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  1. #1
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    Shadows of the Damned - Xbox 360, PS3

    Suda 51 has been behind some excellent titles. Killer7 and the No More Heroes games were great and really fun to play. Shadows of the Damned is a more different game compared to the others. This time Suda paired himself up with the likes of Shinji Mikami, the guy behind the Resident Evil series and various other well known titles. So with these two masterminds behind the wheel is Shadows of the Damned a match made in heaven (or hell in this case) or are there one too many chefs in the kitchen?

    Shadows of the Damnedís story follows Garcia ****ing Hotspur (yes, that is his middle name), A demon hunter that has killed one too many demons for the Lord of the Underworldís liking. So the Demon Lord, known as Fleming in this game, decides to mess with Garcia by kidnapping his girlfriend, Paula and doing whatever he pleases with her. Garcia then ventures forth into Hell, with his wise-cracking bumbling british skull sidekick Johnson, to save her. The story is, well put it this way. Itís about a dashing, foreign hero venturing through world to save his blonde acquaintance from an evil monster. The story is pretty much Sudaís take on almost every Super Mario Bros game.
    The story may not have the most original concept but what makes a Suda 51 game is its hilarious dialogue and writing. Shadows of the Damned certainly doesnít disappoint you there. You can certainly see Sudaís quirky and most of the time perverted sense of humour forged into the writing. In my opinion this is certainly funnier than his other work. The relationships between the characters are just fantastic and they perform really well. Overall the writing is just brilliant, itíll definitely keep you interested in the game to last you until the end. What even better is how the humour is still funny through another playthrough. Iíve played through this about 3 times now and I still laugh at the writing.


    Shadows of the Damnedís gameplay is very similar to a Resident Evil game, which I take it this is Mikamiís work here. Johnson is able to take on many shapes and forms, but pretty much just guns in this game. He can either transform into a pistol, a shotgun or later on in the game an assault rifle. The weapons are upgraded later on as you progress through the story and become capable of preforming abilities a bit too overpowered for my liking. Iíll tell you now there are about two enemies in this game which canít be killed with a shotgun. The weapons unfortunately break the gameís difficulty, but still doesnít make the game unenjoyable, just a lot easier. Other than weapons you can perform stuns and executions by using Johnsons Light Shot. The Light Shot not only works well in combat, itís also needed for the various puzzles throughout the game. Also Garcia has a rolling move to get him out of trouble, however itís an ability which does make the enemies seem harmless because of how easy it is to use it to get out of situations.

    Throughout Garciaís Wacky Adventures in Hell youíll come across a lot of demon folk. You have your average demons, which act more like vicious zombies, Demons that fire projectiles at you, Demons with are covered in armour etc. I would say the list goes on but quite frankly the list is very short. I feel as if thereís not enough diversity between the enemies, rendering the pistol a bit useless except for the armour demons. If there were more enemies that made the other weapons more useful then I would be ok with it, but it feels like you only need the shotgun for this game.
    Another gameplay mechanic is the Darkness. Darkness is Garciaís and every other thing that isnít a demon. It surrounds the area around Garcia and basically eats him alive. So obviously you canít stay in it for too long. To prevent death you must either find a light source or if not grab Human heart you grant you some more time getting out of the Darkness. Itís a good little gameplay mechanic which keeps the player on their toes. Also no enemy can be defeated in the Darkness and will be covered in it even after youíve gotten rid of it so the Light Shot is very useful in these situations.


    However that is just the main gameplay. The game is separated into various levels containing a brand new gameplay mechanic each time. Youíll find some shooting sections, Puzzle sections, hell, even some Bowling and Side scrolling shooter sections. The diversity between the levels is really impressive. If this was just nothing but shooting sections this game would be somewhat forgettable, but itís really great to break up the game into these fun little sections to take you away from the madness once in a while.
    I think the best part in Shadows of the Damned is how many features it introduce throughout the game and how consistent they are. Youíll constantly learn more and more about the situation in the levels and the never drop the features. A lot of games Iíve seen introduce so many features and just keep them so exclusive to certain sections in the game. The amount of features Shadows of the Damned introduces and keeps juggling them about throughout the game is amazing. It clearly shows that Shadows of the Damned never gets repetitive or boring.

    Throughout the game youíll come across various items. Alcohol ironically serves as Health items in this game. You can use them through a shortcut button to quickly access them when youíre luckís no going so well in battle. Through killing enemies you will collect White Gems. The white gems serve as currency which you use to buy more health items or ammo. You can also buy Red gems which serve as upgrades for each weapon. The shop is useful but really most of the time youíll only but Red gems and ammo and health items are scattered throughout the world and appear a bit too frequently to even need a store. Red gems are scattered too, but some need various ways to be unlocked. There is an achievement/trophy for obtaining every single Red Gem in the game, but worry about that for the easy mode of the game, as the price in Red gems steeps between difficulties.

    When I see Executions, I meant kick in the balls

    The worst part of Shadows of the Damned to me is its difficulty. What with the overpowered weapons, the health items and ammo appearing far too much and the rolling move being a failsafe evade all equals up to a bit too easy game. Youíd think with Mr Mikami here, who made games that if you mess about for a second you would find yourself mauled by several creatures at once, that this game would at least put more pressure on the player. Also the game is surprisingly short for all it offers. Luckily youíll want to play it again but the game first time could take about 5 hours to beat. Itís certainly not a disappointing 5 hours but I feel the game could have been longer.

    As you can tell from screenshots, Hell isnít a beautiful place to look at. It certainly lacks beauty but what I love about the visuals is the settings and areas in Hell are almost different every time. I do miss the Cell-Shaded graphics from Sudaís previous titles but the visuals do look nice to look at as they are.
    The soundtrack is actually composed by Akira Yamaoka. Whoís that you may ask? Only the Sound Designer behind the Silent Hill series so thatís another mastermind behind this game. He doesnít fail to impress here. The soundtrack to this game has a certain sound to it unlike anything Iíve heard before. Itís hard to explain really but I think the soundtrack could only be used for a game like Shadows of the Damned.
    Though my favourite song in the soundtrack is actually done by British Punk band, The Damned. The song is just awesome and how itís the credits song this song feels rewarding to hear.



    CONCLUSION
    Shadows of the Damned is nothing but impressive. It may pull itself away from Sudaís other masterpieces, but it comes off so original and just extremely fun. It may be a short and sweet game but the game will only make the player have nothing but fun and entertainment throughout the entirety of the game.

    + Introduces a lot of features and keeps them throughout the game
    + Distinctive soundtrack
    + Hilariously written story
    + Bursting with style and originality
    - A bit too easy and a little bit too short.

    9/10

  2. #2
    Fear is the Mind Killer Star Hustler's Avatar
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    This game was fantastic, I love George's final transformation where he's on the horse with his goat head. Such a fun boss fight.

    Great review!

  3. #3
    Press X To Rescue Orphans Ride the Walrus's Avatar
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    Great review, great game. Agree with the bottom flaw, the only real downpoint is the length.
    Died Wearing A Purple Jacket.


    THE MOOSE IS LOOSE

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders
    Honey, I ****ed the kids

  4. #4
    Prosecuting with style Vyse the Legend's Avatar
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    Really good review Raw, and I don't think many people could argue with everything you said, sums the game to a tee really. Though I do have to give a quick mention to the Johnson rap at the end of the game, just because it's that damn amazing.

  5. #5
    Gamenoodle
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    i never heard of this game till now but it sounds brilliant i will try and find out where to buy it now! thank you for the review
    Last edited by Gamenoodle; 04-08-2012 at 12:29 PM.

  6. #6
    cool game and cool zombies this seems like a fun game to play!

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