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Top five reasons Silent Hill: Book of Memories will suck

Sections: 3D, Action, Adventure, Features, Genres, Handhelds, Horror & Suspense, Lists, Vita

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I heard about Silent Hill: Book of Memories and was instantly intrigued. As more details come out, though, it feels more like the game might be a complete betrayal of the franchise.

I will say there is one really good thing about it: The story.

You receive a book of your life and find out that when you change things in the book about your past, you change reality. That’s a great premise eve if it is used a lot for horror, sci-fi and fantasy. There’s a lot of great potential with that storyline, especially within the Silent Hill universe.

Now, on to the bad.

5. Format of the game

While it is a great premise, there’s something missing here. It’s called survival horror atmosphere. The format of this game, from what it sounds like, is going to be more like if The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords went to Hell. They turned it into a multiplayer action role-playing game. That is just wrong. There is a defined atmosphere to the world of Silent Hill. That atmosphere should be attributed to the genre, which was standard Japanese horror. You can try to mix and match genres, but it won’t always work. It might’ve worked as a Survivor Horror FPS. A pseudo-Doom 3 presentation would probably work incredibly well for what they’re trying to do.

4. Multiplayer

This is something that is difficult. There are a lot of ways that they can do this. Only one of them will work. The problem is that one of the great things about the series is the sense of isolation. Out side of yourself, there might be about 10 characters in total outside of the monsters. With two or more players, that gets a bit awkward. This is especially true since apparently multiple Otherworlds will be a feature. Who sees what Otherworld at what time? There’s another question that pops up with the idea since the Otherworld in Silent Hill is one that is largely built up on perspective, which will be covered in the next section. Another problem that pops up with it is actually coordinating playtime with a group can be difficult.

3. Multiple Otherworlds

Again, it’s difficult. There’s a lot of ways to do it. Only one of them can actually work. The blessing is that the one way that can actually work is for a multiplayer game. However, the problem is that the game could go in a lot of different directions. It really depends on how much control the developers give you in changing your past. The reason is that the town of Silent Hill is interpreted differently by each person. So no two people will see the same thing, unless there’s a leveling system. If there’s a leveling system, the person with the highest level would have their shifting Otherworld take over. There’s the best and only truly viable option.

2. Common monsters

One of the things that the developers have brought up is the fact that they’re using items and monsters from pretty all of the previous Silent Hill games. That is supremely irritating. I mean let’s face it. It’s a missed opportunity. I mean since a lot of it’s going to be done through online play, just have all of it online play and have the different possibilities of original monsters or aspects of monsters to mix and match on a group of servers. It would open up a lot more in the way of possibilities for new monsters. I’m really not asking for much. I just want something original. Even just an original spin on pre-existing monsters, like new looks and abilities depending on how you change your past, would work better than just flat out having all of the monsters in the franchise history showing up.


1. Action

There is no way that I cannot get pissed off at this. There already seems to be a bit of an emphasis on action rather than the story and atmosphere. I cannot say my feelings about the vibe I am getting from this any simpler than just a loud resounding “NO!” Yes, horror can have action. However, if you’re dealing with the ideas that Silent Hill deals with, action shouldn’t be one of the key selling points of the game. The only reason that the action should be smooth and a selling point to a Silent Hill game is if you’re playing someone who is either a very proficient serial killer or if you’re playing someone with military training. Then it would make sense to have an emphasis on action. It would even make sense to have the action as a selling point. Beyond that we’re dealing with everyday ordinary people who have no experience and training. I’m not saying that there should be no action and only running, because then we’d have a broken game like Shattered Memories. However, the focus of the franchise should never be action.

Bottom Line…

If the game is shaping up to be exactly what it’s sounding like, Book of Memories will fail. If I got a PS Vita, would I still get the game? Yes, because I’m a fan and I do want to see what they will do. It’ll probably be worth a shot. Hopefully the story is good enough to stand up on its own though. If it is, the game will actually be tolerable. I’m just afraid that with the current information that has been released on, it’s not going to be enough to save the game.

Also Read [Joystiq]

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