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Shadow the Hedgehog - The Very Cool, Kid-Friendly Game for HaRdc0r3 EDGEl0rdz [Geek Critique Video]

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Josh, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. Gestalt


    Sphinx in Chains Member
    I was too young to appreciate the irony of this: Shadow came out when I had almost given up hope, that the series would ever release a game that’s on par with Mario and co. I owned a GameCube back in the day and (literally) played it to death. Well, not quite. One of my siblings put in two discs at once and broke it. But anywho, I was very satisfied with the console, but Shadow just wasn't fun.
  2. Sir_mihael


    Huh, this one really hits true for me. Maybe because expectations were different for both games, but I'll take all the OW THE EDGE Black Comet gun cringe over the extrama physics frustration that Heroes gave to me.

    It's weird for me to say Shadow felt like an actual SA2 successor unlike Heroes, but there we go - I'm saying it. Whether that's a good thing or not is down to how much you loved or hated SA2. :V
  3. RDNexus


    I loved SA2 back then, and for many years. It was the best Sonic game to me.
    But nowadays, continuity-wise, I think SA1 was better than SA2.
    SA1 was like the conclusion of the Classics storyline arc overall.
    SA2 kinda started a new storyline, with Project Shadow and such.
    Too bad from there on it only went downhill until nowadays, continuity-wise.
  4. Linkabel


    I kind of wish they would've kept and expanded the concept of using special moves like Chaos Control/Chaos Blast.

    To me those felt more rewarding than the boost and you had to choose when to use them wisely.
  5. LordOfSquad


    bobs over baghdad Member
    Winnipeg, MB
    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    I do wish that the games kept a continuing narrative thread running after Shadow. Every game in the series up until 06 built it's story off of elements or mysteries from the games before and it was satisfying. Not that I'd want it to stay in the same tone that SA2 and Shadow put forward, but there were still things lingering from those games to build on that would have been cool to see.

    well who knows, maybe we'll get a Wisps VS Black Arms game yet :V
  6. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    I can see where you're coming from. As much as the game did wrong, I honestly think Sonic 06 handled Shadow's character the best. He didn't regress from what he learned in his game, he took those lessons to heart, threw away the pain of his past, and freed himself to forge a new path. Those lessons are also what led him to be the only main character not to play into Mephiles' plans. Whereas one game prior he was listening to Black Doom without much reason (depending on your choices, of course), when Mephiles tried to manipulate him, and in basically the same way of playing into Shadow's angst, Shadow instead tells him that he knows Mephiles is full of shit, and that Shadow is what he chooses to be.

    Unfortunately, since 06 was so infamously terrible, Sonic Team decided it was better to throw everything out, rather than try to fix it. What that the right choice? I don't know, I can't see the alternate universe where they stuck to their guns (no pun intended).
  7. Frostav


    One of my favorite baffling oddities about this game and once again I'm surprised Josh didn't mention it, was that they inexplicably gave every single possible path a unique title and let you watch the cutscenes of any particular path strung together. Firstly because the plot in basically every path that isn't Pure Dark, Pure Hero, or Pure Neutral is mostly nonsensical but secondly because most of the names don't really correspond to the actual events in said paths but fuck it, how the hell could they when it's super easy to turn the plot into an absolutely incoherent mess :V

    I can't believe they didn't at least have some cursory dialogue changes depending on your previous choices. Especially in a game that much like heroes has helper characters blabber incessantly about everything in the level--it wasn't like this game was low on dialogue to begin with!
  8. Fred


    Taking a break Oldbie
    Sonic 3 Unlocked
    Guys, help me out here. There was a cheat code to unlock these, right? There must have been. Because I'm pretty sure the library is complete on my old file and I don't remember playing the game three hundred times. Did I? I couldn't have, right?
  9. Never played Shadow, to be completely honest. Sonic Heroes had already managed to be a bad Sonic game, and I was on the verge of being done with this Sonic stuff. The announcement of Shadow the Hedgehog and Sega replacing *all* of the English voice talent with the 4Kids was enough to have me going "Welp, RIP Sonic." I stayed around online communities such as this one as I'd already been around for 5+ years, and I stuck with the name "SoNick" online for lack of anything better to call myself, but I was just kind of... done with Sonic. I did still play Sonic Rush and got some enjoyment out of it, but that was me trying out this new-fangled Nintendo Dual-Screens handheld and seeing what games are good for it.
  10. JaxTH


    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.
    There is not.

    Surprisingly, the old community never made Action Replay codes of the sort, either.

    Well, Sega Japan forced that for some reason.
  11. Despatche


    Shadow is a genuinely good game, that's also not all that different from the other "Dreamcast" games. For the most part, Expert Mode is the correct way to play this game. However, while the level branching is somewhat problematic, they did something more intelligent than how Out Run or Darius handle it by actually giving the player a reason to play all stages, which warrants respect. I'd recommend the game for either Expert Mode or to show people what Out Run and Darius do wrong. Note that Darius Gaiden and OutRun 2 have all stages modes as well, though that was before this game (and Darius Gaiden's is really wack)... Taito and Sega already knew it was the right thing to do.

    What's all this about "years of critically panned games", anyway? Heroes, Advance 2, and Advance 3 were all well-regarded games, and many still like them to today. The people who hated on them back in the day were the same people who were hating on Adventure 1 and 2, and that's still true today as well! Despite, you know, the Advance games being totally different from the Dreamcast games. This was also before Riders, so that's no excuse. Professional review outlets have always been known for being questionable anyway.

    I never had Shadow growing up. That means I never had Shadow at the point when I didn't know better. Now that I do know better, I'm able to play all these Sonic games and see them for what they are, and I'm just not seeing the issues here that haven't already been there since 1991. The cause for disappointment simply isn't there. So many of these writeups about Heroes, or Shadow, or whatever else simply do not reflect anything that is actually in the games themselves. It's not there. It doesn't exist. The idea that this game, or any other Sonic game that isn't 06 or Rise of Lyric, actually ruined Christmases astounds me. It's also kinda strange to see so many people in this thread swear it's better than Heroes. That astounds me almost as much, considering all the hate Shadow has gotten is so much more virulent than Heroes hate.

    Neither Heroes, nor Shadow, deserve the sheer amount of hate they get on a daily basis.

    As an aside, having the entire rest of the Sonic cast cheer Shadow on is a strange aesthetic for that character...

    The series was already going "urban" with Adventure and "dark" with Adventure 2. Shadow is not a far stretch from Adventure 2 at all, and it's why a lot of people feel that Heroes seems out of place tonally (which it was... on purpose).
  12. Dude, did you just diss on Outrun in your attempt to rationalize your liking a game that others don't? Seriously?

    So hey, the nice thing about this incarnation being around since 2003 is that we have this community's pulse to look back on with a simple search. Further, many still have IRC logs from back then. I mean I don't anymore, but someone like GerbilSoft probably does. Heroes was released to a mixed reaction, and Advance 2/3 wished they could say that their reaction was mixed.

    Yeah no, that's a bunch of BS. Several fans found Adventure 1 and 2 flawed, but still fun. Heroes was Sega's chance to do it right, without having to rush the game for the launch/death of the Dreamcast respectively. They put out something that felt more like it was trying to tick a bunch of boxes off instead of an ambitious project like they were known for at the time.

    are you trolling?
    You have a fantastic game series that puts out A+ content, then it goes dormant for awhile. It returns with two entries that are B- at worst, then the developers start shitting out D+ content. Nowadays we're all used to it, but at the time it was a valid cause for concern and something to be upset over. At least Mania was good, as were Generations' 3D stages before then.
  13. Despatche


    Why are you singling me out across the forum, and in such silly ways?

    The branching paths dilemma is something I've talked about with others for years, after noticing how lots of people played Out Run and Darius and how people complained about Shadow's branching paths. It's a potential game design issue that Shadow largely fixed, by applying the previous Adventure strategy of encouraging players to play each stage individually. Out Run didn't even start branching paths; that was TX-1, an earlier game.

    Why are you talking about the Sonic Retro community, the one feared by the rest of the internet, and not about the critical response, the baseline people jump to for situations like this? Almost every time someone wants to "prove" something about Sonic, they turn to critical reviews for some reason. It's dumb, but it's what people do.

    This is the first time I've ever heard anyone claim that either Adventure game was rushed because of the Dreamcast itself of all things. This is also the first time I've ever heard anyone accuse Heroes of being by-the-numbers at anything. There is nothing by-the-numbers about Heroes.

    You mean the series that immediately started out as paling in comparison to even Mario games from years ago, and also did basically nothing in its home country, only doing anything elsewhere because of a hilariously aggressive marketing campaign? That A+ content? You mean the games that were considered by basically everyone to be selling points for the Dreamcast and the GameCube, and that everyone seemed to have at some point? That B- content? Did you know that outside of the Sonic Retro community, Heroes was almost universally praised as being a better overall product than the Adventure games, and that Advance 2 was liked by basically everyone interested in the idea of the Sonic character? I like this series, but I'm not going to lie about what it is.

    I'm so glad that I have no nostalgia for this stuff, so glad. It has made my life so much better to be able to just like games for what they are.
  14. Gestalt


    Sphinx in Chains Member
    Out Run has nothing to do with this. :colbert:
  15. Aerosol


    Not here. Moderator
    Not where I want to be.
    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    This is all you ever say. It's kinda getting old...especially when you're dismissing counter arguments with various flavours of "you're just blinded by nostalgia".
  16. Wafer


    Find me on Twitter instead Member
    In a conversation that was previously praised for its lack of bandwagoning, you bandwagoned a large number of the community ON THEIR BEHALF. Thanks for that!

    Also, you keep spouting your own opinions and observations as though they're objectively true. They're not.

    You're not being singled out, you're receiving a consistent response. You made the same mistake of attempting to invalidate the opinions of others over in the Forces thread, and people tried to explain this to you over there. Now it's happening here as well. Consistency.
  17. Frostav


    Yet more not really needed observations and memories:

    I rented this game first on the Gamecube as a kid and later rented it on PS2. My internet experience was solely limited to going on serebii for Pokemon stuff back then, so I had no idea about the infamous awful-ness of the PS2 versions of the Heroes engine titles, but even then, I was absolutely baffled at how stupidly difficult the game was on that system. I kept getting hit and dying and fucking up jumps I had no problem with in the GCN versions. Years later I learned it was because the Heroes engine was an absolute mess on the system. I pity the kids who only experienced this or Heroes on the PS2, which given how popular it was, was probably a lot. F.

    I decided to boot up Dolphin and play through the pure Dark path for no real reason yesterday. Observations:

    Westopolis: the scavenger hunts aren't terribly difficult in this path--this state just requires you to check the wide-areas Josh talks about. I actually missed one GUN Soldier but finding him wasn't too hard.

    Digital Circuit: I like how there's literally ZERO explanation why Shadow comes here. Also, Rouge is the hero path and wants you get a chaos emerald for...the government...whyyyyy??? Oh, and, to showcase how little Sonic Team thought about this game's morality system, progressing in this stage REQUIRES you to kill GUN beetles even when doing the hero path. Also, the two paths are literally the same except the dark one requires like 20 seconds of extra platforming, lol

    Cryptic Castle: WHY IS SHADOW EVEN HERE

    yet again, the game's morality system falls apart. Eggman is the dark path sidekick, but robots are considered good for some reason, so you have to kill his own robots and hear him complain constantly if you want a good score. And just like Josh said, doesn't matter which path you choose, he fights you in his Egg Breaker robot, with...Amy helping you? Even though you just helped Eggman?

    (note at this point in the story path, Shadow had murdered a shitload of GUN soldiers and destroyed vast portions of GUN's entire digital network. Great guy to team up with, Amy.)

    Josh only glossed over this but one other problem with this game is how every boss is absurdly easy to cheese. Guns do SO MUCH DAMAGE and can be spammed even if they're not automatic. This Egg Breaker fight takes like 30 seconds because you just kill a few egg pawns, take their absurdly silly guns, and then just blast Eggman for 15 seconds and boom, fight over. lmao

    Central City: I can't believe I'm saying this but this level isn't too confusing for the dark path which is mostly a linear line--though I DID miss the first two bombs like a doofus and had to loop the whole damn stage. I appreciate the idea, but it's really half-baked here. Not much plot silliness here, other than Knuckles inexplicably asking a man who's been doing nothing but actively attacking humanity to help him. Music rocks, though.

    The ARK: This entire level is just a big flying section. There's not much to say about it. Seeing the Ark in disrepair with bits of Final Rush and Final Chase is sick, to be honest. The music also is REALLY good, though it's almost hilariously tonally incoherent given that's it's some dope boats with an incomprehensible rapper on a stage you can only get to by being preeeeeeeeeeetty evil. The actual level itself is whatever, though I must admit for a Gamecube game the actual physical space of the stage is impressively large. That Earth texture though is absolutely craaaaaaaaaaaaaap compared to SA2. Why do these games look worse than a Dreamcast game?

    Oh and you fight Blue Falcon here. Thanks for reminding me you made the best Nintendo game ever, SEGA :c He's easy, just homing attack his rocket launchers till you get one and then KEEP BLASTIN'.

    GUN Fortress: Ah, here we have it. Call me crazy but thematically and musically, I find this to be one of the coolest stages in the series. The idea of storming the absolute last bastion of humanity, combined with the haunting music, just hits me in a way most stages in this series don't. I love how the music isn't some twisted evil rock track but a mournful acoustic solo, representing how Shadow in this path has become nothing but a heartless monster following Black Doom's orders without question.

    Man, imagine if the actual plot and writing were also that good.

    Unfortunately I hate one thing about this level: there are SO many GUN enemies that you spend half of it in Chaos Blast mode, meaning that gorgeous track--really, one of my favorite tracks in the entire series--is usually tossed in favor of that god-awful butt rock that plays when your meter is full. Thanks, Sonic Team. Amazing idea to do that, there.

    The actual level itself is pretty fun since there's a million GUN soldiers and you can just get absurd amounts of machine gun/minigun ammo and tear through everything. It's honestly pathetically easy but hey, cool.

    Also, as always, Rogue asks you help her find a chaos emerald. Despite the fact that on the route I took, she already asked me to do this once and I not only ignored her but destroyed her employer's information network.

    Unfortunately your "reward" for this is the worst boss fight in the game, Sonic and Diabolon, an excruciatingly long boss fight because you have basically zero guns and Diabolon is only vulnerable during limited times. About the only thing you can do is homing attack him when he drops his shield and this takes fooooooooooooooreeeeeeeever. The actual attacks are pathetically easy to dodge--why aren't there GUN mechs spawning in to give me more guns and ammo?

    Beat this and Shadow declares he's going to destroy the planet, which is weird given that I'm pretty sure the Black Arms want to just take it over. Might wanna check that with your boss, Shadow. I bet there's a fanfic on AO3 that takes place after this ending. There's a fanfic for everything.

    All in all the pure Dark and pure Neutral paths are...fine. The pure Hero path is miserable torture because of Lost Impact so I just always go Neutral in Mad Matrix (another level with a cool concept and hilariously bad level design) to get to the far more fun Space Gadget and do the hero path there. Interestingly enough, Josh, Space Gadget does do the thing you suggested at the end of the video--the neutral and hero paths are the exact same thing (get to the goal), only you have to beat Sonic (read: beat a timer because he doesn't actually SHOW UP in the level) to do it--if you take too long you complete the neutral mission instead.

    Also the wheeled vehicles are absolutely useless in this game and I have no idea why they exist. Like, why would you ever use the bike when Shadow runs like twice as fast lmao
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
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  18. Beltway


    The most grateful Sonic fan of all time this week Member
    Sega of Darkest Peru
    Artwork and classes
    I have it on GC. It's been a while since I last played it; but looking back, a lot of it comes across as a mostly tedious package, accentuated by keeping the same problems as previous 3D Sonic games in controls and level design. But hey, it's wrapped in an awesomely so-bad-its-good "OW THE EDGE" presentation and does have a few good kernels to it.

    In addition to it being (surprisingly) one of the few focused 3D Sonic game in terms of core gameplay besides Heroes; the idea of a branching level progression system is actually a good concept for the series to tackle. Adding different objectives and goals that lead to different stages and changes the direction of the narrative adds an extra level of replayability to Sonic stages that I think could be really beneficial. It's also something that I'd say the series has scratched the surface with before, and I would personally like to see it explored and fleshed out more.

    Unfortunately, a big problem with Shadow with respect to how it handles the branching concept is two-fold. The stages don't seem to be built with any additional objectives in mind, which leads to the knock-on effect of most of the alternative goals themselves being that you have to farm levels to shoot enemies. And I do mean "farm" in the sense of having to search every nook and cranny to find and shoot something, otherwise you're going to miss it and waste valuable time. Especially because the stages are mostly designed as linear point-A-to-point-B experiences and they didn't have any (meaningful) maps to help you locate items/characters, just (very spread out) checkpoints you could warp back and forth to.

    It really makes little sense how they have objectives that command a different approach to playing the game but they don't actually design the levels to support them. For a game that was clearly aiming to grab the GTA/Jak 2 & 3 crowd, it really should had paid attention to the fact that those games were sandboxes, they had levels where you could build open stages with areas/setpieces that supported alternate objectives. If not that, at least take a page from the Genesis games and have multiple routes that had each route built in mind for a particular goal.
  19. Despatche


    I don't think Shadow (The Hedgegame?) was aiming for the GTA or Jak II/3 crowds at all. The developers only ever cite movies for inspiration... usually developers would cite specific games. Shadow the game just seems like the natural result of making a game like Adventure but with Shadow himself as the main playable character.

    Aside from Shadow getting its whole branching paths thing from Out Run, which just so happens to be another Sega game that also got a major entry in its series just a few years prior to Shadow? Do you really think I'm bashing Out Run here? I'm not.

    Why are you saying this is about my opinion? I don't bring my opinion to this, because it's not interesting. My personal likes or grievances aren't what I'm talking about at all. People keep talking about these "counter arguments", even though we're supposedly talking about opinion, and the "counter arguments" in question are... wait for it... personal grievances. "This game ruined my Christmas, that's how much I didn't like it" or "This game made me give up Sonic, that's how much I didn't like it" is not a counter argument to anything.

    If you want my actual opinions, I don't care too much for Shadow's branching paths and would have preferred for the game to just be something like Expert Mode with all the plot worked into it somehow, or even something like Adventure 2 where you have linear "Hero" and "Dark" sets of levels. I don't care for the imbalance in character usage in Forces, and I'm genuinely upset about what happened with Null Space because there are so rarely levels like that in Sonic. I also don't like how Colors or Lost World have so many acts for a single zone instead of just having more zones, or how Super Sonic doesn't even have a special Last Story he can do. I'm also not really a fan of the recent "Sonic-only" mantra, and I hope the next game lets us use more than just a character creator.

    Those are my actual opinions. You'll notice that they're all personal grievances I have with these games. They have nothing to do with what I've been talking about with Forces, or Shadow, or anything else.

    I was talking about SoNick singling me out over at the Shenmue III thread at the same time, with a strange post that had nothing to do with what I was talking about.

    That isn't really what's happening in that thread. Mostly it's just people getting upset at my statement about branding, which has a long messy history behind it that goes far beyond Sonic.

    You keep saying "invalidating opinions", ignoring that the "opinion" in question is "Forces is an objectively bad game and Sonic Team needs to be fired over it". Enshrining a game as an example of "what not to do" in game design, and demanding that people get fired over it, is not just some "opinion" you can have like it's no big deal. Multiple people replying to me have already pointed out that this is, in fact, pretty extreme, even as they seem to imply it doesn't happen enough to be a big deal.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  20. Aerosol


    Not here. Moderator
    Not where I want to be.
    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    Oh it seems like you're not entirely familiar with what an opinion actually is.

    And Shadow did not get it's "branching paths thing" from OutRun. That's a ridiculous claim to make.