Review by KomodoTheNinja
A good game despite some flaws
Shadow the Hedgehog was basically Sega cashing in on Shadow's popularity and explaining what exactly happened to him after the events of Sonic Adventure 2. I purchased this game when it became a greatest hits game at my local Gamestop. When I got it, I had heard many things like how this game is simply unplayable due to major slowdowns, camera and glitch problems. I felt tempted to return it and exchange it for Sonic Riders so I never opened it.
I then thought about it, and I would only be spending another 20 bucks if I wanted to pick up Sonic Riders and I liked what I heard about the multiple paths feature, so I opened the game and gave it a try. It has it's flaws, but at the same time this game has taken a lot of flack, it's an OK game despite some flaws.
Graphics are nothing you wouldn't see out of the Sega Dreamcasts Sonic Adventure titles. Even the FMVs wont really blow you away. Nothing is bad but at the same time this is the PS2, you'd expect graphics that aren't exactly reminiscent of Sonic Adventure 2.
Music and sound: 8/10
The stage music isn't really going to blow you away, they're mostly low pitched tunes anyway. The sound is ok, you hear the typical gun fire sounds you'd hear if you played GTA or some other shooter. But nothing is annoying and in the end that's what really matters.
The game has an interesting way of telling the story, YOU tell the story. What paths you take determine the outcome of the story. But the intro is that Shadow has suffered a very nasty case of Amnesia and can't remember anything, out of nowhere the world is in chaos and being invaded by these black aliens. Another alien warps in front of Shadow and tells him it's time "to fulfill his promise". From there it's all up to you, there are a multitude of endings for you to unlock as well.
Basically the premise of this game is that you'll be running across levels, picking up different types of guns to help you get past everything that will be blocking you from preventing your goal. What I like about the gameplay is the multiple path feature. Basically in each level there are three missions; the dark mission, the neutral mission and the hero mission. You can pause the game and choose which mission you want to complete. A lot of things from Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 are in this, you have your homing attack which helps you kill enemies and can also help you get across wide pits and chasms. The light speed dash is in it, which basically lets you dash across a path of rings, purely a mandatory feature where as the homing attack will be used throughout the whole game since it'll also be your primary attack.
The new addition of attacks comes in the forms of guns. You have handguns which are weak but fire fast. You have a machine gun which is basically a stronger form of a handgun and your rocket launchers which pretty much kill it's target in one hit. The aliens have some nice weapons as well, including a rapid fire laser gun and a badass long purple sword. You mainly use the weapons to kill large of enemies quick and efficiently and without having to go up to them.
Some flaws of the gameplay include slowdown. There are very few occasions in this game where you'll go as fast as you could. For the most part the game suffers a slowdown. An upside of this slowdown is that the majority of the missions require you to explore the levels anyway so the slowdown does help you not run through the level too fast and not miss anything. There are some camera problems, most notably the camera moving too fast and not always being in a proper position but I felt the game did a good job of camera control, for the most part you can adjust it if the camera is in a bad position.
There's a lot of platforming in this game, much of the game does involve you making a lot of wide leaps. In one level you'll stumble upon a robot that if you ride it, you can jump twice as high. Grinding also made a return and one of the levels involves a lot of it. There is some high speed stuff in this game, it does have it's fair share of mindless dashing and loops.
Going back to the multiple paths, what mission you complete in each level determines you level you play next. For instance, if you complete the neutral mission in the first level, you'll enter the second level but if you complete the dark mission in the first level, you'll enter a different second level. As for the controls, for the most part they're responsive but I have experienced a few problems with the light speed dash, mostly because you have to be very precise and time it correctly. I haven't experienced any glitches though.
Another feature is the dark gauge and hero gauge. You fill up your hero gauge by killing the black aliens. If you fill it up to the max, Shadow will turn blue and fly through a portion of the level. You fill up your dark gauge by killing soldiers and military robots, when it's filled to the max Shadow will turn red and can unleash a few blasts that kill all nearby enemies.
Replay value: 9/10
If you like this game, there's quite a lot of stuff to do. You can A rank all the levels, clear every mission and unlock all the endings. This game does offer a lot of replay value, you'll be playing this one for a while.
It's not perfect, but it's really not that bad of a game. If you like Sonic titles, I would definitely give this one a try since it's only 20 bucks. The game is definitely not as bad as some people say it is, some going as far to say that it's unplayable. It's far from it, and overall I've enjoyed the game so far.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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