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Silent Hill Shattered Memories back to reviews
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A very heavy case of YMMV
It's taken me a long time to finally give Shattered Memories a try. I was opposed to the idea from the very start, due to my strong attachment to the previous games; to see characters you highly empathize with turned into sexually deprave, delusional men who have their motivations poorly retconned(possibly - but more on that later) into the same 'lol sexuality is scary' mold as Silent Hill 2 is not a fun experience. Seeing lovable, doofy Harry Mason become a character who looks like Vincent and who displays a truly astound display of neuroses is painful. Seeing what's happened to Cheryl is nightmarish; and if you were a fan of Dahlia's wacky nightmare fuel or Cybil's tough but good-natured demeanor - look elsewhere. In no other game from the Silent Hill franchise do I feel the designers have so successfully sought out to change things just to make things edgy and screw continuity just for attempted psychological scares - and having it feel like a knife to the gut with no real payback.

But on the other hand, if you don't have my interpretations and love for the original cast and continuity, it's quite possible you'll love the game. One of it's best features is that it does really try to find a way to get under your skin. Some people like that. Others find it narmy and offensive rather than scary. As a game, it does a lot of interesting things; the lack of combat is a rare but refreshing thing to see in a game, although I don't think it really worked well with Silent Hill. The puzzles, clues, and shout-outs where well thought-out and only hurt more, given that everything else seemed to be like a slap to the face; but again, if you can divorce this from the previous games or enjoy it for it's own merits and love it's predecessors, there are some great links to be found. And the Psych system was a neat gimmick, although again, I can't whole-heartedly endorse it.

Ultimately, I can't consider Shattered Memories a Silent Hill game so much as a regurgitated product, even more than 4. I didn't enjoy it, didn't really enjoy what it tried to do, and felt it was pretty much an attempt to milk the cash cow. The music was great, there was some interesting stuff - and its very much a game that your individual reaction'll shape. So, here's hoping you enjoy it more than I did.
I won't get into the whole "is it a Real Silent Hill Game" debate, but I wanted to note that Harry doesn't have to be sexually depraved, delusional, or neurotic. It's all down to the choices you make; if you focus on family and friendliness PI and avoid the sex/booze/etc., you get a Harry who is a nice guy who primarily cares about his family. That's what I did (since, like you, I have real trouble seeing him any other way) and I have no complaints about how that path played out.

Granted, given the playthroughs I've seen videos of online, I seem to be the only one who doesn't want to make Harry as much of a perv as possible.
comment #7398 bluepenguin 24th Apr 11
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