Never before has a game made me question everything I ever thought about in life. What am I doing? Why am I here? Where's my life going? Am I all of me? I never had to question my political, religious or philosophical beliefs until I played this game. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the greatest game ever made.
Hundreds of years into the future, when games are world renowned for being pieces of art, one game will sit in the Louvre alongside The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. It won't be Half-Life, it won't be The Last Of Us and it won't be Journey. It will be Shadow The Hedgehog.
Shadow The Hedgehog is a platformer that incorporates and improves upon the action adventure gameplay seen in Uncharted. The game is non-stop from start to finish and will leave you behind if you can't keep up. The developers made the brave decision to make the movement feel like you're fighting a gorilla on an ice rink, and you know what? It pays off. Never before have I been so challenged with keeping my character on screen. Every time I flew off the edge it was never the games fault. I should have known that my homing attack was going to miss. The AI is just too good. It was very clever to give them psychic powers that allowed them to deflect all my homing attacks and send me flying to my death.
The game also fantastically incorporates gunplay from the third-person perspective. A decision I am very happy with. The only way Sonic Team could have improved upon Sonic Adventure 2 was by adding guns, because guns make everything better. Just look at Sonic Boom. No guns, awful game. It was clear that when Gears of War was released they were borrowing heavily from Shadow The Hedgehogs fast paced TPS gameplay. I mean, when I see them side by side I just can't tell the difference.
This game is a significant departure from past Sonic games. It is now much more mature, as evidenced by the fact there are guns(Did you know guns make things more mature?) and large amounts of foul language that would make The Wolf of Wall Street look tame. Just look at some of the swears in the game:
Just look at that list! Apparently they had to cut the word "piss" out because testers were fainting at the sound of it.
The story is simple, yet elegant and very philosophical. Shadow has amnesia, aliens come and invade Earth and the leader seems to know Shadow. Shadow must now decide between being good or evil. Along the way you see characters such as Charmy, who represents the common migrant who must move abroad for work, all the way to Cream, who is an analogy for the influence large companies such as BP and Pizza Hut have over governments across the world. Of course you'll have to read between the lines, but it's all there.
If this were a movie, it would win an Academy Award, that's for sure.
Shadow The Hedgehog allows players to choose between being good, evil or neutral in most levels, with each decision having serious and dire consequences on the world. Mass Effect eat your heart out. Decisions can come in a wide range of objectives, such as:
- Kill bad guys
- Kill good guys
- Do your own thing
Every time I made a decision, I had to set my controller down and contemplate all life decisions I made up until that point. The next level you will play will be different based on whatever option you chose, leading to a wide range of ways to play the game, which leads me on to my next point...
In order to get the super secret final level and boss you will need to complete every possible final scenario in Shadow the Hedgehog, of which there are twelve. Mass Effect 3 only had three, so Shadow the Hedgehog is, by definition, four times better.
It takes roughly 5 to 6 hours to complete a single playthrough, so with twelve different endings there is roughly 60-72 hours of non-stop fun.
BUT WAIT! There's more!
If there's any hardcore completionists out there who feel that games like Skyrim, DA: Inquisition, Pokemon and Fallout are bush league when it comes to completionism, this is the game for them. In order to get 100% in this game you will have to play through Shadow the Hedgehog not once, not twice, not thrice, not...four times, not five times, not six times, not seven times, but not eight times, not nine times, not ten times, not eleven times, not twelve times, but three hundred and twenty six times. 326. 300 times and then another 26 times. Let's do a little math, shall we?
- Say 5 hours to complete one playthrough, times that by 324 times. That's 1620 hours of extreme, high octane, non-stop action.
- That's nearly 68 days, or 97920 minutes, or 5,875,200 seconds.
- Times the number of seconds for one playthrough by the speed of light, which is 299,792,458 m/s. We get 1.7613406x10^15.
- Divide that by the charge of a proton, which is 1.6x10^-19. We then get 2.9923877x10^15 joules of energy.
- A person will use around 380 billion joules in their lifetime. This means that Shadow the Hedgehog is 7874704.5 times more fun than life itself.
The math might be a tiny bit off, but you can't argue with facts.
Just like any other Sonic game, the soundtrack is amazing. There's not much I can really say here, so I'll just link the main theme here. I saved you all some time by linking the 30 minute extended version. Thank me later.
With deep lyrics such as 'Do it, do it, do it!' and 'Here we go buddy, here we go buddy, here we go', it is very clear that Shadow is a deep a complex
man hedgehog. I for one cannot wait for the Broadway musical.
Shadow the hedgehog not only has a fantastic singleplayer, but also has a fun multiplayer that pits two players against each other in a fight to the death. While it is fun with friends, many people may just find it too complex, as it uses more strategy than Street Fighter, Battlefield and DOTA combined. It takes weeks of intense training just to be able to 'main' one character, and with a wide range of characters to choose from, it can be pretty difficult to pick just one. I like to main Shadow the Hedgehog, while my friend likes to main Shadow the Hedgehog 2, but my acquaintance is a large fan of Shadow the Hedgehog the third.
However, people on the forefront of esports, such as Daigo, should have no problem controlling the beast that is Shadow the Hedgehog 4.
I personally cannot wait to see Shadow the Hedgehog at next years EVO.
While I guess I can live without Sonic Boom Knuckles, it was a shame to see such a rich, developed character not make it into Shadow the Hedgehog. I know what you're thinking, 'But Shadow the Hedgehog came out 9 years before Sonic Boom!'. My question to you is, do you seriously think SEGA doesn't have a time machine?
You see, Shadow the Hedgehog is such a fantastic game I just cannot find anything to fault it, so I'm going to fault other games instead!
Sakurai must have been smoking some heavy stuff when he thought Duck Hunt Dog and Bowser Jr. deserve a place in Smash Bros. over the ultimate lifeform. This I cannot forgive and I am boycotting everything he does until he joins Smash. They could've just made Shadow a clone of Sonic and I would've been happy! But noooooo, Pit has to get one instead!
I've compiled a list of other things wrong with Shadow-less games:
- It's not called The Legend of Shadow. Shadow could easily replace Zelda
- You can't catch Shadow in Pokemon.
- Shadow wasn't one of the three playable characters in GTA V
- All Mario & Luigi RPGs should be Shadow & Boom Knuckles
- It should be Paper Shadow: The Thousand Year Door
- Shadow isn't the main character in God of War
- Shadow isn't a Persona or a Stand
- Where is Super Shadow Strikers Charged?
- Shadow should be Tom Nook
In the interest of time I have cut this list from over three thousand points.
Shadow the Hedgehog is a fantastic game that everyone should have the privilege of playing through before copies of the game get destroyed and World War 3 is fought between North Korea and the US for the last copy.
But seriously guys, never play this game. It's awful.