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So, I was just thinking about the Shadow the Hedgehog game...


kdotj24
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Yeah, the game sucked. But, I believe the reason why it was a bad game (or even an "okay" game) isn't because of the concept, but because the concept was executed poorly. I believe that if Sega and Sonic Team made another Shadow the Hedgehog game, it could turn out nice.

 

My idea is that the game would be an open world platformer involving Shadow. The game world would have 6 areas, which act as stages, along with one area that acts as a hub world. The story, in my mind, would revolve around Eggman kidnapping Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, E-102 Gamma, Rouge, and SIlver, or maybe a new character could be introduced. Eggman kidnapped them so that they wouldn't be able to get back the 7 Chaos Emeralds he is using to create a monster that could destroy them all. Right before the power of the emeralds is completely absorbed into the monster, Shadow finds Eggman, and knocks him into the machine being used to create the monster. This causes an explosion so violent, it breaks all emeralds into 3 pieces, and the three pieces of each emerald are all spread out into the different areas. Same with the capsules the characters are in. So, Shadow is put onto a quest to find everything he needs, and then come back and destroy the monster Eggman created. Yeah, the plot sounds strange, but it's a first draft.

 

Shadow would have 6 areas to traverse through, and each area would have 3 shards of an emerald. They would all be found in hard to find places, that could only be found through platforming sections with tons of enemies. Shadow would be able to buy guns in the main city/hub world. Once Shadow finds all three pieces to the emerald, he collects it. And then a boss fight happens with Eggman. After defeating a boss, the characters Shadow saves help him in Boss Battles. After defeating all 7 bosses, it is revealed that Eggman found a way to get his monster up to full power, and decides to destroy all 7 characters with it. This sparks a long boss fight that could also be played in multiplayer, where all 7 characters must fight the monster at once. 

 

Now, I know it sounds a little wonky, but does anyone else think a unique game like that would make a good Shadow the Hedgehog game?

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Shadow the Hedgehog had many problems that extended beyond it's basic gameplay. Some of the major turn offs to me were it's god-awful story, shitty dialogue and terrible voice acting. I mean this game single-handedly ruined the reputation of one of the more interesting characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. Trust me, if SEGA were to even consider another Shadow the Hedgehog game, everyone would just groan and roll their eyes. I'm all for trying to fix Shadow's character, but a sequel or semi-sequel to one of the wort Sonic games most certainly isn't the way to go about it. As for your idea for another game, I'm not particularly keen on it. One the problems with a Shadow the Hedgehog game is that it makes him seem like he's the most useful amongst Sonic and his friends, which I find silly, if anything Sonic and Shadow are equals, otherwise Sonic is superior based on recent encounters in games like Generations. I think Shadow is best utilized in a roll that's on Sonic's level. Beyond just that, trying to find 3 well-hidden objects in a Sonic the Hedgehog game just sounds tedious, much like the treasure hunting stages in SA2 were. 

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Shadow the Hedgehog had many problems that extended beyond it's basic gameplay. Some of the major turn offs to me were it's god-awful story, shitty dialogue and terrible voice acting. I mean this game single-handedly ruined the reputation of one of the more interesting characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. Trust me, if SEGA were to even consider another Shadow the Hedgehog game, everyone would just groan and roll their eyes. I'm all for trying to fix Shadow's character, but a sequel or semi-sequel to one of the wort Sonic games most certainly isn't the way to go about it. As for your idea for another game, I'm not particularly keen on it. One the problems with a Shadow the Hedgehog game is that it makes him seem like he's the most useful amongst Sonic and his friends, which I find silly, if anything Sonic and Shadow are equals, otherwise Sonic is superior based on recent encounters in games like Generations. I think Shadow is best utilized in a roll that's on Sonic's level. Beyond just that, trying to find 3 well-hidden objects in a Sonic the Hedgehog game just sounds tedious, much like the treasure hunting stages in SA2 were. 

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Honestly, the first problem I have with Shadow the Hedgehog is the inclusion of the main Sonic characters.  Part of the appeal of a character having their own game is so that we can experiment with their personalities and gameplay styles independent from the source material.  That's not to say it should have no resemblance to Sonic in any manner whatsoever, but in its current state, ShTH feels less like a Shadow game, but a Sonic game with Shadow roped into the conflict.  For that reason, I'm already against your primary idea, but with all due respect, having the characters kidnapped is a very shallow manner of giving Shadow a shining moment at the expense of other characters.  Granted, it's a trope that can be done properly as long as there's appropriate balance within it, but those that do it right tend to be the exception rather than the rule.  Breaking the Emeralds would also be a little silly to me, as it's already been done twice with the Master Emerald.  In general, it might be nice to have a conflict that doesn't revolve around the Emeralds for a change, or at the very least give them some continuity so we don't feel like we're just collecting the Emeralds for the umpteenth time.

 

In general, you are correct in saying the game would have been better received had it been executed better (I mean, that kind of goes without saying), but conceptually, I still feel that realistic gunplay, and emphasis on guns for that matter, was one thing that brought the experience down for me.  The entire direction of ShTH goes entirely against what I found to be integral to the Sonic experience, part of which was optimism and adventurous nature, not gloom dark shootout.  Granted, it's not out of character for Shadow to use guns, but it does feel like added padding and in general it's not that interesting of an inclusion, in my opinion.  Really, though, everyone on this forum has been over why ShTH was a terrible game thousands of times over, so listing ideas on how to fix it would just be too tiresome for me.  So I'll just say I frankly don't care for your ideas, no offense.

 

Also, Gamma is dead, so he can't be included in future installments. =P

Except Battle but forget that

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I'm not interested in a sequel but I do keep thinking about the original crappy game

And if we're just talking story, I think Shadow's story had some possibilities

First they needed to drop the choose your own path and allies story - it doesn't work in this type of story - although the story should see Shadow switch allegiances at times

Second they needed to do and use parodies of well known movie stories and items like how the Death Egg and Super Sonic were conceived - they should have watched movies like Alien and Terminator and even Rambo-like movies for inspiration

Third drop the amnesia, Shadow should be after answers on whether he is a robot, justice on those responsible for the attack on ARK from so long ago (the GUN Commander frequently seeks advise from old angry man in a wheelchair who turns out to be the previous Commander) and answers to Doom's involvement in his creation

Fourth the atmosphere needed to parody the overly dark and edgy atmosphere it tried to just straight up use - like Lego Batman in the Lego Movie or the original Mirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics - the gunshot sound FX menu and ridiculous proportions of Shadow and his weapons would work great to this effect

And fifth the other Sonic characters should not have been so annoying unless the characters were first shown being their usual cool self only to cutaway to inside Shadow's mind and his exaggerated view of them being annoying

Obviously what is done is done and there is no changing the past, and there were more problems than just story - I'm just dreaming

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That just sounds like you'd be transforming ShTH from bad Michael Bay-esque game to bad parody of itself, to be perfectly honest.  I'd rather they focus less on trying to draw inspiration from pop culture and more on expanding the series on its own merits.

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ShTH is a game that took a franchise about cartoon hedgehogs that roll down hills and suddenly decided it needed the Halo audience no matter how damaging it was to the brand. That was going to get it mocked to high hell no matter how the game actually turned out - the fact that the game was both blatantly uninspired and horribly put together is just the icing on that cake.

 

I think it's for the best that Sonic just goes back to concepts that actually worked before and expanded on those instead.

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It's a tricky thing to draw the line between flawed ideas and flawed execution when the game is as bad as this one, and I tend not to think a lot of the ideas were very good either. For example, they didn't really seem to have much of a plan for shadow's chaos powers, and I don't think there was that good a story to tell about shadow being made from alien genetic material. I also have a general distaste for shadow related stories as they tend to dredge up GUN, one of the most out of place organizations in the franchise. A story not touching on his origins could avoid this, but then we're basically left with "a game about shadow" being the extent of the common ground, maybe with a branching story. Of course, it doesn't seem to me to make a lot of sense to go and do this now, not when sonic isn't really working.

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there are 2 ways to look at the whole "gun" issue.

 

1. "why does shadow need guns?"

 

2. "guns are only used in the gameplay parts, so don't complain about it!"

 

I personally liked the story, it just didn't end up how I expected was the issue with me.

 

And really, how much better could you have made the story considering its theme, and the whole "choose your path" setup they had! (I'm aware the setup itself could have been better but how much better could you have made the story if you had to keep it the same!)

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That just sounds like you'd be transforming ShTH from bad Michael Bay-esque game to bad parody of itself, to be perfectly honest.  I'd rather they focus less on trying to draw inspiration from pop culture and more on expanding the series on its own merits.

Well, my idea for a story is bad, but maybe I could have explained the gameplay better. What I'm trying to do is incorporate Banjo Kazooie elements (collecting items to complete levels) while making an open world-ish platformer.

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there are 2 ways to look at the whole "gun" issue.

 

1. "why does shadow need guns?"

 

2. "guns are only used in the gameplay parts, so don't complain about it!"

 

I personally liked the story, it just didn't end up how I expected was the issue with me.

 

And really, how much better could you have made the story considering its theme, and the whole "choose your path" setup they had! (I'm aware the setup itself could have been better but how much better could you have made the story if you had to keep it the same!)

 

The second option is pretty invalid because a story, in theory, is meant to coincide with the gameplay, not stand as a completely separate entity.  Besides, it's arguably the most important part of the game, so that actually makes it even worse.  The problem with the gun issue is not only it's out of place presence in a Sonic game (as though anything was actually in place in this game) but the fact that they are poorly programmed.  In general, guns and speed don't tend to mix well.

 

The problem I have with the story is mainly how it starts and drops conflicts in an almost The Room-style fashion.  Because every path recycles the same possible level sequence, all the cutscenes have to vaguely fit into one another, which often has the unintended side effect of some cutscenes having absolutely consequence or meaning whatsoever.  The best example is the part where he steals a Chaos Emerald from the Tornado 2.  This triggers an alarm which, in turn, triggers a flashback of Maria.  When you are out of the flashback, you are not confronted by Sonic or anyone else.  The alarm is never brought up. The stole Chaos Emerald is never brought up.  Everyone acts like it just never happened.  This is the case in every single possible pathway that leads and exits from this scene.

 

Really, there are a million ways to improve the story.  But this board has discussed this at great length before.

 

 

Well, my idea for a story is bad, but maybe I could have explained the gameplay better. What I'm trying to do is incorporate Banjo Kazooie elements (collecting items to complete levels) while making an open world-ish platformer.

That reply was actually in reply to Darth InVaders' points, not your's. X3

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Well as long as we're talking the guns angle again, I still think it's pretty silly that Shadow can only Chaos Spear while he's super - it's versatile enough to replace pretty much every gun in the roster. In fact I ultimately would've preferred that they rolled with that. Shadow playing the part of a Black Mage - if you'll pardon the pun - is a lot more interesting as a baseline concept than OH SHIT HALO'S POPULAR NOW NEW FAD DETECTED

 

That being said, I should still stress that I'd much rather that be expanded on in a completely different game rather than reviving the second most infamous game in the franchise for the opportunity.

 

The best example is the part where he steals a Chaos Emerald from the Tornado 2.  This triggers an alarm which, in turn, triggers a flashback of Maria.  When you are out of the flashback, you are not confronted by Sonic or anyone else.  The alarm is never brought up. The stole Chaos Emerald is never brought up.  Everyone acts like it just never happened.  This is the case in every single possible pathway that leads and exits from this scene.
That scene's status as a Big Lipped Alligator Moment is especially distressing when you consider that Chaos Emerald was probably powering the ship. And that he tried to steal it while the ship was in mid flight. Frankly it's either a plothole or a fucking miracle that they didn't all just crash and die right then and there. But this is also ignoring the fact that this only happens in the best possible pathway through the good arc.

 

I mean, holy fuck, nevermind that transitions between levels make zero sense, and whatever the game ultimately defines as morality is basically shallow to the point of binary, and that the game somehow expects you to give a shit about characters from the opposite alignment shouting orders at you when both sides shoot at you you anyway. If you're going to give players a choice between being good and bad and emphasise that it somehow matters in the end, you just don't have your player character defy the precedent they've set at complete fucking random like that. 

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You know, while the game was extremely flawed, I... actually kind of enjoyed it? Possibly even a little more than Sonic Heroes?

 

I mean, the plot was filled to the brim with overblown angst and was daft as a brush, but even in the schizophrenia that could ensue by hopping alternately from Dark to Light missions, I found it a lot more compelling than Heroes's 'Hey it's a paint by numbers Eggman plot OH LOOK METAL SONIC oh he's dead yay'. Once you started opening up the different level routes to choose from, I actually got more of a kick out of actually trying to craft a halfway coherent storyline myself via deliberate mission choices (as well as having multiple routes and objectives per level to add variety) than from having to play four almost identical games with slightly more/less enemies in Sonic Heroes.

 

Similarly, while the controls were at times somewhat dire, it focused on the speed aspects of Sonic Heroes without all the slowing of the Flight / Power aspects (albeit with a few missions managing to introduce their own slowdown annoyances). Even the tedious find/kill everything missions were made a bit less annoying with the restart point teleports and the option of just ignoring those missions.

 

Is this just me? Lots of people seem to consider Shadow the Hedgehog one of the worst games second on to Sonic 06, but to me it has far more replayability value than Sonic Heroes or even Sonic and the Black Knight. Admittedly not the highest bar to hurdle, but still...

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You know, while the game was extremely flawed, I... actually kind of enjoyed it? Possibly even a little more than Sonic Heroes?

 

I mean, the plot was filled to the brim with overblown angst and was daft as a brush, but even in the schizophrenia that could ensue by hopping alternately from Dark to Light missions, I found it a lot more compelling than Heroes's 'Hey it's a paint by numbers Eggman plot OH LOOK METAL SONIC oh he's dead yay'. Once you started opening up the different level routes to choose from, I actually got more of a kick out of actually trying to craft a halfway coherent storyline myself via deliberate mission choices (as well as having multiple routes and objectives per level to add variety) than from having to play four almost identical games with slightly more/less enemies in Sonic Heroes.

 

Similarly, while the controls were at times somewhat dire, it focused on the speed aspects of Sonic Heroes without all the slowing of the Flight / Power aspects (albeit with a few missions managing to introduce their own slowdown annoyances). Even the tedious find/kill everything missions were made a bit less annoying with the restart point teleports and the option of just ignoring those missions.

 

Is this just me? Lots of people seem to consider Shadow the Hedgehog one of the worst games second on to Sonic 06, but to me it has far more replayability value than Sonic Heroes or even Sonic and the Black Knight. Admittedly not the highest bar to hurdle, but still...

Shadow is considered one of the worst largely because of its rapid and largely unwelcome change in direction, which has its share of high points and low points, but ultimately wasn't what people wanted anyway, not so much because it's one of the worst programmed.  On its own merits, Shadow does have many strengths over Heroes, namely in that the more open level design works better in Shadow's favor than in Heroes.  And yeah, the game was literally built on the premise of having more replay value, so it definitely wins that regard.  I also think that as far as control goes, it's a lot more stable than Black Knight.  As said, though, Heroes and Black Knight aren't the best competitors, especially when the former is actually credited as being the beginning of Sonic's "dark age" and downward descent from 2004-2007.

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Compared to heroes, it's probably a better game, the guns helping to deal with the enemies and the game not breaking so frequently, depending on the version in question.

And I dare you to diagram that sentence.

And if bringing the guns up was due to my post, I was talking about the paramilitary oginization, GUN, who has always rubbed me the wrong way, from the ham handed political intrigue to ripping of battle tech mech designs verbatim, and managing to make Sonic and co seem out of place in their own game. Not enough being out of place themselves, they make main cast seem out of place, almost like a fish out of water story where the metaphorical lack of water is never mentioned.

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  • 1 month later...

Is Shadow the Hedgehog a bad game? Absolutely. But is there some enjoyment to be had? Well, I tell that in this review.

Story: Where to start? I didn't believe that it could get worse than 06. And it didn't because this is pretty much in the same level of bad, even if you ignore the fact that games story progression wasn't made to follow the branching stories and because of that there are, depending on your actions, many cutscenes that don't make sense. Whole premise is that Shadow has amnesia and no one explained his past to him in time between Heroes and this game and he just trust some alien guy he has never met just because this person ordered him to bring the chaos emeralds? And aliens, really? Because of how confusing the story is I don't even know what else to say.

Ps. One thing I have to mention is that Black Doom according to his own words brought those floating temples to earth thousands of years ago. Well, why did he waited thousands of years to get the emeralds? I sure that he would have been able to get them back then. And why did he needed Shadow, I think Black arms were able to get them quite well on their own. Come to think of that, Black doom resembles quite bit of Mephiles in the terms of nonsensical actions.

Presentation: I'm sure that character models are the exactly the same as they were in Heroes and human models are just bad. And most of the textures are just bland because of the "darker tone", I don't mind that but why did Adventure games and Heroes looked so much more interesting even if they also took more realistic route in setting? I think that in the terms of sixth generation Sonic games this looks the worst.

And sound. This was the first game to have 4kids actors and well, I think that there are some improvements over old voices, especially with Tails. But I think that overall it's step backwards from Heroes, which had overall good acting in my opinion. And the music. My least favourite Sonic soundtrack is Sonic 4 but this is just so forgettable. Of course Crush 40 songs are as good as always but in the terms of level themes, I really remember only two: Westopolis and Lava Shelter which is the only stage theme that I really like.

Gameplay: well, this was the first main Sonic game to have only one playable character since Sonic CD (I don't count those support characters because you have to be player 2 to control them). Is that a good thing to me? No. One of the reasons why SA1 and S3&K are my favourites in the serie are the different characters, yes in SA1 not all of them were good but 3/6 of them were just awesome. Of course at that point SEGA had really started to forget one thing: different characters need to have their own gimmick and SPEED so at least with one character the whole game is about high speed platforming.

Well, I got distracted. In the terms of control, they are slippery. But personally I was able to adapt to them in Heroes and also was able to do that here. One thing that this game got right was the use of buttoms, unlike SA2, there really wasn't any actions in the one button which fighted against one other, this made especially grinding much easier. Sadly this was partially because of the fact of how bad Spin dash is in this game.

And then there are guns. Even if so many people complain about them they are probably the best thing in this game because 1. they kill enemies with healtbars fast and easily 2. lock-on in them works most of the time very well. Other thing are the vehicles, with the exception of those instances when they are mandatory I don't recommend using them. Chaos powers: they are more useful than in 06 but just use Chaos control when you only need to get to the end of the level and Chaos blast? Unlimited ammo and invinsibility are better option at least to me.

Finally, games main idea, branching story (which is worthless in the end) and the progress of getting the ending. First of all, the fact that you need to play Westopolis 10 times in order the get to the last story. Secondly, the way to progress in stories, those god forsaken missions. I have played every single one of them and divided them to three categories

  1. Those which I like: every mission which you only need to get to the end of the level and have at least tolerable level desing
  2. Those which I can tolerate: missions which things you need to find is not really big and/or they are in places from which they are pretty much impossible to miss and don't force you to go back to the beginning and don't slow you down at least much
  3. Those which I hate: every other mission. They either have ridiculous amount of objects, have confusing level desing, have those items in places where they are very easy to miss, or have combination of any of those issues. I think that worst levels in the game are Doom, Lost impact (same thing but even slower) and Mad matrix (only dark missions, hero and neutral aren't so bad). One thing which makes them even worse is the camera. It isn't clearly designes around those mazes.

Bosses are mostly tolerable, there isn't anything really to say about them. Except of how confusing final boss can be if you don't know what to exactly do. I think that along with Time eater this is my least favourite final boss in 3D Sonic.

Conclusion: I say one thing, if you play this game don't bother with the last story, it isn't worth it. Play only the neutral missions because they can be fun (at least they were to me). And if you want to get the real ending use some kind of guide because most of the worst missions of the game can be avoided. And even if you still want to do all of them, I think that you do all those missions after beating the game.

Edited by RipeFIN
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The only way you would get "another" shadow game is if it was marketed as "Sonic & Shadow"  like Sonic & Knuckles back in 1994.

If you were to go down that route, I think it could be be pretty interesting. The prremise could be that Eggman and Metal Sonic have done something, (or eggman and eggman nega / A N OTher villain) there's little time to put it right, Sonic and Shadow agree to work together but go off on seperate paths to track them down and put things right (Sonic going after Eggman, Shadow after Metal, or vice versa).

Gameplay would be based on the unleashed / colours Hedgehog engine too.

only 1 side character each too - Tails would follow sonic, Rouge Shadow.  90% of all stages would be speed based with Sonic and Shadow having "character specific" abilities and obsacles to overcome. Stages woluld be different too, not a retread of each character's. the other 10% of stages would be Tails and Rouge flying the hedgehogs between platforms (like the Sonic and Elise stages in 06) Not in a bloody plane!

This, I think would work.

 

 

Edited by castell-neath
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The guns were something that never bothered me as much as it did others. What killed the game for me was locating every single GUN Agent or whatever the hell it ends up being to complete the Hero/Dark Objective. Like, if you miss one then you literally need to keep repeating the stage to find that last obscure objective. That and the ridiculous amount of replays required for completion (why can't I just start a strand off at any point I've already completed) are what killed the game for me.

I said Unleashed was the only Sonic game I've never completed yesterday, but I never completed Shadow either.

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