|System: Wii, PS2, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Climax Group||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec.8, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Pointing the flashlight works well, and there are quite a few other interesting uses of motion controls to be found in Shattered Memories. You'll encounter many puzzles while trying to find your daughter, most of which make good use of the motion controls. Most of the puzzles you'll find will require you to pinch or hold an object, which is handled by pinching the Wii Remote by pressing the A and B buttons simultaneously, in order to be able to maneuver it. A good example of this is a window that you'll need to open in order to get into a high school. You'll need to grab hold of four nails, pull them out using the motion controls, and then grab the window and swing up in order to open it.
Shattered Memories gets many things right in the story and gameplay departments during the majority of the game, though it manages to get just as much wrong in the nightmare segments of the game. Whereas in the original Silent Hill, when things got rusty and blood-covered during these portions, in Shattered Memories everything freezes over and the game's monsters come out to play. Since there's no combat in the game, you're reduced to simply trying to run away from these creatures in a desperate attempt to find the exit point for the nightmare. Standing in your way are the monsters that will latch onto you from in front, behind, to the left, or to the right. Once they're attached, you'll be unable to move until you shake the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in the correct direction to dislodge them. The responsiveness of the controls here is quite lacking, as it can take several over-exaggerated gestures before the game will actually pick up on it.
To help out somewhat, blue lines will outline doors and ledges that can be used, giving you a quick visual reference for a place to run to. However, while the explorative parts of the game were rather linear, these segments are full of multiple doors and paths to get lost in and confused. To make matters worse, pulling out your cell phone to reference your map is virtually suicide, as you are forced to walk when your cell phone is out. You are also unable to use your cell when hiding in closets or under beds/tables, when trying to get a brief respite from the chase to regain some composure or to lose trailing monsters. Even if you do hide in an attempt to lose some of your pursuers, they'll never actually go away. They just keep walking around where you've hidden until one eventually pulls you from your hiding place and the chase begins again. What you're reduced to is a frantic, directionless running spree full of while constantly being tackled by enemies and hindered by shoddy motion detection until you either find the correct destination by random chance or the monsters eventually take you down and you're forced to start over again from the beginning.
The nightmare segments of this title, truly, are unnecessarily frustrating, and serve as the only major blemish on an otherwise enjoyable game. Unfortunately, there's no way to bypass these infuriating segments and memorization isn't always a guarantee for success, so if you want to enjoy the rest of the title, you'll likely just have to retry them again and again until you get lucky. Still, the game is good enough that it is worth slogging through these nightmare segments in order to get the full experience. The moody visuals and the soundtrack from renowned composer Akira Yamaoka are great and exactly what you'd expect from a Silent Hill title. The psychological testing bits are also quite interesting and add a ton of replayability and variety to the game. If only the good aspects weren't constantly polluted by the aggravating nightmare portions, Shattered Memories might have been one of the best Silent Hill's yet.
CCC Staff Contributor