Sunday, July 6, 2014

Video Game Review: Shadow The Hedgehog (GCN)

Video games are a thing to to review, right? Right? Good. Now, it'd be boring if I just kept releasing manga reviews week after week, so I'm changing things up and reviewing a video game. This week's subject is Shadow The Hedgehog for the Nintendo Gamecube, possibly against my better judgement.

Spoilers go pew-pew after the jump!

Shadow The Hedgehog is a third-person platformer-shooter for the Gamecube, Playstation 2, and Xbox. I played  the Gamecube version, and, to be honest, it has its high points and its low points. That said, this game caps off the Shadow story arc that started in Sonic Adventure 2 and continued into the Team Dark story of Sonic Heroes. The entire game's plot is based around Shadow's amnesiac state and his quest find his purpose and identity. There are 10 endings to the game, plus the true ending, in which Shadow finally discovers the real truth about his past.

When I say this game has high points, this is what I'm referring to.

First up, the all-important gameplay. The game plays like a Dreamcast era Sonic game, that is to say, the controls and camera can be a bit wonky at times, but is still quite fast-paced.  However, the non-Goal Ring and non-enemy missions put much more emphasis on exploring the levels, which slows the game down a lot, especially when there are 30+ targets. The Homing Attack also has a tendency to not target, causing many accidental deaths.

The music is pretty good. It almost always fits the mood of the stage in question, and the main theme "I Am... All Of Me" describes the plot perfectly. An abridged soundtrack is available on iTunes, for those who want to get it for themselves. Crush 40 does a wonderful job with the main theme, and the alignment ending themes are quite good, especially "All Hail Shadow".

The concept of a Sonic game with weapons is interesting in theory, especially because it fits for Shadow to use guns. Unfortunately, the targeting system is less-than-perfect, and point-blank shots would often miss. This led to much frustration on timed missions, and often losing a weapon I rather enjoyed using. That aside, it's not a game I'm willing to try and 100%, but it's definitely fun to play once in a while.

Gameplay: 3.5/5 (slippery controls)
Music: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Characters: 3.5/5

Overall:  3.75/5

It's Good, But Not Great

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