Review by dragonkyn20
"If you're expecting a portable horror title, look elsewhere."
Silent Hill: Book of Memories is a spin off of the successful survival horror franchise. However, the only thing it has in common with it's namesake is only the name. If you're looking for a horror game for your vita, this is not the one.
Book Of Memories starts you off at a character creation screen, where you are given the choice to enter your name, choose your class type (which are based on social cliques you would normally see in high school, such as jock, prep, goth, and a couple others) and are given the chance to customize your character a bit further (changing hairstyles/color, accessories, etc...)Personally, I haven't seen any difference aside from pure aesthetics. Once you create your character, you're then given a mysterious book from a mail man (which you may find familiar if you've played Downpour) which has every memory you ever had. So being an experimental person that you are, you try to erase a memory in the book and pretty much all hell breaks loose for you as you are drawn into the book itself and into your own personal nightmare.
Game play wise, it plays more like a Dungeon RPG rather than it's fore bearers. You explore rooms, find items/currency (called memory residue that is used to purchase items and accessories to customize your character), and kill monsters with various weapons you find. As you kill monsters, you gain experience and eventually level up, giving you an opportunity to increase your stats by spending points. You are also given various missions that can boost whatever rewards you gain for clearing the dungeon. To top it all off, you can even play online with other people, so there is replay value.
Unlike the previous titles where you are given the opportunity to run from enemies, Book of Memories highly encourages you do the opposite so that you may strengthen your character for the obstacles ahead. You are given the chance to either fight with your fists, or to dual-wield a variety of different weapons by using either the square or triangle buttons, while the circle button is used for blocking. When you use your weapons enough times, you can level up their proficiency, increasing the amount of damage they can do. However, each weapon (aside from firearms) have a durability rating that will slowly decrease as you them, and eventually they will break. This can be prevented by using a tool kit item to repair it (which can either be found laying around or by buying it). But keep in mind that you can only carry one tool kit at a time, so use it wisely.
Now then, is it a good game? While it isn't exactly the Silent Hill experience a lot of people have been asking for, it does a decent job for what it's trying to be. Whether or not it's what you're looking for is up to you, but if you're tempted to buy it, download the demo and give it a test run. For me, I wasn't really disappointed.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/18/12
Game Release: Silent Hill: Book of Memories (US, 10/16/12)
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