Sunday, October 28, 2012

Book of Memories, not your typical Silent Hill

Konami has provided us with another PS Vita title, and this time around, it is Silent Hill: Book of Memories. This entry is exclusive to the Vita and is the first entry to feature multiplayer in the form of coop. This isn't the first portable Silent Hill, but this is an entirely new type of gameplay, a dungeon crawler. That’s right the over the shoulder survival horror game has gone full top down Diablo style. Daniel Licht, the guy behind the Dexter theme, is the composer behind Book of Memories, but enough of how much is different, what did not change is the legion of enemies from throughout the franchise. The premise is simple, a strange book  is delivered by an old postal service carrier that strongly resembles either Morgan Freeman or an old Ving Rhames and this book is a story of your memories that can alter the past when rewritten.
Yeah we all know that story doesn't end well, especially when the title begins with Silent Hill. It’s no secret I am a newcomer to the Silent hill series, with my first title being Shattered Memories for the Wii. Though new to the series, I have always appreciated the series for the ambiance of the game, it is so dark and eerie that most of the horror just comes with the uneasiness of the soundtrack and environments. This is all still present, it seems the only difference is the camera angle and controls. This isn’t a bad change, it is very similar to when Killzone went top down on the PSP. It plays very much the same, and I loved Killzone on the PSP. I like this however even more, because the online coop is fun and works well, the touch screen controls are convenient, and you have to carefully manage your inventory.

I was left thinking that was all? It was on the short side with seven worlds in all, though there is a lot of replay value that will have you coming back with a friend or stranger to find missed secrets and kill with some bad ass weapons. The other issue I had was with how frequently the game saves, or shall I say lack thereof. Each zone is about a half hour long and depending on how far you make it before meeting your dark demise, it can be quite irritating. Choose your inventory wisely, because your character packs light and open slots are valuable, much like spots for repair kits. Of course, this is all upgradeable at Ving Freeman's shop, but at a high price.

I feel that this is another solid title that the Vita so desperately needed. With an increase of good games, comes more support, and like I said after E3, Konami is going to have a good year. While it is frustrating at times, it does add to the satisfaction of completion and makes for tough decisions, something I think more games lack lately. This may not be a title for those that like the previous title’s gameplay and are not into the dungeon crawler style. Me being a fan of both, find myself losing track of time for a couple hours at a time, now focusing on the coop, loot and customizable items for my character.

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