I’m taking it back old school a bit and talking about Shadow Man. I don’t know how many people out there played this game when it first came out for the N64 and DreamCast. Now, I only played it for the N64, and I had to give it few years rest inbetween playings in order to beat it. Not that it was a bad game, it was just a bit…what’s the word I’m looking for, “confusing”?
Alright, before I get into what I didn’t like about the game, lets get into some cool features about this game. The story behind the game is kinda weird, but in a good way. It’s a pretty dark game, so the storyline is pretty dark as well. You play as Shadow Man, who’s real name is Michael LeRoi, a voodoo warrior if you will. You have this “mask of shadows” that is put into your chest by a voodoo woman before the game even takes place (You get a bit of a background of this and a tad bit more throughout the game). With this, and also your dead little brother’s teddy bear, you are able to cross over from Earth, or liveside, to Darkside, or know to most of you as Limbo.
Now, the game is mainly set over in Darkside, but you have to travel to Liveside to beat the bosses in the game. So, but the main story you should know is that something is happening over in Darkside that will take over all of Liveside and you have to do something about it. But if you want a more in depth look at both the story and the back story of the game, go Wiki it. It is a pretty dark background to the game but to get the full story, you have to Wiki the game. I didn’t know the whole backstory until I Wiki it.
Now another thing that i liked about the game is the soundtrack. Yeah, it kinda gets on your nerves a tad bit, but it really goes with the game. It makes it that much more darker and gives it that “voodoo vibe” if you will. I find myself humming the tunes to this soundtrack all the time. There aren’t many times that happens. But this is one of those times.
As far as the graphics go, what can I say, the game was made back in 1999. Pretty blocky and what not, but still pretty cool. If there was a HD release of the game now, with updated graphics, I bet it would be pretty cool. Some of the images from the game is pretty scary for a game like that. I mean, it has a whole lot of death, decay, hellish images that I for one, wouldn’t want my 5 year old to see. So, it really fits well into the story of the game.
What about the game play? It’s an N64 game, so the game play is a little off. Sometimes you need the camera to go in on direction, but it won’t and sometimes it’s kinda hard to make out if you can jump somewhere or not. After a while, you get used to it and you just roll on. Now, also, this is the part where I had to give it a few years rest. You have to collect these voodoo things that have these “dark souls” in them. That is one of the main things in the game. In order to advance throughout the game, you have to unlock these “coffin-gates” which are pretty much huge doors that are shaped like, well, coffins, that are sealed. To break the seal on this doors, you have to have gathered a number of “dark souls”. And these things are everywhere, and some of them are hard to find. I can remember looking all over the place for just one more so I could advance further into the game, and just could not do it.
After a few years rest, I picked it up pretty cheap over at a place in Knoxville Tn called Game Haven (found out later that I could have just went down the road for about 5 more minutes to McKays and it would have been cheaper). I dusted off my N64 that my wife got me out of the clear blue one day, and started playing it. I got a bit further this time then I did back in high school, but not much. After playing for weeks on end and not being able to figure out what I was missing, I cheated. Yeah, I went and looked at a strategy guide. And the one of these “dark souls” that I was missing was in a pretty well hidden place. That’s why I say the game play is a little off and hard sometimes. You really have to invest some time in it.
So, what do I rate this game? Is it a Buy or Rent? Or is it a Pass? If you are looking to kill a few days out of your life with something that will make you laugh at times and if you are willing to get into the game, then this is a Buy. I really don’t see anyone trying to rent this game, mainly because it’s so old. You might have some luck renting it at a local Mom & Pop rental place, but that’s about it. Like I said, the game came out in 1999, that’s about 12 years ago, give or take a few months.
Well, thanks for joining me. Next time, I plan on reviewing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time for the…yes, N64. I will be doing on for the 3DS soon I hope, but right now, you have to deal with this one…ha.
So…there you go. Until next time…Keep ya Game 0n!