Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet Review - Cheat Happens CHEATfactor
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Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
XBox 360



Reviewed on: XBox 360
Developer:
Shadow Planet Productions
Publisher: Fuelcell Games
Rated: "E" for Everyone



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
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User Rating:        6
   
Presentation: 6

From its unique environments, to its well-placed shadows , Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is one interesting looking game. It's easy to get lost in its minimalist, artistic environment.

Gameplay: 5

In Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, you start out with no clear idea what you should be doing, but the joy of exploration and figuring things out is the real appeal of the title. It's just too bad that finicky controls and lack of content hinder it.

Lasting Appeal:
5

There's no way around it, Insanely twisted Shadow Planet is a short game, but what's here is definitely worth checking out. You're frequently going to have to go back and revisit sections in the game, which helps.

Overall: 6
When you first get into Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, you're likely to feel lost, but soon that feeling is replaced with the pure rush of exploration. It's an artsy, and at times gutsy title that may not be for everyone, but everyone should try.
CHEATfactor: 6
 
 
   
     

I'll be honest, when I first started playing Insanely Twisted: Shadow Planet, I just plain didn't get it. Yeah, it looked cool, but what's the point? Then, I just relaxed and let the game show itself to me, and the results were much different than I expected.

With its sense of exploration and wonder; Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet firmly believes that getting there is half the fun. It's a tough and sometimes frustrating shooter, but it's also one that defies the rules of what a mass market title can be.

Storytelling in Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is kept to an absolute minimum, but a series of introductory videos shows that you're taking up the plight of one little alien in his spacecraft trying to save his home world. There's no dialogue to support this, and the game leaves much of the story's progression to the player's own imagination, and the minimalist approach works well with the game's unique art direction.

"...it's all worth it when you get those “aha!” moments."

 
   

So just how will you save your home planet? Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet has you flying your spacecraft through a series of connected tunnels. You're essentially able to fly wherever you want, and the game feels pretty open ended, but there's a catch. To get through a good portion of the game's tunnels, most of which are blocked by enemies three times your size, you'll need the right tool, which you'll find by exploring. The sense of exploration found in Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is like no other in gaming, and playing through more than once and finding new ways to succeed is extremely rewarding. Puzzles can be quite frustrating at times, as no easy solution is immediately apparent, but it's all worth it when you get those “aha!” moments.

But what about when you don't get those “aha!” moments? What about when they're substituted for “son of a bitch!” moments? Sadly thanks to an uneven difficulty curve that spikes with no real warning and some fidgety controls, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is also one of the most frustrating games of the year. It's all too often that one wrong move, or tilt of the control stick in any wrong direction and bam - it's a failed attempt. The game is pretty liberal with save points, so it's not a huge deal, but it can still be incredibly frustrating.

"...a literal feast for the eyes."

 
   

Similar to the minimalist approach to the game's storytelling, the game also features a unique and somewhat minimalist visual style; but here it works extremely well. Coming off as a cross between indie darlings Pixel Junk Shooter and Limbo, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet employs a unique mix of shadows and dark colors to create its interesting world. The most impressive part is when the game unexpectedly breaks from the scheme and introduces a section rich with color and in most cases, large bosses, which makes the game a literal feast for the eyes.

By far the most disappointing aspect of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is just how thin of a package it truly is. There's the campaign, and then a lantern run mode, but that's it. The developers have promised a DLC package that includes a new multiplayer mode, which would add greatly, but you have to wonder why wasn't it included in the original release?

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is a hard game to grasp, but when you finally let the game reveal itself to you, it's more than worth the $10 price. When you first get in to Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, you're likely to feel lost, but soon that feeling is replaced with the pure rush of exploration. It's an artsy, and at times gutsy title that may not be for everyone, but everyone should try. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Achievements List

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is one of the most frustratingly tough experiences of this year, and maybe even this console generation. Half the reason is because there are puzzles you literally can't solve some of the game's puzzles until you backtrack and find a new route, which gives you a new tool. There are certain pathways that will cut your time in half hidden throughout the game.

But let's be real, this is Cheat Happens and you don't want easier pathways, you want cheats. As of this writing, there are none, but I'd love to see an access all tools and weapons cheat. It seems like a no brainer for a game like this.

 

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