Silent Hill: Book of Memories is a Silent Hill spin-off exclusively for the Sony PlayStation Vita, and developed by American game developer WayForward Technologies, the same studio responsible for creating Contra 4 and LIT. The primary focus of the gameplay is on dungeon-crawling and cooperative multiplayer action, rather than the psychological horror element that the series is known for.
The player-character receives a strange book on their birthday from an unknown sender. Howard Blackwood, the local mailman, assures the player that the book was meant for him/her before he departs. The main character opens the book and finds that all of his or her memories are written in it. Curious, the player decides to change some of his/her memories before falling asleep. When they awaken, they find themself in an Otherworld-like dungeon. After traversing the dungeon they locate Howard Blackwood, who appears to be running a general store within the dungeon. There, Blackwood introduces the player to a substance known as "memory residue" and explains that, in order to change the player's past, the substance must first be collected. After the player finishes exploring the dungeon, they awaken the next morning back in reality. However, after falling asleep the following night, the player finds themself back in the dungeon. When they awaken on the third day, the player realizes that what they wrote in the book has become reality. With this new-found power, the protagonist continues to rewrite recent past events at their discretion while each night they encounter a new zone within a particular dungeon.
In-game clues and notes suggest that the Book of Memories was created by the Order with the purpose of bringing their God's will to Earth via its writings. Also worthy of note is an alchemical journal page, detailing three elements considered to be the base of all things. "Light: borne by the Heavens; Blood: borne by this world; and Steel: borne by mankind, and the most powerful". The rest (Fire, Water, Earth and Wood) are considered lesser elements.
Depending on the player's karma meter, the characters affected by the Book's powers will meet different fates when the player-character changes the past.
The dungeons and their respective characters are as follows:
- Fire Dungeon (Derek Copeland) - Derek is one of the protagonist's co-workers who has recently beat them out of a job promotion. After the player rewrites their past, they receive the promotion instead, while Derek is suspected of stealing money from the company and either hastily quits or is transferred to another store.
- Wood Dungeon (Katie Collins/Matthew Collins) - The player-character has a chance encounter with an old high school crush. The player rewrites their past so that their crush, Katie or Matthew (depending on the player-character's gender), breaks off their current relationship with Trent or Ashley respectively, and instead asks the player character to go out with them.
- Light Dungeon (Graham Reynolds) - Graham Reynolds, a police officer and family friend of the protagonist, appears to have been sitting in his patrol car outside the player's parents' house while they've been house-sitting it with their sister. This makes the player nervous, so in order to throw Reynolds off their trail, the player rewrites the past. It is revealed via notes that Graham and his wife Lorelai Reynolds have had a shaky relationship recently, and he has been having an affair. The player's intervention either results in Graham's wife filing for a divorce and taking their kids with her, or the two reconciling after Graham solves a major case. In both scenarios, the player concludes that Reynolds won't have enough time to worry about them or their Book.
- Water Dungeon (Trent Baker/Ashley Baker) - Trent/Ashley (the spurned lover) begins harassing the player-character out of jealousy and desperation. The protagonist decides to take care of the problem by writing in their Book. At one point, it is revealed that Trent/Ashley was in possession of their own Book prior to the protagonist receiving their Book of Memories, but it was stolen in a mugging. After defeating the Water Guardian, Trent/Ashley stops calling the protagonist either because they suffer an accident that renders them amnesic, or because they find a new love interest.
- Earth Dungeon (Jack Merrick) - The protagonist is attacked by a man who claims to have his own Book of Memories. The man, Merrick, threatens the player-character, informing them that he knows where they live and work, and that he intends to take their Book. It appears that the man is a convicted felon who had been arrested by Officer Reynolds in the past for attempted murder, among other charges. It also appears that Merrick had used his Book to aid him in his various crimes and to evade the police. At the end of the dungeon, due to the player's intervention, Merrick is either severely beaten by law enforcement to the point of permanent brain-damage, or he is arrested and his Book is placed in an evidence locker.
- Blood Dungeon (Shannon) - The protagonist's sister, Shannon, has been distant to the player-character as of late, which causes him or her to worry. Notes imply that Shannon has been suffering from depression for an extended period of time, and it is revealed that Shannon was the woman that Graham is/was having an affair with. Depending on the karma meter, Shannon either sends the player a goodbye letter before attempting suicide, or she sends them a letter thanking them for always being there for her, and letting them know that she is optimistic about her future.
- Steel Dungeon (Protagonist) - The player realizes that each specific action in the nightmare-worlds have had a direct effect on the past. They also realize that the Guardians they have been fighting represent the other characters' wills and desires, and that by defeating them, they have been asserting their own will over the others. From this it is concluded that when one individual benefits from the Book's powers, another must be adversely affected in order to restore karmic balance. Regretting their interference in the others' lives, the protagonist decides they must find their own Guardian before someone else does, and in doing so, find a way to undo the damage they've caused. In their trek through the dungeon, the player-character finds the rewrites they've made to their Book: "I wish I'd gotten that promotion," "I wish Katie/Matthew and I were dating," "Officer Reynolds needs a distraction to keep him off my trail," "Trent/Ashley should just forget about Katie/Matthew," "Whoever that guy is, he can't EVER use his Book." The protagonist eventually confronts their Guardian at the end of the dungeon and expresses their intent to destroy it. The Steel Guardian informs the protagonist that they are the same being and that the Book simply gave the monster its physical form, therefore, it can never be destroyed. The two engage in battle and the main character subdues the monster, then awakens back in reality.
The player's karma meter, and positive outcomes vs. negative outcomes effect the ending achieved.
- Pure Light ending: "I use the Book to help others." The protagonist decides to stop using their Book for selfish reasons and instead use it to help others, thus controlling the Book's impact by assimilating others' misfortune in order to restore karmic balance. This decision ultimately leaves the protagonist weakened and very ill, lying in a hospital bed. At some point during their stay in the hospital, they overhear a woman speaking with a doctor about about how her daughter's life-threatening condition is quickly worsening. The doctor regretfully informs her that there is not much else they can do for her daughter. The protagonist then makes changes to the Book in order to save the girl's life, but at the same time, this causes the protagonist to wheeze, indicating that his or her own condition is simultaneously worsening.
- Light ending: "I'll make sure the Book never falls into the wrong hands." After the protagonist decides that they are done trying to change things, they lock the Book away so that no one else can be affected by its powers. They then turn on the television, and flip through the channels, each station broadcasting a different disaster or tragedy occurring somewhere in the world or in a movie. The protagonist then walks over to the drawer that they placed the Book in and unlocks it. They hesitantly repeat to themself, "I don't need to change anything...," while staring at the Book.
- Neutral ending: "I have to make everything perfect." The protagonist muses about how, though difficult at first, they eventually began to notice a pattern in how the Book's powers work, and have since slowly taken advantage of it to positively affect the outside world. It seems that the protagonist has become obsessed with making everything "perfect." They achieve this through making small adjustments to the world, while balancing the Book's karma in order to create a perfect world. The protagonist spouts, "I'm so close. Just a few more lines [and] the whole world will be perfect, ordered, and happy." It is then revealed that the protagonist has actually suffered a mental breakdown and has been hallucinating the whole scenario, while being held within a psychiatric facility.
- Blood ending: "I'm going to destroy this thing." The protagonist decides that after all the harm the Book has caused, it must be destroyed, as simply throwing it away could allow for it to be discovered. The character attempts to rip out the pages without success. They then try destroying the binding with an axe, but the book endures the bludgeoning. Finally, the protagonist attempts to burn the Book, which successfully destroys it. As they watch the Book smolder, the protagonist states his or her relief in finally being freed from the Book's influence.
- Pure Blood ending: "I have the only Book." The protagonist decides to keep and continue using the Book to fulfill his or her own selfish desires, such as using it to win the lottery, become a rock star, travel the world, and get married (at the expense of their partner's wishes). Eventually, the protagonist finds their wife or husband writing in the Book, claiming that they need a change; a simpler life. This leads the protagonist to conclude that that they can no longer trust anyone, and in response, "writes" their spouse out of the Book. Paranoid, the main character hires a private army to defend his or her home against any potential intruders who might want to steal the Book. The protagonist lives in isolation for some time, until the writing on the pages mysteriously begins to vanish, which infuriates and confuses the protagonist.
- Joke ending: The joke ending is illustrated in a comic book-style format. A group of tourists, Matt (rocker male), Derek (bookworm male), Trevor (jock male), Kayce (rocker female), Katie (preppy female), and Becca (bookworm female) decide to meet up and spend their spring break vacation in Silent Hill. In the meantime, they bump into characters from previous installments, such as Harry Mason, who asks them if they have seen a girl (his daughter). Heather Mason appears to be working as the front desk clerk at Jacks Inn where the characters stay, and sarcastically mutters "Tourists" under her breath as they leave. She is then told that the guest in Room 302 accidentally locked himself in his room again, causing her to slump her head down on the desk in frustration. While in the motel, the creepy bellhop, Walter Sullivan, asks the tourists if they are interested in room service, but they refuse. The women decide to head to Toluca Lake, on the way running into James Sunderland and Mary Shepherd-Sunderland, who accidentally get sneezed on by Becca, causing James to become concerned for his wife's health. At the lake, Mira can be seen playing in the sand, and Alex Shepherd appears to be supervising his brother, Joshua, while he swims. There, Katie asks Kayce about her recent nightmares. The men decide to explore the town, when they spot Lisa Garland passing by, and Matt, who is dating Katie, comments on her cardigan. Cybil Bennett arrests Trevor for checking her out, and he meets Murphy Pendleton in the back of the squad car. Travis Grady appears on the side of the street with a sign, asking for gas money.
The game features overhead multiplayer action for up to 4 players. Co-op isn't drop in/out, but hosted sessions only. If these sessions end, players are free to continue their experience in single player mode from where they left off. Players can communicate with each other using pre-recorded classic specific shout-outs or by using the built-in voice chat.
At the start of the game, the player is given a template for their own character which they can customize to a limited degree. This is supposed to "personalize" the game more, making the player feel more connected with the character in question. The first aspect of character creation is the class system of which there are five to choose from: jock, bookworm, rocker, goth and preppy (based on the Americanized school archetypes). Each class will give a slight boost to certain stats.
The player will also have full control of their character's gender, face, hair style, hair color, outfit, skin tone and accessories. These accessories are purchased from an in-game shop using memory residue (in-game loot) which is run by Howard Blackwood. Accessories range from traditional fare (such as glasses) to fan-service items (such as Robbie masks, Princess Heart earmuffs and even a "Pyramid Head").
The game is puzzle-based, taking place in isometric auto-generated zones, where the players must complete challenges (essentially single-room enemy gauntlets) in order to collect puzzle pieces which are used in conjunction with clues, to solve a puzzle located at the end of each zone/level. Once the player has navigated through three zones, they are then faced with a boss battle. There are also various sidequests made available to the player, such as completing zone-wide missions, locating notes and TV broadcasts, hunting down particular creatures, and collecting loot (memory residue). Valtiel serves the role of quest-giver and rewards the player upon the completion of a quest. All of the quests, puzzles, and dungeons are auto-generated.
While progressing through these zones, the player can find and equip weapons. All weapons have a durability level and/or ammo count depending on whether the weapon is ranged or melee. Some of the weapons available to the player are from previous titles, including; the Hyper Spray, Great Knife and the Sword of Obedience. Players will also be able to equip "artifacts", which are trinkets/talismans that boost RPG-esque stats, such as strength or endurance. These items are modeled around objects that have appeared in previous titles, such as the Channeling Stone from Silent Hill. It has also been confirmed that players can share items with other players.
There is a large focus on combat in Book of Memories, including the ability to harness special powers which can assist the player in combat. Creatures are separated into three categories: "Blood", "Light" and "Steel". Killing enemies that belong to either the Blood or Light affinity will spill pools of their opposing element. The messier the kill, the more that is spilled. These pools are then collected and measured in conjunction with a new gameplay element known as the "Karma Meter". This meter controls what powers are unlocked and usable at a given time. If the player is more inclined towards Blood (killing Light creatures), they will unlock destructive abilities (Typical DPS) while Light (killing Blood creatures) unlocks powers focused on healing and protection. The Steel category is composed of creatures with more power than the other two categories and that do not affect the karma meter when killed. Players can wield two weapons at a given time depending on the weapons.
- This marks the second Silent Hill game in the series in which protagonists are able to manipulate magical/supernatural powers, the original being Silent Hill 3 protagonist Heather Mason. Her powers, however, were not as avidly used as that of the characters in Book of Memories.
- The storyline is reminiscent of Dying Inside, in which a teenage punk girl receives a magical book in the mail (albeit through eBay). She then travels to Silent Hill with her high school friends.
The game has received mixed to positive reviews on MetaCritic. Fan rating is mixed at 7.1, which critics giving the game a positive rating of 80. Hardcore Gamer Mag gave it an 80/100, saying: "While survival horror purists may balk at the concept, anyone a fan of top-down action/RPGs, deep gameplay and a interesting story will find not only the most addicting multiplayer Vita game to date, but the best Silent Hill in recent memory."
As of October 31, the game was rated 6.3 out of 32 ratings on MetaCritic. 
While Greg Miller of IGN gave the game a score of 6.0 and said: "Flawed, but fun", he added: "Silent Hill: Book of Memories isn't a good game, but it's one I keep coming back and playing. While we were tantalized with the Diablo-like gameplay of Warrior's Lair (a crossplay dungeon crawler) before the PlayStation Vita launched, the game formerly known as Ruin hasn't been seen or heard from in months. Development hell, they call it. Now, Silent Hill is here to fill that void, but it does so without any style or polish". He concluded with: "If you just want dungeons to crawl through and couldn't care less about polished menus and engaging stories, great."
Overall, old players of Silent Hill have overwhelmingly rejected the game for deviating from the general themes of the series, but the game has garnered its own fans amongst newcomers.
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