on July 20, 2011
This was good times but it's by no means a flawless experience. At certain points I found myself admiring the game's art direction/music/story/crazy ideas more than I was actually enjoying playing it. The lack of challenge just wore me down. The demons' AI is mostly cut n' paste from the notzombies of Resident Evil 4 -they juke n' jive with the same rhythm to avoid headshots. The difference is that the environments of SotD are far less open than Resident Evil's, to the point where I would call SotD a corridor shooter. Only at a few key points of the game is there a need to backtrack much beyond one screen of where you are at any given time. It all gets to feel a little claustrophobic. And yet... it's kind of awesome at the same time. The banter between you and your sidekick/weapon/dick joke, the little touches of insanity like the Angler Fish song or the pooping one eyed Wiley autosave, the little bedtime stories/grimm's fairytale books for the bosses, it keeps giving the player these wonderful moments. And really that's what this game is all about, it's about moments that hit hard and then bits of tedium until the next "wow." The game succeeds because they come one after another at a good solid clip.
on October 16, 2013
Shadows of the Damned does not break any new ground. Its graphical capabilities look more like a HD version of a PS2 game. It's script and character are as generic as they come. It's controls are clunky and sometimes even infuriating. It's campy, over the top and plain and simple ...FUN! The draw to this game is that it is very self-aware of how ridiculous it really is. It revels in it's every cheesy line and predictable ounce of gameplay.
Where the game falters, is really noticeable... Almost hindering. Shadows suffers from poor textures. screen tears and frame rate issues. The controls (particularly the aiming/gun controls) seem to work out in the game's initial run but, as things progress and more precision is required of the player, they become Shadows' most difficult speed bump. So much so that I almost didn't complete the game. What makes matters worse, is that the game is overly simple even on its more difficult settings. So controls should not be this much of an issue but they are so...
The story is lackluster, a Demon steals your girl and you are an accomplished demon slayer so, it is the perfect setting for a go fetch. You are taunted by the demon world as they dangle your girlfriend like a carrot in from of your face and often do horrific things to make it unsettling for the player. The mix of comic and horror/gore is not so fluid and it can be hard to be truly creeped out by anything that happens in the game and at the same time, it's humor will make you sigh instead of chuckle.
This may sound like Shadows is not worth the time. At a $60.00 price tag, no it certainly isn't. At a used $10.00 price tag? absolutely. Despite all of the hiccups, this is a truly fun game. It's tongue in cheek humor does manage to hit some high notes and its overly simple design just makes for a fun game you don't have to think too much about. The real high note is in its score. The score is superb and really brings the feeling that you are in another time and place no matter how ugly the textures are. Gameplay changes up often from over the shoulder shooter to side scrolling paper mache mini games to extensive puzzles. There is a lot to enjoy here and if you are looking for a fun, quick short game with some headaches, this may be for you. If you want something more in depth and story-driven, move along.
on October 3, 2011
oh my god this game is just heaven for horror fans, evil dead fans and just about anyone with a wicked sense of humor. The soundtrack and sound effects are just amazing. Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka just blew my mind with this. Its better than the silent hill music. its a beautiful symphony of torturous screams, industrial and melodic piano with some latin flair. Trust me it works. The graphics could have been better but you can tell EA slashed the original budget. The game looks good, but could have been much better. Its like the graphics(levels) are just "there" it reminded me of hell in London like the Nightmare Creatures 1 setting. Suda51 went with a more homage to horror films and pop culture vibe vs. his usual twisted "it doesnt make sense" crazy style. Mikami (resident evil fame) influenced this title GREATLY. Its basically RE4 in hell with quentin tarantino sprinkled all around. it plays identical to re4 but ALOT faster, run n gun, n run n dodge rolls. Garcia is just so likeable and has an angelic face with tons of scars and tattoos but this works because you really feel for him. His lover is all he has in his cursed life and it shows. Hes very sexy and a true hero in this crazy world. The bosses are few, but are a spectacle to behold. I just LOVED Christopher(you'll know him when you see him) and the hilarious SUSHI LAMP FISH THINGY LOL. it even has its own soundtrack dedicated to the mighty sushi!!! For the downside, It should have been priced at 39.99/49.99 at launch given theres no replay value. when your done your done. It would have sold so much better if there was a new game+ mode, alternate endings paths etc. And no it doesnt need multiplayer. But EA is greedy what can you do? But my 5-star is because the game is just so damn fun and amazing I still think about it. Not since deadly premonition have I been so excited to be a gamer. in the sea of empty FPS and the soul-less games that are out there, Its rare we get a gem like this. I HIGHLY recommend this title. I take my time with games. I only play for like an hour each day, and i plowed through this 12 hour game in 3 days it was so damn fun and addicting. It's seriously one of those games where you say I will buy this new just to support the developers. The fact it didn't sell well is just a darn shame. Heres looking forward to Lollipop Chainsaw for the next akira/suda51 trip. cant wait!!!
on June 1, 2013
Shadows of the Damned is one of the weirdest, funniest, and most wildly creative shooters to release on the PS3. Conceived by the famed madman of Japanese video game development, Goichi Suda (aka Suda51), Shadows of the Damned is unlike anything else out there, and is all the better for it. It isn't without its flaws, but with a combination of creativity and fun like this, the flaws don't matter.
You play as a Mexican demon hunter named Garcia Hotspur, who's girlfriend Paula is kidnapped by the demon master known as Fleming. Garcia pursues Fleming into the Underworld, where he and his sidekick, Johnson, a talking book who also happens to have the ability to turn into various upgradable firearms, proceed to slay hordes of horrific creatures while traversing the increasingly bizarre and fantastical realms of the underworld. While the game does have several moments of jump scares and fever pitch tension, the game never manages to take itself too seriously due to its outrageous, dark sense of humor and the brilliant chemistry between Garcia and Johnson. Shadows of the Damned is one of the most hilarious video games ever made. Be sure to explore everywhere and look at everything, as some of the finest moments in the game are in these calm, hilarious moments before the storm.
The gameplay, which was done in collaboration with the legendary Shinji Mikami, is quite solid and serviceable, if unspectacular. Resembling Mikami's masterpiece Resident Evil 4, the game uses a third person over-the-shoulder perspective in the basic movement and combat mode. Of course, Garcia's movement is much looser and tighter-controlling than Leon Kennedy's was in that seminal masterpiece, and the shooting is also very well done, but the game still does exhibit some of the flaws that such a perspective comes with, such as limited view and a sometimes hard-to-control camera in tight quarters. None of this is anything close to game-breaking, however, as Shadows of the Damned's gameplay is good overall, especially when compared to some of Suda's other titles like No More Heroes and Lollipop Chainsaw.
What really sets Shadows of the Damned apart is the sheer spectacle and hilarity of the whole thing. Without spoiling some of the game's best surprises, I can say that Shadows of the Damned isn't just a "shooter". It has a lot of moments that will stay with you for a long time, whether they be some of the over-the-top action set pieces, a moment between Garcia and Johnson, or a sequence that will get your blood pumping. What makes Shadows of the Damned special is that it is one of those games that never fails to surprise. You'll see things in this game that you've never seen anywhere else, and that is a rarity in this homogenized market of AAA video games. One final thing worth mentioning is the soundtrack, which was done by the great Akira Yamaoka, who composed the iconic music for the early Silent Hill games. The music in Shadows of the Damned is absolutely stellar...easily one of the best this generation, and few other video game soundtracks can claim to match the mood, tension, and sheer lunacy of its source material so well.
Shadows of the Damned is sadly the type of game that we'll likely be seeing fewer of as we move into the next generation of hardware. These mid-tier budgeted games that are allowed so much creative freedom are already disappearing at an alarming rate, as both studios and publishers of these types of games seem to disappear on a weekly basis. But Shadows of the Damned is one of those games that absolutely does not deserve to be overlooked. Its one-of-a-kind blend of campiness, creativity, tension, hilarity, and fun makes it a unique and worthwhile oddity in retail-based world of video games. If you like shooters and are looking for something different, don't skip Shadows of the Damned. It's a game that is well worth your time and money, especially at amazon's very fair price.
on June 22, 2011
I was a bit skeptical when the first gameplay footage was released because it looked all atmosphere with no content but boy was I wrong. Yes you do get a lot of immature jokes but I didn't mind them in Bulletstorm plus unless your a parent or a Fox News employee I think you can handle it. The story isn't anything oscar worthy but when I picked this up I was expecting Grindhouse not Titantic which is where it succeeds and its interesting enough to keep my attention the whole way through. The main character is hilarious and so are his weapons that are riddled with non stop puns so don't play this with mother in the room. Combat is smooth and works although you will have to fight with the camera at certain points but nothing game breaking. I can't help but wonder if the team that made this got their hands on the license's to The Evil Dead how amazing it would be because that's what I'd put this game in "Camp Horror" not Survival Horror which isn't a bad thing. All in all its a great game with a few minor cam issues a decent story and an awesome atmosphere.
on August 18, 2015
an incredible game by Suda 51. You can't go wrong with a game from suda 51. The same person behind others game like lollipop chainsaw, No more heroes and killer is dead. Complete you collection of suda 51 with this game!
on August 12, 2011
Shadows of the Damned is a very unique game. It's kind of crass, so you must have a good and sick sense of humor when playing it to really enjoy it to the fullest. If you're one of those tight butt PC people who blush when someone tells a dirty joke, then you may want to avoid it. It's kind of like playing Resident Evil while tripping on acid. It's a lot of fun and worth at least taking it for a test drive.
on August 8, 2012
Grasshopper Manufacture and the man himself Suda51 are known for their excessively stylized games that push the envelopes in unique game design (Killer7, No More Heroes). Shadows of the Damned looks no different, and it some ways it is more of what one would expect from them (to expect the unexpected, that is). However, Shadows of the Damned doesn't have the right amount of polish to completely carry the game from getting a bit mundane.
The style is forefront in the game at all times. Wandering through ominous locations that feel like m.c Escher nightmares drowned in blood and disembodiment and constantly getting attacked or chased by something. However the game attempts to ruin all this with an amazingly excessive amount of sexual jokes and more cheesiness, which really doesn't fit well with the horror and creepiness the rest of the game wants to give.
For instance, there's a section that references the Evil Dead cabin (not very well honestly, it's just sort of like the living room from Evil Dead), and it's easy to see the game really wants to be Evil Dead (walking the fine line between disturbing and laugh out loud funny), yet this game attempts to replace the slapstick from Evil Dead with lazy penis jokes (the main pistol in the game is just called the "Boner", and it expects you to laugh at that). I don't know, maybe I'm just not in the right audience that just curls over in laughter every time a sexual reference is thrown at them...
I did find the boss fights and the characters in general to be very well designed, with tons of detail on them. The graphics are done with the dated Unreal Engine 3 which means that even though the game runs at a nice constant FPS, it takes way too long for textures to load in properly. The voice acting is decent for the most part and Akira Yamaoka (the Silent Hill sound guy) does a great job of adapting the classic rock and roll feel into the soundtrack.
The gameplay itself is what really disappointed me though. One will run around the typically linear environments mowing down enemies in increasingly larger and more diverse groups until hitting a elementary puzzle and then repeat. The only way the game brings something interesting to the plate is the light/darkness mechanic, where portions of levels will be either temporarily or permanently submerged in a dark shadow substance that will start to drain the life of the player after a short time. While it looks cool, it really only serves as an interesting way to put a timer on the player when it's forced into combat and/or puzzles.
Also, for people like me that enjoy collecting trophies/achievements, this game casts one of the deadly sins of having numerous "Complete the game in whatever difficulty" trophies without having them stack upon completion. So if you beat this game on the hardest difficulty, it would be incredibly boring to have to beat it on easy and medium all over again just to get your platinum or 1000/1000. If the game had NewGame+, it might have came close to making that up.
Fortunately, the controls are pretty good. While the camera and in turn the aiming take awhile to get use to, all the controls are pretty tight, enough that one will be popping headshots and dodging attacks left and right easily.
Ultimately, the detailed and interesting artstyle with good controls will make up for the mundane gameplay enough that Shadows of the Damned is a generally enjoyable third-person shooter that will last for a couple days. It may be disappointing for a Suda51 fan, but still a fun game considering one can pick it up for right around $10.
on May 17, 2015
This was so disappointing. The combat isn't too bad and is actually pretty fun but unfortunately the game tries too hard at being funny and weird, which hurts the overall gameplay. It adds these weird shoot em up segments that are really slow and annoying and don't make sense in a game like this. I actually stopped at one of those segments because I just gave up trying to give it a chance. I wanted to enjoy this game but everything about it just felt mediocre and it never really focused on being a horror survival game or just a plain shooter. It was suda 51 being suda 51, but just not as good.
on December 19, 2013
I recently played No More Heroes for Wii and was very impressed with its unique style, dark humor, and crass attitude all stemming from director Suda51 b-movie sensibilities. I was so impressed with it that I decided that I’d give another Suda51 game a chance and was curious what he could do at the helm of a next gen title. The only other game I had played of his was Killer 7 all the way back on the Gamecube, which left me with such a bad taste in my mouth that I was hesitant for the longest time to even try No More Heroes until now. So with my new found confidence in Suda, I shelled out $20 bucks on a whim hoping for a unique and bizarre experience in the vein of No More Heroes. What I got was a game that was solid enough (it’s definitely fun), but lacking punch because of its reliance of overly derivative gameplay mechanics and overall bland delivery.
I thought the concept of this game seemed interesting enough. You take control of Garcia Hotspur, a mexican demon hunter, as he tries to save his girlfriend Paula from the ruler of the underworld along with your talking Johnson, a british demon who acts as both your weapon and guide to the demon world. Along the way you get new weapons and fight off hordes of the damned until your final showdown. Okay, maybe it doesn't sound that great, but I was hoping Suda would inject enough of his quirkiness into the project to come up with something worthwhile. I mean, he did have some interesting ideas for No More Heroes and Killer 7, right? I'm sure he'll think of some way to make this simple premise a little more interesting.
I was wrong.
The best description that I can give Shadows of the Damned is that it's Resident Evil 4 with lots of dick jokes in between. I'm not exaggerating at all. Shadow's of the Damned extremely juvenile humor and blatant mimicry of the action oriented Resident Evil's formula is basically the selling point of this game. You will either like this or you won't, unless of course you're like me and will somehow have a mixed reaction to it. The gameplay can be very fun even though I couldn't shake the fact that this feels like a cheaper version of Resident Evil 4. The shooting mechanics and controls are fine as well as the added ability to move while aiming is definitely a positive thing in my book. Also having a quick heal and switching weapons on the fly makes the game much more frantic and fast paced then any of the similar Resident Evils. I enjoyed these changes and most of the shooting is very well done even when comparing it to RE. There is enough new things introduced to the player to keep them on their toes throughout the whole seven hours required to beat the game. The game moves at such a pace that it keeps you interested without it reverting to becoming a drudge of predictability. There are some nice big bosses to fight(even though they are a pushover) and there is also a decent variety of enemies to fight and fun ways to defeat them. I like the little touches, like when you shoot an enemy immediately in the head, you get a cool slowdown effect and a snarky curse word for the main Garcia as the head bursts open into a million pieces. It certainly isn't the most original ideas in gaming, but it is gratifying none the less. If anything, I felt this game didn't have enough of that.
I was surprised when I found out that Shadows of the Damned centered around a light and dark mechanic similar to that of Metroid Prime 2, where you must keep your character out of the darkness while lighting up the path so you can traverse further. At first I thought this was going to be a huge pain, but the way these situations are handled is actually not as annoying as you'd think. Most of the time you'll be going entering new areas that get covered in darkness, fight a couple monsters, take a breather and solve a light puzzle to continue onward. Most of these in between moments give moments for Garcia to talk with Johnson and well... dick jokes. I wouldn't mind these jokes if they were clever, but most of the time they're about as smart as a junior highschool boy trying his hardest to come up with different ways to use a dirty word. There are some generally funny moments in the game, but they are few and far between and all these moments that were funny didn't even mention private parts. I took it as the game's script was trying to be bad on purpose, like a supposed b-movie influence. It grows on you after a while if you have this mindset, but not by much.
But when you really get down to the bad aspects, Shadows of the Damned doesn't do enough new to really make it worth anything more than $20 bucks. Nothing is really horribly broken, but there isn't anything really worth mentioning either. The storyline, which should never really be important in a video game, doesn't get in the way, despite how predictable it is. This is good thing, but I was just disappointed by the lack of creativity involved in the art direction and execution of the premise. The depiction of the demon world just looks like a boring town most of the time and the enemies lack distinct characterization from past Suda games. With so many jokes about genitals, I was surprised that the architecture and enemies didn't also have more phallic designs. The game definitely needed to have something like that to make it more distinguishable than what we got in the final product. Garcia's animations, especially while running, look horribly unnatural and most of the voice work is also uninspired. These bad animations aren't punctuated for style at all, and just bring down the game to seem cheaper than it already does. Most the areas of the game are really linear and only occasionally branch out into bigger areas only to funnel into cramped little hallways until you transition to other areas. There are some moments when the maps and objectives are mixed up a little, such as a 2D shooter portion, but they aren't that interesting as they could be. Also, this game is short, and if you're not into trophies, there is almost no replay value. The trophies offered are really easy to get though, even though you will have to play through the game 3 separate times with no NG+ option to choose.
So...would I recommend Shadows of the Damned? It depends. If you're looking for a decent third person shooter in the exact template of Resident Evil 4 and the like, I guess it would be an okay purchase for less than 20 dollars. Even so, I would be hesitant and might recommend something like Binary Domain or even Resident Evil 5 in it's place. If you want an interesting game with a lot of personality and interesting ideas and execution, I probably wouldn't recommend it. This game doesn't come close to having the same style and personality as No More Heroes even if the gameplay is slightly more enjoyable NMH. The shooting can be fun, but there are much better options sitting on the shelf. Get it if you're already a hardcore fan of Suda51, but otherwise its passable at best.