Shadow the Hedgehog - 10th Anniversary Retrospective Thread

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Beltway, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. Beltway


    Temptive Bongwater, Sealed in Can Member
    Sega of Darkest Peru
    college courses / anime trash crusader
    So, yesterday (November 16th) marked the (first) release of everyone's favorite antihero doppelganger, starring in his very own game!


    And not just his own game, one that explores and fills in the blank of his shrouded past. It's filled with guns, mysterious aliens, swearing, vehicles to drive, and most (in)famously guns, guns, and even more guns! Blackjack and hookers not included.

    Gameplay is akin to previous 3D entries, except you can now use a variety of weapons and vehicles at your disposal to destroy enemies and progress through levels. An expanded moveset for Shadow also exists that allow him to use melee combat, truck-lifting, wall running/jumping, and spindashing through alien substances to reach new areas in the game. The game also utilizes a "Hero/Dark" moral alignment system, which allows the player to fill their respective "Hero/Dark" gauges. When filled, these allow Shadow to temporarily tap into his respective "Hero Shadow" and "Dark Shadow" forms, which offer additional powers. Adding to this are missions given to Shadow by people aligned as "hero" or "dark" characters of the game, which if carried out alter the narrative structure and level progression. In a single playthrough, seven levels, a few bosses and a story ending, can be played in sequence, all of which (barring the starting level) are determined by the player through whichever moral side is chosen throughout each stage. With 21 levels (not counting the starting level), 18 bosses, and 12 endings in total, this allows for 324 various ways the game's narrative structure can be played. That said, none of these endings are canon, the true canon ending for the game "Last Story" is unlocked by getting all of 10 existing endings that are determined by the player's morality. Keys can also be found and used to unlock various vaults placed around the levels, which hide special vehicles. A multiplayer mode for two players also exists, upon which you can battle it out with some Shadow Android robots to the finish in some levels based on the main campaign.

    Released on the GC, PS2, and Xbox, the game sold well (1.59 million copies as of this 2006 FY report; it was later repackaged with "Player's Choice" labels and the like), but was also subject to mixed critical reaction that bordered on the negative. As one might expect or attest, the significantly noticeable shift in tone in its narrative, artstyle, and gameplay sparked controversy from its initial reveal of Shadow with a gun, and was roundly panned across the board at release. In addition, people also criticized the game for its controls and level design. That said, people do give it some positive marks for its replay value offer through the morality system, with a few also speaking positively about the game's soundtrack Some also argue the game's attempts to be darker came off as unintentionally hilarious, and speak of it fondly in the "so bad, it's good" mindset. Ultimately, reviewers and fans point to this game as when the series, in terms of reputation, launched a surface-to-air shark missile from underwater, shortly before the following year's Sonic 2006 made it explode oh so spectacularly.

    I personally won't lie that I had some fun playing it and I never really caught onto its infamy among fans and general gamers until years after release. That said, ten years on, I doubt I'll ever go back to it. I bet if I do, I'll run into some ugly memories lol.

    Your thoughts, Retro?
  2. Atendega


    Lesser Sea Sponge Member
    Comfy couch
    Collecting insults
    I personally thought this game did a lot of things right.
    It did a lot of things wrong too, obviously, but I enjoyed it a good deal. Sadly, I think it set a precedent that makes it unlikely for us to get another spin-off focussing on one of Sonic's friends, at least not for a long time. + - I think they could do some really cool stuff with Silver.  
  3. Dandaman


    Also known as Dandaman955 Tech Member
    It played too much like a single-player Sonic Heroes for me to care about the gameplay that much. Probably would've also helped if it was played on the Gamecube, as the different versions have different load times/choppier frame rate for whatever reason (I remember Heroes having this problem as well). I didn't feel like there was much there to bring you back unless you had nothing else to play, but it wasn't terrible. Playable, but mediocre.
  4. Atendega


    Lesser Sea Sponge Member
    Comfy couch
    Collecting insults
    We could also think of this as Mike Pollock's 10th anniversary :eng101:
  5. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

    I'd sooner celebrate the 10th anniversary of Sonic Rush, as it was released on the same day as Shadow but to much more acclaim and paved the way forwards for the series up to 2011. Although sadly none of the 3D games ever quite did the boost and all its related mechanics quite as well as Rush. And for Dimps it was just a slippery slope...
  6. Captain L

    Captain L

    The guy who likes Shadow the Hedgehog Member
    Waiting for the coming of the Great White Hankerchief
    As you can already tell from my member title, I love Shadow. It's the best worst game ever. I know it's total crap, but I can't help but enjoy it for that reason. Even 06 didn't have that right mixture of wrong to be so good.
  7. Selbi


    Impaled with Extreme Prejudice Member
    Northern Germany
    Sonic ERaZor
    I got personal memories for this game because I got it for Christmas by my grandparents, and back then, being the T-10 years old kid I happened to be back then, the big boom and pow-pow was obviously awesome. Never made it to the final stage, cause every time I tried to pick a specific path I always fucked up somehow and ended up being "accidentally good" right before the end of the dark path.

    Still, it has a special place in my heart despite its objective shittiness. Maybe I will replay it one day, with a pack of booze to my side. If only to get that godforsaken final stage.

    A truly good thing this game left as an impact to this very day is one particular thing though: "I Am" by Crush 40 still occupies a spot in my MP3-Player. Cheesy but killer.
  8. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

    A couple of years ago I did a playthrough of Shadow just too see what sadistic fun could be had with it. Suffice to say it was an absolutely brilliant experience for all the wrong reasons. While it's clear that they were trying for something in '06, ShTH looks like nobody even wanted to give the impression that effort or thought went into the design of the game on any level. It's fantastic!
  9. TheKazeblade


    "Our Life is More than a Side-Effect" Member
    There still is so much potential in a Sonic game implementing a multiple-path progression like Shadow's, except get rid of the morality system attached to it. It's a shame it was never capitalized on again.
  10. Blivsey


    Charismatic Sonicaholic Member
    Conveniently enough, SomecallmeJohnny's doing a playthrough over on his LP channel. It's nice to look back at just how silly this game is.

  11. SpeedStarTMQ


    Here for The Hedgehog. Member
    I enjoyed this game, but the underlying feeling of disappointment really stopped me from loving it. I was unimpressed with the following:

    *The graphics
    *The controls
    *A lot of the voice acting
    *The glitches (missing objectives, unloaded floors)
    *The piss poor camera

    I'd played Sonic Heroes first, then Adventure 2: Battle, and really expected this to be on par with Shadow's missions from that game. I was wrong.

    Still, I liked it for all it did right, and it had an amazing soundtrack which actually got me in to Magna-Fi and Julien-K, whom I still listen to today.
  12. My memory of seeing this game when I was a teenager: 'OMG what the actual fuck have they done to the Sonic franchise!!!'#][']!"$£$%^%&^%^'

    I stopped buying Sonic games altogether after that :v:

    Although now I'm older I'm dead keen to check out the worst Sonic has to offer.

    06' is also 10 next year :ohdear:
  13. Cyberguy


    I am the Chancellor of Clown Cars! Member
    Shadow The Hedgehog was the game where Sonic team sucked the whimsy from Sonic's universe and left none to cushion the absurdity.

    I'm still struck by the sheer dissonance of the destroyed Prison Island stage. It's all grim and toxic and dark looking, and you're playing as a cartoon Hedgehog with guns trying to be badass while a cartoon bumblebee keeps pace. It just doesn't add up.

    And this is the same game where you fight a slot-machine on wheels, and after beating it, you murder the goofy mad scientist who built it. Really? Sonic Adventure 2 at least felt like a Saturday morning cartoon when it got dark. This was just... dissonant.
  14. LoneDevil


    I've enjoyed it just for being a massive Sonic Heroes Mod with guns and more gimmicks, that's about it. though the OST is pretty good.
  15. I personally liked the game Shadow the Hedgehog. The multiple-paths system was interesting and the weapon mechanics worked well. I'm also not bothered that much by the missions that require you to defeat a certain amount of enemies because its just a matter of paying more attention and you aren't actually required to complete every single one of that type of mission if you want to beat the game. I think that the game receives too much criticism, much more than it actually deserves, and the game is compared too much to other Sonic games when it is a spinoff.
  16. Overlord


    Aros gartref, diogelu'r GIG, achub bywydau Moderator
    Berkshire, England
    Learning Cymraeg
    Such a letdown, yet I still got more play out of it than I did Heroes. The fact you had to play through the game 10 times just to reach the true ending was the biggest pisser when some levels were taking me upwards of 45 minutes to complete. I think I only ever managed 6 runs. Maybe one day I'll finish it...
  17. TheKazeblade


    "Our Life is More than a Side-Effect" Member
    The series had banked so much rapport for me at the time, I wouldn't let myself believe it was bad. I couldn't. That rapport got me through Heroes, Shadow, and even up to '06 to the degree that I honestly believed the reviews I read were by people who didn't know "how to play Sonic." It wasn't until I actually played '06 that I re-examined everything. Shadow hit me the worst because again, there was some legitimate potential there. Even the gunplay could have been salvagable if they had treated it like Ratchet and Clank in tone; but the plot was so confused by what it wanted to be, it was destined for failure.
  18. Jen


    #lapidot Moderator
    Various drawings
    It was a piece of shit when it was released, and it's still a piece of shit now.

    If Heroes was the start of me falling out of love with the modern Sonic games (at the time), then this was the tipping point. I'd obviously always loved the classics, and I felt myself almost getting a new level of appreciation for them after playing this utter and complete shitfest - I kept playing the Mega Drive games for a while around this time, just to remind myself of why I shouldn't completely abandon Sonic.

    Shadow is a boring and massively overrated character IMO (as I'm sure I've said on here many a time in the past), and I don't think he should have had his own game. Even if he did, it shouldn't have been such a complete shift in tone from what one would expect in a Sonic game. It tried way too hard to be gritty and edgy with the completely unnecessary swearing and gun usage. What was that all about? It was actually hilarious at times because it was so, so bad.

    The fact that you had to play through the game so many times to get to the final story was overkill. Playing it once is bad enough, bloody hell =P Also, it's pretty poor from a story-telling point of view, because the final story is the only real ending, isn't it? So what's the point of having all these ludicrous ending scenarios if none of them even count in view of the final story?

    The game just plays really badly too, in my opinion. As with Heroes before it, Shadow's movements are slippery and the controls aren't tight enough. The levels can go on and on and on forever. Some of the missions to get specific endings are a fucking chore. It's just awful...
  19. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    SEGA should look back at this game and try to make something that's the complete opposite in every single way possible.

    The result would possibly end up being something in the lines of the Mega Drive classics.
  20. Because the game has multiple paths and more than one ending, it was obvious that not all of them would be close to being the real ending, so I'm not sure why that is a huge problem. Some of the events that can happen in certain paths like Team Chaotix collecting data are shown to have actually happened. I thought that Final Haunt was the canonical last level before the Last Story begins because it is one of the levels that takes place in the Black Comet and it has "Final" in its name like every other final level in the 3D games since Sonic Adventure.