Since his introduction in Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow the Hedgehog has become one of the most popular characters in the series second only to the Blue Blur himself. It was inevitable that he would eventually star in his own game. The result was 2005's Shadow the Hedgehog, a huge letdown of a game to fans of the Ultimate Life Form. But today I'd like to talk about something this game got right: It's soundtrack.
While the game itself was kind of a disappointment, Shadow the Hedgehog had a phenomenal soundtrack. From dark orchestral music in the cutscenes to the industrial metal and guitar-laced electronica of the action stages and boss fights, the game had so many good things going for it musically. The dark and gritty riffs of the music of the opening stage "Westopolis" pulled me in almost instantly and the game's soundtrack had me enthralled all the way through. And the delicious bass lines of "Lethal Highway" had me playing that stage over and over.
These tracks just fit the character of Shadow so well. Industrial metal is typically a very dark genre and it lends itself very well to his dark and tragic past and to the overall mood of the game. Many tracks in the game are reminiscent of bands like Rammstein, Ministry, and Orgy who are all legends in the realms of industrial rock and industrial metal. Jun Senoue and company did a fantastic job with the soundtrack. I've said it many a time, Mr. Senoue is an amazing guitarist and his riffs and melodies throughout this game are fantastic.
But beyond the compositions of Senoue and the other composers are 6 fantastic songs written by various bands including Senoue's own Crush 4o. The opening song "I Am... All of Me" by Crush 40 is their heaviest track to date with crushing riffs from Senoue and amazing vocals from Johnny Gioeli. This song alone was a major influence on my taste in music which led me to become the metalhead I am today.
The game also features various tracks for the different endings of the game. Both dark endings feature the heavy number "Almost Dead" from alternative metal band Powerman 5000 which is fronted by the younger brother of Rob Zombie. The neutral ending features the track "Waking Up" by Julien-K, the electronic side project of members of the aforementioned Orgy. The semi-hero ending features the song "The Chosen One" from alt-rockers A2 (now known as Mona Lisa Overdrive), and the full hero ending features the song "All Hail Shadow" from the now-defunct alternative metal outfit Magna-Fi whose guitarist is now a touring member for the groove metal outfit Hellyeah. All of these tracks are super solid and deserve a listen. And of course, the game ends with another Crush 40 track. This time, the rocking "Never Turn Back" which is a more typical melodic hard rock track from the band. It also has a lovely piano intro.
It's no surprise that I got really into metal less than a year after I played this game. It definitely enlightened me to the wonders of the world of heavy music. As disappointing as Shadow the Hedgehog was, this game's soundtrack will always have special place in my heart.
As per Metal Monday tradition I leave you a playlist for you to rock out to. Today I leave you with the vocal tracks of Shadow the Hedgehog.
"I Am... All of Me" by Crush 40
"Almost Dead" by Powerman 5000
"Waking Up" by Julien-K
"The Chosen One" by A2
"All Hail Shadow" by Magna-Fi
"Never Turn Back" by Crush 40
Metal Monday is a weekly column by DisturbedShadow on TAY that discusses all things metal. Every Monday morning, we will discuss something metal related and leave you with a playlist to listen to. If it has to do with gaming you'll find it on TAY and if not you can find it over onTAYClassic.