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Friday, January 8, 2010

Shadow Complex on Xbox 360 Impression

Shadow Complex
Shadow Complex on Xbox 360, a downloadable title, has ties to the 16-bit era of gaming but bridges the gap to the current generation in a downloadable package that any true gamer will enjoy for the gameplay experience alone. While this gamer has a preference for traditional games, ones purchased in retail, the amount of downloadable content cannot be ignored especially as prior generation titles make it into the digital realm. Shadow Complex does not fall into this genre but upon playing it gamers will feel that if this game out 1-2 generations ago it would have been a best seller. The reasons; lets take a look …

Gameplay – Shadow Complex takes so much of what was great about games like Contra and brings it into a new age for a new generation. Gamers run around, left to right, right to left, up and down, down and up … wherever through levels that feel like a distant cousin of Super Metroid. The levels break into grids as outlined in the on-screen map and besides running and gunning, gamers must pick the proper route. Go through a ventilation system with flashlight to avoid troops or go in with guns blazing. The quazi-linear pathing and insane boss fights are what make Shadow Complex such a great download.

Graphics – Better than most downloadable games with decent cut scenes and 3D-ish graphics in a 2D game, it looks really good. The use of light, the flashlight in caves, explosions, characters, weapons all looks really good. A bland description I know but this game is anything but and will entertain the eye and mind.

Sound – The voice acting is good but the lines are oh so cheesy. Background music is decent but overall the music experience is forgettable and does enough to serve its purpose. Weapons and explosions sound good and adds up to a sound experience that was created with today’s technology and does not sound as bad as some of the older generation of downloadable games.

Design – Levels are reminiscent of Super Metroid with various paths outlined in a basic map format. Running, jumping, swimming is all mixed into levels pulled from a spy/sci-fi thriller and are not bland or boring. The characters are generic but the boss designs are unique and again tie back to older titles like Contra. Well done on the level design.

Miscellaneous – Well it’s not the way to cheesy story, it’s gotta be the gameplay. Shadow Complex proves that the core of great gameplay will win out in the end, but it never hurts to have solid graphics, decent sound … and a story that is passable.

Overall, when it comes to downloadable games Shadow Complex is one of those titles that gamers just have to purchase. For the price it’s a slam dunk and the gameplay is so solid. After playing there is no doubt older gamers will remember the titles that made them love Nintendo, Genesis, SNES and PlayStation (to name a few) and for the younger generation of gamers you’ll see what solid gameplay without millions of bells and whistles is all about. One of the finest downloadable games of 2009 … actually of any year.

1 comment:

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