Silent Hill: Book of Memories for PS Vita: A New Angle on Silent Hill

42 0
Silent Hill: Book of Memories for PS Vita: A New Angle on Silent Hill
Silent Hill: Book of Memories for PS Vita: A New Angle on Silent Hill

I’ve got a gaming confession to make: I’ve never played a Silent Hill game. Never really had much of an interest in the series, even… until now. Silent Hill: Book of Memories is a Survival Horror Action-RPG coming to PS Vita later this month. Like chocolate and peanut butter, this is a mashup I can get into. After sampling the game at PAX Prime, I met up with the game’s producer, Tomm Hewlett, in San Francisco to find out how Konami plans to please fans of both genres.

Jeff Rubenstein, PlayStation.Blog Social Media Manager: How do you adapt an incredibly scary survival horror series into this action/RPG format? Why did you choose this genre?
Tomm Hewlett, Game Producer: We heard about PS Vita, and we really wanted to make a Silent Hill that was specially suited for that. We really wanted to experiment with multiplayer. Survival horror is a very particular genre, but with PS Vita’s online capabilities, it just made sense to do multiplayer here. So we started to experiment with different gameplay styles, what was kind of compelling, and through a long random assortment of events and demos, we came across a dungeon crawler, action/RPG thing which is really compelling with multiple players. Phantasy Star Online does it, and Diablo of course. So then we can kind of mess with it; if I’m with my friends and we get separated, that’s a classic horror trope right there. It’s not a totally different genre that doesn’t make any sense, it’s just sort of a new angle on Silent Hill.

Silent Hill: Book of Memories for PS Vita

PSB: An important part of Action-RPGs is leveling up and gaining new abilities. What’s your philosophy with that in this game?
TH: It was an odd tightrope to walk, because RPGs are entirely about leveling. If you can’t pass a thing, level up some more. Now you can pass that thing. With Silent Hill we thought – did we want to do that? Or do we wanna keep that fear of if you’re in this situation, you’re always screwed? So when you level up, you can add stat points and build your character however you want. You can equip things and sort of create the ideal build for your character. But then, weapons can break. So this isn’t like the “Gilded Dragon Sword” in Diablo that you want to hold onto. You know that I have a sweet sword, but you know it’s going to break. So do you hold onto it for the bosses, or Pyramid Head if I walk into a room with him? Or do I just use it and have an easy three rooms and now it’s gone.

So we’ve kind of – I hope – found the ideal way to balance building a character: they are getting stronger, getting more moves, more capable. But at the same time you’re not gonna become this empowered demigod and the whole game is your oyster.

PSB: Yeah, power can be the antithesis of horror. Talk about this world that we’re in.
TH: We have seven different environments. Through the initial 21 stages of the game, at the end of which you’ll get an ending, they’re structured so that you’ll get three of each in a row. After that it’s endless, a mix and match of anything. Silent Hill has had many different “other worlds” – it’s had the fiery, rusty one, it’s had water in Downpour. This kind of lets us bring them all back, so players can play it again without being stuck there for 100 hours. It also ties into the story in specific ways.

Silent Hill: Book of Memories for PS VitaSilent Hill: Book of Memories for PS Vita

PSB: If you get an ending after 21 stages, how does the endless part of the game work?
TH: The cool thing about our premise is that you have this book and you’re rewriting your life. So why should I have to re-roll the character when I beat the game, just to try something new? I should just be able to re-write this book. So that’s how we built the game. You’re not going to have all the story elements just by beating the game once. You’ll have a reason to keep playing: unlock everything, find every monster, and so on. The levels will start to randomize and the game will become crazy, and the enemies will keep scaling. I think the furthest our testers have gotten is zone 340, so that’s a challenge to any players out there.

PSB: How does the multiplayer work? Is it cooperative?
TH: It’s co-op by design, but people will find ways to compete and find all the items. It’s important to note that when playing single player or multiplayer, you’re using the same character, so you’re not losing out by choosing one over the other. You can swap back and forth between them as much as you want. Basically, one player is the host, everyone else joins their game. Things you find in your friend’s game will add to your collection, your database of stuff. You can split up, you can all stay in one room. Difficulty will scale up depending on the level of all the players. If you’re a low-level guy in your friend’s game and he’s trying to level you up, you don’t wanna break off from him because you’re going to get trapped and you’re pretty much screwed at that point.

Silent Hill: Book of Memories for PS VitaSilent Hill: Book of Memories for PS Vita

PSB: What do you think is the single most unique aspect about Silent Hill: Book of Memories?
TH: With Silent Hill, the games loosely tie into each other, but you don’t see a direct sequel. By the time someone’s escaped Silent Hill – if they even escape – their story is told. So you don’t get something like with Final Fantasy: “Here’s every single Final Fantasy character hanging out in this rhythm game!” You can’t do that with Silent Hill, normally, but with Book of Memories, you kind of can. So you can finally see these old creatures you’ve loved, and see them interact with creatures from other games. And the story will tie in with other games. So it works as a greatest hits celebration, and an introduction to everything.

I’ve enjoyed my time thus far with Silent Hill: Book of Memories, and look forward to taking it with me on the go beginning October 16th. The Action-RPG elements are familiar, with an aesthetic that I find very creepy, though not nearly as scary as a traditional Silent Hill game would be. Well, at least that’s what I’m told. Now I’m interested in finding out for myself.

Comments are closed.


  • I’m too much of a scaredy-cat to play horror games, but yay, more new Vita content!

  • I found the demo really enjoyable, slashing to get better weapons to slash some more is always a hit when you do it right. However, i fear the game could get repetitive, specially because you have to search for all those keys.

  • i enjoyed the demo !!! ill be looking in on this one.

  • Does anyone Knows why I Still dont have in my F$^^^$# HANDS a game Called RAGNAROK ODYSSEY?!!! It was suppose to launch on F$%^# September!!!

  • I like it ~ when is it coming out ?
    hopefully they can put Metal Gear Rising on Vita , that will be freaking awesome

  • @4

    Should be coming out this month. Been waiting forever.


    Comes out on the 16th or so.

  • Tried the demo and I must say it was awful, I really don’t know who thought it was a good idea to mix silent hill with this, don’t get me wrong, I think the game would have worked if they didn’t get lazy and created a setting for this game instead of milking a stablished franchise… It’s sad to see what happened to silent hill once team silent was disbanded… This is what happens when you hand a japanese franchise to western developers… u_u’

  • I’m considering picking up the SH collection but don’t know if I’ll understand the story if I haven’t played the first Silent Hill game (since it’s not included in the collection).

  • His name is Hulett

  • Love the demo! Great work, realy good, scary sometimes, so looking forward to start reading that book!
    Buy it, U will love it!
    Get Demo!

  • Demo was meh, but as far as Silent Hill games.. it wasn’t bad at all specially comparing it to the more recent ones.

  • It’s not scary in the slightest…

  • I’m no Silent Hill fan, at all.
    But I found the demo to be quite fun, the dual handed weapon mix system seems cool and the abilities based on what type of blood you obtained works well. Even though Co-Op is not in the demo, I cant wait to try it out in the final product.

    My only complaint is a mix of combos with dual wield knifes and such, could be better.

    But other then that, I’m definitely adding this to my library, its a fun game and that’s more then enough to be in my collection.

  • Not really a fan of the Silent Hill series, but i like action rpgs so i might try the demo.

  • @8

    Silent Hill games are loosely tied together at best. Most are for the most part self contained so if you’re looking to jump into the series I’d say go for it. Also the original is on the PS Store for $6. The games all have multiple endings too so you’ll end up playing through them a few times.

    On the demo I didn’t care for it. The Book of Memories is an awesome idea but generic dungeon crawling doesn’t do it for me. Maybe I’ll give it another go.

  • I can’t wait for this game. Thank you Sony and please update us with news on killzone vita

  • Online is hosted by a single player and if that player drops out, the others can choose to continue from that point in single player. I understand how that works, but is there a matchmaking service? My favorite method for finding multiplayer games has been Diablo 2, where you can write a description and also set player limits. I know you guys like Diablo, since I defeated The Butcher in your game twice yesterday :)

    When I tap the red icon on my character sheet, I can read about the stats. I love that these stats’ effects aren’t hidden away, but after reading about one stat, I have to click the red circle again. That red circle should be a toggle. I can click whatever and when I’m done I can click the red circle to get out of description mode.

    It would be be convenient to loot with buttons as well as tapping. I kept finding containers with MR and nothing else in them, and I would have to tap the MR to collect it. It would be a lot more convenient to just hit X. Same can be said for weapon swapping. Hold down left or L and tap x to exchange what you have in your left hand etc.

  • I Had To Choose Between Pre-Ordering Silent Hill-Book Of Memories Or Ragnarok Odyssey For The 16 Of October… I Chose R.O.! BUT… I DownLoaded The Demo Of S.H.B.O.M. And I Played It Through, Not A Bad Teaser For The Full Experience. I Have To Say That It Has Potential, I Am Guessing That You Can Level Your Chosen Character OnLine With Other People And Transfer All That Experience Back InTo The One-Player Story Mode With A Stronger Character Stat? I Hope We Can Go Back To Former Missions And Grind-Kill ReSpawned Monsters And Look For Other Stuff BeFore Finishing The Main Story Mode. I Will Probably Buy It In November! Thank You Konami!

  • I want this game, will it support AdHoc as well and do others need a copy of the game if we adhoc like how BuzzQuiz PSP does?

    Thanks im getting this. Is there a preorder bonus?

  • played the demo last night….it´s way more fun than i thought

  • I can’t emphasize how terribly disappointed I am at the demo. I’ve been expecting this game since the very first release date a long time ago, it appeared promising, but I couldn’t bring myself to even finish the demo. It’s so dull, the little hallways between rooms really made it a chore to get across; I thought I would be getting lost in a mansion, sewers, or something of that sort (where rooms actually make contact with each other). But from what I gathered, getting lost in the areas is a bigger challenge than killing enemies.

    It isn’t bad, but I seriously expected something much better. I will probably get it at some point down the line, but it is going to take a while, more so considering they decided to release the game in October, right when Zero Escape launches (that demo was awesome), Assassins Creed, and Ragnarok Odyssey.

  • Not sure what they were trying to say with the FF comparison.

    And only horrible RPGs and/or players need to grind indefinitely to overcome something. Well designed RPGs will have enough ways to beat a boss with strategy and smart character development. Grinding is usually an option, but not a requirement unless the game is poorly designed.

  • I kept hearing horrible things about this game, but once I tried the demo I was hooked. Love the premise and the gameplay. Will definitely get this game sometime when I have the cash.

  • Silent Hill fans are the worse. You guys should play Silent Hill 1 & 2 without your nostalgia on. Those games aren’t very good. Shattered Memories is the only good one because it strips out all the getting lost, item management and terrible combat.

    After playing the demo, I will be buying. It was a lot of fun. Hopefully it doesn’t get boring after a while.

  • Day 1 for me. Played the demo early and was addicted

  • @24

    Play Origins.

    Also how about Res Evil? Do you not like them as well? Getting lost, item management and terrible combat is what those games are all about and it’s glorious.

  • I enjoyed the demo. It’s a dungeon crawler with a Silent Hill backdrop. Didn’t think the two would mix but playing the demo changed my mind. This is gonna be one Vita game to look out for.

  • I was expecting the game to be a piece of crap, but the demo is quite enjoyable. I may buy it.

  • Really liked the demo!! I was very surprised.

  • I played the demo on a whim, even though I swore I never would, and after playing the surprisingly lengthy demo I still think this is a bad idea for the Silent Hill franchise.

    American developers have done nothing but butcher the franchise into something that’s barely enjoyable and this game is no different, I understand that this is focusing more on co-op play but this is territory Silent Hill would’t even tread into.

    I will say that the graphics were surprisingly good, but the character customization looks lame and the whole leveling up system makes this feel like a lazy Silent Hill game with weak RPG elements tacked on for the hell of it.

  • am i supposed to play this game with less than 1 inch space between my face and my vita? that character looks awfully small.

  • Will be picking this up day 1. I was upset when this was announced and not a full featured SH game like psp had. I still want the full silent hill game on the vita.. so make it happen konami.

    All that aside. I love my diablo (not 3), sacred, titan quest and torchlight, and this fit right in there with a great wepaon switch mechanic and loot. I loved the demo, and can’t wait to play more. The combat was satisfying.

    For #24 @FriedConsole – I guess you were still in diapers back when sh 1 2, and 3 came out? Shattered memories I didn’t like. i love item management, puzzles and getting lost in a horror game. I don’t want just running from enemies, i want puzzles and items and wepaons. Something SH1 and 2 did wonderfully with great plots that made you question the world you were playing in and the characters. I guess you like new res evil too…uggh. At least new silent hill games didn’t go all action like you know who… (crapcom I am looking at you!)

  • I have to admit I hated on this game a lot until I played the demo last night. While not amazing, it was a lot more fun than expected, and held on slightly to the feel of SH. I will grab it down the road once the price drops. I am planning to pump 400 plus hours into Ragnarok Odyssey before I move on.

  • That video makes it seem like it’s going to have more action than usual but at the same time looks like it has that scary isolated vibe that Silent Hill is known for. Cannot wait to have this in my hands.

  • @32 / 24
    Beautifully said, I grew up with Silent Hill / Biohazard, and despite having hated every single western crapterpiece that has Scarlet Lettered SH as crap…I am surprised at this one–while still far from SH, it still shows promise. SH2 was an amazing experience, even today. There are reasons why it is rated in the top 20 best games of all time, it is that amazing. When you’re the first, you get all the credit, and SH2 was the first for many. A psychological mind screw is hard to find in a game, and SH2 delivered. Nostalgia aside it is still an amazing game–but to truly enjoy a horror game you need to be young. Though you are probably an adult now playing games, if you expect to be scared by a game now, you have a whole different problem to deal with. I have been scared by a game since I was 16, and that was 10 years ago. Games are not scary, as an adult I have not been scared by one horror game since, it’s sad, but how it should be. And yes, Crapcom has been no better than Konami, but at least with SH it’s different people….

  • Demo was fun, definitely will keep this on radar

  • Well even thought I will hate this game, the demo show promise that is a good thing.
    I hope it will be a good choice to buy this. But with these streams of great game I had to postpone this

  • The demo was great, I’m really looking forward to this game.

  • If this game was called something like Book of Memores: A new Entry or something like that I would be cool with it, but it has the name Silent HIll on it, and I am one of those people that doesn’t like at all the direction that the series has taken, in every game of Silent HIll that I’ve played and hated there is always 1 common factor: the name Tomm Hewlett, and, until he is no longer in charge of the Silent HIll saga, I’m not gonna get any of those games, I mean they couldn’t even do a port well, and this game, is distant for being a survival horror and a SILENT HILL GAME, If I want some of the real survival horror in Silent Hill back this is the most I can do, I could encourage you all to not get it, but then I would be a jerk, so the only thing I can say, is, if you don’t like the direction that Silent Hill is taking, don’t buy this game.

  • “I’ve got a gaming confession to make: I’ve never played a Silent Hill game. Never really had much of an interest in the series, even… until now.”

    I don’t know if that’s the kind of experience that would help a person discern whether a Silent Hill game is good or not. o_O While I completely agree with @40 Kanon_of_Gemini I’m enough of a Silent Hill Whor- uh, fan that I’ll probably buy this later on down the road with two stipulations. 1) the price drops low enough to make this an impulse buy. 2) I’m buying this game used (I usually buy new to support developers).

    That’s right Tomm. I’m tired of of being burned by YOUR Silent Hill games. Downpour and HD both needed to be polished and completely tested before being released. Especially HD collection. Jeez, what a fiasco that turned out to be. Even now I still can’t get the bad taste that was HD collection out of my mouth.

    “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

  • The game’s just keep getting worse with each new release. Give us a proper Silent Hill game already. Downpour was NOT Silent Hill and neither is this!

Please enter your date of birth.