At Gamescom 2012, Nisute got a chance to spend a little time playing some of Konami’s upcoming titles. Among the presented titles were Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Castlevania – Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate and Silent Hill: Book of Memories. Pressed for time we had to limit our playtesting to these titles but were offered to have a look at PES2012 and a few other games as well.
The new Castlevania installment for 3DS looks exceptionally fine and cleverly mixes gameplay elements presented by classic 2-D Castlevania games with the style and lore of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Though the game’s 3D visuals are pretty enough to look at, it is a relatively awkward experience when the gameplay itself takes play across only 2 dimensions. The added depth makes it more beautiful, but that’s about it. Unless the final (full) game provides more chances for the 3D aspect to shine you might just as well turn it off. Despite this, the game was entertaining to play and fighting off enemies with the whip, climbing and swinging across walls and chandeliers and discovering hidden secret chests feels both familiar and refreshing at the same time. Fans of both the 2-D and the 3-D Castlevania titles may enjoy this game. The 3DS seems like a perfect platform for the game and while the actual Lords of Shadow saga will continue on home consoles, this spin-off is well deserving of its spot in the 3DS library.
Silent Hill: Book of Memories is a game that leaves one puzzled and baffled. There’s a lot of directions Konami could’ve taken Silent Hill, but mixing it with dungeon crawlers like Diablo seems like the last thing that came to any Silent Hill fan’s mind. What came over the developers to attach the Silent Hill brand name to something so devoid of anything that has to do with the series is mind-blowing. In order to judge the game fairly, one needs to take one step beyond the Silent Hill name and take it as its own thing. As a dungeon crawler that is. The shameful thing is that as a simple dungeoncrawler, it sure is entertaining, but fails to impress on any level. The fact that the multiplayer support may keep it interesting for longer periods of time and the focus on co-op make it entertaining to play for a while, there’s nothing the demo provided that warrants any real interest in the game. Fans of dungeon crawlers have enough games to play and look forward to as it (and most of these do it better) and fans of Silent Hill are probably fans of horror mainly and there nothing here for them. For all those people out there that were anxiously waiting for a dungeoncrawler in Silent Hill setting, this is probably just the thing, but its doubtful there are many of these.
It’s a shame the game is hurt by its leaning on the brand name; it can only hurt it more than it can do good. The effort to expand the universe to other game-genre is appreciated but ultimately completely unnecessary. The PSVita needs high quality titles to help sell it, and Silent Hill: Book of Memories is way to much of a nichegame to manage this feat.
Yours truly caught only a glimpse of Metal Gear Rising, but despite the fact that it is completely different from classic Metal Gear games it seems action packed and entertaining. The focus on the hack and slash mechanic seems a bit gimmicky but seems to do the job well enough. I suggest fans of Metal Gear be warned that the experience is totally different and that they not expect another typical Metal Gear game, but they may otherwise well enjoy it.