One of the most under-appreciated games ever?

#1 Posted by jakob187 (21640 posts) -

I had played this first on N64, and it was good...but I wasn't wow'd.  It wasn't until the Dreamcast version came out that I really sunk my teeth in.  This is the kind of game that really got me hooked.  All the collecting, the crazy dark story, and the voice acting were terrific in Shadow Man.


What about you, GB community?  Personally, I'd love to see a new game of it, or even just a revamp of this one.  Second Coming just didn't do Shadow Man any kind of good justice.
#2 Posted by rexualhealing (255 posts) -

I've been reading a lot about this, and, having recently just gotten reacquainted with my Dreamcast, I've been thinking about looking for this title. It looks like it was very ahead of its time and all the screens and art and such that I've seen just makes me want to try it out even more.

#3 Posted by jakob187 (21640 posts) -

Dood, I fucking love this game!!!  lol  I had written a strategy guide a LOOOOONG time ago for it, but God knows where it is now.  I think it's on something called a "floppy disk" from the archaic days of when computers were first invented by cavemen or something like that about 30 years ago.

#4 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -

I always wanted to play this but when it came out, I was far too young to really give it a go. i imagine it'll be far too dated now to even begin to enjoy.

#5 Posted by jakob187 (21640 posts) -
HandsomeDead said:
"I always wanted to play this but when it came out, I was far too young to really give it a go. i imagine it'll be far too dated now to even begin to enjoy."
You would think so, but seriously, it's not.  Go pick it up for Dreamcast.  It's pretty cheap, and it's a damn good game.  Lots of depth to it, so long as you care to find it.  = D
#6 Posted by rexualhealing (255 posts) -
HandsomeDead said:
"i imagine it'll be far too dated now to even begin to enjoy."
It looks like it's aged quite well, actually. Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of the Dreamcast catalog still holds up today, it died off quickly but it was a last-gen console and all.

From what I've read about and seen of it it looks like an extremely dark open-world title with crazy voodoo themes and a combat system similar to the 3-D Zelda titles. It also has dual-wielding a la Halo 2, apparently.
#7 Edited by jakob187 (21640 posts) -
rexualhealing said:
" a combat system similar to the 3-D Zelda titles. It also has dual-wielding a la Halo 2, apparently."
*cringe*  Two bad examples.  It's a bit more like, well, just Shadow Man.  There's actually a lot of little secrets to find in the game and such.  You've got some voodoo powers to use against fools, and the world is VERY dark.  However, it's a different kind of dark.  It's not dark like horror movies or anything like that.  Think more along the lines of watching, like, The Serpent and The Rainbow (an old Wes Craven flick) or even the old TV series American Gothic.  It's got that feel, a very unnerving sense to it.

The cast of characters is excellent, though, and the story is fucking incredible.  There's some collect-a-thon kind of stuff to do as well, but it's still something that holds up for me today.  I seriously urge anyone who never played this to give it a good, honest go-around.  Like I said, the first time I played it on N64, I wasn't really into it.  Once I got it on Dreamcast, though...I couldn't put it down.  I'd be up for hours on end playing it, trying to find everything in it...and the stuff you've gotta do sometimes is tough.  I will say that there is a fair bit of backtracking in the game, but it all plays into the story very well.  You can easily get stuck at some points, but it's because you just aren't used to flexing your brain that hard anymore.  = D

Also, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver on Dreamcast was fucking awesome!!!  I miss that game so much...
#8 Posted by Ravey (329 posts) -

I played a demo of the PC version as a kid, I remember it looking pretty good on my 12mb voodoo 2 card lol. Never really got into it though, then again I was like 9 or 10 at the time. Still strange though because of all the obscure games i've owned and enjoyed.

Maybe i'll give it a shot sometime.

#9 Posted by DuhQbnSiLo (2139 posts) -

Never played it...

#10 Posted by strangeling (1260 posts) -

I may have to give this another go.  I started playing it on my Dreamcast, but it didn't really grab hold of me at the time.

I remember talking to someone I knew a while back who said they actually called into work sick the day it came out.  All I could think was: "Really?"
#11 Posted by Verdugo (2001 posts) -

I've seen this game on a shelf a LONG time ago. Back when I was getting ready to buy a PS1 lol.

#12 Posted by mtk1701 (11 posts) -

I played this game with five friends on PC ten years ago and we all loved it. It was like we were all reading a novel together. I've been watching a walkthrough on youtube, and it really brings back memories. I'd love to pick it up, but my home machine is a Mac (don't ask), and I hear the PS1 version suffers from frame-rate issues. Would that be alleviated by playing it on my creaky old PS2?

#13 Posted by jakob187 (21640 posts) -
@mtk1701: I'm not sure, as I played it on Dreamcast.
#14 Posted by needforswede (492 posts) -

rented it for N64 once...the art was intriguing, other than that I don't remember what the gameplay was like at all.  I wasn't aware that the Dreamcast version was any better.

#15 Posted by TMBaker (230 posts) -

Raising this dead thread (how fitting), to let people know this game is out on GOG.com. After all these years I'm still a fan of this game, such an amazingly dark atmospheric soundtrack do yourself a favor look past its age...it deserves to be played.

#16 Edited by EveretteScott (1444 posts) -

Played it on the n64. First game I ever heard the word 'fuck' in it. Blew my mind as a kid. I remember the level playing Moonlight Sonata and the atmosphere it had. Even as a kid I appreciated how much of a feeling that game had behind it. Dark and somber. Damn it was awesome.
PC version any good?

#17 Posted by PandaBear (1295 posts) -

I bought it for the N64 back when I had time for big games ... I sunk a whole weekend into it, really trying to like it like a every early teen kid who gets about eight games a year does. I couldn't.

I remember like the characters, but the level design was atrocious in some spot ... I have memories of getting stuck in pools of gunk and back tracking a lot. I don't hate it by any stretch and I'd give it a go again for sure ... but I doubt I'll ever truly love it. Like it maybe.

One of the most under-appreciated games ever? Not a chance. Better than I remember it? Perhaps.

#18 Posted by MonetaryDread (1987 posts) -

How did I miss this thead. I love me some Shadow Man, and if I could have any one game remade , it would be this one.

The level design might not have been the best, and going back to it lately, the lack of dual-stick controls makes the game feel awful. Yet I loved the atmosphere and the fact that it is one of the finest 3D metroidvanias ever produced.

#19 Posted by razkazz (169 posts) -

I love this game, that's when Acclaim was at their peak. And as MonetaryDread said, one of the finest 3D Metroidvanias ever. I got it for Dreamcast when I was like 13 and loved the atmosphere and characters but found the layout of the game impenetrable after a while, even with the awesome included map. I revisited it a couple years ago and with the admitted help of some guides, finally made some progress and it was really rewarding. I still haven't beaten it, got to one of the last bosses and the Dreamcast crapped out on me, but one of these days I'll finish it, man. Definitely an underrated gem.

#20 Edited by Humanity (8715 posts) -

I remember getting really psyched to play it and the whole idea of getting new powers to reach new areas was cool but those levels were something else man.

#21 Posted by jakob187 (21640 posts) -

I never had an issue with the level design at all. If anything, I felt that they did the best they could with the technology available on the consoles to capture a particular atmosphere.

Then again, I had also just recently played Akuji The Heartless at the time...and goddamn, ANYTHING was better than that pile of shit.

@tmbaker said:

Raising this dead thread (how fitting), to let people know this game is out on GOG.com. After all these years I'm still a fan of this game, such an amazingly dark atmospheric soundtrack do yourself a favor look past its age...it deserves to be played.

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLY SHIT! IT'S ON!

#22 Edited by TMBaker (230 posts) -

@everettescott said:

Played it on the n64. First game I ever heard the word 'fuck' in it. Blew my mind as a kid. I remember the level playing Moonlight Sonata and the atmosphere it had. Even as a kid I appreciated how much of a feeling that game had behind it. Dark and somber. Damn it was awesome.

PC version any good?

You know as far a playing an old PC game on today machines it does really well. I'm running it at 1080p on win 7 machine using an X360 pad, the controllers are adjustable in the ingame controls menu. It comes from a time when there was only single joy stick controllers it is awkward at times during some battles, but it does have the OoT lock-on style so that is a big help and the camera does a pretty good job of keeping the action in view.

@pandabear: I'd say the OST is worth price admission ($5.99) alone but as you may of guess I'm bit of a fan, so maybe when its on sale. :P

@humanity:

Yeah sometimes those level designs can be a little weird but we have youtube now :P Also it comes with a guide.

@razkazz said:

I love this game, that's when Acclaim was at their peak. And as MonetaryDread said, one of the finest 3D Metroidvanias ever. I got it for Dreamcast when I was like 13 and loved the atmosphere and characters but found the layout of the game impenetrable after a while, even with the awesome included map. I revisited it a couple years ago and with the admitted help of some guides, finally made some progress and it was really rewarding. I still haven't beaten it, got to one of the last bosses and the Dreamcast crapped out on me, but one of these days I'll finish it, man. Definitely an underrated gem.

DO IT!

@monetarydread said:

How did I miss this thead. I love me some Shadow Man, and if I could have any one game remade , it would be this one.

The level design might not have been the best, and going back to it lately, the lack of dual-stick controls makes the game feel awful. Yet I loved the atmosphere and the fact that it is one of the finest 3D metroidvanias ever produced.

I never grew up playing the vanias but defiantly the metroids and the zeldas. Playing Shadowman in its hay-day really was eyeing opening to me at the time having this dark atmospheric tone with metroid/zelda level design, it was a nice surprise and its great to see it expand with today's games like Batman AA and Shadow Complex.

#23 Posted by falserelic (5278 posts) -

I was a kid playing this game when it first came out. I could never beat this game for some reason. I never got past that 1 boss in the outside prison. Still I had alot of fun playing this game at the time.

#24 Edited by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

I really liked this game, but eventually got stuck wandering around not able to figure out where to go.

#25 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

I played it on the N64. It ate my soul. When I heard the protagonist say shit at the beginning, I was hooked. I loved the story and the gameplay. Deep and dark and full of mystery. Damn, should have played the Dreamcast version when I had a Dreamcast.

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