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Silent Hill: Book of Memories Review


Slient Hill Book of Memories is a bit of a departure from other games in the series. For one, its emphasis is no longer on survival horror, but instead it's more like a dungeon crawling RPG. Another change is that the game includes multiplayer - yes you heard that right. But the main question has to be, is it any good?

The beginning of the game sees you create a character using a set of basic tools, most of which are based on a high school persona, such as Jock, Geek or Bookworm which give you the chance to choose the character to suit your needs. There isn't a great deal of choice here other than skin tones, hair, clothing, but it's enough to personalize your character the way you want him.



After you have created your character it's time to begin, with the first thing you see being a dodgy looking postman whose doing his job by delivering you a mysterious book. The result of this is that your character then starts to dream of a violent underworld and you soon find yourself in what can only be described as the Silent Hill version of Diablo.

One of the first characters you meet in this world is the Valtiel, who'll give you the very first mission, which happens to be to find a shop. You'll generally meet this Valtiel at the beginning of each chapter, which each of his missions varying in difficulty. Once you find the shop you'll be met with a familiar face, yes it's that postman again, except that's not his role in this world, here he is the shopkeeper, supplying you with the tools you need to slay various monsters and pass through the chapters.

The main aim of the game is to find the puzzle pieces spread throughout the chapter and then solve the puzzle, allowing you to progress. Finding puzzle pieces is easy enough to begin with. Generally you are given a task in order to win the piece you require, be it to kill all of the enemies within 60 seconds or kill an enemy without losing a set amount of health. These challenges are fairly difficult, although they are made a lot easier by finding and making use of the various weapons spread throughout the game.

 

Each weapon you find does have a limited lifespan, although there are plenty spread around the various rooms for you to find. Weapons are assigned to two face buttons with the L button used to targets enemies. The enemies themselves should be recognizable to anyone who has played Silent Hill previously, such as Air Screamers, Nurses, Needlers, Tremers and more. They all offer a great challenge, especially when in large groups, with each surrounding you, meaning you'll have to take them down as fast as possible whilst also keeping an eye on your health.

As you defeat enemies they'll drop both memory residue and karma. The former you can use in the Postman's Shop to buy new weapons and equipment. Karma meanwhile comes in two forms, Light and Blood. Collecting Light Karma gives the story a more positive feel, while collecting Blood turns the story darker. You'll obviously only want to collect one type of Karma, although sometimes you'll be forced over the wrong puddle when in the heat of battle.

Throughout you'll also find Relics which can enhance your characters stats, although you'll also do this as you level up. In addition to memory residue, you'll also be able to collect notes which for a large part of the story. There are around 100 of these spread throughout the game so you'll need to make sure to keep an eye out for them. Finally, there are also TV's to find, which broadcast short messages, adding to the mystery behind the game.

Mixing things up a little you'll also come across Forsaken levels in each chapter, which offer up an odd mystery for you to solve. Each room has three different gradings depending on who you react to the situation, which could earn your items or karma.



Graphically Silent Hill Book of Memories is a real mixed bag. At first I was wondering what I was looking at, since the game really looked like it belonged on PSP thanks to its bland environments and poor character animation. As you get into it though, things really start to impress, especially the lighting, with the protagonist's torch glinting off each surface and enemy, really adding to the otherwise dark nature of the game.

So what of multiplayer? Well, here you basically play through the same levels with up to three other players, except this time you have help, which is obviously a great bonus if you want to get through the game a little faster. The great thing about online is that it seems to be pretty smooth, generally offering a lag free experience even when there are four players on the screen at once alongside a whole load of enemies.

Reading the above, you'd think Silent Hill Book of Memories is a pretty good game and to be honest, you'd be right. It might not be the best looking game on the PS Vita, but it's sure a whole load of fun, especially when you connect with others online and go through this nightmare together.

Silent Hill: Book of Memories may just have become the first decent, dungeon crawling RPG for PS Vita. Now that's a sentence I never thought I'd hear myself say when I started playing.

Words by Joe Anderson.

(Version tested: PS Vita)

Pros

Immersive gameplay
Silent Hill 4 player multiplayer experience!


Cons

Disappointing graphics at times
Poor character animation





Edited On 02 Nov, 2012

Comments
( 16 )
yoda soldier's avatar
yoda soldier 4 years ago
I don't know why they have made silent hill a dungeon crawler, If this was a survival horror game it might have made my think about picking up a ps vita.
AvatarIII's avatar
it seems to me like this game has been hurt by being a Silent Hill game, where it would probably have been given a lot more slack if it were a new IP, however if it were a new IP it probably wouldn't sell very well. I've never played Silent Hill, but a lot of the enemies are pretty iconic, and as a non-fan, I'm definitely considering getting it (after a price drop), where I probably wouldn't be if it were a new IP.
AvatarIII 4 years ago
Shnoorum's avatar
It would definately lose a lot of slack from me if it were a new IP. I want the old SH back. Throwing this in my face is just rubbing salt in the wound, reardless how fun it may be
Shnoorum 4 years ago
Datastatic's avatar
Datastatic 4 years ago
Another one that I like the sound of but the price is wrong on (not from Shopto) if this was £20 I would be playing it now.
adwan's avatar
adwan 4 years ago
Sounds like it could be a good game, and something probably very suited to handheld, but like Datastatic, I'm not wholey sure if it is worth the punt of £35. This is where the Vita is failing. It's bringing good mobile games just at too high a price point. Put this and probably all Vita games at the £20-£25 mark (no more than £30 for a AAA game) and it will probably sell very well.
Datastatic's avatar
With Vita it seems to be a case of waiting. They release it for £35+ an you know that eventually its going to be cheaper in a few months. Marvel vs Capcom was £40 for ages, you can get it for about £15 now. If Ass Creed, Need for Speed, Little Kings Story and this had been £20 each I would have bought all 4 instead of none of them (though NFS is going to happen at some point). So instead of spending £80 on Vita games I have spent nothing. At least Sony are doing something with cross buy. I didnt have a lot of interest in Battle Royale but will more than likely pick it up now as its essentially 'buy one get one free'. Y'know like Need for Speed should have been.
Datastatic 4 years ago
adwan's avatar
Again though, with Battle Royale, it's probably worth waiting for a price drop to buy the PS3 version. As is the trend with games at the moment they very rarely do not drop to £25 mark within a month of release. One thing that baffles me though is that Vita games are going on the PS Store for £39.99 (AC & NFS:MW both did yesterday) yet retailers are still charging almost the same. Normally they are at least £10 cheaper than the store price but not with Vita games.
adwan 4 years ago
HappyNoodleBoy's avatar
HappyNoodleBoy 4 years ago
I gave the demo a bash a few weeks a go and wasn't impressed. Mind you, I did go in with certain expectations given the Silent Hill name being attached to it. IMO this is another Vita game that would probably be better of as a download only title. There doesn't seem to be enough to justify a full retail release
Anonymous user's avatar
Holly 4 years ago
This game looks ok, but really, a dungeon crawler Silent Hill? I played the old games back in the day and never would have guessed a step in this direction. Still, I can't really judge until I try for myself so I have downloaded the demo from the PS Store so that it's there for me to try when I do eventually get a Vita.... as long as it hasn't got the weird mannequin spiders from the new film. Seriously, went to see it on Halloween and it freaked me out. Mannequins and spiders have got to be the creepiest things ever, but together? Shudder.
Anonymous user's avatar
Holly 4 years ago
This game looks ok, but really, a dungeon crawler Silent Hill game? I played the old games back in the day and never would have guessed a step in this direction. Still, I can't really judge until I try for myself so I have downloaded the demo from the PS Store so that it's there for me to try when I do eventually get a Vita.... as long as it hasn't got the weird mannequin spiders from the new film. Seriously, went to see it on Halloween and it freaked me out. Mannequins and spiders have got to be the creepiest things ever, but together? Shudder.
Shnoorum's avatar
Shnoorum 4 years ago
I
Shnoorum's avatar
This was not intended although I think I hold a very good point here
Shnoorum 4 years ago
Shnoorum's avatar
Shnoorum 4 years ago
I will try it eventually but only preowned. It may sounds arrogant but I certainly don't want to support SH going down this road at all. It was such a respectable franchise but the new develepors have cheapened it into something boring and tacky feeling. Regardless if I enjoyed the last Silent Hills or not, this isn't the Silent Hill I want
Kettle11's avatar
Kettle11 4 years ago
I would prefer if the team used the time and resources to make a scary Silent Hill game, but it's hard to argue that this is good fun and would get much more praise if everyone didn't run around blindly shouting "THIS ISN'T SILENT HILL!". When you compare it to the 3DS counterpart - Heroes of Ruin - this is arguably much better, and not as repetitive or problematic. It isn't a scary Silent Hill game, but they've made good use of the history of Silent Hill. There's a difference between making an action game and trying to be a horror game (Resident Evil 5, for example), and knowing that you're making an action game while adding the necessary parts of horror (like Book of Memories and Resident Evil 6).
shiny miller's avatar
shiny miller 4 years ago
I haven't played a Silent Hill game for a quite a few years, but this does sound disappointing. It actually read as quite a negative/matter of fact review, albeit with a more positive summary, but I think even when it drops to a budget price I'd be skipping this.
Joe2120's avatar
I'm slighty on the fence with it. It's fun in places.
Joe2120 4 years ago

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