2, 1999 (USA)
> Time again for everyone's favorite plot hook... save the world
from impending doom! This time the lucky protagonist you get to play
is the powerful zombie warrior demi-god, Shadow Man. Basically a
greater evil has reentered the realm of the dead, the deadside, and is
amassing all the criminally insane and serial murderer souls. This greater
evil, Legion, promises these souls all the fulfilled bloodlust they could
desire if a great Asylum was built on the deadside. From here they would
infest the minds of 5 psychotics and sociopaths to create a gateway for
these mad souls to possess others in the world of the living. Which eventually
will lead to an undead army of crazed killers to prematurely kick start
armageddon. * It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood, a wonderful day
to be a neighbor, will you be mine, wouldn't you be mine, won't you be
my neighbor! *
> This game looks decent on the DC. Occasional frame dropping from
camera panning and a most angular look to characters is the only technical
issue. Other than that it is acceptable, but not extraordinary. The character/world
design though... ??? Besides the first zombie thing you fight in the deadside
(this gray humanoid which limps lethargically, wallows pitifully, and shuffles
towards sneakily all with sounds of girlish giggles, zombie moaning, womanish
sobbing/pleading, and final death shriek... excellent (gave me many a complex
now to work out with a therapist) and the Asylum (in turns both brutally
stark and insane; brilliant) the world doesn't seem as inspired from a
design point. The world is gloomy and spooky, but its expanse is so vast
and monotonous that the effect fades. It's so touch and go I have difficulty
rating this. Some of it is so astoundingly on the mark while huge swaths
just take up space... It touches both extremes and leaves you confused.
> No real control options; another A-D selection of pre-formed layouts...
not good. The control itself is once again decent, but analog joystick
only in an inventory menu screen? No. You can see the movies anytime
after at the title screen, nice. You can save anywhere in the game, again,
nice. It plays like Tomb Raider with many guns and lock-on/strafe feature.
Strafe feature, nice, Tomb Raider not my cup of tea, many guns... Well,
let's just say that with the story and mood of this game, mixing a heavy
dose of detective gameplay (a la Gabriel Knight, Police Quest) and sprinkling
3D platformer with heavy artillery would have made a killer title. Here
we get endless routines of "find the switch," "find the right hallway,"
and my favorite "you haven't upgraded to the item/ability needed, to access
this switch, to access the right hallway." All can be fun, this time it
missed. Tedious comes to mind. The plot is interesting, the world of Voudoun
(voodoo spelled right) and the criminally insane mind is interesting, the
gameplay, sadly, is not.
> Once again I am left with two extremes and no middle. On one hand
we have brilliant BGM mood effects, (the first areas BGM consisting of
wind chimes and background natural sounds, spooky and peaceful). And we
have sound effects which are excellently coupled, (such as the first zombie
sobbing and pleading like a woman, or the enemies' screaming death throws).
Then we have BGMs that are very disposable, (such as most of the deadside's
paths of shadow) and sound effects that are pasted onto everything, (all
other zombie enemies spit the same stuff with the same sound). What am
I left with? A very confused and displeased review. Consistency is a good
trait to have.
> No. The gameplay sought to that. Redundant goals, obstacles for
no real good reason. As a detective story, potentially fantastic. Like
this though... Leaves me disturbed for what could have been, but was altered
in favor of appealing to another dynamic. A loss, really.