Me as a child when this game came out: WOW, a Sonic game with guns, this looks awesome, I want to try it out.
When I played it as a child at my Dad’s house: Hey…it’s okay.
Me in 2017: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAWHO THE HELL ASKED FOR THIS? I didn’t ask for this, Sonic fans like the character Shadow but I don’t think they asked for this. I think the only people who liked it and still like it played it back in the day and was probably the only Sonic game they played back in the day. And there was a short-lived meme within the Sonic community where you’re a real man if you play this game and it’s considered to be the best first-person shooter of all time…these are jokes by the way, we love jokes.
Anyway, Sonic game that’s dark and edgy and you can use guns…IT’S SONIC THE FREAKING HEDGEHOG, it’s always been a children’s game…well for all ages but mostly for children, I don’t think the fans consist of Grunge fans…maybe. OK, let’s start properly.
Shadow the Hedgehog, developed by Sega Studio USA and published by Sega and was released in 2005 worldwide.
So if you played Sonic Heroes, you may have known that Shadow has amnesia, he wonders to himself about lost memories…AND THEN ALIENS APPEAR!!! Who are they? Who knows but they’re ruled by Black Doom. Who is he? He’s an alien too? They’re here because they want to take over the world I guess. And this is where we get different directions, you see, Black Doom approaches Shadow and because Black Doom knew his name, he decides to collect Chaos Emeralds to see if he can remember the important stuff.
And now we get to the different paths, you can either be the hero or the villain, even though in Sonic Heroes he was the anti-hero but OK, we get a choice, we can be the hero and save the world or be the villain and destroy it…AND IT DOESN’T MATTER! And this is for two reasons. 1. Nearly all the endings suck and are entirely pointless. 2. There’s a last story, so even when you pick your side, your ending doesn’t matter because you got to complete both good and evil sides, AS WELL as a Last Story mission which is the real main ending, and even then the story is incredibly clumsy and makes no sense.
So here’s what you need to do in the game, during the game you’ll team up with one of the characters from the Sonic series…and then Charmy Bee appears…Sega? You wanted to make a dark and edgy game, yes? WHY PUT THE MOST ANNOYING CHARACTER IN THE SERIES SINCE BIG THE CAT IN THIS GAME? Dark and edgy, my arse, you couldn’t even do that right. Now the reason why they’re there is for the Hero objectives; they’ll ask you to do something, for example, Sonic in the first level will ask you to defeat the aliens, but there’s also a Dark objective, for example, you can ignore Sonic and do what Black Doom tells you to do and kill the GUN soldiers. But they’ll be a neutral path where you simply get through A to B, something straightforward and makes the game fun.
Whenever you do one of the objectives, you get sent to another path, do another in that same level you’ll get sent to different path. Problem is, in order to travel to another path, you have to play the first level again before you go to a different path, and you have to play this 10 times if you want to finish all the levels but then there’s expert modes and more objectives and such, so if you want to 100% the game then you have to complete the first level at least…326 GOD DAMN TIMES, SCREW THAT!
The graphics for the opening cutscene look absolutely fantastic and still hold up, the graphics in-game and other cutscenes are pisspoor and haven’t aged well. The level design is awful, way too dark and boring and forgettable, the result of making the game dark and edgy. The music is also forgettable, it’s just boring rock music and not even Crush 40 can save this mess.
The gameplay…is ok, in fact, it’s a lot better than Sonic Heroes, mostly because I’m controlling one character which is good, but controlling Shadow is a pain in my backside, he’s so slippery and jittery because he has those pissing skating shoes, and even when you do homing attacks, you’re going to be bouncing off elsewhere and die.
OH WAIT! The guns. Yep, Shadow can now use guns and the gun play sucks, mostly because there’s no auto-aim nor anyway to aim so it’s a broken feature, funny considering that this feature was heavily marketed. You can also drive cars but they control poorly, don’t use them. Trying to do hero and dark missions are awful too, they’re also far too long for their own good, the neutral missions are short and to the point and again, I actually had a good time, something short, something sweet, I liked it, but then I tried to play the hero and dark missions and I didn’t have a lot of joy playing them.
Overall, Shadow the Hedgehog is…f***ing embarrassing. This is a game that nearly destroyed the series (not so much compared to the next game). I think that this game was made in complete desperation, this was a game that was made for the west because we like stuff that are hardcore and I think because of the rise of the shooting genre this was made to get that crowd. One problem…ITS SONIC THE FREAKING HEDGEHOG!!!
You don’t see Mario doing something like this. But then again, Nintendo would never take risks like…
It’s not the worst game gameplay-wise but the idea of making a dark and edgy Sonic game was a pretty foolish one and an example of xenophobia in Japan’s part. How about that Shadow and him swearing which was also marketed to have but the developers pussed out and his swearing only consists of ‘damn’, well done Sega you jerks, you couldn’t go all the bloody way. I don’t recommend this if you’re not a Sonic fan, it’s a facepalm of a game that I’ll happily forget…and then I remembered what the next game is…it’s time.
You can get it on the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Network and Xbox.