Silver Zombie Review

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Title: Silver Zombie
Developer: Xix Games
Game Type: PlayStation Mobile
Download:  304 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download, Direct Download
EU Availability: Digital Download, Direct Download

PlayStation Mobile games have been increasing nearly every week.  Even the past few weeks, there have been at least 3-4 games added to its library each week.  While most of these games are small, bite-sized adventures, not unlike PlayStation Minis, the library is slowly growing into an expansive collection of genres and games to be enjoyed on the PS Vita, especially with many of the more recent games specifically stating they’re not compatible with Android and are made just for the Vita.

One thing about these games is that almost every last one of them is a 2D game, like most Mobile titles.  There are some 3D titles, like Chaos Rings, though that title got ported over and doesn’t run very well.  3D games are very rare on the PlayStation Mobile platform, but ever since the system got access to the Unity Engine, they are coming.

One such 3D game released about 2 weeks ago.  This game is completely 3D from start to finish.  There are some other games like this, but with new developers coming in, new types of games are coming in as well.  Featuring shooting, rail-riding and more, here is our official review of the PlayStation Mobile game, Silver Zombie!

Story

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Silver Zombie follows an older man by the name of John.  The story begins when John’s daughter starts to become ill.  Just a few short weeks before the game begins, she falls into a coma from an unknown disease.  Distraught and trying to find a cure for his daughter, he remembers just before she fell into the coma.  She advised him that he needed to seek out a man named Silver, from the Silver Technologies company.

At present day, he receives a letter, allegedly from Silver himself, that to save the life of his daughter, a cure must be found.  To do this, he is sent to the Monastery called Hell’s Gates, to seek a mystical object known as the Soul-Seek Lamp.  As he heads off on his journey, he knows little of how literal the Monastery’s name truly is, as he searches for the cure to save his daughter’s life…

The story of Silver Zombie is definitely not a great one.  It is set up enough so you know what you’re doing and why, though don’t expect huge character developments throughout the story.  The translation is also a little bit messy.  Words aren’t out of place, but many of the words are misspelled and have the wrong tense with them, like writing fall instead of fell.

Gameplay

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Silver Zombie is hard to gauge its true genre, since it takes on many throughout the game.  Part of the game feels like a cross between a shooting game and a puzzle-based horror game, similar to Silent Hill.  Other times, the game takes movement of its own and becomes like an On-Rails Shooter, like House of the Dead or Time Crisis.  If I had to give it one genre, I would say that it’s a Shooter-Adventure with Horror elements.

As you start out the game, you will be around the Monastery explained to you in the game’s intro and your goal throughout the game is to traverse through all areas of the game to obtain the Soul-Seek Lamp and find a cure for your daughter’s illness.  Traversing through areas involves collecting Key Items, solving puzzles, and defeating enemies that are in your way.  Puzzles can be as simple as finding a key and opening a locked door or searching around for hidden switches and hints to allow you to avoid deadly traps and go through the right passage to get the item you seek.

Combating enemies is one of the more laid-back portions of the game.  Unlike in games like Silent Hill or Resident Evil, you will have two weapons across the game, and both have Infinite Ammunition.  This means you can fire rounds at a wall for 2 hours straight and still never run out of the means to fight against your enemies.  This also takes a little bit of the horror elements out of the game, since you won’t be fighting hard for your survival, along with the game’s Call of Duty-like Health Regeneration.

The horror aspect of the game comes from the fact that the Monastery is a very dark, creepy place, full of blood and demonic fire, as well as the demonic enemies you will be fighting.  Much like the game’s title suggests, the enemies you will be fighting are zombies and demons, some that look very much like what you’d expect to see in a Silent Hill game.  In fact, the first enemy you see has a similar look to that of the demons you run into in the game Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.

Apart from this, the genre of the game will change when you leave the Monastery.  Instead of having a Third-Person View and free roam around areas, you will go into a first-person view where the touch screen takes over and you are thrown into an on-rails shooter sequence, where you will move towards an area with enemies, take down those enemies, and then move on to another area, and repeat the process.  This section gives you six bullets per round and requires you to tap the Reload function to reload your handgun.

There are 13 “Levels” to play through, though the game feels like a progressive adventure.  Once you beat the game, which should only take you about an hour or so to do, you will be able to replay any of the levels you’d like, whether you want to see the ending again, or start from the On-Rails sections.  The game may not be incredibly long, but it’s a fun, little horror-like shooting game.

Controls

Controls in Silver Zombie are going to be very light.  Since this is a game optimized for the PlayStation Vita and not Android devices, you won’t have touch screen controls for everything you will encounter throughout the game.  There are some sections that use the touch screen, but not everything will.

The touch controls will mostly consist of the Menu and the On-Rails sections.  The Menu cannot be navigated with the buttons, so you need to tap your finger on whatever option you want to do.  Also, in the On-Rails section, you will be tapping on enemies to fire at them (this is also done in normal gameplay once you obtain your secondary weapon) as well as tapping on the Reload Icon to reload your handgun.

Otherwise, gameplay will use the buttons on the PS Vita system.  You will be using the Left Analog Stick to move John around areas, and you can also use the Triangle Button to jump into the air.  The final buttons that are used in gameplay are Start and Square.  The Start Button will pause the game, allowing you to return to the Main Menu.  The Square Button will be your firing button, allowing you to fire your handgun towards enemies that are in front of you, though only hitting them if they’re close enough to you.

Presentation

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Presentation for Silver Zombie isn’t bad, but also isn’t great.  First of all, the visual presentation looks to be on a PSP level of graphics.  This is actually pretty darn good for a PlayStation Mobile title, as most of the library’s games don’t even attempt 3D graphics.  The enemies and environments are also decently detailed, leading this to be a visually pleasing game.

How the game plays, however, is where its faults lie.  While the game doesn’t have an overly long beginning Load Time, by PlayStation Mobile standards and there isn’t lag or slowdown during gameplay, there are two major things to address throughout the game.  The first is climbing stairs.  For some reason, the game doesn’t handle moving up a staircase very well.  Every time I came to a flight of stairs, the character constantly fidgeting and jumped and stopped several times on each one.  Move down a flight of stairs is no problem, and the stairs in the final level were no problem either, but the staircases in the Monastery seemed to always give the game engine issues.

The other issue is the game’s camera.  Being a Third Person Perspective, the camera tries to always be behind John, which really doesn’t work when you’re being assaulted by several enemies and moving to get far enough away to fire off some rounds at them.  When you turn around, the camera has to readjust to get behind you.  This is an issue because of how slow it moves.  Once you turn, it can take the camera up to 5-8 seconds to get behind you again so you can see how close the enemies are to you.

Overall

Silver Zombie is one of the better visual presentations on PlayStation Mobile.  Despite being a fun little shooter/horror game to play in your free time, the game is also riddled with some very inconvenient and annoying technical issues.  If these can be fixed, it could be a fun, little game.  Otherwise, think before spending a couple bucks on this game.

The PlayStation Vita Review Network Rates Silver Zombie a 7/10

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