Silent Hill – Book of Memories is one odd game (and yes, I got a Vita, deal with it.). Not odd in an expected Silent Hill sense of “man that was a fucked up story”, but odd in that it’s a weird isometric-viewed survival beat-em-up game with almost no real story behind it.
You play a random nameless custom character who has a mysterious not-Morgan-Freeman mailman drop a weird book off for you. You find that with this book you can alter people’s memories, which somehow also alters reality to match their new memories I guess. You also have to enter Silent Hill world through the book to physically fight your way through a bunch of monsters to accomplish these changes so it’s not really all that convenient of a process at all. I don’t know. The plot is rarely present in the game. Each set of levels has a different theme and centers around a different person who you want to change for various petty reasons like “oh no this guy got the job I wanted!” or “oh no this girl I like doesn’t like me!”.
As for the gameplay, it consists of you wandering around through various mazes made up of a bunch of interconnected rooms filled with random rewards or dangers (mostly dangers). You’ll face random monsters and traps that get increasingly deadlier and eventually gain weird extra traits with which to bamboozle you, like exploding corpses, disarming, burning, and etc. To make matters worse, you only have a very small amount of inventory space so you can only carry a few health packs and repair kits, your weapons will degrade with use and break, and pretty quickly too, AND you’re pretty much just stuck with whatever you brought with you to each level until you can find the shop in each level, which is also run by the mailman for some reason, and with how random the room placement is you could easily find yourself without a shop to refill your items with for quite a while. It gets pretty damn annoying in the later levels actually, with how big they get.
You don’t just have to find the exit either, you have to find all the puzzle pieces first, which you use to solve a puzzle that unlocks the exit door. Again, these are randomly placed, so you better believe you’re going to be searching that entire level every time. The main campaign goes on for 21 regular levels and 7 boss levels, but apparently just goes on possibly forever afterwards. You can just keep playing new randomized levels on and on for at least 500+ zones, last I heard, if not forever. There’s also online co-op, but ain’t nobody got time fo dat.
So I don’t know. As a Silent Hill game it’s not great, but as a weird survival beat-em-up game it was fun for what it was. It kind of feels like one of those games that started off as something else, but someone just got the bright idea of slapping Silent Hill names on everything. Not bad for a $10 portable game, but don’t go thinking you’re missing out on some great lost chapter of Silent Hill if you never play this one.