October 22, 2012
Silent Hill Book of Memories is a reinvention of a series that most gamers have come to know and appreciate. Instead of the classic game play, Book of Memories is given a Diablo type feel in this new dungeon crawling version of Silent Hill. WayForward Technologies has also incorporated a multi-player aspect to this dying franchise in hopes of bringing the series back to life and maybe adding new fans along the way.
Admittedly, I was never a big Silent Hill fan. I usually put down my controller after five minutes because I was too scared to move on. The second I started playing Book of Memories I kept playing for a few hours without being frightened enough to put my Vita down. Even though I didn’t find Book of Memories to be as scary as its predecessors some of the creatures and all of the bosses made me cringe just a little bit by the site of them which at least gives it a creepy factor. I encountered items and creatures taken from over a decade of Silent Hill lore. Yes, that means pyramid head returns once again!
Silent Hill Book of Memories is about your character who is approached by a mailman with a book. This strange book you receive is your entire life’s story with every memory up until that very moment. My first experience playing Book of Memories was by myself. The first time you load up your game you get to create a character and customize it which I think is a pretty neat feature. Once you start your game you and are given the book of memories, you learn that you can rewrite your entire life’s story and then you’re placed in an industrial looking room. You are asked to complete a quest by Valtiel, creature from previous games, which actually happens at the beginning of every zone you enter. There are 100 zones and that have their own mysteries to unlock in each room you come across. As you explore the large zones you collect experience points, discover lots of different weapons (which you can level up as you use them) and discover artifacts which help boost your attributes. You also acquire ‘memory residue’ which can be used to buy item’s in the game’s shop which definitely helps you out in the long run.
One of the new features added to the Silent Hill world is multi-player. At first, I was skeptical but after playing a few times online I actually enjoyed it so much I rather only play Book of Memories online now. I think the Diablo feel to this Silent Hill game really drew me in as well as the story that I still have yet to completely figure out since it’s very vague. In the multi-player there is no lag, voice communication worked perfectly, and the invite system worked great. I also liked the way the navigational map worked in multi-player. When ever my friend and I parted ways it would show me exactly where they were in case I wanted to catch up with them or have lost them.
When you die in both the single and multi-player you lose all your weapons in your hands but not the ones in your backpack. You lose your ammo, repair kits, health packs and even the keys you collect. Luckily in multi-player if you lose the keys the person you’re playing with acquires them and you also get to re-spawn in the beginning. In single player once you die you restart the whole area over again! I guess this is good for a challenge but I found it to be rather irritating at times.
I think that most long time hardcore Silent Hill fans may be angry about the release of this game. It has been getting a lot of backlash from a bulk of these fans since it was announced earlier this year. I believe this game is not made for the hardcore fan but instead geared for a newer generation of Silent Hill and dungeon crawler fans. Book of Memories may be a departure from the series but it definitely shows a great 4 player co-operative game play feature that all other PS Vita games seem to be lacking. I think Silent Hill Book of Memories is a good PS Vita game for any action RPG fan especially with its highly addictive multi-player.
RATING: 6.5 out of 10
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