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Shadow The Hedgehog (Game) Discussion


JezMM
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So, Shadow The Hedgehog then.

With the Heroes topic set in motion, it made me wonder - despite the overall opinion that Heroes was "Meh", Shadow still is often seen as even worse.

So a retrospective discussion:

How did you feel when Shadow was announced? How did you feel when you played it? Do you still play it now? Why not try it out again and see if it's as good/bad as you remember?

Personally, I've always found Shadow much more enjoyable than Heroes simply because it is, technically-speaking, the better game.

Grind controls were as perfect as they are in Unleashed, the enemy hoards of Heroes, while still present, were no longer a bore thanks to the gunplay and many other fun ways to combat them, the slippiness of Heroes was completely remedied with smooth running and jumping, a slower but more accurate homing attack, and quick breaking when the control stick was released.

With the exception of a few stinkers here and there, overall the stages were pretty well-designed, with a good amount of thrills and platforming.

The guns a lot of people disliked but I didn't think they played badly. The autoaim was 90% effective (and there's rarely anything you DON'T want to shoot), and there was a lot of variety.

The branching storyline was also pretty impressive and not horribly done in terms of making the plot more interesting than Heroes'. The only downside was a few boring "kill all the enemies" missions, which would have been a lot more fun if only they had made it "kill about 90% of the enemies" instead.

And, while a lot of people didn't... I really dug the soundtrack anyway.

The game had decent replayability too. Shorter levels made A ranking a much less daunting challenge, and generally they were much more fun too. Rather than performing flawlessly, you had to make sure to ONLY do Hero or Dark actions depending on the mission, as your score required for A rank will have any incorrect actions deducted off it. Whereas the neutral missions were simply a fun speed run to earn an A rank. The reward of Expert mode gave a good few level shifts, and some fun banter and character development; and of course there were 5 keys to get on each level, with their own specific bonus rewards.

Finally, I love this game for the sheer amount of stages. 23! In terms of games which don't have any alternative "gimmick" stages to detract from the main gameplay, that was the most we'd ever had until Unleashed PS3/360 came along.

But, even I'm not without my complaints. Several stages, particularly The Doom and Lost Impact, are very very annoying unless you know your way around. Also, while I don't hate the story, the cut-scenes are horribly robotic - although the FMV was lovely.

So... that's my thoughts anyway. Yours please!

Oh, and but finally:

Yes, it's dark, yes he has a gun, yes you don't play as Sonic, and yes they added things to the background of SA2's plot and Shadow's past. You're welcome to complain about these elements, but try not to base your entire arguement off this points if you can. There must have been something you liked that you're glad survived into future games, or wish had. Even if not, please talk about what it was about the gameplay that you hated.

Edited by JezMM
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SPOILER:

Eggman dies. Three times. I know it's noncanon but it still pisses me off.

So with that said, I don't think I can offer anything close to an unbiased view of the game. I will say that, even before seeing those endings, I found the game to be needlessly dark and edgy for a Sonic game. I hated the story, the tone, the look, the feel, the atmosphere in general.

Gameplay wasn't really good or bad. It felt pretty average, looking at the levels alone, but with the above-mentioned elements, I simply could not enjoy playing the levels for the most part.

Edited by El Gran Gordo
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I agree with JezMM. The cutscenes etc made me barf, and the plot was ridiculous, not to mention constant talking through levels, but I found it to be much less glitchy than Heroes, there were more and shorter stages, the gunplay actually worked fairly well if not shoved in, and the controls were generally good.

The vehicles mostly sucked quite a bit though, and I preferred just running through the levels. Music wasn't up to par imo, but there were a few awesome tracks (The Ark, the motherfucking ark and it's almost dance style music kicks so much ass), and a few REALLY good stages. Circus Park is one of my favourite levels in the entire 3D Sonic thing, and GUN Fortress and Lava Shelter (especially dark mission) were awesome. Of course there were a few shit levels, but the 3D games always seem to have at least a couple.

It's cheesy as hell, but fun to play imo, even if it represents everything wrong about the Sonic series as it stood back then.

Also the grinding was great in this game, pretty fun to do and there wasn't so much rail abuse as in Heroes.

Edited by Semi-colon e
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One of the few games I refuse to play and will never will, absolutely convinced that there's nothing going for it whatsoever. Good god, what a fucking awful premise and hideous boring-looking gameplay.

All of the vocal songs are shit too, all except "Waking Up," which is actually pretty decent and isn't stupid loud wangst like the other songs. I hear that the actual OST is much more varied than SA2's is (but not much better), so I may check out some of the level themes sometime.

Edited by Jake
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This is mostly a game that sort of took one step forward and five steps back.

It improved grinding mechanics, focused the gameplay on one main style with varying missions(for the most part at least) to curb quite a few people's tastes. You had missions for people who wanted nothing more than to annihilate every enemy on screen, missions for those who like exploration, and missions for those who just want to speed through the level as fast as possible.

But pretty much for every good thing in the game, there's two things wrong with it. It's sort of like Yahtzee's analogy of "Terry and Gonad" in his Alone in the Dark review.

Terry: "Hey, why not have a branching story line with multiple missions that you can complete."

Gonad: "Okay, but lets make the missions boring, repetitive and uninspired."

Terry: "Hey, lets have a Good and Bad scoring system where you gain or lose points for doing certain actions."

Gonad: "Okay, but lets make the stages overly cluttered with every kind of enemy making the player have to tip toe everywhere he goes so not to make the wrong move."

Terry: "Hey, why not add different vehicles that the player can use to add as a sort of shield and transportation."

Gonad: "Okay, but lets make it so that 99% of the vehicles are completely useless and don't kill enemies any faster let alone get you through the level quicker."

Aside from the gameplay mechanics the game's tone is just so insanely juvenile and immature. It could have gotten away with having guns, but everything else about the game is just so blatant and in your face that it makes me embarrassed to even be associated with it.

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Shadow the hedgehog was pretty fun, the controls were smooth, and shooting crap with your guns was awesome. The story was "meh" but apart from that, I realy enjoyed the game. I'd give it about 7/10

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I had fun with it. And that is really all I look for in a game, so I would have liked Shadow the Hedgehog even if that was the only thing it had going for it.

But there's more to it than simply fun. I liked the premise, the ability to choose your path (Hero or Dark), and the branching storyline.

My only complaints are how poorly the cutscenes were made, and the sheer amount of enemies in the level. It was confusing, to say the least. At least in Black Knight, you were traveling in one direction and all the enemies are on the Dark side. I loved the soundtrack. All the level themes were great, and Waking Up was another great song. However, I was kind of disappointed with Magna-Fi's All Hail Shadow after hearing Crush 40's rendition of the song first.

While the multiplayer isn't the best, it's still great fun. The camera in multiplayer mode didn't seem as good as the one in the single-player, and it's hard to try and move the camera angle while turning around and firing/attacking back. Just like Black Knight's multiplayer mode, it doesn't seem like the best at first, but after getting used to it, it's pretty addicting. (At least Sudden Death is.)

So yeah, those are my thoughts on the game. Overall, I found it pretty good.

Edited by OvErLoRd
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In the Heroes topic, I said Heroes had nothing worthy of praise. Well, ShtH has a rare few things that I can praise, but it still manages to be even worse than Heroes.

As far as the good, it's the first game where switching grind rails actually works. I don't know why it took them until the 3rd game with them to make rail switching more than "throw the player sideways and hope for the best", but I'm glad they did eventually fix the problem (and then forgot in the next game. Eh, Unleashed fixed it again...). I'm also glad they did, at least for a semifinal ending, go with the "Shadow is an android" option. I'm still disappointed that the game railroads you into a single "true ending" after that, but at least they had the balls to do it at all. And I do like...some...of the vehicles. The floating disk gets some good use in traveling over dangerous terrain, and the jump mech is pretty fun in the places it's designed for.

Aside from those, though, the game's pretty much crap. The whole mood and concept behind the game is just horrible to its core; it's a laughably pathetic attempt to be dark and edgy with talking cartoon animals while staying below a T rating. Shadow doesn't control any better than back in Heroes, the combat is nothing more than find a gun (because Shadow is pathetically weak) and shoot it 'till it's dead, most of the vehicles are worthless, most of the missions (especially the "kill all the enemies" ones) are horrible, the game's ugly as shit, for a story supposedly about choice we're still forced into a single "true ending" that outright invalidates our choices, and the one thing we actually cared about, how/if Shadow survived the end of SA2, is tucked away 9 minutes into the last boss fight.

There's probably more, but that's as much as I can be bothered to write about this game.

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I always compare this game to Heroes because they play identically, besides the many gimmicks of SHtH and the missing team theme. Shadow moves like a character from Heroes. I would say that's a bad thing, sometimes making acceleration feel awkward, but it's forgivable. This is the game Heroes would have resembled if it were about one hedgehog. One of the things I loved about SHtH was the single hedgehog gameplay. Ironically, Sonic has never had this many stages in any of his own games.

The locations are diverse, although some of them are very similar in environment, like the ARK or Black Comet stages. Many stages is a great thing. Sadly the levels are extremely linear, and still less open than the levels in Heroes. When the path branches, it's usually a route for evil or good, specifically levels like Space Gadget or the ARK missions. The split story paths was an interesting idea, but the story doesn't split with any reason, and doesn't make much sense unless taken as a whole. The cutscenes are also horrible to watch, and possibly the worst in the series, which harms a game trying to take a new approach to storytelling.

Shooting could be criticized for not being "Sonic", but I don't buy it. If you take the shooting for what it's worth, it's not too bad, although there's no targeting to speak of except for a loose auto aim function. I found myself wishing the shooting was more 3D hectic like Jet Force Gemini, but it only reached that pace in a few select levels. The gunplay was compromised for speed, which made it feel unnecessary. Of course, speed is a must in a Sonic game, but as a spin off they could have taken new directions. Committing to the shooting gimmick could have allowed fast shooting and fast running. Instead most enemies are just as easily dispatched with homing attacks. Also, the vehicles. The game isn't as vehicle heavy as people say it is, but vehicles do appear in areas you'd be better off not using them in, which can be confusing. They're really more like level specific gimmicks. A few other complaints are the bosses, most of which are unchallenging or easily dispatched with guns, and the chaos powers, which use a system that's not exactly ideal. The powers are the pretty standard destroy-everything Chaos Blast and skip-sections-of-levels Chaos Control, both of which aren't very fun to use as ultimate moves.

As a whole though, this feels like a more complete package to me than Sonic Heroes. I play it occasionally because story mode is quick and produces a different result each time. It has replay for me, where Sonic Heroes has next to none. I like SHtH as an experiment, not unplayable, just a pretty average game with fun. C+ letter score from me. Slightly better than Heroes, IMO.

Edited by Badnikz
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Pretty awful game. Horrendous, N64 quality graphics, flipping stupid and cliche' as hell storyline (Cheesy in Sonic is alright, but trying to pass off a "bad-ass" storyline by ripping off bad action movies is cringe-worthy), it had no idea what direction it wanted to go in (One second you're pumping lead into GUN Soldiers, the next your helping out a talking cartoon Bee. What?), and it just wasn't fun. There were some instances where the level design was kinda fun such as Westopolis and one of the flying ruin stages, but for the most part it was pretty bad.

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Personally, I've always found Shadow much more enjoyable than Heroes simply because it is, technically-speaking, the better game.

Grind controls were as perfect as they are in Unleashed, the enemy hoards of Heroes, while still present, were no longer a bore thanks to the gunplay and many other fun ways to combat them, the slippiness of Heroes was completely remedied with smooth running and jumping, a slower but more accurate homing attack, and quick breaking when the control stick was released.

overall the stages were pretty well-designed, with a good amount of thrills and platforming.

The guns a lot of people disliked but I didn't think they played badly. The autoaim was 90% effective (and there's rarely anything you DON'T want to shoot), and there was a lot of variety.

The branching storyline was also pretty impressive and not horribly done in terms of making the plot more interesting than Heroes'. And, while a lot of people didn't... I really dug the soundtrack anyway.

The game had decent replayability too. Shorter levels made A ranking a much less daunting challenge, and generally they were much more fun too.

This is pretty much how I felt. When playing Heroes, I really couldn't stand the childish & goofy nature. It actually kind of made me sick. ShtH was like some fresh air from that stupid premise. I loved the SA2 references. I don't understand why people say it's so immature and ghetto for sonic. It doesn't even bother me when he say's damn after getting hit. In fact, I don't even notice it anymore. The gunplay was so much more satisfying than that annoying combat in sonic heroes.

The character animation is much more smoother and fluid in this game.

It's no lie that they were lazy in some parts of the game. For example, a lot of the enemy models are low in polygons. They reused all the heroes models. They could have at least updated Shadow's model... The vehicle programming is half-assed. And a lot of the textures are extremely low-res. The punch combo and spindah mecahnics were also half-assed.

Aside from this, I enjoyed it. Because even if all those negatives are dissapointing, what matters is, if you had fun with the game. And I did. I didn't find the game out of character at all. The rest of the cast acted just the way I'd expect them to. I think they changed Shadow's personality in this game, because it was necessary to expand on his storyline. He's not going to be some calm, laid back guy when there's war going on for the chaos emeralds. He needs them. At the same time, he's being pressured to join the hero/dark sides. Which is why it's perfectly understandable why he acts the way he acts in this game.

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My reaction:

"Yay, Shadow!"

"SMASHY! SMASHY! BOOM!"

"Yay. Bad guy go boom!"

"YAY."

...What? I just like to smash things. >3

Seriously though. I thought it was cool. The music is win. x3

EDIT: Yeah, Agree with the below post. those levles where annoying.

Lol, I loved how Shaodw karate smashed the keyboard. xDDD

And then Charmy ramming into it at the end. xDDD

Edited by Blue Streak
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I actually picked this game up again about two months ago, expecting a really shitty game due to the constant bashing from the Sonic community. However, once I started to play it (after doing about 50 game returns due to the fact each gamestop I went to didn't bother checking the quality of the disk they gave me) I found it to be a good experience.

Before I continue, I just want to say that I feel like the game wasn't good, but then it also wasn't bad. The game was ok. The story line was good for the most part, and I really did like all of the endings that the game gave you because they had their own feel to them. The dialogue wasn't too great, but some of the parts that were bad ended up being funny as hell.

The stages were good for the most part. I did like the decaying Prison Island level, the digital levels, and I also liked the castle levels. The levels that pissed me of would be the ARK levels, the GUN Air Fortress level, and the central City level. The ARK levels, as cool as they where, the hero and dark missions took forever because if you missed one GUN soldier, one Chaos Experiment, or one scientist you would then spend hours trying to track them down. And it also didn't help that the level was a maze. The Air Fortress level was just a pain in the neck, especially the out door segments. The dark mission where you had to destroy the president's escape ship was hard as hell. I wish that the game gave you a life bar for mission's like these. All you do is keep firing until the thing blows up, and just because it blinks red doesn't mean jack. Finally the Central City dark mission is just a bitch. Trying to find the bombs in the time limit they give you is almost and impossible feet without some sort of guide to help you out.

As far as controls go, they felt good to me. The shooting mechanics worked out well for the most part, and the different guns you could get were also nice. I mean who doesn't love using the Omo-Chao gun? The grinding mechanics were just amazing compared to Heroes. I liked knowing that every time I would jump from rail to rail that I wouldn't miss and fall to my death. As far as the ultimate attacks go, the only one that was fun to use was Chaos Blast. Chaos Control really seemed to mess you up more than help you; especially when you're trying to kill a certain amount of enemies.

I actually did enjoy the OST for this game. The vocal tracks for this game were great, and I love listing to them in my car. The stage music was also great, and I believe that GUN HQ had the best stage music.

All in all the game was ok, and I still play it from time to time. I really think that people should give this game a chance.

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Up until Black Knight, Shadow was my favorite 3D Sonic game. It's also the first game (ever) that I felt arsed to preorder.

It's not perfect, but it's better than most give it credit for. It's better than Heroes, at any rate.

I have yet to play a version on Unleashed all the way through.

Edited by Ryan Brown
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God, I loathe this game. It's a huge disappointment. Almost NOTHING about it is an actual strongpoint. The controls are loose and poorly laid out, and do not go well at all with the levels. The gun-play and vehicles are very poorly implemented and only have a 50/50 chance of working, the storyline, while it has its strong-points, over all is very unfocused and might actually leave you MORE confused about Shadow's backwater backstory. It doesn't help that in one scene, Shadow's screaming about finding that DAMN 4th Chaos Emerald, and in the next he's talking to a cute talking big-eyed bee anthro named Charmy. The music is also, for the most part, bland and uninspired, even though the music line-up is relatively star-studded. The mission system is also confusing, especially when EVERY FUCKING THING is trying to kill you, regardless of what side you're on.

Oh, and if you can get past all this, the replay value IS pretty good.

Edited by EXshad
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Very, very mediocre 3D Sonic game. =/ Graphics were shit and just cheaply reused from Sonic Heroes including those awful real time cutscenes, music was forgettable for the most part, it tried too hard to be dark and badass, most of the levels were crappy (except Circus Park)...seriously, what's up with this? This game was such a mess! Then there's Vector's voice! Oh Goood... X__x

The only fairly good points were that grinding was fixed from Heroes, FMV cutscenes were amazing and the swearing was hilarious. Other than that though, I didn't enjoy it much and barely, if ever, play it anymore.

And one more thing. Whether you're on Hero or Dark side, how come both Hero and Dark enemies still try to destroy you? That makes no sense! >:0

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If it was any other game, I'd swear Shadow was a deliberate parody of overblown angsty "darker and edgier" franchise shifts. It has the generic villain, the whiney music, the putrid colors, and clumsy use of minor swear words to sound cool.

Even the antagonist- He's a giant evil overlord from space named "BLACK DOOM." Can you get more stock than that?

It's a game that takes itself incredibly seriously, yet comes off looking like an exaggerated spoof. I suppose that's the only kind thing I can say about Shadow- It was unintentionally very funny at times.

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For me it's on about the same level as Heroes - good, but not great.

A lot of people lump the game into the same category as Sonic 06 - and to an extent I can see why, seeing as they both have confusing stories that had concepts people generally weren't too fond of. But as far as actual gameplay problems; there's just no comparison. The gameplay of Shadow ended up fixing far more than it broke, such as the controls being tighter than Heroes, grind switching actually working, and I thought the gun mechanic helped a lot more than it hindered. (attacking Artificial Chaos especially)

People have also mentioned how robotic the cutscenes were - and whilst certain scenes really did make the animation look a whole console generation away, the lip-syncing was probably the best we had got so far. It actually looked like they animated the mouths specially to match the english speaking audio instead of the original japanese for once.

I thought the story was alright, quite intriguing at least, but just filled with lots of B-movie cliches to try and give it that "bad ass" feel, and it does come off a whole lot more humourous than serious a lot of the time. The main point is that it can be good entertainment though, so I'd just suggest going into it expecting a few laughs and not a serious rollercoaster of emotions.

The music was pretty good, not the best in the series but still had plenty of stellar tunes. (I personally love all the Vocal tracks, they did a great job each giving off their respective feel.)

So yeah, all in all Shadow actually improved quite a lot of things we take for granted - but people tend to have a hard time seeing past the actual concept and general silliness of the game to see this, but I don't see this as a big miscarriage of justice since better games with these features have come out since Shadow anyway.

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I really liked Shadow the Hedgehog actually.

There were a few horrible levels... ( specificly the two "Shadow's Memories" levels and the Computer levels ) but I felt it was much better than Heroes. It took the emphasis off speed and put it back onto Platforming, if only for a little bit.

The guns were not so bad, but they really didn't belong in a Sonic game, even if it starred Shadow.

I have no problem with the "dark and edgy" theme the game had going on for it, simply because it was Shadow's game... not Sonics.. .but uhh... seriously... throw in a little more humor next time, huh? Aside from the time Charmy hit the computer on the Ark to make it work, the game was all frowns.

I am totally not a fan of the music, aside from the lyrical songs... too techno-y for me.

I really liked the story and all that... but did they have to go and change the whole backstory already established for Shadow? ....it was a really nice story. And... well it's pretty much the same story as it was but now "Hey also Shadow has alien blood. Just thought I'd let you know" ...I am glad it explains the eclipse canon though.

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I have no problem with the "dark and edgy" theme the game had going on for it, simply because it was Shadow's game... not Sonics.. .but uhh... seriously... throw in a little more humor next time, huh? Aside from the time Charmy hit the computer on the Ark to make it work, the game was all frowns.

But really.

Does it make sense for the whole world to bend to Shadow's emotional tone just because he's the main character? Sonic's world has never been that horrifyingly ugly. It's like the universe went "Oh, Shadow's the star. Let's bend to the most unappealing combination of gritty colors imaginable."

It almost defeats the purpose. I don't even like Shadow as a character, but I can understand that he stands out because he's dark/angsty/etc. in an otherwise rather lighthearted and whimsical world. He's a living contrast to this world, and that angle doesn't really work in this game.

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Well, it is just that the locales he visits are gritty themselves. The digital levels, circus park and sky troops weren't that dark and gritty really, and the park he's in at the start is pretty nice looking until the Black Arms start showing up with their big evil storm clouds of doom.

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But really.

Does it make sense for the whole world to bend to Shadow's emotional tone just because he's the main character? Sonic's world has never been that horrifyingly ugly. It's like the universe went "Oh, Shadow's the star. Let's bend to the most unappealing combination of gritty colors imaginable."

It almost defeats the purpose. I don't even like Shadow as a character, but I can understand that he stands out because he's dark/angsty/etc. in an otherwise rather lighthearted and whimsical world. He's a living contrast to this world, and that angle doesn't really work in this game.

The city was only all that gritty because the Black arms just unleashed destruction on it. The city isn't going to be blue skies after something like that.

And sewers and military bases also tend to be gritty and gross....

But what's with the ignoring of the colorful levels? Eggman had a circus level, there was a pretty silly haunted house, the super colorful computer worlds, and then there's the Ark and the rail canyon type levels which just borrows from previous game themes. The rest is just thematic levels.

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Even the colorful levels still end up feeling dark and dirty, outside a few of them. Sky Troops was alright, and the GUN Fortress had a pretty clean feeling to it, but not much else. Levels were either mostly grungy throughout, or they were neon-ish, which just means the darks ends up between the garish lights instead of over everything. Even the ARK ends up feeling dirtier than it was in SA2...

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Actually, The Ark looked cooler (the ouside). They added these blue droplet effects. The space background also looked far more detailed (minus the view of the earth). And if you look up, there's a cool CG image of a neon lit ARK. Though, I really don't know what happened with some of the textures in that level. It's like when they mapped some textures onto the buildings, they ended up being stretched out, and looking just plain wrong. I've delt with these problems when texturing in 3DS Max. To fix this, you need to learn something called UV mapping. They were the same people who originally created the ARK in SA2, so I really don't understand how they messed it up in this game. I'm guessing it had to do with the game engine.

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