Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Hands-On

We take a trip through the PSP version of the latest Silent Hill game.


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The Wii version of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories received widespread praise for its reimagining of the original Silent Hill, as well as its new take on the Silent Hill formula, particularly the way characters confront the town's ghoulish denizens. Instead of whacking enemies over the head or pumping them full of holes with any sort of firearm, Harry Mason (the game's main character who's looking for his missing daughter) can only hope to evade them--either by running in a different direction or throwing various objects to the floor while running away--or throw them off his back by gesturing in various directions with the Wii Remote. The motion controls also come into play during puzzles as you grab cans and tip them on their sides to retrieve keys or as you move various objects into position to find a secret number used to open a locked door. And, of course, you can also use the Wii Remote to move Harry's flashlight around much as you would an actual flashlight.

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Of course, the PSP has no such technology; thus, it has to make do with its single analog nub, face buttons, and shoulder buttons. Surprisingly, the controls seem like they've been adapted pretty well. When enemies cling to Harry, he can simply throw them off by pressing one of the designated face buttons that's prompted at the bottom of the screen. As for moving the flashlight around, you can't do it while Harry is walking (as you can in the Wii version). So, instead, the PSP version lets you hit the right-shoulder button, which takes you into a first-person view that gives you a closer, first-person view you can manipulate with the analog nub without moving Harry around. As for puzzles that require grabbing objects and rotating (or moving) them around, you can solve them by grabbing the object with one of the PSP's face buttons then rotate it using the left- or right-shoulder buttons.

Naturally, other concessions had to be made to accommodate the PSP's hardware, but one aspect of the game that hasn't changed much at all is the visuals. The PSP version of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories looks nearly identical to its Wii counterpart, but there are some slight differences. It seems like you can't see quite as far into the distance in some scenes. There are also some textures and areas that aren't clear as those found in the Wii version. The PSP version of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is scheduled for release on January 19.

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