Review by Dakr Gremmil
Reviewed: 08/16/00 | Updated: 08/16/00
Ignore all negative reviews of this game because they are wrong.
First of all, for the record, I love this game. I've gone through it completely several times, and I just love it. Although, reading some of the other reviews - it seems that the people that reviewed this game passed their supreme judgement for what looks like the experience of 5 minutes of gameplay. If they aren't even sure if there are save points in the game (which there is in about 3 minutes walking distance from the beginning of the game) or blaming the controls for them not being able to walk the straight bridge into the first area (learn to hold ''up'' to talk forward on the Playstation controller D-pad) or the game being to hard (don't stand in the acid slime - healing potions are everywhere) - then I hardly see that as anything less than an unjust biased review. Now that I have this off of my chest, onto to MY review of the game...
The thing that I really don't like about this game is the story line. Supposedly, there is a tower with an evil ruler.... and some old man seems to randomly grab you, hand you a short sword and says ''good luck''. ...The story line you read from the manual (and from the start of the game), almost contradict the story you find from interactive characters in the game.
The control itself would take a little getting used to for a beginner, but it's not rocket science. (and beginners shouldn't review games) If you've played Goldeneye or anything in a classic ''Doom'' first-person perspective game, you'll get along great. The controls for PC games like Descent are much more complex - no one complains there. If you are trying to compare the control to King's Field - yes it's similar, but even then there are some differences. In Shadow Tower, you can't run. (which I probably couldn't run either with 80 lbs. of armor on me) - but the walking speed on Shadow Tower is faster than the gait on the King's Field series. Also, You have to get much closer to hit an enemy with your sword compared to the King's Field series.... and yes, you do have to pan down to hit the pancake flat slime on the floor. It wouldn't be very realistic to randomly swing your weapon above your head and kill everything on the floor.... Basically, if your target is in the center of your screen, and you're close enough to it, you'll hit it.
Also, control wise, it's possible to have weapon reserves.... You can have it set up to where you can switch between 2 different weapons without having to go to the menu screen between each shift.
The graphics are above average.... The actual terrain graphics on the King's Field series was much better graphics. The walls are a bit more pixilated on Shadow Tower, but the character detail is downright spectacular. It also looks like there is a broader color spectrum as well.... but still suited to the surrounding environment. On the other hand, the appearance of the attack magic spells are slightly disappointing - some of the higher King's Field spells are like a light show, but on Shadow Tower, the higher level spells are strong, but duds in appearance compared to the King's Field games.
I've heard people complain of Shadow Tower having poorer lighting than the King's Field series.... Yes, the game is darker, and you can in fact see about twice as far in King's Field.... but tell me... If you were to really walk into an enclosed area with no windows or lights - How well do you think you'd see? Um, that's why there are torches all over the place in Shadow Tower....
The frame rate seems a little bit lower than the King's Field series.... (it's a bit jerkier in places), but Shadow Tower makes up for it in speed. It's quite a bit faster than King's Field in certain areas....
The sound on Shadow Tower is excellent!!! Most monsters have quite unique sounds that they make, and the fade effects are very good. There is audio for the spoken parts and well-suited voices for the characters. (well, mostly.... The Hallow Mage sounds like a little wormy old man - contrasting his gigantic, horrific appearance, and the fact that he's ruler of Death's domain)
People also complain that there isn't any music... While the music on King's Field is great, I think the silence is nice too. It highlights the magnificent sounds.... and gives it that ''Silent Hill'' creepyness. It's rather tense when it's DEAD silent, your in a dark cave, and you hear footsteps gradually getting louder - just to turn around to a gnome ready to hack you with his rock axe.
Besides, I don't remember Tomb Raider having music during the actual gameplay.... I never really heard any complaints. To be honest, I don't even notice it because who has time to dig the tunes when you are in a creature battle. I guess we wouldn't hear any complaints about there not being any music for Shadow Tower if our character would pan down, and we could see enormous Lara Croft breasts.
The fun factor of this game is almost through the roof - I must admit it does start out a little hard, and a little slow, but once you get going - this game gets more and more addictive the further you get into it.... I mean, just look at the game schematics. I mean, there are 6 huge worlds, all with a nasty boss awaiting you.... 150 DIFFERENT creatures in the game (gotta catch em' all!) - and most of the characters you encounter and kill, you get to play as in the additional VS. mode. There are over 40 sword types in the game (that's not counting the other weapons: axes, morning stars, bows, etc.) I've gone through this game 3 times, and each time - I'll get a piece of armor, or a weapon that I've never had before... or something that just blows me away. It seems that about each creature will randomly drop something different each game. Rings loaded with powerful spells, amulets, charms - you name it. This game is stacked...
If you like the King's Field games, you'll like this game... Maybe a little better, maybe a little worse. But if you don't even like the King's Field series, no sense even reviewing this game.... (because it would be about like someone who likes country music, reviewing a heavy metal album)
This game rules. Buy it.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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