Shadow of Phoenix

Respect for Games

Shade’s Review of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Posted on this Site: Monday, March 28, 2022

Originally Published on Friday, January 23, 2015 at https://shadevideogames.blogspot.com/2015/01/shades-review-of-silent-hill-shattered.html

Climax Studios, developer of Silent Hill: Origins, created the next game in the Silent Hill series: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
The game was released in North America on December 8, 2009 for Nintendo Wii.
It was released in Europe, Australia, and Japan in early 2010, and ported to PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable.
Returning development members include Tomm Hulett (producer), Mark Simmons (director), Sam Barlow (writer), and Akira Yamaoka (music).
Shattered Memories was the last Silent Hill game that Yamaoka had involvement.
 
I’m reviewing the Wii version of this game.
I have yet to play the PS2 and PSP versions.
Shattered Memories is a good Wii game.
It has good graphics for the system it was primarily made for, it controls well, and it has no loading screens.
Like every video game, though, it’s also not without its issues.
 
Shattered Memories was created as a re-imagining of the first Silent Hill.
Players control Harry Mason once again.
Like the original, he is searching for his missing daughter Cheryl in Silent Hill after a car crash.
The analog stick on the nunchuck moves Harry, the Z button makes him run, and motioning the Wii remote moves the flashlight and camera at the same time.
Once more, there are no switching camera angles like the older Silent Hill games.
The camera always stays behind Harry unless the down button on the d-pad is pressed to look behind him.
 
There are therapy sessions at certain points in the game.
During this time, the game switches to first person mode, and only the Wii remote is used.
The motion control is used to move the camera, and to move objects.
These sessions are part of what effects the game.
 
The game utilizes the Wii’s motion controls wonderfully.
This includes opening doors, moving objects, and many more actions.
Motion control is definitely the focus of Shattered Memories.
The problem with Shattered Memories is that it’s classified as survival horror, but it’s not really a scary game.
 
Throughout Shattered Memories, a bad snowstorm is occurring in Silent Hill, and the nightmare takes over by freezing the entire area that Harry is in.
Changing from snow to ice is a cool effect in the game, and it’s a shifting nightmare similar to Silent Hill 1.
One problem is that the ice world isn’t scary.
It’s a cool idea for this game, but, if the creators wanted to scare players with the ice world, it’s not very effective.
 
The monsters are not scary either.
They start out as featureless human shaped creatures, and later change shapes depending on the actions of the player.
Monsters changing shape based on the player’s actions is really cool, but the monsters themselves just aren’t scary.
 
Harry has no away of fighting the monsters.
There is no combat whatsoever in Shattered Memories.
I personally don’t mind no combat in a horror game.
The problem with no combat in Shattered Memories is that it makes dealing with the monsters more frustrating than anything.
 
When the ice world takes over and the monsters come out, players must hightail it to the exit back to the normal snowy Silent Hill.
The monsters will constantly grab Harry, and players have to perform the actions shown on-screen with the Wii remote.
It’s gets very annoying.
Harry can hide inside or under something, but the monsters always find him and drag him out.
It’s best to just keep running until you reach the exit.
Flares do help in keeping the monsters away from Harry when they’re lit.
 
Another problem with the nightmare (ice world and monsters), is that it’s predictable and a little dull.
The monsters only attack when the ice world takes over making the normal world boring at times.
There is also nothing to do in the ice world except to run to the exit.
I think there are one or two parts where a puzzle has to be solved in the ice world, but that’s about it.
You can explore as much as you want in the normal world, but there are very few chances to explore in the ice world.
Predictability and dullness take away a big part of what makes a horror game scary.
 
VHS static on the screen indicates that Harry is taking damage from the monsters.
The more static on the screen the closer Harry is to dying.
Radio static also plays when the monsters are close.
There is no inventory, no health items to heal Harry, and, of course, no weapons.
Harry’s phone is used to have access to the map, save the game, take pictures, etc.
One issue is the map.
The game never has a map that shows the inside layout of the building you’re in.
It only shows the town’s map, and marks outside doorways of buildings.
 
There are some puzzles in Shattered Memories, but I didn’t find them very difficult.
Only a couple require some thinking.
There are objects to collect called mementos.
As far as I know, they don’t effect the outcome of the game in any way.
They’re just collectibles.
Lastly, like Homecoming, Shattered Memories has on-screen button prompts as well as white arrows to point out objects that Harry can use or pick up.
 
I understand the need to show on-screen actions that players need to perform to push enemies off of Harry.
On the other hand, having a button prompt to open a door, or a white arrow above an object to perform an action is a little aggravating since they are obvious actions that Harry needs to do.
I understand that developers most likely want button prompts, objects to be pointed out, and directions for people who don’t play video games often.
It would just be nice if they would have the option to turn off these indicators for those of us who don’t need them.
 
Replayability in Shattered Memories is a little low.
The only incentive to replay the game is for the five endings.
There are also three possible conversations Harry can have with a character at the end of the game.
There are no difficulty levels, no extra gameplay modes, or anything like that.
The game says that it keeps a psychological profile on the player, and it changes the game based on the player’s actions.
When I first read about this gameplay mechanic in previews of the game, it sounded complicated, and that it would give me a reason to play the game over and over to see the many different ways the game changes.
 
I read about the characters’ looks changing and monsters changing shapes, but I also imagined many different ways the game could have changes such as meeting different characters each time.
Or, the nightmare would take over a certain point in one playthrough, but not take over at that same point in another playthrough.
Maybe the environments could change more somehow besides just snowing outside and turning into an ice world.
Things like that.
Once I played the game, it was obvious that it’s not as complicated as it was advertised, and the game doesn’t change that much.
 
Players’ actions that determine the outcome of the game are the choices made in therapy sessions, what you look at while playing Harry, and instances of going inside one of two possible places.
For example, in the beginning of the game, Harry can either go into the diner or the bar.
Going into the diner or the bar can be a factor in determining the outcome of the game.
These actions determine how the characters look and how they talk to you, the shape of the monsters, and the ending.
I think the phone messages received are effected too.
Everything else remains the same.
It’s simple to figure out how the game changes by finding out the requirements for each ending.
 
Shattered Memories makes for a very good Wii game.
I would recommend it to gamers who own a Wii.
It isn’t scary, and the replayability is low.
But, it utilizes the motion control well, and some players will find that it has an interesting story.
As for Silent Hill fans, I would say to judge the game for yourselves.
Some fans debate about whether or not it’s truly a re-imagining of Silent Hill 1.
I see most of the characters, some places, and few story elements in Shattered Memories as a reminisce of Silent Hill 1.
Other than that, I think of it as an entirely different game.
I can’t recommend the PS2 or PSP versions since I haven’t played them, and I don’t know how well the game controls on those systems.
The Wii and PSP versions should not be hard to find for around $10-20.
The PS2 version looks to be more expensive at around $30 or higher.