Review by dead_assassin
"This is Silent Hill....No I Was Asking a Question."
When I first heard about this game, and heard it was bringing back Harry Mason, I thought WOW! I was in awe. I was thinking "yes! Thank God!" I, being a huge fan of Silent Hill, was totally excited. The more I heard about the game as time went on, the more excited I became. Enhanced graphics? A psychology test that affects how the game plays out? A game where every choice you make matters and a game that "plays you the more you play it" and did I mention Harry Mason? I couldnt be happier. Well, thats what I thought. Not to spoil anything but my hopes were indeed a shattered dream more than a shattered memory.
The game follows, yes, Harry Mason after a car crash after a car accident, trying to find his daughter Cheryl. Alright, good. The graphics are beautiful, as promised. I was hoping this game would have been ported to the PS3 but that doesnt really matter in this case. Everything as far as gameplay, graphics and sound are perfect and really push the limits of the Playstation 2. After filling out the fun little psychology test at the beginning, which is always fun for me, you are put right into the action. Ok, Harry seems to have traded in his Jeep Wrangler for a station wagon. I guess I can get past that. The town sure looks gorgeous. The sounds are so crisp and realistic. Voice acting, character design, yes this all looks great. I sure feel I am getting my money's worth. Any enemies yet? No, hmmm I dont see any. Well maybe after everything turns to steel grating, blood, rust and creepy sirens. Cool, I get a cell phone that takes pictures and can make and receive calls. Freakin sweet! Oh look, the first monster! Wait a minute, ummm whats with the ice? Crap, I dont have a weapon! Oh wonderful, I dont get ANY weapons! You mean I have to freakin run from the enemies and escape through a specific door? Wow, thats a change of pace. I am used to whacking ugly demon kids with a steel pipe or even Yoda's light saber but I guess this can work. But the ice? Where is the creepy blood, body parts, all the freaky stuff that gave me nightmares since 1999??? Ok, benefit of the doubt. I will keep playing, hopefully this will work. Ummm, are there any other enemies than this same creepy thing that keeps outrunning me and giving me multiple unwanted hugs? Hey, thanks for the hug I guess. Have you seen my little girl anywhere? Hey, you're still hugging me! What kind of place is this?!!
Ok, a Silent Hill game lacking blood, weapons, fighting, sirens, and the Otherworld we have all grown to love despite the need for many therapy sessions. But hey, I get to color a picture of a house with a family and car outside. I admit, the therapy sessions are fun. Every answer affects everything, from the writings on the chalkboard, Harry's dialect and outfit, how he talks to people and what he says, and the endings. Many of you will still be bummed about the lack of fighting and the really creepy stuff like dismembered bodies pinned to fences, bosses, and general things that just mess with your head like ringing phones with no cords running to them,cats in lockers....well you all know what I am getting at. Is this game scary at all? Well, yeah. The chase scenes are frustrating yet scary. You will constantly be looking over your shoulder, freaking out because that damn creature is getting closer and closer. Praying you get to the door in time before it gives you the creepy hug. But you dont really have to worry, if you get hugged one time too many, you start right where you left off. Why wont Harry die? You'll figure it out soon enough.
Graphics: 10 (out of 10) These graphics are gorgeous. I dont have a single complaint. They are the best I have seen not only in a Silent Hill game, but on the playstation 2 itself. They rival that of Silent Hill Homecoming's (which was a GREAT game.) The graphics are what really make this game, if nothing else. I guess you can think of it as a remodeled/revamped Silent Hill, but I dont.
Sound/Music: 10. These guys knew what they were doing. Playing Silent Hill with the sound off is like watching a Halloween movie with the television on mute. The music and the sound is what scares the crap out of you. It sets the mood, which is exactly what it is supposed to do. Though they do not quite rival the original music and sounds of the original Silent Hill, they certainly work here.
Gameplay/Controls: 8. The controls are insanely easy. Since you cant fight anything, you just have to learn how to walk, look at items, open things and run like hell. Very simple actually. That is the only other thing that makes this game appealing and sets it apart from any other Silent Hill game, having to systematically open doors or use items a specific way. But this feature is what makes it the most fun on the Wii, not the PS2. So this feature would be alot more useful and score higher on the Wii console. If you have the Wii and the PS2, get the Wii version hands down. They got lucky this round.
Scare Factor: 3. Sorry, this game really isnt that scary. What is the standard of Silent Hill fear? BLOOD. GUTS. BODIES PINNED TO FENCES. DEMON CHILDREN. THOSE GOD AWEFUL SIRENS!!! None of which is in this game, unfortunately. Run, Harry, Run. They are gonna chase you and there isnt a thing you can do about it but run. It almost makes you hate the chase scenes. Ok, I hate the chase scenes. They are the least appealing thing about the game.
Replay Value: 7. You probably will be compelled to play the game a different way, answering questions differently to see how differently Harry acts, but that is about the only reason you will want to play this over and over.
Rent or Buy? Tricky. It all depends on how hardcore of a Silent Hill fan you are. I bought my copy and I want it in my collection, being I have all the other Silent Hill games. But some of you that have just one or a few of the games may find this game tireding after a while and will probably end up trading it in. But like I said originally, dont get your hopes up about Harry Mason returning. Do yourselves a favor, if you dont have the original, go on the playstation network and download Silent Hill for ps0ne for about $7.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/08/10
Game Release: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (US, 01/19/10)
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