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Review - Silent Hill: Book of Memories

PCN Review: Silent Hill: Book of Memories
Posted on November 2, 2012 by Shak
 

To complete a zone you must figure out a puzzle, which at first is quite entertaining and mixes up the gameplay, however after doing two or three you soon notice a pattern. Each puzzle involves the exact same method to solve them, which can become an annoyance, because you find yourself asking, why would these puzzles ever need to exist for a doorway to open? After completing three Zones you have to fight a large boss or a "Guardian" battle. These are by far the most entertaining part of the game, and the character designs for each enemy is very detailed, helped by the sheer size of them in comparison to you.

The saving grace of Silent Hill: Book of Memories is its gameplay and the layers upon layers of systems it has, covering all four corners of the Vita's 5 inch screen. This includes Weapon degradation, Two-handed weapons, Left and Right handed weapons, combo executions, Karma-like meter that unlocks special powers, charms/artefacts that buff your stats, and the list goes on and on. The depth of this game is overwhelming at times, but what opens up a large amount of variety is customizing your character with half a dozen attributes. This ranges from the usual Vitality and Agility to Intelligence and Mind. The majority of this game plays like an Action RPG a-la Diablo, but with a more active fighting system, that keeps you engaged at all times. The limited ammo you receive for projectile weapons and degrading weapons that can be repaired if you have the correct items in your expandable backpack, help to make the game more exciting to play.

There is a multiplayer component to this game, but it hasn't been thought out very well. The multiplayer can be played online or via ad-hoc, and is basically a co-operative gameplay mode where another player can help you play through a certain stage. The biggest problem with this multiplayer is that both players must start playing the stage from the beginning, and another player cannot jump in at any time. If one player quits the game, he/she will not be able to begin playing exactly where he left off. This is a cardinal sin when it comes to co-operative gameplay, and really ruins this mode. I cannot see anyone playing this mode for very long.

The Silent Hill franchise is notorious for its survival horror, and even more-so for its horrific and disturbing enemy designs, and sadly Book of Memories falls short in both these categories. The enemies featured include many of the classics, but the three-quarter/isometric camera angle is based too far away to see any detail, and the size of the Vita's screen doesn't help much either. The story is arranged in small snippets that do not convey the gravity of the situation and all in all this game feels nothing like a Silent Hill game. Hungry Vita owners who are starving for a new game should definitely give this a try and Silent Hill fans may be able to get a kick out of the new approach, if only the rest of the game was as good as the combat.

6.0
Graphics
Looks decent for a Diablo-esque game on the Vita, but models are not very detailed apart from main bosses.
6.0
Sound
Voice acting in some areas is great, but sound effects sound a little dull and music is not the best.
7.5
Gameplay
Good gameplay, but not what any fan of Silent Hill has come to expect. If you enjoy Diablo-like games you will like this game also. Co-op is a disappointment.
7.0
Replay Value
A relatively long game for the Vita, and multiple endings give you an incentive to replay, but it looks unlikely that you ever will.
6.3
Overall
A nice try at re-inventing Silent Hill, but it's not really a Silent Hill game. Still worth checking out though, as the game itself is quite fun once you get the hang of it.
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Silent Hill: Book of MemoriesSILENT HILL: BOOK OF MEMORIES
Publisher: Konami
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Genre: Action RPG
ESRB: Mature 17+
Release: 2012-10-16
Wished: 0
PCN Rating: 6.3

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