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Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

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Posted 05-05-2010 at 09:43 AM by December Man
Updated 05-06-2010 at 04:54 AM by December Man

Another long overdue blog post.

I have to admit that I was pretty hyped up for this one, since the changes, which I thought were needed after SH4, are plentiful in the game. Unfortunately, as good as some people claim it to be, it did not live up to my(not so high, truth be told) expectations.

Let's start with the story, an element, which I think, is the most important in a Silent Hill game.

It could've been better. The beginning and, especially, the ending, are excellent. Everything in between is poor; the story is very thin, barely anything happens. However, the twist at the end is so good, unpredictable, and sheds a whole different light on the plot, it saves it from my wrath I like to analyze such plot twists; whether it is possible to predict them earlier on. I found that it is virtually impossible to do so here, unless one is a professional psychiatrist IMO.

Atmosphere and scariness. First one rather good, second one not so much. Actually, the game was not scary at all to me. The game is clearly divided into two parts: the calm, foggy, "monsterless" and the chase sequences, thus you know when you "should" be scared and when not. Even during the chase scenes though, the game fails at scaring you. It is adrenaline pumping, but every good action game does that. Furthermore, these scenes can be frustrating and irritating, due to labyrinth like nature of some of the sections - one can pull out the map, but then you can't run, which means you're screwed.

The riddles are very simple and straightforward, a downgrade compared to previous SH titles. Embarrassing when you remember the riddle in SH3, which on hard difficulty required one to have deep knowledge of Shakespeare's masterpieces.

The much advertised psychological test is very good overall, but there are some hitches now and then. For example, the one where Kaufmann determines whether you have enough sex. You only have enough when you put all cards in the sexual category. Leave one in the non-sexual and you apparently need more snoo-snoo. This doesn't make much sense, when you look at the cards. I want to know the person who associates skulls with sex. Or, on second thought, maybe not.

The only part I can't argue with is the massive replayability based on the choices in the test.

Overall, I'm a bit disappointed. It's not a bad game by any means, but it had so much more potential. Any Silent Hill or just a survival horror fan, should try it out, though. I think it's worth at least a rent.
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