Thursday, March 18, 2010

Game Review: Silent Hill Shattered Memories

Silent Hill Shattered Memories.

In a word…wow.

I had never played a single Silent Hill game in my life, probably due to the fact that the really good games in the series are impossible to get. However, seeing how this wasn’t any particular sequel, I thought I would give this one a try. And thankfully I did, because it’s actually a really decent game, albeit with some flaws which of course I’m going to talk about.

Here’s the story-Harry Mason wakes up in a car crash with no sign of his missing daughter, Cheryl. He goes on a desperate mission to find her in the mostly-empty town of Silent Hill. To add to his difficulty, the town is in the middle of a snowstorm (which also serves as an annoying plot device from time to time), and it also doesn’t help that Harry's a complete pansy.

I’m serious. You will not fight once in this entire game. The game really has three modes-story, puzzle, and a desperate running sequence involving some kind of nightmarish creatures from time to time. During this sequence, the game tries to ‘help’ you by marking which doors to run through, but it tends to mark all the doors in the same building, so you will end up constantly running in circles. The only item that can help you is the GPS on Harry’s Iphone-if you have time to stop and whip it out before five nightmare creatures can doggy-pile on you, that is.

And speaking of Harry’s Iphone, it is the most incredible piece of technology you will ever find on this freaking planet. Even five hundred years in the future, it will still be light years ahead of its time. Why? Because sometimes during the game, Harry will find certain spots where high emotions have recently taken place. Not only can Harry take pictures of this emotion, usually showing a person, but he will then get either a text message or a phone call describing exactly what happened.

So let me explain this again for you. Say you’re an eight-year-old girl on a bench at school kissing a boy for the first time. Three days later, Harry can go to that spot, take an actual picture of you, and then get a phone call from you talking about that kiss. WOW! And…creepy.  That’s a pretty far stretch, game. Even the ending doesn’t explain how he is able to do this.

I have to touch some more on the good points on this game, and a big one is the interactivity. There are five different endings depending on what you do, but people’s clothes and attitudes also change on your choices in the game. My favourite part by far is at one point you are in a psychiatrist’s office, and the guy wants you to colour a picture of both your family and your house. Well, later in the game you go to that house, and it’s exactly how you coloured it earlier.

The story is pretty strong…for the most part. The game is suspenseful (suffering only a little from ‘changing music to insert scary scene here’ problem), and I simply love how an entire town acts completely normal, even when reality is literally changing around them. Unfortunately, towards the second half it does get pretty obvious as to how it ends.

FINAL GRADE 4 out of 5. This game kept me interested from beginning to end with believable characters, but the lack of fighting is a drag. Since there was no real challenge, I was able to beat this game in two days.

Upgrade now to the new Iphone 100gb! GPS, recordable memories you were never a part of, and a $10/month cell phone plan!


Sara-Jayne Townsend said...

Thanks for this review, Natasha! I am fond of creepy games on the Wii. This one's already on my listQ

Natasha Bennett said...

Thanks Sara! Right now I'm playing Silent Hill 4 The Room and...yeah, let's just say that it won't be a positive review. It's pretty much the complete opposite of Shattered Memories.