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Shadow Madness could've been great--instead, you'll feel like you're attending an English class. Even though SM is still a solid game, if you only have money for one new RPG and you want some good action, go with Legend of Legaia.
Overall, Shadow Madness is a good game with an entertaining storyline. It is remarkably similar to Final Fantasy 7, but that isn't necessarily bad. It's the perfect game to tide you over until Final Fantasy 8 is released in the United States this Winter.
Although it isn't one of the better RPGs available on the Playstation, Shadow Madness is a decent first effort from Craveyard. Unfortunately, Craveyard disbanded mere days after the release of Shadow Madness. Sadly, we may never get to see if this young development team can fulfill the promise that it shows in Shadow Madness.
RPGs fare differently than action, sports, and fighting games. The reason why you play them is to experience an elaborate story the gaming element usually takes a back seat. In that sense, Shadow Madness should be reviewed much like a film or novel: character development, plot devices, dialogue, and even cinematography. The way Shadow Madness begins ¿ you honestly don't know who the main character is, yet you're given control of him. Without any background information, do you really care about him? The way the characters were established in this game, I honestly didn't care for them...at least, in the beginning. Until you dive deeper into the quest to find out who these people are, it felt like the designers just said, "Here, take control. It doesn't matter who they are, we just wrote them into the game."
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault)
It is very obvious that this title was heavily inspired by Final Fantasy 7. It seems a shame, then, that most of the areas where FF7 shined, Shadow Madness falls behind. Even when placed on its own, this title is unable to stand and deliver. Seeing as how the game was in development for the past two years, I can understand that it could have simply missed its technology window, which would explain the dated graphics, but the shortcomings in the gameplay department are nearly unforgivable. With all of the quality RPGs already on the market, and a slew of newer and shinier ones on the horizon, I find it very, very difficult to recommend this title to any but the most desperate RPG aficionados.
Shadow Madness is a decent story shrouded by years of bad decisions. As painful as it is to say so, seeing Craveyard disband after threats of a Shadow Madness sequel almost seems like a good thing. Shadow Madness is a curiosity and a cautionary tale of development for the ages, and should remain little more than that.
För den som har gott om tid och inte bryr sig nämnvärt om att förvalta den väl är Shadow Madness ett alternativ - en tidsödande, monoton uppgift utan charm eller finess. Och efter ett par timmar med Shadow Madness börjar man att tänka på Ted Woolsey och hans team. Vad tänkte de på? Varför gjorde de spelet? Vad är det som händer? Varför stänger jag inte av? Klick!