Paul Farrell

Shadow the Hedgehog Review

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In 2005, SEGA decided to give the resident Anti-hero his own game, mostly due to the fact that fans wanted to see a sonic character use a gun. Thus, Shadow the Hedgehog was made.

The story picks up a few months after Sonic Heroes where Shadow, (voiced by Jason Griffith), is still suffering with Amnesia. This is carried over with team dark’s goal from heroes, when he begins to suffer flashbacks to the raid on the ark and the death of his friend Maria Robotnik (voiced by Rebecca Honig).

Suddenly, the sky turns a crimson red and aliens begin descending on the nearby city of Westopolis. Shadow is initially dismissive of the attack but the leader of the aliens Black Doom (voiced by Sean Schemmel) approaches Shadow to gather the seven chaos emeralds and give them to him.

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Shadow is initially untrusting of Black Doom but with the belief that he knows about his past, Shadow decides to hunt down the chaos emeralds himself hoping to find clues to his past along with them. And so Shadow storms into Westopolis following Black Doom and hoping to find a chaos emerald.

Once in the city, Shadow finds the human military unit G.U.N engaging Black Doom’s foot soldiers, he also runs into Sonic (also voiced by Jason Griffith) who is trying to repel the invaders. but is currently proving unsuccessful, elsewhere in the city Black Doom has sent his third eye to over see the invasion and asks for Shadow’s assistance with eliminating the Human Soldiers.

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Overall, the story has a branching element to it as you can choose to help either Black Doom or Sonic or you can even choose to ignore both. this is reflected in most levels as they all have three missions: Hero, Normal and Dark missions.

Hero Missions have you accompanied by a few familiar Sonic Characters and have the most diversity. It’s usually eliminate a target, get to the goal ring, get to the goal within a set time, collect items through out the level or defeat a set number of enemies.

One thing you have to bare in mind is that enemies have factions, so G.U.N Soldiers and mechs will attack Black Arms foot soldiers. The same goes for Eggman’s robots, however, they will also target G.U.N soldiers in certain levels.

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Dark Missions require you to eliminate targets, eliminate enemies, get to the goal ring or interact with certain items within the level, Normal is just the classic Sonic gameplay; get to the goal.

Gameplay also reflects the two sided nature of the levels, however, there is one gameplay element that not everyone loves.

The ability to equip weapons like firearms, even though the weapons are completely optional, especially considering that the homing attack is more precise this time around.

All weapons have a set amount of ammunition and some have an auto aim feature, however, the fire arms are not hit-scan weapons, which means the shots take some time to hit your target.

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With non auto aiming weapons, such as rocket launchers and turrets, you need to lead your shots and compensate for travel time. This makes target priority crucial for turret sequences, the bosses are fairly unique while you can use guns to ease the fight, they can prove a real challenge without guns, especially for Sonic and Diablon.

So what are the positives for Shadow the Hedgehog? Well, the stages are very well designed and the objectives in each are very well done.

For example, Circus Park and Space Gadget are some of the best hero missions in the game and Central City is probably the darkest level in sonic history.

Surprisingly, there are very few negatives that I have with the game, but one negative is the secret keys as their effects are sometimes hit or miss.

They are a hit in levels like lethal highway and lava shelter, where they give you a beyond useful weapon or vehicle. They are a miss however, in levels like lost impact and death ruins, where they only hinder you or the item is not that useful.

Another negative that bothers a lot of people but not me is the jumping arc. I personally find the loss in speed to be a necessary sacrifice for greater precision with the homing attack and besides you have the jump dash to gain additional distance off a jump.

Overall, Shadow The Hedgehog is a good game. Nothing great, but a solid C rank and a good start to the Modern Era of Sonic, .

Fun Fact: Sonic Generations has a reference to a line in this game. Shadow is seen standing next to the grey chaos emerald in the overworld and this is the fourth emerald the player collects, a reference to the line: “Where’s that damn fourth chaos emerald?”

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