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Is Shadow the Hedgehog really a bad game? Or was a underrated gem?


Lange
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Now I always wondered what the big deal about this game was. Back in around 2006 I picked up a copy at my local walmart when it was discounted for 20 bucks. I turned it on started playing it and expected it to be a absolutely bad game like the media and fans said it was. Didn't see any horrendous flaws at first and as I kept playing I actually ended up enjoying it, and getting a lot out of it at the time. Yes I did see it had some flaws and is still probably one of the least refined of the console Sonic's I played amongst The Adventure games, Heroes, Unleashed and Colors. Yet I found it better than Secret Rings and Black Knight. I have several reasons why this game sticks with me which I will describe as well as elaborate on why it maybe this game was just universally disliked.

Back in 2005 why was this game slammed? I believe one MAIN but not the only factor in people giving this low ratings is the fact the game is in the Sonic universe and people compare it from that. The game on its own is good, and you have to realize you are not Sonic in this game and this is not supposed to be just taking Sonic type design and slapping Shadow on it. However, to me getting a break from Sonic was a great thing and a chance to just focus on one of the most popular characters to date, along with a huge development in Shadows story that was essential. Did the game do this without flaws? No there was significant flaws in the gameplay and plot that hurt the game but seemed to me people didn't give it the light of day and really exaggerated and refused to see it as in my opinion a pretty decent games. Now unto the first notable flaw I can make a point about.

One of the most sigificant flaws I found wrong about the game in my opinion is the way the plot works with the branches and multiple paths. It seems to solve absolutely nothing and it does not reveal anything because everything is either not connected or contradicts itself in the main storyline. The plot is confusing and doesn't make a lot of sense because its just a bunch of random vague details depending on the path. Yes some fans speculate that everything in the game happened to some degree except the endings but can never get a good explaination for how this exactly works. However the final ending is a saving grace because we know for sure the details of that and actually ends up being a pretty good final plot. For the first major problem of the game I would say would be no guide to how the main plot is supposed to unfold with the multiple paths cutscenes and stages and just ends up being a jumbled mess.

Despite this however the plot is very engaging and enjoyable once it works, especially with the final ending and when it works the plot to me was one of the best for a Sonic game to date, next to the adventure series. This game really did shine about featuring Shadow and filling some sigificant gaps in his background, and the inclusion of the black arms really gave a cool and serious tone to the game and with the war etc. All I wish is things were explained and shown more than a few bits and pieces. I almost felt like many of the little plot details we were shown almost could of been some sort of extra story on their own.

Now unto the gameplay. Many people complained about the gameplay being horrendous and I found it to be fairly decent for a sonic game. Yes Shadow was slippery and felt uneasy to control due to the Sonic Heroes engine being used, but it wasn't game breaking. Many complained about the guns and camera but I found the guns to be sort of a decent addition to the game and worked allright, no it wasn't anything game breaking but wasn't as flaws as many said it was either to me. Mainly the biggest things I saw were the stages could be a bit sloppy and unrefined in design and the mission tasks were sloppy at times and broken. Also was some broken level design if I recall in some levels where you would go in circles like some of the Ark levels which didn't fit the bill at all. However it was all managable and playable and the gameplay ended up being decent overall even though it was fairly broken and seemed unrefined for what they tried to do. You could tell the game really needed more time and refinement in development and was rushed, but ended up not being so bad to me, and I had a good time with the gameplay.

On the other hand, the game controls well(without the slipperyness), Shadow moves well with your analog, you can choose your own path, get different endings, interesting battles, and pretty neat scenarios. The gun play really depends on your weapon so it's a bit mixed as I mentioned. Also worth noting is the mission characters can be a bit random(amy looking for cream at eggmans castle with no explanation, or just random scenarios in general with the support characters etc) and the scenarios a bit outta the blue but that sorta goes along with the plot more than the gameplay.

The grinding in some areas is a bit off, but the fast pacing and the jumps are pretty well formed, some areas have nice themes with music to go with(music as a whole was awsome actually), hidden passages, and some stages are pretty big. the Save points are pretty balanced as well with their placement.

Chaos blast has its uses and it pretty nice to have a lot more attack variety as you do have additional ground moves, your air combo is next to useless. however, Chaos Control is mixed with it mostly being a nuisance depending on what mission objective you choose to go with out of the usual 2 (sometimes 3) routes you can take to continue the game. Also, skipping save points. This makes you backtrack, which in some levels is ok, some makes no sense, and some require you to backtrack in a linear level where you can't see behind you because in these areas the camera does not turn around all the time. Like I mentioned with the Ark levels and such the game design wasn't meant for open exploration and backtracking, it was more for straightforward gameplay, however wasn't 100% forced and was still optional.

Other than what I mentioned that I only moderate problems with the game and I probably would of given it a 6.5-7 if I was a reviewer not these bad 4 and 3-s back in the day. I mean sure, there's the semi-useless weapons and hidden locked doors that have a mixed of cool and useless items, but those are pretty optional. You have a lot of options, especially in bigger levels (like the ark as one example), It has interesting plots although the real one has no connection to the rest of the game or future and past games involving shadow not solving a damn thing(other than SA2 heroes was just kinda a unrefined return in my book he should of returned in this game or something), but otherwise, I see no actual game breaking problem with this game with most things being optional and the main problem being some small amounts of grinds, sometimes flaws level design, plot holes, some bad weapons, and chaos control. aside from that, there really aren't enough issues that I can see that make it get so much hate even from some non-sonic fans.

Thanks for reading and hope to get some discussion going.

Edited by Lange
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Erm...one thing, could you fix the text up a bit? I can barely read it. As for the game...well I don't mind the game itself but it suffers from the "Once you played it, it gets boring after 1 level." thing. :S

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Two things:

1: My god that text is hard to read.......

2: I actually don't think Shadow was a bad game...I just think it was severely flawed with a poor execution of it's gimmicks, bland color scheme, and forgettable plot line and music...oh, and terrible dialogue....

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Is Shadow the Hedgehog really a bad game? Or was a underrated gem?

It's a brilliant comedy act for all the wrong reasons. As a game, you cannot seriously defend it. Yes it may have had one or two good ideas executed badly. But I implore you to find any bad game that doesn't have at least one aspect, no matter how tiny, that could have been good if handled well.

It is a bad game and you're overrating a turd.

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Shadow The Hedgehog felt quite similar to Sonic Heroes in terms of the graphics and how the Shadow moves IMO. I think Heroes is probably a slightly better game, but I admit that I enjoy playing ShTH a lot more. I mea,n who wouldn't enjoy playing as a Black Hedgehog going around and shooting things.

Where's that damn fourth Chaos Emerald?! How can you not love that classic line.

Edited by Silent Nightwing
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Is Shadow the Hedgehog really a bad game?
Yeeeeeesss!

I'm going to dig up one of my old rants to link to for my full thoughts on the game because like hell I'm typing that all up again from scratch, but a few quick points based on your post:

Yet I found it better than Secret Rings and Black Knight.
Well no shit, SatBK is also a terrible game. That doesn't make ShtH an "underrated gem", just the less rancid of two turds.

Back in 2005 why was this game slammed? I believe one MAIN but not the only factor in people giving this low ratings is the fact the game is in the Sonic universe and people compare it from that. The game on its own is good, and you have to realize you are not Sonic in this game and this is not supposed to be just taking Sonic type design and slapping Shadow on it.
Except that, one, that's largely what it does, and two, it would probably have been better off if they had stuck closer to that. In spite of all complaints that "it's a Shadow game, not a Sonic game!", it still takes a lot of its design cues from Sonic gameplay.

However the final ending is a saving grace because we know for sure the details of that and actually ends up being a pretty good final plot.
No, even if we only look at what we know to be true, the plot still sucks. It's about a bland evil alien invasion who are forced into Shadow's backstory for no good reason and the plot bends over backwards to hype up Shadow to the detriment of everyone else in the game.

This game really did shine about featuring Shadow and filling some sigificant gaps in his background,
It didn't fill any gaps, it made gaps so they could shove aliens into it.

Yes Shadow was slippery and felt uneasy to control due to the Sonic Heroes engine being used, but it wasn't game breaking.
"It wasn't game breaking", fucking hell. Whenever your best defense is "it wasn't game breaking", don't even bother, that's nothing more than admitting it sucks but expecting people to ignore that because you said so. Edited by Diogenes
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The most amazing thing about this game is that people on both sides of the fence will sometimes continue to discuss it as if it's actually relevant in any significant way in both the Shadow's characterization and the franchise's standing. Otherwise, to me, the game in my limited experience boils down to it being Heroes' darker twin, being based on the same architecture, shit storytelling, and annoying graphical quirks so much that I feel they both deserve each other.

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Erm...one thing, could you fix the text up a bit? I can barely read it. As for the game...well I don't mind the game itself but it suffers from the "Once you played it, it gets boring after 1 level." thing. :S

Fixed text sorry dunno how it got blackened

Play Lost Impact's Hero mission. You'll find one of Shadow's many flaws soon enough.

Please describe? Been a while since I played that level but don't remember anything too gamebreaking.

It's not a terrible game, but it's nowhere near underrated gem.

Good someone moderately appreciates it maybe underrated gem is a bit overboard but sort of the way I feel.

Two things:

1: My god that text is hard to read.......

2: I actually don't think Shadow was a bad game...I just think it was severely flawed with a poor execution of it's gimmicks, bland color scheme, and forgettable plot line and music...oh, and terrible dialogue....

Forgot about the dialogue so good point there, disagree with you about the music I actually love the music a lot and one of my favorite Sonic games tracks however could just be me. What do you mean about color scheme?

It's difficult to see that text on the Sonical skin >_0

It's a bad game. Simple as.

This shit panders to 13 year old Shadow fanboys/fangirls who think that having him act like an "edgy badass" by using motorcycles and guns and uttering utterly pathetic curse words makes for the height of entertainment. It makes Shadow appear as little more than a child who's learned naughty language for the first time and think's it's cool to keep speaking it. Vehicles are pointless because they're slower than Shadow's running speed and control like shopping trolleys with broken wheels.

The game squanders it's premise of taking Shadow on differing paths as 1 - Only one pathway is ultimately canon and 2 - Some pathways make no logic sense as you can alter his objectives, making his moral compass stupidly nonsensical and that gimmick of the game unnecersary.

Missions are not particularly varied. The ones that have you destroy a set amount of things give you no leeway and if you missed one, the game has you boringly scope-out the entire stage seeking it out. Your "allies" are out to get you; It doesn't matter if you have taken their side in the mission.

Practically every Sonic character exists for the gratification and pedestal-placing of Shadow himself, cementing him as the biggest creator's pet in the franchise next to Sally Acorn and Christopher Thorndyke. Sonic and Eggman are particularly good examples, the former being morphed into a lowly stepping stone in a boss fight and being Shadow's bitch in the opening cutscene, the latter karate-chopped to death.

The graphics are dull and muddy, they don't epitomize the graphical tone of the series. There is zero appeal to them.

You got some good points thanks for sharing. While I don't agree with you on a whole about it having a mature tone to appeal to kids yeah it was a bit over the top but I guess I learned to appreciate it for what it was.

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My friend's mom wouldn't let him have it because Shadow cursed in it.

A wise choice, as she unwittingly spared him from the horror that is Shadow the Hedgehog.

Edited by Cola
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Please describe? Been a while since I played that level but don't remember anything too gamebreaking.

Ok. You need to kill 30 specific enemies in Lost Impact's Hero mission. There are EXACTLY 30 of them. The level is huge, and there's no radar, so you will take forever to find any you missed.

Edited by Santa Attaxx
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Ming Ming Hatsune

Also my mom caught me playing the game, ordered me to remove the disc and she snapped it in half right in front of me. And warned me to never play that game again. It's like, she knew instantly that it was a terrible game. =P

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Also my mom caught me playing the game, ordered me to remove the disc and she snapped it in half right in front of me. And warned me to never play that game again. It's like, she knew instantly that it was a terrible game. =P

Did she hear Shadow say "DAMN!"
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The game's only saving grace is that it's actually a better game than Sonic 06. Which is NOT saying a lot.

That's funny, cause I find this the opposite. Mechanic's wise, sure I guess I could understand that, but I find myself coming to 06 more than that. There's more stuff to tinker with in 06 or just dick around.
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Ming Ming Hatsune

Did she hear Shadow say "DAMN!"

No, she saw a cutscene with demonic monsters and Black Doom was speaking. I didn't want to say this, but I guess I should, straight after she snapped the disc, she got the Bible, and placed it on the snapped disc. She then prayed for me to remove those demonic stuff I saw in that game.

I was like okay? back at the time...not to mention I was very pissed off as I spent money on that game, but now that I'm older I can see what she was trying to do.

But anyway, I remember how confusing the game was. Not to mention I had the PS2 version. I remember talking about this game before here, it was this summer I think... let me see if I can dig it up...

Edited by Merry Ming Shana
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No, she saw a cutscene with demonic monsters and Black Doom was speaking. I didn't want to say this, but I guess I should, straight after she snapped the disc, she got the Bible, and placed it on the snapped disc. She then prayed for me to remove those demonic stuff I saw in that game.

I was like okay? back at the time...not to mention I was very pissed off as I spent money on that game, but now that I'm older I can see what she was trying to do.

But anyway, I remember how confusing the game was. Not to mention I had the PS2 version. I remember talking about this game before here, it was this summer I think... let me see if I can dig it up...

.....Is it okay if from that brief explanation of what happened, I say your moms a little kookoo religious wise?:P
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I think the game did have some good ideas as far as level design goes. The cyberspace levels were quite an interesting addition and I did like how the levels were a bit more expansive, allowing for more exploration. Of course some stages like Lost Impact and Central City took this too far and ended up being just downright confusing since you got lost very easily. There were some pretty neat ideas in some of the levels like those on-rails shooter sections when you were riding the black bird, surfing on the toxic waste in Prison Island, the rotating platforms in Cosmic Fall and hiding from the security camera in the GUN base. Too bad the slippery controls and lackluster execution ruined pretty much all of this.

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow

That's funny, cause I find this the opposite. Mechanic's wise, sure I guess I could understand that, but I find myself coming to 06 more than that. There's more stuff to tinker with in 06 or just dick around.

Shadow's story is far more coherent, Sonic 06's story is a mess. Says a lot that a game with an alien invasion does better than one with time travel (then again, maybe not)

Shadow's game didn't have many glitches that were noticable, Sonic 06 had loads of glitches that made it far more infamous in the first place.

And neither of their tones were handled well at all. Say what you will about either one, but it says a lot when many consider a game with an identity crisis to be better than the game that was meant to be the series 15th anniversary title.

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Ming Ming Hatsune

.....Is it okay if from that brief explanation of what happened, I say your moms a little kookoo religious wise?tongue.png

I love my mom, she is only doing what's best for me. <3 But yeah, I guess from your point of view it can look like she was being ridiculous.

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