The Bottom Line
- Impressive graphics
- Near perfect gameplay
- Excellent replay value
- Great reward/experience system
- Story/characters only so-so
- Needs better boss fights
- Ending sneaks up on you
- The game is gorgeous. Interiors look sort of samey, admittedly, but take a step outside and soak in the beauty.
- XP carries over when you start a new game as well as some other well earned rewards.
- First playthrough only takes about 5 hours, but speed runs, 100% item runs, minimal item runs, etc. make up for it.
- The game gets more fun the more you play. You learn the map, earn some rewards, and just want to keep playing.
- Story and characters are generic and boring. Entirely forgettable.
- Great selection of weapons and items (foam gun FTW) and great rewards. Tip: Collect all 12 gold bars for something great.
Guide Review - Shadow Complex Review (XBLA)
The core of Shadow Complex is exactly like Super Metroid or Castlevania: SOTN. There is a huge map to explore, but most of it is blocked off until you find new weapons and abilities. The gameplay is pretty much the same as well - you walk along, kill everything in a room and try to find any secrets hidden there, and then move on to the next room.
At first you'll be kind of tentative, but once you learn the map and how to make the most of your weapons and abilities, you can move through the game world quickly and smoothly and it is amazingly fun. My first playthrough of the game was 5 hours. My second was 2 hours. I did a 100% item run in about 3 1/2 hours. It may sound like a short game, but it is so addictive that once you figure things out you just want to keep playing the game over and over and over again. To earn all of the achievements would probably take about 20-25 hours since getting to level 50 takes several runs through the game. That much gameplay for $15 is insanely good.
I do have a couple of complaints. I want more boss fights. Boss fights are the best part of Metroidvanias, but the fights here are kind of boring. Especially when you're powered up. Secondly, while it is excellent, it isn't head and shoulders above other games in the genre. Symphony of the Night is a bigger, deeper, more complex, more interesting game that is also on XBLA. You should still definitely buy it, but it isn't the second coming like some blogs are saying.
Bottom Line - Buy It!