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Title: Shadowgate (2nd review)
Rom Player: Nesticle
Reviewer: Johnny

Synopsis: Why don't we take a few moments to think back and decide what our favorite games were for the Nintendo. Was it the Legend of Zelda for its depth and originality? Or Super Mario Brothers for it is the ancestor of all side scrollers? I hope none of you said Shadowgate, unless you guys love games that are, to put it bluntly, bad. Brussell sprout bad. Why dont we go over what makes this game so idotic hmm?

The plot to the game is once again, repeated to the point of total choas, since the idea of it has been used about six million times in the past. You, are a knight descended from a line of kings capable of destroying some warlock that wants to destroy the world for some reason. Our hero must travel to castle Shadowgate to meet his adversary to save the kingdom, etc etc. However, before he can face the evil warlock mano e mano, he must first be the pawn in what is my opinion the most dull game ever made.

Between you and your foe is by far the most stupidest puzzle game ever created. The makers at Kamco probably had a boner for puzzles because THEY ARE IN ALMOST EVERY DAMN ROOM! And I am not talking about just the kind of puzzles that gives you an item or something that makes you proceed to another room. You see, your foes in the castle (which include a huge troll thing, a dragon, a lady that is actully a wolf etc) must be vanquished using your brain. Which means that they must be defeated by solving puzzles. Are you confused? Let me clearify.

Gameplay in the game is slow. Yurdle turtle slow. There will be absolutely no point in the game where you will be mashing the buttons. Since this game is puzzle based, action is slow. You see, you have a command menu in the bottom of the screen where you can look at an item, take, as in take an item you see on the screen, use an item, so you can pick an item to use on something or someone, etc. You dont even move in the old fashioned sense. Theres a radar of the room on the right side of the screen. The two doors (or one, depending on where you are exactly) will be little gray boxes inside the radar. Since this is a click and point game (Im assuming the game was made around 1990 or later, because in the King quest V review, Fynll forgive me if I mispelled it explained that King V was the first game to use the click and point)all of the action in the game will be well, slow.

Since every room has a puzzle or an enemy that must be solved puzzle wise, the game middle name should be "trial and error." Most puzzles can be solved with an item you pick up eariler, but because you just have to try, try and try again, you will wind up using every item you have until something works. This makes the game very boring very quickly. What is also stranger is that every enemy you encounter must be solved puzzle wise. (I know I said it a few times before, but let me explain myself)It does not seem to make any sense. For example, when meeting a troll on a bridge, he demands you pay to cross. The game waits for you until you go into your inventory, click on spear to kill him. Every action in the game is like that. You grab an item from your inventory, and use it to proceed. It makes your mouth yawn many times before you fall asleep.

I have to give points for graphics, since the rooms are colorful and everything looks beautiful to put it shortly. But graphics dont carry much value when a game consists of just solving one puzzle after another in an already dull game. I know this has nothing to do with graphics, but one thing that kept annoying me about the game is that there is EXCESSIVE TEXT througout the damn thing. Most of it is just useless chatter which is meant to strain your finger as your jabbing the button trying to get through the talking. Say, now that I mention it, that was a time when I was mashing the A button on my controller. It just seemed that Kemco felt that us gamers were dumb and needed to be told what we did every time we did something. Like when you kill the Troll it might explain to you 2 paragraphs of what you just done. This unnesessary chatter also is a factor to why the game is boring, because there is so much reading to do (ok, so I actully do read books, but I am grouped into a very small minority, catch my drift?)

The music in the game, my god, its the same damn thing over and over. None of the music changes in the game, except a few times when they try to make the scene dramatic (like when there is real danger in the room, like the dragon room) but well, its not dramatic. The music plays itself out in the first 15 minutes, so if you are smart you should turn off the sound, for your own sake. I just want to remind you that since I already talked about the overused plot, im not going to bother with an originality paragraph.

What makes this game so distingushible is that there are 90 million ways to die in the game, some of which make no logical sense at all. For example, breaking a magic mirror with a hammer in one room, for example, will get you sucked into space (don't ask). You could kill yourself with the sword by clicking use, then sword, then self (put him out of his misery is more like it) In fact, you could find a way to die in every room, and the castle maybe has 30 or forty rooms. But keep in mind, when you do die, the game will explain it in words, not a visual aid. Actully the game is first person view mode, so you will never "see" your character (yes, even in the mirror room) they try to make the hero's death depressing by then showing a potrait of the grim reaper with his yellow eyes pop out, with some crappy music in the background, but I did not buy it a bit. Thankfully though, you can save whenever you like, so you can die all you want.

Overall, boring puzzles, retarded death rate and cliched plot make Shadowgate a torturous game to play. Its a terrific puzzle game, but most people do not like puzzle games as their games of choice (that I know of) Shadowgate looks good, but looks can be decieving. Advoid this one like a criminal with the cops.

Best Cheats: I have no cheats, but how can you use em? The only thing I can say is dont let the torches go out (play the game, and youll know what I'm talking about)

Game Play: 3
Graphics: 8
Music/Sound: 5
Originality: 1
Overall Rating: 2

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