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Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Developer: Climax Studios Publisher: Konami
08 December 2009
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - cover art
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3.05 / 5.0
0.5
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213 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#2,273 All-time
#93 for 2009
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Releases 3
2009 Climax Konami  
Disc
XNA 0 83717 40085 1
2010 Climax Konami  
DVD
XNA 0 83717 20186 1 SLUS-21899
2010 Climax Konami  
Disc
IT 4 012927 064061 ULES-01352
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Tension and frustration are two feelings that blend into each other, which makes the burden of making a horror game a heavier one to bear. Many fault the janky combat and aimless exploration of the Silent Hill series, because these elements aren’t particularly fun. I know I’ve had my fair share of complaints, but I’ve still had a respect for the series because fun hasn’t ever been the goal for Konami. The same can be said of Climax Studios, developer of Shattered Memories. Where Silent Hill: Homecoming made the mistake of redesigning Silent Hill as a western-minded video game, SH:SM seeks to reimagine the series as an experience. It makes for the most original and enjoyable Silent Hill since SH3.

One gets the feeling that everything that happens in SM is intentional, from the deafening ring of your cellphone to the trying chase sequences (more on those later). It’s a very controlled experience that can be considered an on-rails take on the series. You are always limited to the path in front of you, the puzzle you have to solve is limited to a room or two, and item management is nowhere to be found. It could almost be considered Silent Hill for kids if it weren’t for the haunting atmosphere and sexual themes. In fact, the game resembles Zack & Wiki in that you are always using the Wii remote to interact with the world in a literal way. You hold the controller to your head for cellphone calls, you reach out and open cabinets, and always solve puzzles with the precision of the remote. It makes for one of the most original Wii games that makes good on the promise Zack & Wiki offered so long ago. It might seem like a gimmick at the outset, but these interactions bring you into the world and make you feel more vulnerable as a result.

It’s hard to make people care about a series as niche and redundant as Silent Hill, so I can’t blame Climax Studios for its marketing blitz that played up the idea of this being a re-imagining and breaking psychological ground with technology that monitors the player’s state and acts upon it. Honestly, neither of these ideas would have come to my mind otherwise. Firstly, SM plays like Silent Hill if it leaned more on the adventure aspect than the action. There are no boss fights and the majority of the game is played within segments of puzzle solving with no sense of danger. Depending on the environment and music, these sections can be surprisingly relaxing. Silent Hill veterans will undoubtedly feel a bit let down when they discover that the merciless sense of dread from past games is gone. However, there are nine chase sequences that add a bit of tension and inevitable frustration. Like the combat in past games, the chase sequences aren’t particularly fun and make the player feel out of control of the situation — not something you want in a video game, but has its own special result relevant to this type of game. Unlike combat, these sections are easier to forgive since they don’t have a direct comparison in other games. Also, you can’t die in SM, at least not in the traditional sense. Similar to Prince of Persia, failure in these sections results in a quick respawn to the beginning of a section. I found this to be a progressive choice, as Silent Hill is an experience and not one you want constantly interrupted by game over screens nor item management and map studying for that matter.

The psychological aspect of SM feels like a joke, if only because how Climax framed the game. It’s always at the forefront of interviews about the game, and, even worse, the game boots with a screen warning you that it will psychologically analyze you. That’s like if Uncharted 2: Among Thieves had a warning screen that it will attempt to have awesome explosions. The psychological sections don’t add up to anything more than plot segments that help change the tone, bridge gaps in the story, and decide the ending the player will receive. These sections help give SM its own unique identity, but it’s hardly a game mechanic that will be remembered for years to come.

SM’s biggest problem is that it reinterprets Silent Hill conventions and calls it a day. Once you hit the mid-point after 3 hours of play, you’ve seen all the game has to offer and it's not going to go out of its way to surprise. This is a major disappointment when you consider how ripe the game is for some Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem-type mind fuckery via the Wii remote speaker or the first person view, which is applied during dialogue heavy scenes. There are a couple standout moments, but SM is a one trick pony that soon becomes a comfortable thrill ride when it would be more successful had it been more daring and confrontational for its duration. Then again, I can’t remember the last time a game asked me if I was a virgin in high school.

SM is a welcome reimagining not only of Silent Hill but also the long stagnant survival horror genre. It doesn’t have the loftiest goals and it is far from having the scope and depth of a triple-A title, but there are so many great ideas at work that you can only imagine what it would have been with the resources of a bigger project. It’s the sort of game you wish was great instead of good and that you’d loved instead of merely liked. That’s still a lot more than I can say of any Silent Hill since the first three.
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Catalog

Doubloon00 Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2022-12-01T23:03:03Z
2022-12-01T23:03:03Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Arcwn Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2022-12-01T20:09:37Z
2022-12-01T20:09:37Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Serg__G Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2022-12-01T14:31:11Z
2022-12-01T14:31:11Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ChuckB Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2022-11-26T00:49:55Z
2022-11-26T00:49:55Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
mariana1999 Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2022-11-24T06:13:57Z
PS2 • XNA
2022-11-24T06:13:57Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LuxInterior_00 Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2022-11-23T15:03:44Z
2022-11-23T15:03:44Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
tuabuelaen4_ Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2022-11-22T05:12:55Z
2022-11-22T05:12:55Z
2.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
nibs_7 Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2022-11-19T06:20:46Z
PSP • IT
2022-11-19T06:20:46Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
KINGATMO Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2022-11-12T10:17:32Z
PS2 • XNA
2022-11-12T10:17:32Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
KrayZWT Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2022-11-11T17:55:12Z
Wii • XNA
2022-11-11T17:55:12Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
podunk Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2022-11-03T04:05:52Z
2022-11-03T04:05:52Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
nakedsquirtle Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2022-11-01T04:09:17Z
PS2 • XNA
2022-11-01T04:09:17Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
halloween
Content rating
ESRB: M
Player modes
Single-player
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1x Disc
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  • traumahound 2018-12-14 05:10:09.849256+00
    god this thing is so fake-deep
    reply
    • Juanjaramillom 2022-02-07 04:49:49.523903+00
      Fake-deep!? "I'll always will be* line always makes me cry...
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  • heavymetalthunder 2019-07-15 11:37:59.635111+00
    Hot Take: Better than original
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    • ... 2020-11-20 02:02:55.1619+00
      Downpour is better but they're both good games. Both would probably be regarded a lot higher if they weren't part of the series and didn't have the Silent Hill name to live up to.

      Shattered Memories has some really beautiful moments. The chase sequences can get in the bin though.

      Also, this isn't an American game, this and Origins were British games and Downpour was a Czech game.

      I think only Homecoming was the only main-entry American Silent Hill game.
    • Arinisonfire 2022-10-21 07:18:17.042803+00
      Origins is probably the least worst western game. It keeps the art style, atmosphere, and gameplay style from the Team Silent games and has Yamaoka's best post-SH4 soundtrack to boot. I personally can't stand Shattered Memories and think it's the worst or second worst of the western games. Homecoming is probably worse overall, but i at least get a laugh out of it, this one just makes me mad
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  • Illogic93 2021-02-25 15:24:16.167503+00
    Playing the game yourself and afterwards watching gameplay of shit that changes throughout playthroughs is pretty fascinating.
    reply
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  • Coldplaz 2021-05-26 09:02:22.219942+00
    Best western SH game
    reply
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  • NuEta 2021-09-24 19:46:39.518429+00
    Why do I always love the ones that you're supposed to hate?
    reply
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  • Arinisonfire 2022-07-16 03:22:40.783195+00
    You're a bad person if you think this is better than the original
    reply
    • heavymetalthunder 2022-09-30 18:30:30.394254+00
      😔 it is better tho
    • jdgardenback 2022-10-01 21:09:29.891245+00
      Good game? Yes. But better than SH1? Absolutely not
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