Shadow the Hedgehog PS2 Review

May 31, 2010 by Chris Wigham  
Filed under PS2, Retro Content, Retro Reviews

Despite the removal of Sonic from the title and lead role, Shadow very much remains a Sonic game, sure it has some refreshing features, but its family ties are obvious to that of the hedgehog with attitude. If you are a fan of the blue speedster then you’ll find plenty to love here, and in the case of Sonic fans that’s normally an extreme amount of speed that would leave even a Ferrari Enzo standing.

Sonic has been kicked aside for this game and in his place is a very suitable replacement in Shadow the Hedgehog. The character first appeared in the Sonic Adventure games and is actually the famous hedgehog in all but name and colour. The open-ended story gives you the opportunity to seek answers about Shadow’s past and alter his alignment any way you see fit.

Fear not all the suitable elements of the Sonic series have been kept intact, even if Shadow is able to pack firearms or journey in a jeep. It remains a visual thrill with superb level design, and a usual and plentiful amount of gold rings lie in wait for collection. See we told you so; this is unmistakably a Sonic game, with rollercoaster loops and all!

The features that you have come to expect are accompanied by some that you might not. The fact that Shadow can use guns does alter the way that you normally would combat an enemy on a Sonic title, although the black hedgehog does share the blue ones abilities when he‘s unarmed. When you are armed with a firearm we are pleased to say that things are pretty tidy too, although there’s a strafe action available an automatic lock on feature certainly wouldn‘t have gone amiss. With all this said, Shadow does look pretty cool armed with a gun and at least it’s something, which sets him apart from his blue alter ego.

The games open-ended nature means that you are able to take Shadow down the route of your choosing. Throughout the game you are presented with choices, the opening level for instance sees aliens and enemies combating each other and you are able to side with the force you desire or head straight for the end of the stage. The evil mission on this first level has you clearing out all the humans, whilst the opposite has you doing the same with the aliens (although annoyingly even your chosen side will oddly impede your progress). Missions differ on each level, and you’ll soon learn that your actions will take you across different stages and plotlines.

Every time you wipe out your chosen enemy, a blue (good) or red (bad) bar increases, and when you hit maximum, a simple button press allows you to make use of a form, which we can only describe as Shadow’s equivalent to Super Sonic. It’s certainly a nice extension to the light/dark element and makes Shadow seem all the more powerful.

Without repeat play you’d be looking at very little value for your money with this one. The game can be completed in a mere three hours or so, which means that going down the different routes is a necessity if you don’t want to feel short-changed after purchasing the game.

It’s basically a Sonic game with guns and an open-ended storyline, with both elements sitting nicely in place without feeling like a crowbar has been used to force them in. The fact of the matter is that the game may boast exhilarating speed and showcase some fantastic graphics, but it just doesn’t quite manage to compete with the big hitters of the genre with all the consoles already having something better on offer.

7/10

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