Written by  :  Jeanne (76599)
Written on  :  Sep 29, 2004
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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Not since Blade Runner have I seen so many different endings!

The Good

Wow ... I loved this game!

Imagine, if you will, that you could go back in time and change not only your destiny, but the fate of others. Choices you make, good or bad, effect history - generations of persons along a continuous time line. This is what Shadow of Destiny is all about. Mix in a sinister character whose masked motivation actually revolves around self-preservation, and you have a humdinger of a plot. Plug in specific decision points that make a huge impact on the outcome - then it becomes replayable. Konami's design team made it possible to play it not just once more, but 4 more times - each with completely different results. And, as if you need more, after those 5 endings have been seen - there are bonus scenarios in which your character remembers everything from his past experience and goes out to "make it right". What value! What creativity!

I was impressed with the way the characters bodies moved, especially during conversations. Their body language emitted their personalities. Graphics are wonderful - all of the characters are handsomely drawn .. right down to their eyelashes. Voice acting, too, is excellent and lip-sync handled extremely well. Music and sound effects were apropos but did not stand out as exceptional. The musical score consists of small, haunting melodies rather than orchestrated symphonic songs.

Time is the key to successful completion of the game. In fact, complete it in optimum time and you are rewarded! The time is "real" .. your clock, not the game's. Because you must act quickly and waste no time, the feeling of urgency is always there (and that's why Eike is always running). And, speaking of time, the town is represented in 3 distinct time periods in its history. Although the buildings and streets change somewhat throughout the centuries, the location of the main landmarks stay the same. Thanks, Konami, for the reference maps! Each of the periods is represented well - authentic looking costumes and atmosphere.

Because the story was so involving, I didn't even notice that there were no "real" adventure-type puzzles until I was finished! There are a few instances when it is necessary to "use" an object in a certain place or show something to an NPC, but that's as close as it gets.

The Bad

Even though I loved Shadow of Destiny overall, there are a few things I found not to like.

For one, the Windows version was too much like a console game .. collecting "power" modules and not being able to save mid-chapter were most notable.

Secondly, the camera angles were sometimes totally weird. One particular sub-quest involved saving a woman from a mugging. Eike was supposed to follow her to prevent the mugging but I couldn't get him to move fast enough in the proper direction because of the angle of the camera!

The music sometimes drowned out the voices. I was continually adjusting my speaker volume to compensate.

The Bottom Line

Shadow of Destiny really surprised me! Although I had read several reviews, I really had no idea I would like it so much. In retrospect, the few "dislikes" I listed above are of no consequence when considering my whole gaming experience. Multiple endings, interesting characters and a fabulous story make this a must play, especially for adventure game fans.