Review by gelkster
"Another "Acc-lame" attempt..."
I must be spoiled. I usually play fun, rewarding, well-reviewed games- & at the very worst, the forgotten hidden gem left to rot in the bargain bin. Shadow Man by Acclaim is neither, but it is a good example of how a game SHOULDN'T be.
I almost got the PlayStation version, but heard the Dreamcast game was much better. If so, the PS game must be just awful, since the DC version ain't so great. It has some cool audio/visual effects & creepy music, but that's about it. Gameplay is much like Tomb Raider or Soul Reaver, but nowhere near the quality of those games, though I did appreciate the evil voodoo vibe/theme.
My first impressions: CONFUSING & DIFFICULT. It includes a useless paper map & a short guide, afterwhich I went online for help. A jabbering "skele-snake" called Jaunty supposedly helps you, but he offered nothing new, even after hours of significant progress (so I thought.)
The plot follows Mike LeRoi, who becomes Shadow Man by a mask fused to his chest by Mama Nettie, a centuries-old voodoo priestess. He goes "Deadside", a mystical evil otherworld to seek 5 serial killers & take down the "Dark Engine". The game provides their interesting bios/criminal files- I wish it said how to kill them! During one boss battle, I used all available ammo on him (even with ammo & a better gun from ANOTHER boss area) to no avail. I wasn't sure what to do, but if your character isn't READY for a boss, the game shouldn't let you FIGHT a boss!
Your "usual" enemies aren't wimps either- attacking you up to 4 or 5 at once, taking several close hits before dying. Pair this with forcibly replaying areas (I took 20 tries in one place) & respawned enemies, & you have one frustrating game. There are various weapons that can be dual-wielded; you just have to find them.
One thing I did like: when walking backwards, you do a sort of reverse "pimp-strut" walk that's funny to see. It's sad when something (presumably unintended) like this gives you the most enjoyment from a game.
PROS: dark story/theme, dual-wield, nice effects, "pimp-strut"
CONS: useless/no map, subpar graphics/control, confusing, difficult, unfair, unforgiving
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 08/14/06
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