head with "This is your story" in all the interviews and such. Keeping in line with that, some sort of questionnaire a la Shattered Memories that would've allowed for varying stories to follow would have been nice, as I really don't care about Bryan or Brad or whatever his name was, and was a little disappointed that my grand quest began with the desire to get a promotion over him (a promotion that it honestly sounds like he deserved. Honestly, I feel sort of like a jerk, he seems like a really nice guy).

(continued)
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Now playing: Popful Mail (Sega CD), Lord of Apocalypse (Vita), Kingdom Hearts: DDD (3DS), Persona 3(PSP)
Eagerly awaiting: SH: BoM, Ragnarok Odyssey,Liberation
#2peacefulchaos(Topic Creator)Posted 9/27/2012 3:22:05 AM
My last last gripe, is that of the psycho rooms or whatever. I encountered the same one twice, which I imagine will change in the full game, and was told to try different things to get different outcomes. Clearly there is a good, evil and neutral outcome, however the only thing I could figure out to do was keep running into the ghost girl, which just made her yell at me and disappear a lot. Ultimately I scored neutral on both.

The atmosphere felt creepy, never downright scary, but creepy, and I wanted to stab Valtael on account of how creepy he is. Never knowing if I would be entering a lit room or a dark one added to the tension, as did weapon management. I'm looking forward to exploring more of this game in the future.

Some food for thought: Tom Hulett mentioned in several interviews that Konami told him that for the Vita game he had to include multiplayer, so all things considered I think he and Way Forward did a good job. My only concern is I'm seeing all of seven or so "karma moves", and they all seem really dull, so I'm hoping there's regular butt skill trees to unlock. It's not very Silent Hill like to do so, but a dungeon crawler needs to give me incentive to keep playing beyond "here's to stat points, dump em' somewhere."

I'm still looking forward to the game though, so, the demo did it's job and did it well! I hope you can save in between floors though...that was a looong demo!
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Now playing: Popful Mail (Sega CD), Lord of Apocalypse (Vita), Kingdom Hearts: DDD (3DS), Persona 3(PSP)
Eagerly awaiting: SH: BoM, Ragnarok Odyssey,Liberation
#3Neutron15Posted 9/27/2012 4:05:25 AM
didnt you post this on the vita board
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There is no method in this madness! Now who would want that, Who benefits from your madness? Make your survival mean something!
#4z3phyr_EXPosted 9/27/2012 4:10:37 AM
I really disliked how you had to let go of the stick/buttons to touch the screen when picking up items. Unless there was some sort of button that I missed...
#5peacefulchaos(Topic Creator)Posted 9/27/2012 4:26:56 AM
Neutron15 posted...
didnt you post this on the vita board


Didn't you post that on my post on the vita board? :P

Like I mentioned in the other topic, the main vita board gets a lot more traffic, so it made perfectly reasonable sense to post it on both.


@Z3phyr

I disliked taking my hand off of the face to grab items and felt it was an unnecessary mechanic, but since the game stops while you look inside of a chest I didn't mind so much then, and the only time I needed to use items or pick up a new weapon in the middle of a fight was against the Butcher and the fire boss. In both of those situations I felt like it added to the tension, which made the experience more creepy and intense for me. Then again, that's just my opinion.
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Now playing: Popful Mail (Sega CD), Lord of Apocalypse (Vita), Kingdom Hearts: DDD (3DS), Persona 3(PSP)
Eagerly awaiting: SH: BoM, Ragnarok Odyssey,Liberation
#6Fredrick2003xPosted 9/27/2012 6:35:28 AM
It seems like you thought it was alright, but then you need incentive to keep playing?
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Currently Playing: Penumbra: Overture (Frictional, 2007) - Silent Hill: Homecoming (Double Helix, 2008) - Dead Space (EA Redwood, 2008)
#7peacefulchaos(Topic Creator)Posted 9/27/2012 6:36:09 PM
Let me clarify; dungeon crawlers are built on two main focuses; finding loot and leveling up. Because Way Forward is trying so hard not to upset Silent Hill fans, who are going to be upset anyways, they really downplayed both of those things. Finding loot didn't really matter to me, because whatever really cool weapon I ran across was just going to break relatively quickly anyways unless I had a repair kit. Leveling up didn't play a very strong focus for me either because I didn't see any skill trees.


Overall I enjoyed my time with the game, but with as long as each level is it did begin to feel tedious since I felt that in terms of developing my character I didn't have a whole lot to look forward to. I did find some amazing things, such as the sword of obedience, the butcher's hatchet or a giant flaming sword for beating the demo boss, and you can increase your backpack size to be able to carry more weapons and repair kits with you. There's also a number of accessories you can obtain that increase your stats, so those are fun to look for.

I feel that these are things that can be corrected in the full game, however the larger problem I see is that there are only around seven or so skills, and those skills I'm assuming are the same for everyone, though I haven't played the other demo job class. The skills are hard to pull off, as you have to get a gem to do them and I only got one the whole time that I played, and they're not combat skills so much as the capacity to re-write the rules of the world. To give an example, the one I got in the demo allowed me to rewrite the rules of the world so that all blood enemies became light and all light enemies became blood, which makes it easier to gather karma.

Where I'm cautiously hopeful about this is that karma is used to pull of specials, and I never got a full meter so I'm hoping that maybe in the full game there are actually skill trees to unlock.

Overall I feel like trying too hard to please the fans is actually what will bring this game down; if Way Forward focused instead on making the best dungeon crawler they could make rather than trying to downplay gameplay elements to keep purists happy, I think Book of Memories would be stellar as opposed to pretty cool.
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Now playing: Popful Mail (Sega CD), Lord of Apocalypse (Vita), Kingdom Hearts: DDD (3DS), Persona 3(PSP)
Eagerly awaiting: SH: BoM, Ragnarok Odyssey,Liberation
#8dooms33kerPosted 9/28/2012 12:24:16 AM
peacefulchaos posted...
Let me clarify; dungeon crawlers are built on two main focuses; finding loot and leveling up. Because Way Forward is trying so hard not to upset Silent Hill fans, who are going to be upset anyways, they really downplayed both of those things. Finding loot didn't really matter to me, because whatever really cool weapon I ran across was just going to break relatively quickly anyways unless I had a repair kit. Leveling up didn't play a very strong focus for me either because I didn't see any skill trees.


Overall I enjoyed my time with the game, but with as long as each level is it did begin to feel tedious since I felt that in terms of developing my character I didn't have a whole lot to look forward to. I did find some amazing things, such as the sword of obedience, the butcher's hatchet or a giant flaming sword for beating the demo boss, and you can increase your backpack size to be able to carry more weapons and repair kits with you. There's also a number of accessories you can obtain that increase your stats, so those are fun to look for.

I feel that these are things that can be corrected in the full game, however the larger problem I see is that there are only around seven or so skills, and those skills I'm assuming are the same for everyone, though I haven't played the other demo job class. The skills are hard to pull off, as you have to get a gem to do them and I only got one the whole time that I played, and they're not combat skills so much as the capacity to re-write the rules of the world. To give an example, the one I got in the demo allowed me to rewrite the rules of the world so that all blood enemies became light and all light enemies became blood, which makes it easier to gather karma.

Where I'm cautiously hopeful about this is that karma is used to pull of specials, and I never got a full meter so I'm hoping that maybe in the full game there are actually skill trees to unlock.

Overall I feel like trying too hard to please the fans is actually what will bring this game down; if Way Forward focused instead on making the best dungeon crawler they could make rather than trying to downplay gameplay elements to keep purists happy, I think Book of Memories would be stellar as opposed to pretty cool.


I think the game has a prefect balance between rpg and survival horror conventions. My two gripes with the demo -and likely the released product as well - are that the story isn't dynamic or serious enough for a psychological game bearing the Silent Hill title and the featured content is likely not worth $40, but rather $20 or so.

Whether or not multiplayer catches on will make or break this game. Because let's face it, Book of memories is nothing if not an experiment into multiplayer for Konami.
#9Fredrick2003xPosted 9/28/2012 7:48:14 AM
Well the more you talk about the worse it sounds...

I'll still give it a try though, I tend to like terrible games somehow.
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Currently Playing: Penumbra: Overture (Frictional, 2007) - Silent Hill: Homecoming (Double Helix, 2008) - Dead Space (EA Redwood, 2008)
#10peacefulchaos(Topic Creator)Posted 9/28/2012 1:07:02 PM
It's certainly worth trying for yourself. It's difficult to explain, and when I finished playing the demo and moved on to EDF a few hours later, I really found myself wanting to play it again. I'm going to do a second run and see if now that I know what to expect, I'll feel any differently about it. Overall I didn't dislike my time with it, and will still be buying it, I just hope that there's more depth to the loot and skill trees than what I saw in my brief time with it.

If this is the TGS demo, it's possible that certain things were locked in favor of showing off only the most Silent Hill-ish aspects of the game. I find it a little difficult to believe that in the real game I'll complete an entire two zones and a boss fight without ever filling my karma, and I feel like the room with the ghost girl might have had certain options locked in the demo. Much of it felt like a walled garden, and for a lot of things it was pretty easy to see that features were locked such as job classes and customization options.

They also said in several interviews that there would be branching paths and alternating stories, so I get the feeling I'll get to have something else to be driven by than Derek in accounting in the full game.

Overall I remain excited and cautiously optimistic in the end, but it's really something you should play for yourself. You should play it twice if possible; I suspect I'll have more fun my second time around.
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Now playing: Popful Mail (Sega CD), Lord of Apocalypse (Vita), Kingdom Hearts: DDD (3DS), Persona 3(PSP)
Eagerly awaiting: SH: BoM, Ragnarok Odyssey,Liberation