Review by wolverinefan

Reviewed: 07/05/06

Weakest "Sonic" title yet.

Remember in the good ole days when Sonic titles were good? Now we get a new spin fof to the series. In the form of Shadow The Hedgehog and to be honest it's Sonic Team's worst idea yet. Read on to find out why.

After the events of Sonic Adventure 2, our new anti-hero has amnesia and is trying to get his memory back. Some demon alien or something is trying to get him to gather the emeralds for him while Sonic and pals want him to help them. Or you can do it Shadow's own way. The catch is that the game doesn't really have a plot. You already know Shadow's story so there is nothing new to learn. The game offers branching paths and I'm assuming that they change the story some how as the game does have 10 different endings. I only got one ending and all that came to my head was "Why would I beat this 10 more times?". Story is barely there and I kept getting odd cut scenes that didn't make sense.

Graphic wise the game is hit or miss. Cut Scenes are very nicely done. In game graphics are impressive when you're standing still. Second it starts to move it becomes choppy, glitchy and just ugly. The final levels look nightmarish due to odd glitchs and odd forced camera moments which don't fit the game since it rarely forces the camera position on you.

I found the sound area to eb lacking. Voice acting is fairly bad and I'm not sure if the same voice actors return. You can turn on the Japanese dialog but it isn't that much better. Sound effects are decent but I honestly don't remember if any of the guns sound differently or what. Oh and the gun sound during the main menu is really lame. Music wise I can't say anything. I seriously just played through the entire game not even an hour ago and I remember no music.

I found the control to be less than appealing. Shadow moves almost like he's on ice. I's fine when moving at fast speeds when in close quarters it really stinks. It almost feels like pinball at times. I found that everything else seemed to work. Couldn't figure out if you can aim but ring dash and firing the gun were easy enough. Camera didn't allow for the best views at times though.

The new 3D Sonic games are all about speed and racing to the end. Shadow is no different and you can do all of Sonic moves. The catch is is that you can now hold guns and shoot them. That's cool and hype but it doesn't add anything to the game. You rarely get enough ammo and just have to keep killing guys for new weapons which again is fine but the problem comes in the fact that the weapons are really weak while your homing attack does large amounts of damage.

Level designs are exactly like the ones found for Sonic in the Adventure titles. Think of them as rollercoasters but now there are 3 objectives per stage. A good deed, reach the ring or a bad deed. Do whatever you want and the game will branch off like that. The game offers 6 stages but each stage has 3 branching points so you get the idea. Not sure how different the stages are. After beating the stage you get a rank. Gain A rank on all 71 stages or however many there are and you get a special item. I found A ranks to be very easy to come by.

Boss battles are still here kind of. Only real boss I ran into was the final boss and that was a pure joke and didn't even get hit once. it was actually really kind of lame. I do believe there are different bosses at the end of each path though... Enemies are about as smart as a brick too. If I died on a stage it was because I fell to my death. That happened a few times because of the camera. You get X amount of lives and I'm not sure if you can get more or not. You still collect rings during the stages but instead of being hit and losing them all, you only lose a portion and are still able to pick more up.

I really don't know what else to talk about game play wise. Levels are fairly linear but objective points aren't super straight forward. Enemies are dumb as rock. Fairly large weapon variety. Lots of branching paths and stages but ultimately the game is very short. Hell, I think I just covered replay value as well. Most stages are about 5 minutes. Some are a couple minutes longer. The objectives are kind of tedious. Blow of 6 crystals, destroy 6 ships ect.

I really wished the game had been good but the game play is weak and the story is really bad. I only rented the game but I would have been very angry if I had bought it for any price and find out that the bad reviews were kind of close. It isn't as bad as some say but the game isn't good either. It has many faults and a rental should only been done for those that are fans or really interested in the game.

Story - 3/10
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Control - 5/10
Game Play - 3/10
Replay value - 3/10

Final Score - 4/10

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

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