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Lost in Shadow
Nintendo Wii

Reviewed on: Nintendo Wii
Hudson Soft
Publisher: Hudson Entertainment
Rated: "E10+" for Everyone 10+

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

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User Rating:        6
Presentation: 6

Inspired greatly by the works of Fumito Ueda (Ico, Shadow of the Colossus), it's got an interesting look to it, but you can't help but feel like it's all done without heart.

Gameplay: 5

Hudson desperately wants you to believe that Lost in Shadow falls into the whole “are games art?” debate? They tried a bit too hard - underneath a fairly pretty exterior is a pretty flawed platformer.

Lasting Appeal:

You'll be doing a ton of backtracking, but there's not much else here.

Overall: 6
It's an interesting enough platformer, but it falls way short of expectations.
CHEATfactor: 6

Art, is rarely ever planned. Instead, it comes from deep within the psyche and inspiration of the artist themselves. Did Picasso set out to create art during the blue period? No, he painted because he was inspired. Sadly I can't say the same for Konami and Hudson's Lost in Shadow; sure it's got some great ideas, and truly awe inspiring moments but at the same time, none of these ideas ever seem to be implemented as well as they could, and the whole thing comes off as a forced attempt to build on the legacy of some of the industry's most beloved titles.

When the game opens, it's done so in rather stunning fashion. A boy's shadow is ripped from his physical body and thrown from the top of a large tower. It's here where you learn the game's true gimmick, and it sets you back a bit. For an instant, you're going to question everything you see; what can you jump on? What can you go through? Then you realize, you're over thinking the game way too much. What appears at first to be a novel and unique approach to the world of platformers is instead, the genre in its most basic format. Sure there's a bit of cool factor when you have to extend shadows to complete certain jumps, but it all feels so by the numbers, it's all so familiar.

"'re going to have to backtrack, and it happens more than you'd think."


Progressing through Lost in Shadow requires players to collect three “monitor eyes” from each level, mystical items that open shadow gates in the world. Sounds pretty easy right? Just hope you don't miss one. Since getting these monitor eyes is the only way you can advance, if you find yourself at the end of a level without one, you're going to have to backtrack, and it happens more than you'd think. As you go back through the level searching for what you've missed, everything becomes much more grating. This, in essence is Lost in Shadow.

Much of Lost in Shadow revolves around using the balance of light and shadow to solve puzzles. More often than not, these puzzles are pretty easy and never tax your brain too much. Most of the puzzles revolve around finding a way to either add shadow or take it away from a certain area in order to pass through, and more often than not the solutions are the same. This isn't all bad though, as it takes away from the game's repetitive feeling you'll get as you backtrack through the majority of the level.

The first half of Lost in Shadow features an incredible sense of pacing and ambiance, but all of that unravels during the game's second half. So you've collected all of those pesky monitor eyes, and made it all the way up the dark tower. Time for the epic climax right? Nope, you'll have to go back down the tower in search of...more items. After getting these other items, you enter the tower and face off with a pretty bad ass boss. It feels like a decent ending right? Only the game thinks that this is the perfect time to throw a few more levels at you. While extra content is always good, here it's not done right and you're left with an unsatisfying ending and feeling like the game is never finished.

"The developers have borrowed a lot from Fumito Ueda and the Team Ico games..."


You may be looking at the art from Lost in Shadow and thinking that it looks a bit familiar - and it should. The developers have borrowed a lot from Fumito Ueda and the Team Ico games like Ico and Shadow of Colossus. Everything from the tone to the soft color palate made famous by Ueda is here, and it almost feels like a desperate attempt from Konami and Hudson to latch the game onto the success and legacy of these titles. It's almost as if the box should say “Hey Look! It almost looks like something else you love!”

If Lost in Shadow were released as a cheaper, downloable title, it may be easier to recommend, but as a full priced retail title, it's nothing but a disappointment. The momentum the game builds as you play through the early chapters is all but whipped away due to sloppy decision making, lazy mechanics and sloppy controls. Yes, games can be art, but they must have substance too. 



CHEATS USED: Unlock Weapon: The Knife, Unlock Weapon: Goblin Hand

As of this writing, there are two cheats available for Lost in Shadow and both are to unlock new weapons. Yawn. As with most platformers, I want instant teleportation, I want the ability to float and god mode.

Specifically for Lost in Shadow, I'd like an easy way to find each of the items you're tasked with finding throughout the game - cause you know, backtracking sucks.



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