Originally written: September 30, 2009
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories made it’s first public hands-on debut at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, CA June 2-4, 2009 for the press and others lucky enough to attend the event. Four Wii stations were set up in the Konami booth for hands-on demos while video footage of the PSP version was unveiled during Konami’s press conference. Tomm Hulett and other Konami employees were also present during the con to provided interviews to the press and reveal new tidbits about the game.
A big treat for Silent Hill fans unable to attend the convention was Konami’s release of Silent Hill Shattered Memories special e3 trailer. This new brand new trailer caused quite a stir among the veteran Silent Hill fans when Dahlia Gillespie, the old and creepy looking antagonist from the original, was revealed to be be a much younger and more sultry looking female in this re-imagining. Though some fans admitted it was pretty cool that this young Dahlia Gillespie looked quite like the teenage third incarnation of her daughter and Silent Hill 3 protagonist Heather.
In addition to the new Shattered Memories trailer Konami provided IGN.com with a three-part video walkthrough of the wii demo present at the convention to distribute on their website. This walk through allowed fans unable to make e3 to see some of the game’s coolest features in action. Fans got a peek at one of the initial psych profile questionnaires, Harry’s awakening and further exploration of Silent Hill, supporting character interaction and experience a thrilling monster chase sequence.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories quickly became one of the most popular and talked about games of e3 2009 earning several nominations and several “best of” awards from various gaming websites and new outlets including:
a nomination for “Best Wii Game of e3 2009″ in G4′s X-Play e3 2009 recap.
“Best Wii Game of e3 2009″ from 411mania.com
“Best of e3″ Wii Awards from IGN.com for: “Best Graphics Technology,” “Best Adventure Game” and “Wii Game of the Show”
Editor’s Choice Award for “Best Wii Game” from Gamespot.com and finalist in the sites’ “Best of Show” and “Best Adventure Game” Categories.
a spot in GamePro’s top 27 games of e3
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories’ positive showing at e3 not only proved it had the potential to be a great game for some doubting fans but it also created quite a buzz for the title for the upcoming Gamescom convention happening August 19-23, 2009 in Cologne, Germany.
The start of Gamescom 2009 brought Silent Hill: Shattered Memories fans a new version of the e3 trailer that sparked many veteran fans’ interest. A new character was spotted in the beginning flashes of the trailer who many believed to be fan favorite supporting cast member, Lisa Garland, from the original game. Mary Elizabeth McGlynn’s vocal of “Always on my Mind” was notably missing as well and was replaced by an unknown new female vocal. Fans briefly worried if McGlynn was also no longer on project. This fear proved unfounded since McGlynn was not only a co-director of the game but according to her Otakon panel recorded several vocal tracks with Akira Yamaoka for the game’s soundtrack.
Two additional video walk throughs from Konami were also released and posted online by IGN.com. These new walk throughs allowed fans to see the effect their actions in Silent Hill and their initial answers to to psych questionnaire change the game environment and the type of characters they can meet. For example, in one play through a seemingly more alcohol inclined Harry Mason saw various alcohol references in Silent Hill and ultimately met a friendly barkeep in a bar instead of heading into Diner 52 and meeting cop, Cybil Bennet. In the following play through there were considerably less alcohol references in the town and puzzles and since the bar was closed Harry now met a friendly Cybil Bennet in Diner 52.
By the end of the con Silent Hill Shattered Memories secured another award from IGN.com:
“Best Nintendo Wii Game” of the show.
A convention side note: Silent Hill’s infamous Robbie the Rabbit from Lakeside Amusement park made some rounds around the convention hall with some friends in promotion for Konami’s iphone game, Krazy Kart Racing. No word on why he didn’t bring along Pyramid Head, the other Silent Hill native playable in the game.
With the end of September drawing near the last major convention left in the Silent Hill: Shattered Memories promotion was the highly anticipated Tokyo Game Show 2009 in Chiba, Japan. Konami stepped up promotion for their presence by opening a special Japanese and English language website to showcase the the layout of their booth, what products would be featured and inform potential visitors of scheduled stage shows, videos and various booth giveaways.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker for the PSP was Konami’s big draw at the show so its promotion took priority and a lot of space in the booth but Silent Hill: Shattered Memories still had a prominent presence. Located in top rear of the booth, the Silent Hill: Shattered Memories section had three wii and three psp stations set up for hands on demonstrations. One Japanese blogger noted that the remote location of the demos within the Konami booth cut players away from the all the buzz and activity in other areas which seem much “too quiet” and created a a very chilling atmosphere. As a con giveaway a Silent Hill: Shattered Memories postcard featuring a deserted Silent Hill street ( also seen in the background of the Nintendo Power May issue cover) and the game logo was distributed to anyone visiting the Konami booth.
Even though Konami’s booth set up was impressive there wasn’t really much new information revealed about the game. In the end only a couple new PSP screenshots of a monster chase sequence from the PSP demo was revealed by Konami. Even the trailer shown during the show was a repeat of the Gamescom trailer with just Japanese subtitles. This lack of new information, though disappointing to eager fans, wasn’t that surprising considering that the game was initially scheduled to release in the US less than a month after the convention.
Even with the lack of new information what was really notable from the Tokyo Game Show was the appearance of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Wii demo first negative hands-on review David Daniel Feit from Wired.com’s Game|Life. Considering how well received the game was at the two previous conventions this negative review was pretty surprising. On finishing the review however it became obvious that Feit’s disappointment stemmed chiefly from not being able to play the entire demo. Feit, having no idea what he was supposed to do or look for, was only given the chance to try out the monster chase sequence for less than ten minutes. Since he missed out on the psych questionnaire and the initial Silent Hill exploration what Feit did experience came off as very confusing, stressful and in the end rather pointless.
Fortunately, Feit’s review wasn’t the sole one to emerge from Tokyo Game Show. The Wii and PSP demos made a good impression on Kotaku.com and Joystiq.com in which both reviewers had the opportunity to play the entire demo. Overall both websites thought the game was quite scary, fun, and had no problem recommending their readers to check it out when released in November.
Overall I would say Silent Hill: Shattered Memories had a positive promotional tour. With each new bit of information released fans became more and more hyped for the game. Hopefully when the game is released it will live up to fan’s and reviewer’s expectations.