Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Review

Today I have posted a review of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, which I urge you to go read forthwith. My work-related horror game slump continues, and to tell you the truth, I haven’t actually played Shattered Memories yet. Instead, this review is written by one of my best friends, Casey Richardson. Casey is an authority on video games, and we’ve played many of the games on this site together (including, at my urging, atrocities like Michigan and The Ring: Terror’s Realm). Today he’s provided a through review of Konami’s latest Silent Hill entry, which has caused my interest in this game to increase ten fold. Check it out.

Thanks Casey!

19 thoughts on “Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Review

  1. http:/
    Great review Casey! Your closing comment is amazing and this game has moved from a “potential” purchase to a “must buy”, for me, because of it:).

  2. So… imagine a certain persone does not have a Wii, is there actually anything wrong with the PS2 or PSP versions? Anything different content-wise?

    I have to admit I’m not really impressed by the PSP version, though. It doesn’t look good even by PSP standards and, as I learned with Silent Hill Origins, playing with a PSP in the dark is a surefire way to give yourself a headache.

    On the other hand, I don’t think the PS2 version has been released yet.

  3. Garamoth,

    While I didn’t play either of the other two versions, here are my thoughts on the topic. Shattered Memories was designed for the Wii and many of its design choices can’t be duplicated on the other two devices.

    I imagine the content is roughly the same, but at the loss of a lot of functionality. Sometimes ports can be better than the original. For example, Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition had some really nice improvements over the original GameCube version. However, I’m 99.99% sure this is not the case with Shattered Memories on the PSP/PS2. I would avoid them because they’re not going to be the correct experience.

    If you don’t have a Wii and won’t be getting one anytime soon (or at all), I think you have basically two options. You could just skip the game entirely, but if you’re a fan of the series I would suggest you give it a spin. You could rent it and play it with a friend or relative that owns a Wii. Just keep in mind playing this with others isn’t exactly ideal, because this a very personal game.

    (Also, thanks, Mad Scientist.)

  4. I’ve been playing on the PSP version and enjoying it. I own a Wii, but in a house of 3 small children, I hardly ever get any time that I could play a horror game on it without scarring the wee ones for life. By getting the PSP version, I’ll actually be able to finish it in under a couple of months.

    The PSP version controls great. L to look behind you, R to zoom in and look around, D-Pad for cell phone stuff, and the face buttons for running, using stuff and the like. You lose some immersion & walking while waving the flashlight (I read they increased the power of the flashlight in the PSP version to compensate), but on the plus side, you also lose some of the frustration of the Wii controls (no worries about the shove not registering correctly).

    The game looks a lot better in action than it does in screenshots. Oh and loading is next to nothing (I’m playing the PSN version on my Go) – there’s a tiny pause when opening doors and the occasional couple second load and that’s pretty much it.

    Anyway, the gist of it is that if you want a portable horror game or don’t own or intend to own a Wii, the PSP version of Shattered Memories is a good choice. It’s not a quick and dirty port by any stretch – Climax Studios obviously knows their way around the hardware & they did a good job of adjusting things to work with the PSP controls.

  5. I enjoyed Shattered Memories, but it had the feel of an adventure game. Not that this is necessarily a negative thing, but it’s certain a new direction for the series.


    The PS2 version was released on Jan 19th. I’ve played and completed it twice so far. In my opinion it’s actually easier and more enjoyable than the Wii version. You move/strafe with the left analog stick and turn/look/flashlight with the right, it’s very intuitive.

    Also unlike in the Wii version where you have to shake off the enemies by shaking the Wiimote, in the PS2 version you simply press the correct button that displays on the screen. on top of that, if you can tell which direction the monsters will attack you from, you can be ready for when they do attack you and get them off right away.

    As an example… if you run past a monster and he’s following behind you, be ready with the X button because X will always shake off a monster that grabs you from behind.

    I found the game to be extremely easy to get through… perhaps too much so. It wasn’t scary at all… but it was definitely atmospheric.

    High production values and good replay make this a must have. Though not scary, it still maintains the Silent Hill “flavor”. I just hope that in the future they will do away with separating the chase scenes from the exploration themes and make them much more conjoined and fluid.

    I LIKE to be scared while exploring.

  7. “Those interested in storytelling and atmosphere are going to love it. Conversely, those interested more with action and scares are probably going to hate it.”

    that’s it. that’s the bottom line of the article. unfortunately, I belong to the latter group.

  8. Casey, do you ever read the forums here? We have a pretty lengthy thread on Shattered Memories in there with quite a few naysayers in the later pages. 😛 I admit I was a little brutal on the game, but I really, really didn’t like it (even the plot), and actually found the graphics to be one of the game’s strongest points!

    Different strokes for different folks, as they say, just wondering if you’d seen our thoughts.

  9. Alright, just bought the PS2 version and gave it a first spin. Things are starting on the right foot but…

    Man is this game ugly. I know the PS2 version is some kind of afterthought compared to the Wii version, but still. There are so many visual artifacts: jagged edges and textures popping all over the place. There are weird blotches appearing over Cybil’s face during cutscenes… unintentionally creepy. Plus, the graphics aren’t that great to begin with: they’re considerably less detailed than those of Silent Hill 3 or 4 and that was seven years ago. Shattered Memories on PS2 is barely on par with Silent Hill 2. It’s distracting how ugly the game is.

    The fact that they’ve also added intentional graphical glitches doesn’t help at all, so much so that it’s hard to pick out the real from the fake.

    So yeah, Wii is obviously the definitive choice by a long shot.

  10. Hey Carl.

    I don’t really read the forums, but I can totally understand the game has many detractors. While I think Shattered Memories has captured the spirit of the Silent Hill series (essentially psychological horror), it does it in such a vastly different way that it’s probably off-putting to most. Most people don’t mind changes in direction, but only within a certain comfort zone. This game is well out of comfort zone, it’s in the screw-it-let’s-just-do-this zone.

    Silent Hill 4 had this particular problem. It had the potential to be the series’ best, in my opinion, but there were so many poor design choices, ultimately it was a total failure.

  11. I’m all for trying different “boots” of Silent Hill, I just hope that alternate difficulty settings return. I have had to give up on Silent 4 and 0/origins because I can’t finish them (I’m not a very good gamer). I just enjoy the atmosphere, puzzles, and story of Silent Hill and wish I were able to finish those two installments instead of watching walkthroughs on youtube.

    Playing Homecoming now, and although I enjoy the new combat system I’m having to rely quite a bit on gamefaqs to help me with strategy, and that takes some of the fun out of it. 🙁


    I’m all for trying different “boots” of Silent Hill, I just hope that alternate difficulty settings return.

    There’s no need. There’s no combat so no need to alter combat level and the puzzles are dead simple. The only one that gave me any trouble was the bubble gum puzzle, and that was only because I didn’t know you could hit the machine to change the colors of the gum balls.

    But you should get a real thrill out of this installment, Nat, if you’re in to it for the story.

    Great review Casey, it’s a tricky game to talk about without spoiling any of the fun for someone who hasn’t played it yet, and you pulled it off.

  13. Thanks for the info-I’m definitely looking forward to the story. I just have to find time to finish Homecoming first (along with the slew of other horror games I’ve bought but not played, heh heh).

  14. I am a huge Silent Hill fan. Loved the original and Silent Hill 2. I have tried and played through most of the rest. Still in the middle of Origins, but it’s not too bad. That being said, I cannot say this has been a great experience for me with Shattered Memories. I can’t get past these cheap Otherworld scenarios, and I mean that literally and figuratively. It invokes some thrills and scares when the monsters are chasing you, but the button mashing and near impossibility of beating these sequences just detract from the fun of the game. The story seems interesting and I like some of the changes. Heck, I even like the fact there is no combat, but the chase sequences could have been more thought out. I am probably going to get rid of it, due to the frustration and difficulty, which is a shame because this is the first time I’ve given up on a Silent Hill game. In my opinion, they did some things right, but one of the biggest flaws is such an important part of the series. Too bad..

  15. I am literally on both sides of the fence with how I feel about it; I love it and I hate it at the same time.

    I think my biggest complaint was that the game felt like it didn’t even matter that it was taking place in Silent Hill. That fact entirely felt irrelevant, it could have happened anywhere, no big deal. Even 4 and Homecoming felt like Silent Hill actually mattered, whereas this game never really gives off that impression.

    On the other hand, I really enjoyed the exploration and manipulation of the story. Any complaints I might have had in this area were doused after I reached the ending… it made me appreciate most of the things I had before disliked with the way the story went compared to the the original.

    Ultimately, I do like this game and don’t regret that it was made, but I still wish that someone that actually cares about the original game will make a true remake of it one day. If this is a re-imagining of Silent Hill, Siren: Blood Curse seems more and more like an actual remake of Siren.

  16. I’ve been waiting for this game for so long: the frustration of the constant UK release date changes has been too much to bear! Finally released today and Amazon haven’t been able to ship due to supply out stripping demand. The local HMV (record store) had only 4 copies in stock so I had no choice but to spend my lunch break picking up a copy. Can’t wait!!

  17. Apologies for the double post. I’m two nights into the game so far and I’ve just spotted the sign for the Midwich school. I’m really enjoying it and trying not to clear it too quickly!

    I love the atmosphere and the interaction. The graphics are great. There are two flaws for me so far: the font size when you receive a text message is so small I can’t read it (does anybody know if you can zoom in here?!) and the unresponsive nature of the controls in The Nightmare. So far, these flaws aren’t enough to put me off.

    I’m finding it a scary ride so far: the increasing static, the phonecalls and the thrill of the chase are all pretty involving. So far it’s definitely a worthy addition to the franchise 🙂

    PS If anyone knows how to zoom in or increase font size of text messages that would be much appreciated!

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