If you believed the comments sections of popular gaming websites then you’d know that the Nintendo Wii is a haven of awful generic rush job games with no value to any serious gamer out there. Any one that has actually spent a significant amount of time playing Wii games will be able to tell you that, while there are lots of basic games that may very well be of no interest to hardcore gamers, there are plenty of amazing Wii games that can appeal to adult gamers.
One such game is Konami’s remarkable psychological horror title Silent Hill Shattered Memories.
Silent Hill Shattered Memories is a remarkable game for a number of reasons. Firstly, this is arguably one of the best examples of how motion controls can enhance the gameplay experience; the Wii remote is used as your torch, allowing players to shine light on the dark surroundings, and it can also act as the protagonist’s telephone, with phone calls blasted out of the remote’s built-in speakers.
The second phenomenal feature in the game is the implementation of psychological analysis – at the start of the game your character is introduced to a therapist, and players are tasked with completing a series of psychological tests between chapters as they retell their ordeal. The first test determines the basic shape of the world and the people around you – if you say that you make friends easily then other characters will be more open and friendly, and if you disclose that you have been unfaithful in past relationships then the entire character model of one character changes completely.
Every chapter is shaped not only by how players perform in the tests, but in the way that they play the game. One famous example is that if you frequently enter the female toilets the game notices this and casts your character as more of a lecherous pervert. A lot of games cater the gameplay experience based on player decisions, most notably the Mass Effect series, but very few use passive observation in such a brilliant way.
There are so many other brilliant features about Shattered Memories that I would love to talk more about (the fact that it’s actually a reimagining of the original Silent Hill, that one puzzle where you had to make the mannequins get into weird positions and then shine your torch on them to have their shadow reveal the security code for a locked door, or the fact that there’s no combat in the game, instead encounters with enemies are more like a big scary game of kiss chase) but this is supposed to be a short article. If you want to see more of the game then make sure you watch the video at the start of this article or read our full review.
Silent Hill Shattered Memories is also available to play on PlayStation 2 and PSP, but we recommend that you pick up the Wii version, if only for the sublime motion controls… unless Konami happens to release a HD version on PlayStation 3 with PlayStation Move full trophy support. That would be the only way to improve this phenomenal title.
- Luke Mears