Live Blogging: Silent Hill Shattered Memories

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Harry Mason is your typical American father attempting to raise his daughter, Cheryl. However, the young girl kept mentioning the mysterious city of Silent Hill. Curious to discover the connection between the town and his daughter, Harry takes her on a trip to Silent Hill. On their way, they get into a car accident after attempting to avoid hitting what seemed to be a girl wandering the dark roads.

Harry wakes up to discover Cheryl missing. He follows her footprints in the snow and ends up Silent Hill. His hunt begins to find his missing daughter but as his search continues, he discovers how hellish this quiet town really is.

7:47pm- Put game in Wii; attempting to browsing the menu while eating dinner.

This game contains a ‘psychological’ warning. Oh shi-

7:49pm- I am watching the introduction and am now realizing that this is the last game I will hear the glorious compositions of Akira in. I am sad now…

7:51pm- I’m not sure what I think about the title music for Shattered Memories… Of course it’s good but it sounds a bit different than his normal “Silent Hill” style. Still good though. Now let’s do this!

7:53pm- That’s cool. The menu for profiles and whatnot are set up like you’re watching a DVD of old family home movies.

7:54pm- So the open is a home video. Hmm… interesting…

7:57pm- So, the other therapists didn’t work out for me, but this guy I’m seeing now just drank some Brandy… So I’m relying on a drunk psychologist…?

7:58pm- Time to take a psychological quiz. I didn’t know this was Quizzilla!?

Anyway, this test is suppose to change per play through. I might start a second game later to test that, but for now, here’s my current questions.

  1. I make friends easily - No
  2. Having a drink helps me relax - No
  3. I always listen to other people’s feelings - Yes
  4. I prefer abstract ideas - Yes
  5. I have enjoyed role-play during sex - No
  6. Working to a plan or schedule is best - Yes
  7. I have cheated on a partner - No

This information is private… Oops! I just told the internet.

8:04pm- Ah… There’s the Silent Hill music I love oh so much!

The lighting effects of the flashlight are actually really good… and oh hey! The pause screen has an effect like a DVD. Nice.

8:09pm- Knowing this game is watching my every move… I can’t help but look at everything!

8:13pm- What’s this!? A horror game without every door locked…? Gasp!

8:14pm …the fuck was that?!

8:18pm- A gallon of gas is $2.69. Almost like it is here!

8:21pm- The key is in Jane’s jacket… Why!?

8:23pm- Mr. Milkie is missing… Oh noes!

8:27pm- Oh shi-! There is ringing coming from the Wiimote.

8:31pm- So I have Harry’s phone. You can change the ring tone… I spent like a few minutes just messing with that. I’ve also been calling random numbers.

911 does nothing!

8:35pm That phone number on that random billboard worked!

8:38pm- I drew a smiley face on Harry’s GPS. :3

8:40pm- I can now use the camera. Sup, Fatal Frame?

8:44pm- Hmm… Echo calls… Interesting…

8:49pm- That’s… Kinda… Fucked up…

What!? Why is it lagging!? This is a single player game!

8:50pm- Shit’s happening.

8:54pm- Enemies cannot be killed and they chase you… I have no idea where the fuck to go or do. Goddamn… It’s Call of Cthulhu all over again!

8:55pm- I died…

Oh thank you, Silent Hill, for just now telling me that the GPS will guide me through the path to take… Thanks a lot…

8:59pm- Sonvabitch… Died again… I both like and hate this panic feeling. It’s fairly good atmosphere but shit it’s frustrating.

9:03pm- Ok, so I found the way finally. My god… What genius “mindfuck” game design.

9:05pm- Only this picture can express my thoughts right now:

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9:32pm- After twenty minutes of coloring and another ten minutes of fumbling with a screwed up camera…

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9:44pm- How does one open car…?

9:48pm- Seriously… I can’t get out of this fucking car…

9:50pm- So… You can move around to different seats… I feel so stupid.

Rule #1 with the Wii: Waggle everything!

9:55pm to 10:02pm- Restroom plus snack break

10:04pm- Deer crossing. I will be disappointed if there’s no deer in this game.

10:15pm- What kind of First Aid kit has a key in it…?

10:24pm- Can’t find that Echo Memory… Screw it.

10:30pm- I think I found it.

10:35pm- There’s some weed drawings on the wall in the sewer. Gamer98, you in here?!

10:44pm- Kinda lost…

10:53pm- WHERE THE FUCK DO I GO!?

10:58pm- RAGE QUIT!

I don’t want to be spoiled before I get it this Christmas, but I do await your impressions (spoiler tag the sensitive stuff, of course.)

Also the theme is in my tag. <3

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Oh of course. I won’t give anything away plot wise. Mainly I’ll just be commenting on my psychological test and how the game kinda morphs to my play through since it’s different for everyone.

If I do say anything relating to the story, it’ll be in spoiler tags.

This has actually been (and remained) my number two most anticipated 2009 game since E3.

[quote=“Kumiko”]Oh of course. I won’t give anything away plot wise. Mainly I’ll just be commenting on my psychological test and how the game kinda morphs to my play through since it’s different for everyone.

If I do say anything relating to the story, it’ll be in spoiler tags.[/quote]

Oh yeah how the game morphs was something I was curious about. I kind of forgot about this game for a while.

Well, I’m a huge explorer. I never finished Oblivion because I did too much random running around and messing around. So I’m really curious to see what happens regarding my game.

So far I’ve messed with everything I can mess with and like I’ve been doing, I’ve been messing with the phone.

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I’ve played a few hours of Silent Hill Shattered Memories it seems. I must say… It’s been one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played in quite awhile. However, I can already foresee some issues regarding hardcore Silent Hill fans. I’ll cover that real quick before talking about the game itself.

Needless to say, Shattered Memories is the Silent Hill equivalent of Resident Evil 4. Newcomers to the series with no emotional ties to the previous story or characters will easily get into the new format. The characters are all very different. While Harry remains a caring father, he’s lost his more courageous attitude and has been “nerded” up a bit.

The city’s layout is completely different. The heavy fog as been replaced with pure darkness (which I will get into more later on) and large walls of ice. The classic Silent Hill feeling has been replaced with a more sudden panic feeling over paranoia and dread. Personally, the shift in atmosphere works well but I can already tell that fans will be displeased.

The major difference between the “classic” Silent Hill and this revision is the gameplay itself. The gameplay has been stripped completely clean and rebuilt from the ground up. Combat is no longer an aspect of the game. While it is true that it wasn’t a main aspect to begin with with the series, in Shattered Memories it’s almost nonexistent. Enemies are not killable, therefore, you’re forced to simply run for your life. This is where the previously mentioned “sudden panic” comes from. You’re constantly being chased throughout multiple scenarios where the game guides you by lighting up the path. (However, it also has fake paths that will lead you in circles or dead ends.) You can hide in some lockers or push over bookshelves to give yourself some time to get away. You can also use the Wiimote and Nunchuck to shake the enemies off of you if they jump on you.

Exploitation is the main focus of the game. Shattered Memories contains a psychological log that is suppose to make the game read your actions within the game and monitor how you react to situations as well as what you pay attention to. The game is then suppose to morph to fit around your psychological profile though I haven’t had a chance to fully test it out since I will need to play a second game and play it differently to compare my two experiences. It’s obvious that some items were placed within the levels to catch the player’s eyes. Most of them, you can tell just by looking at them what type of person it will imply you are.

Frankly, I’m highly interested in this feature. Especially when the therapist that you go to see (and is a bit of a narrator to the game) has you do little tests and exercises, like coloring my picture.

So it’s easy to say that Shattered Memories is a pure psychological horror game. The atmosphere to the game itself is alright. The pure blackness that surrounds you doesn’t really eat away at you as the fog use to since enemies do not hide out in it. However, the random moments when Harry picks up on events from the past can be creepy due to how disturbing they can be. Throughout the levels, his phone will pick up static and the flashlight will flicker. When you find the source of the memory (similar to Fatal Frame’s ghosts), you will uncover a bit more of the hellish past that the inhabitants of Silent Hill have.

Overall, as the game stands - as a revision to the series - it’s quite good. Everything works well. It doesn’t look bad and has surprisingly good lighting effects. Then of course, Akira Yamaoka finished its soundtrack before leaving Konami. The bottom line is that it’s a solid, enjoyable game. It takes a very interesting and unique approach to horror by revealing to us our inner selves over trying to scare us with a disoriented world.

Though I wouldn’t be surprised if hardcore fans end up hating it since it feels nothing like a Silent Hill game. Perhaps it would have been better to make this a stand alone game not tied to the Silent Hill universe in order to break away biasiness of the fanbase but even with how it is, it’s a very good game.

Anyone with a clear view of things saw this coming a huge mile away. Two miles, even.

Awesome. Thanks Kumi. We don’t see eye to eye on the RE franchise sometimes, but I know to trust your opinion of survival horror.

Yup, the worst one so far is the guy who did the Play Magazine review (shidoshi on NeoGAF) who, even though he admits it’s a good game overall, tints his review with overwhelming negativity due to how big a SH fanboy he is. The spends half the review essentially “blogging” about his past experiences with the game and how SM sucks because it doesn’t fit with them. (Read here.)

Yeah, I understand where the fanbase is coming from. Like I said, it was pretty much the same reaction I had with Resident Evil 4. However, I’d like to think that I was able to push aside my bias view in order to enjoy it and acknowledge it as a good game, because it was.

I’ve heard some people say this is more like an adventure game (point and click-ish) than “survival” horror because they took the “action” out. Your thoughts?

Personally, from just reading impressions and reviews, I think this stands as the perfect counterpoint to RE4. While both of them are essentially equal in what they did/are doing for their series, they each represent the extreme opposite ends of the “horror” spectrum, “action horror” and “psychological horror.” I was wondering if you think this as well.

Well as a survival horror game, it actually works very well since it focuses on the desire to survive. Harry isn’t a trained professional; he has no training with firearms so it makes sense that he doesn’t know how to use them and as I mentioned, in Shattered Memories they dropped his original Silent Hill attitude; he’s just your basic average father looking for his daughter. They made him a more vulnerable character which explains why he isn’t much of a fighter to begin with. In order to escape the enemies, you need to rely on the basic instinct caused by adrenaline and that’s to run for your damn life.

I wouldn’t exactly says it’s ‘point-and-click’ even though I guess you could argue it shares some characteristics with that genre. There are puzzles that need to be completed in order to progress, but then again, that has always been a characteristic even to the survival horror genre. Though I will say it does share with the adventure genre since frankly, I didn’t find the game to be very dreadful. It more or less seems like it’s going to dig within the player’s mind to toy with it. However, I haven’t gotten far enough yet to notice any changes within the game. If any have even happened yet…

I can see a debate rising for where it stands even within the psychological horror sub-genre. I say this because the Silent Hill series has always been known as a psychological game due to it’s atmosphere. It always contained very grotesque scenery that players found disturbing; characters suffered from mental illnesses and struggles which the game would reflect back to the player via the town itself. However, Shattered Memories isn’t quite like this… It seems to focus more on actual psychology over just disturbing the player.

I’m very curious to see what it reveals to me. I’m sure for some people who will play it, the results will be surprisingly stunning.

I don’t have a Wii so there is no way for me to play this, but I do like that you have to do a psychological test in the start of the game. It makes the game unpredictable. So if Harry becomes fucked up in the head by the time it’s over, it will be your own damn fault. What I don’t like however is the lack of attacking. Sure it makes sense that Harry won’t be a fighter BUT if something unexplained happen and seeing a bunch of monsters around, It’s kind of hard not to at least grab a “weapon”, anything would work. What about no guns but just everyday objects like umbrellas or knives. They wont do shit but at least you have a chance to get away when you are surounded.

Eh, don’t worry about it.

I’ll probably live blog later. I just kinda want to play right now.

Well the thing is that his daughter (in the trailers) was telling him that “you can’t fight them, daddy” so he probably took her word for it. The decision probably makes more sense in the game itself (and real life, if I saw one of those things I wouldn’t pick up a 2x4, I’d run the hell away. Especially if there’s more than one of them.)

You guys are giving wussy answers. You’re forgetting that this game centers around psychology.

You must take a look at the character himself and realize that he is at a very different emotional state than you and I. Hell, even all of us are very different. As Andrex said, he knows he wouldn’t fight. However, I know that if it were my daughter in danger, I would do anything - anything - to protect her just as I would for my husband. This is all based on our own beliefs and the way we see life due to our own emotional struggles.

Perhaps past events in Harry’s life have left feeling hopeless and defenseless. Especially when he has found himself in a situation that has him panicking and being delusional.

[spoiler]Hell, how do we even know these are enemies? Maybe it’s like the bugs from Indigo Prophecy:

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Maybe it’s all in his mind…

Or maybe they are really people trying to help him, but due to his mental state, he sees them as monsters which is why he panics to try to get away from them.[/spoiler]

So, I’ve noticed a change with my enemies.

They look more disoriented than before. Pieces of them are missing and they looked like jagged puzzle pieces being put together over being full humanoid creatures.

Sort of like your navigation skills amirite? :stuck_out_tongue:

Or maybe it’s representing how detached from people I can feel.

Hmm… We’re exploring high school now… This should be interesting.

So do you like “Always on My Mind”? And the soundtrack in general…?

It’s alright. I do like some tracks in the OST like:

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When You’re Gone and:

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Creeping Distress though I still prefer:

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You’re Not Here

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Hometown and:

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Nightmarish Waltz.