The Silent Hill series has kept us on our toes for more than decade with its survival horror genre. Now Konami has changed the gameplay up a bit with the latest title for the Playstation Vita by entering into the action-hack-and- slash RPG arena as Silent Hill: Book of Memories. Will true fans of the series be as receptive to this significantly new change?
At the start, you assume control a character who possesses a book with a list of memories. These actually turn into nightmares, in which case you’ll have to navigate your character through various zones. Specifically, you will go from room to room as you pick up weapons and slash away at enemies. You’ll notice the familiar “faces”of Konami’s horror fun. For instance, the enemies return from previous games from the Silent Hill series, such as the nurses and Pyramid Head.
As you dive further into Silent Hill: Book of Memories, the zones gets progressively more difficult. Depending on the weapons you hold, your ability to survive will be affected greatly. Now the hack-and-slash aspect can get repetitive in time. So the amount of enjoyment you can get out of this heavily depends on how much you appreciate this type of genre.
Nevertheless, you have the RPG aspect where you can make your character level up and gain experience points for every enemy that’s killed. Afterwards, you will be taken into a screen where you get to adjust your stats on various aspects, including strength, intelligence and vitality. While the hack-and-slash aspect may be a potential turnoff to some players, the RPG feature will most likely captivate their interest levels.
Every few 4 or 5 you go through, you learn about some of the characters’ psychological story. In effect, the theme and enemies in these zones changes accordingly. If you progress further enough, you will face the most inner part of your character’s mind, which is represented by a boss. Once you successfully complete, you will move to the next story and learn even more about your character.
Engaging in a multiplayer affair is a must for a hack-and-slash game. That is the case in Silent Hill: Book of Memories where you can play up to four people at the same time. And if you’re unable to find friends to join you, there’s no worry. As long as you have access to an online connection , you’ll be able to jump in and play through the zones that’s already in progress. Not only does this feature help retain the fun factor of the game, but the content itself manages to stay fresh. Specifically, the zones within the online mode are different with that in the single player.
There are a few things going against Silent Hill: Book of Memories. For one thing, the loading times can get quite annoying especially for those who are impatient. Hopefully this could be improved in future patch updates perhaps. Another setback is how bland the graphics and environments can get, especially with the limited variety of color that you would see on screen. While the frame rate and textures are acceptable, the amount of colors on screen and the level design fail to make the graphics department shine.
But overall, players who are seeking a horror game for their Playstation Vita should have a look at Silent Hill: Book of Memories. It does have its downfalls with its repetitiveness and bland appearance. However, Konami’s attempt in changing the Silent Hill game into a hybrid of RPG and hack-and-slash may attract the right players. If you get the chance, try out the demo before you dish out the current price of $39.99 in the Playstation Store