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Silent Hill Book of Memories PS Vita Review - -
Silent Hill Book of Memories
Reviewed by
Ash Pinch
Silent Hill Book of Memories PS Vita Review. Book of Memories is a spin-off title and is fairly successful in the process, it takes a shift in mindset to enjoy for fans but there is a great deal here for those willing to make this change.

Gameplay 6.5
Graphics 7.0
Sound 7.5
Value 7.0
Distributor: Mindscape
Review Date:
Nov 2012
Ash Pinch


Silent Hill Book of Memories

The Silent Hill series has gone through peaks and troughs throughout its existence.  It has had  a great deal of difficulty in returning to its former glory, as has much of the survival horror genre in general.  Book of Memories takes the series in a new direction with the game play and moving away from the traditional psychological horror that Silent Hill is known for.

The story is focused on a player defined character finding a book containing all of his/her memories in great detail.  The character then decides to see what would happen if they changed some things in that book.  The world then goes into typical Silent Hill territory where creepiness and weirdness ensues.  Fans of the series may enjoy the story, keeping in mind that it is a spin-off and not a strict following of the Silent Hill universe.

The game play has gone through the biggest shift the series has seen since its inception.  Book of Memories ditches the usual third person perspective in favour of an isometric overhead camera with hack n slash combat.  There is little suspense with fighting creatures with this new take.  Some rooms even require that you defeat all the enemies before you can move on.  The game play is fairly fluid and works, but fans of the series will likely be disappointed with this shift in focus.  This shift will not appeal to the hardcore Silent Hill fans, but for those who enjoy the universe and hack n slash adventures this change may be seen as a positive.  Silent Hill is not exactly renowned for its controls. 

Book of Memories is also the first in the series to feature RPG elements.  These were fairly limited and did not really offer much to the whole experience.  You can also equip artefacts to boost certain attributes.  There are a number of collectibles through the various levels.  In order to pass each level a certain number of puzzle pieces must be collected.   Book of Memories is essentially a dungeon crawler that is featured in the Silent Hill universe.

The combat has changed dramatically, moving away the everyman character type where the character is not a seasoned action hero.  There feels as though the enemies pose very little threat in Book of Memories, being able to defeat rooms full on even the first level.  Two weapons can also be equipped, or a single two handed weapon.  There is also plenty of ammo around, another major change and altering the weight of when the guns are actually used.  The rooms that are behind closed doors are blacked out, this does bring back some of the surprise of what is through that next door.  But there is very little atmosphere in the levels as a whole, this is what is missing most from Book of Memories.

The graphics are simple, with simple models of all the characters.  A bit more could of been done n this respect.  The animations are smooth and everything runs at a steady frame rate.  The levels look good, the backgrounds attempt to create atmosphere and the style has been taken from previous Silent Hill games, but there is just something missing.  The style does suit the shift in focus towards a dungeon crawler though.  The areas are highly detailed, but I would have liked to have seen more with the characters.  I did really like that the torch was needed to look around most of the rooms, this was a bit of a throwback to previous installations.

The sound effects are well done, this has always been one of the strengths of the Silent Hill series and here is no different.  The voce acting is generally well done, with occasional hiccups, but overall was effective. 

Book of Memories will disappoint those purists who are not happy with the changes made to the series.  For those looking for a dungeon crawler RPG based in the Silent Hill universe this is absolutely ideal.  The story will likely be enjoyable for those who like the Silent Hill universe and are willing to give this a try may be pleasantly surprised.  Book of Memories is a spin-off title and is fairly successful in the process, it takes a shift in mindset to enjoy for fans but there is a great deal here for those willing to make this change.


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