Silent Hill: Book of Memories

3 Overall Score
Gameplay: 3/10
Graphics: 4/10
Sound: 3/10

Lets clear up one misconception to start, Silent Hill: Book of Memories, is NOT a Silent Hill game by most accounts. Aside from the iconic creatures and Silent Hill references, this game takes a turn towards a top view adventure game that focuses on looting, puzzles and challenges.


“A dungeon looting game on the PS Vita? Count me in!” was my initial reaction to the game’s premise to the gameplay.

The gameplay consists of a few basic elements, the first of which is collecting keys. Now unlike the Silent Hill series, a single key doesn’t open a single door. Instead, each key will open any locked door and disappear from your possession, as if the door gods willed it away.

The next element is challenges. Challenges are presented in different rooms in order to gather the puzzle pieces required to solve the end level puzzle. Up until where I played the game (Zone 4), all the challenges basically required you to kill all the monsters, although one to my recollection did it with a time limit, hardly variety if you ask me.

Next, a puzzle at the end of each level needs to be solved to move on to the next Zone. You can find a single hint to help you stashed away in one the dozens of the cupboards. Puzzles consist of re-arranging a few similar items in a particular order, mostly making it impossible to solve the puzzle without the hint, which means it’s impossible to progress without ravaging all the drawers and cupboards, as if to find your 2nd sock before you can leave your home.

There are a few ‘Scare Rooms’ that tried to introduce variety in the game but never really fit in the game nor did they entertain me.

A few hours into the game you realize the gameplay elements enter an infinite loop, only separated by meaningless and rare story and boss segments. It was at that point that I decided to stop playing the game, since the game has failed to retain my attention and it started to feel like a chore playing it.

I was hoping for the game to better utilize the flashlight and darkness system, as the amazingly looking Silent Hill Shattered Memories did. But I realized that you can play for hours straight with the flashlight off. Weapons break and will require you to repair them using a spanner tool, which can be found throughout the levels or bought from the mail man (don’t ask). So if your found this awesome legendary weapon from a boss, and you forgot to fix it using a spanner, it simply breaks and you lose the weapon.

Special abilities were awkward to use, you need to collect blood stains (yes you read that right) from fallen enemies, white blood stains move you towards a good (healing) type of special ability where you tap on the back of the Vita to sap health and damage enemies while red blood stains move you towards evil abilities such as Blood Rain (with some tacky effects). This game mechanism was tedious and confusing, it was like an obstacle course and I felt like I was in the rain avoiding water puddles, since if you aim for white blood stains and you pick up a red one it will reduce from your target meter.

Stats and upgrades felt like a novelty rather than a main game aspect as you would expect it in a dungeon crawling game. This is where the game falls flat on it’s face, imagine if Diablo II had a horrible stats system that made points in any skill feel like they didn’t really matter. Upgrades on the other hand felt like they mattered, but in the end it was to add more ammo, spanners and other expansions of broken gameplay elements.

Even more annoying are the invisible traps and triggers, that would harm or trigger and completely disappear until you step on them again. They leave no traces and no way of knowing where they are, other than relying on your memory and a relative sense of direction.

The game ultimately had you infinitely scouring cupboards for spanners, keys, hints and running around bloodstains and invisible traps. All the gameplay elements never came together and felt like many floating ideas under one game title.

Sadly, I was unable to create or join a multiplayer game, so I can’t give my comments on that aspect of the game.


The game has the right elements to make a good looking game, but the finishing touches were overlooked, making this game an average looking one. Models and textures are mostly well done (albeit the lack of variety), and the main character is customizable but had nothing exciting to look at for too long.

The basic lighting system is well done although its a shame the gameplay never really takes advantage of it, as mentioned earlier. Animations are decent but can glitch in bothersome ways, like a character running through a door before the the door opens (clipping through the door), or the annoying fall animation of your character that reminded me of GTA3 pedestrians being run over.

Each several Zones stick to a single theme and the rooms are pretty much copy pasted all around a few dozen times. To be frank the enemies failed to make me feel like I should be scared or cornered by them. The game felt like a big, bland and boring maze rather than the legendary Silent Hill’s eerie, scary and memorable locations. What a missed opportunity…


When I want to hear the most out of my handheld games, I always plug-in a headset. Be sure to do that, since all the handhelds I have ever used never were able to deliver the game’s full audio quality.

The classic menu sounds gave me great memories, but also high expectations of the game if it was to replicate the feel of the original Silent Hill. Some of the classic sound effects were clipping because of the high audio levels, almost causing my ears to bleed when I get caught off-guard (that noise or buzz you hear with low quality audio recordings)

Walking on different surfaces didn’t sound different. Basically walking on watery surfaces, wood, gravel and stone all sounded the same. When using some weapons, sounds were triggered before the animation even happened, and in other instances the audio would glitch triggering two attack sounds before one attack is completed.

The reason why I nitpick here is because these are just a few examples in a sea of inconsistencies and shortcomings.

Some music on the other hand sounded good, and I for one liked the menu music. The main menu and Multiplayer lobby music was dark and puts you on edge, setting a great mood before starting a game.

Unfortunately the in-game music left me with a bad taste in my mouth, as it didn’t fit the theme of gameplay at all. Special moves also triggered annoying music tracks that abruptly ended when the move ends.


Silent Hill Book of Memories is a title that was not fully realized before it’s release. A complete redesign for the game would be required if Konami is to convince hardcore players to indulge further into the game, a great start is to look at what makes other games of the same genre better (Diablo, Path of Exile …). The gameplay and stat elements of the game require the most reworking to make the game more enjoyable and engaging for players. With enough tweaks a re-titled sequel of this new series could sell like hot cookies, I for one would love to dungeon loot on the go! If you really still feel like buying this game,  I recommend trying the Demo first to see if you like how it plays.

Please refer to our Score Guide

Image Sources:
Canadian Gamer, Just Push Start


Author: DoCWaSaBe View all posts by