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Shadow Complex: The last liberal is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace. (new OP)

LunkerLunker Registered User regular
edited January 2011 in Games and Technology
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UPDATE:

What's up with the Orson Scott Card controversy? Am I spending 1200 Allards on a crazy right-wing power fantasy?

I wouldn't get my knickers twisted over the story. Like a wise man said, for all of the hooplah about OSC being on board, the plot of the game boils down to:
-SPI- wrote:
Nathan Drake is camping in the woods with his girlfriend when she gets kidnapped by Cobra. So then Nathan Drake turns into Iron Man.

Is it true I can screw myself out of 100 percent items? So where's the point of no return?

Yes, sadly. AFAIK, there's only one single item that's missable, though it's really late in the game. For a general gameplay hint about this point:
Spoiler:
For a very specific description of this point:
Spoiler:
This point also triggers the event setting up the final boss encounter, which makes getting around the map a pain, so if you want all of the items go do that before finishing up this area.

WTF, how do you get XXXX?

Got the blue line blues? Here's a spoilerrific guide to every single power-up on the map:
So what's up with the question mark right next to the spot where you get the first pistol?

Just get everything else first. Trust me on this.

***
ORIGINAL OP:
Does the following picture arouse you?

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If so, you might want to keep an eye on Shadow Complex, which drops on XBLA on Aug. 19 for the princely sum of $15, or 1,200 Allards. It's a 2.5D side-scrolling game that lovingly borrows from the Metroidvania formula of nonlinear exploration and adventure. Promises about 10-12 hours of play on the first playthrough (not including New Game+) and focuses heavily on exploration and uncovering new abilities that let you access new parts of the map ... or you can just sequence-break to your heart's content.

Videos are available here (E3 developer walkthrough) and [vidurl= (E3 Trailer)[/vidurl]. Here are snippets from a great preview by Stephen Totilo, which got me even more excited about the game:
[Developer Donald] Mustard said he always wanted to make a so-called Metroidvania game, the kind of side-scrolling exploration-heavy, empowerment adventure rendered by Nintendo and Konami back during the NES to PlayStation eras.

Now he's got one close to completion, a spiritual successor to Super Metroid that runs on Unreal graphics technology. He describes it as a game of exploration punctuated by combat. It's a mostly side-scrolling game of military bases, robots, forests and caves, rich in earth tones and energized by explosions and energy blasts, 120 power-ups — many of them hidden — and a bunch of core power upgrades. A flashlight reveals which boulders can be obliterated only once the hero has missiles, which hatches need a different gadget. A distant corner can only be grabbed once the player's earned a grappling hook.

The game has a "Jason Bailey" Achievement for speed-runners who clear the adventure in two hours — 10 hours fewer than Chair's testers are clearing it their first time through. And, get this Metroid sequence-breakers, it's got an Achievement called Insurgent that rewards players who can figure out how to clear the game while only obtaining 4% of Shadow Complex's items.

And the most Metoidvania thing of all... the map. It's drawn over grid squares. Seven-hundred eighty squares, not counting the skyline. Mustard's team of Metroid-lovers counted squares on the Super Metroid map. That total? Two-hundred fifty five.

ShadowComplex.jpg
Mustard was showing Kotaku some exciting stuff. This included stuff his publicist (who is also his wife and was seated nearby) hadn't seen yet. He couldn't resist. He wanted to show the dark caverns of the game to demonstrate what real 3D lighting effects can do for the dark exploration of a Metroid-style game. He wanted to show battles with medium-sized mechs and screen-tall mechs who are far taller than the height of his hero's generous jumping height. He wanted to show the hidden power-ups he knows how to find, the secret crannies where an extra grenade-capacity icon is sitting.

He showed that his game's got an ability for its hero to run, momentum-based at super-speed... dashing across water, up walls, on ceilings. His hero shoots a foam gun that generates cover, gums joints of enemy mechs or provides the materials that will make, on impact, a missile detonate in a bigger explosion.

The gameplay is a throwback. The graphics are a throw forward. This is modern material: Shadow Complex is one of the rare 2D side-scrollers that takes advantage of being rendered in a 3D graphics engine. It's a The 3D-ness is shown off when Mustard has the game's hero Jason Fleming, man a turret and the sideways perspective switches to what could be a behind-the-back turret-shooting view from a Gears of War game. There's no parallax faking depth effects in these graphics. They're real 3D.

When displayed in the manner of a 2D adventure, as they are in most of the game, the graphics have a depth not seen in this kind of game. The catwalks in the background. That guy shooting from back near the waterfall. They're back there and they can be shot, they can ragdoll over a balcony or fall into the front plane of action.

ShadowComplex2.jpg
Players will earn experience points for their hero in this game, leveling up some of his core abilities and granting, every 10 levels, a special power-up. More XP is earned for defeating enemies in creative ways. But Mustard said that players won't earn all their levels the first time through. The game's designed for an increasingly empowered playthrough each time players re-visit it.

In addition, a Proving Grounds set of 21 unlocked challenges which present puzzles harder than many found in the main game are available from the start. Imagine having to grapple-hook and grenade-toss one's way around a hanging vertical wall suspended over a pit of fire. Or imagine a microcosm of a Metroidvania game with hidden power-ups that's just a few rooms large.


Critical Reception

IGN: 9.4/10
Shadow Complex probably could have used a little more development time to iron out a few glitches and nail down the sometimes awkward aiming system. Even so, it stands as one of the best games yet in 2009. And I'm not just talking about the Xbox Live Arcade. The classic, exploration-heavy gameplay is a winner. Go buy this game.

Giant Bomb: 5/5
Shadow Complex is an incredibly well-made game that finally grabs the "Metroidvania" subgenre and drags it into the modern era instead of relegating it to a land of remakes or portable games. Players that obsess over speed runs and 100 percent completion will certainly find a lot of replayability, but even players who just want to play a game start to finish and move on will find that the quality of Shadow Complex makes it well worth its $15 price tag.

Eurogamer: 9/10
For once the Super Metroid reference isn't a lazy critic's crutch. Epic Games has always declared its intention to resurrect the classic 2D side-scrolling exploration game, once popularized by Nintendo's seminal space adventure, later perfected by Konami's Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. So while Shadow Complex's story and setting may be popcorn nonsense, the mechanics they clothe are golden.

...

The result is a glorious 3D reimagining of the Metroidvania style of game, at once reverent of its references, yet also eager to better their achievements. In some areas it meets this tall order, in others it falls a little short. Nevertheless, it's a game that will delight gamers old enough to recognise the classics it celebrates, while captivating those oblivious to its inspirations. Its inevitable success in the coming weeks and months could even kick-start the genre. Drop a stone into this game and the splash may never echo back. Its significance might just be unfathomable.

Lunker on
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Posts

  • kurokazekurokaze Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Threepio wrote: »
    I noticed yesterday that Card was listed as one of the writers of the dialogue in The Digâ„¢. I'm going to pick up a copy of Empire just so I'm in the loop for Shadow Complex.

    Don't do it!

    :shock: at $15 price. Seems like pure win for gamers, but maybe a bit worrying? Do you think $20 would have lowered sales that much for such a beautiful high-profile game? Makes me think that something must be wrong with it... :x

    I don't know, $15 still seems out of impulse buy territory to me (partly because it's not an even half-point-card) while $10 is within it, but maybe that's what they're going for.

    atehim.jpg
  • AmiguAmigu Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    This looks great. I love the 2D Metroid and Castlevania series. They just aren't the same in 3D :(

  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    kurokaze wrote: »
    Threepio wrote: »
    I noticed yesterday that Card was listed as one of the writers of the dialogue in The Digâ„¢. I'm going to pick up a copy of Empire just so I'm in the loop for Shadow Complex.

    Don't do it!

    Because it's bad? Or good? Sarcasm on the internet is confusing.

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    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Empire is not well-regarded. I don't think it's a terrible book, but I doubt it's in any way necessary for this game, and if you want to read a Card novel there are probably better ones that you haven't read. I recommend Hart's Hope.

    currently playing LoL: Polymath
    a fading melody - my indie platformer for the xbox 360
  • DaveTheWaveDaveTheWave Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Who the fuck is Jason Bailey?

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Who the fuck is Jason Bailey?

    It's a merging of the main character's first name with part of a famous password used in the original Metroid.

  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Bit of a random, unrelated reference though. What does a speed run achievement have to do with "Justin Bailey"?

    "The sausage of Green Earth explodes with flavor like the cannon of culinary delight."
    PSN: TheWolfman64 3DS/Pokemon Y: 0774-4614-4065 (Trainer name Christopher)
  • DaveTheWaveDaveTheWave Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I am wholly aware of Justin Bailey.

    I just think that is a lame achievement.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Justin Bailey starts you with 2 hours on your time played clock doesn't it? So you're guaranteed the swimsuit edition ending?

    I mean, it makes sense...

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  • kurokazekurokaze Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Justin Bailey starts you with 2 hours on your time played clock doesn't it? So you're guaranteed the swimsuit edition ending?

    I don't know whether that's true or not, however it causes the Samus you immediately begin with to be 'swimsuit edition.' So there's no real impetus to use it to see that ending.


    Regarding Empire: I have actually not read it, but I've read a large number of Card's books in hopes that maybe this one won't suck ass. These hopes have been dashed repeatedly. Ender's Game is phenomenal, Speaker for the Dead contains much worthy of praise, and everything else with the possible exception of Hart's Hope (which I did enjoy, but I read so long ago that I don't trust that evaluation) and Ender's Shadow (which isn't really good at all but it's kind of neat to see the different perspective on the story, retcon-warts and all).

    His short fiction is pretty decent overall, though, and he has a book on writing F/SF that's considered to be a must-read to aspiring F/SF writers.

    atehim.jpg
  • freakish lightfreakish light Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    So I guess there's no chance of a PC release. I really prefer to do my gaming here instead of out in the living room where everybody who wants to watch TV has to watch me playing XBLA or something.

  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Justin Bailey starts you with 2 hours on your time played clock doesn't it? So you're guaranteed the swimsuit edition ending?

    I mean, it makes sense...

    Justin Bailey just lets you play as swimsuit Samus. It doesn't really have anything to do with the ending, other than the "OMG Samus is a girl" reveal.

    Basically, Justin Bailey is remembered for letting you play as suitless Samus, not for speedrunning the game. Calling a speedrun achievement after it is... well, nice, but totally unrelated

    "The sausage of Green Earth explodes with flavor like the cannon of culinary delight."
    PSN: TheWolfman64 3DS/Pokemon Y: 0774-4614-4065 (Trainer name Christopher)
  • CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I think they just wanted to evoke something associated with Metroid in an achievement for speedrunning - which is something closely associated with Metroid.

    They could have named it after some other trope, like "ice beam + missile", and it would still have the same effect despite not having anything to do with ice beams or missiles. It's entirely referential; everyone knows where Justin Bailey is from.

    All creature will die and all the things will be broken. That's the law of samurai.
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Death Groupie Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Can I give MS my $15 now please?

    Oh wait, I can!
    Raiek wrote: »
    Looks like Mustard has also gone on to say that he thinks a Co-Op feature in this type of game would be a future goal. This was just put up on Kotaku:
    Kotaku wrote:
    Mustard loves the idea of trying co-op as a main mechanic in a Metroidvania kind of game. But he said it was an idea that just didn't make sense to prioritize for Shadow Complex. He imagines that, if he could do it, he'd want players to be able to solve complex puzzles, in concert even if they were located on opposite ends of the game's map. In fact, he said that that would be cool if a Metroidvania-style puzzle required players to be spread that far apart.

    I suggested that the Shadow Complex developers could prototype the idea and offer it as a downloadable expansion to their game.

    Never gonna happen, but that would be the greatest thing ever.

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  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Cherrn wrote: »
    I think they just wanted to evoke something associated with Metroid in an achievement for speedrunning - which is something closely associated with Metroid.

    They could have named it after some other trope, like "ice beam + missile", and it would still have the same effect despite not having anything to do with ice beams or missiles. It's entirely referential; everyone knows where Justin Bailey is from.

    I think "Shinespark" could have been a clever Achievement name, but I think the whole Justin Bailey reference is more widely known. I see it as just a direct nod to Metroid's massive influence on the game's design, and reading into it more than that is thinking too hard about it. It's cool that they're specifically building the game with speedrun/low-item percentage runs in mind, even though I personally have never been hard-core enough to really do well under that kind of pressure. :(
    Brainiac 8 wrote:
    expected upgrades: Ice gun, plasma rifle, Wave gun, missiles, heavy missiles, bombs, heavy bombs, "Curl" ball, sticky ball....what?!? We're not plagerizing!


    Just kidding guys...guys? :(

    I chuckled when I read about the flashlight that works as an X-ray beam. :) But it's clear the developers aren't hiding the fact that they're lovingly aping the Metroid formula. Though one of the unique items that I've seen, the foam gun, seems to be really cool: You use it to shoot out this styrofoam-looking substance, and you can use it to either build platforms for you to jump on, or block enemy attack, or even use it as plastique and shoot the foam with a missile to create an even bigger explosion than normal. I'm sure using it to create platforms to propel yourself upward will be key to sequence-breaking the game.

    Tweet my Face: @heyitslunker | Save money at CheapAssGamer (not an affiliate link)
  • RichardTauberRichardTauber King of the north Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Yup, sure likes grey, dark things.

    Intoxication emerges from an elementary desire to rise out of time
  • MonstyMonsty Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I think it looks pretty sweet. I could play Metroidvanias all day, errday. I don't have a 360... but I'm certain my bro will borrow his to me for a free game.

    Wait, I think I have it right now. Hurrah!

  • truck-a-saurastruck-a-sauras Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    this will be the first game I actually spend the $15 on. looks so worth every penny.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Steam
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  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    this will be the first game I actually spend the $15 on. looks so worth every penny.

    You're missing out not getting Castle Crashers.

    Just sayin..

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  • Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    All you can Quaff, or whatever it's called, was the biggest bs of an online game and achievement ever to grace the 360. :x

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  • ImperfectImperfect Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Yeah, I tried that nonsense the other day and gave up halfway because seriously? They wasted lined of CODE on this?

  • Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I even got the stupid achievement...it just took friggin forever due to all the people who use turbo out there. :x

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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Death Groupie Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    New preview up on Kotaku
    http://kotaku.com/5315410/shadow-complex-preview-to-get-past-metroid

    One of the things I noticed is that the game is going to be 900MB

    I need a bigger hard drive :(

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  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    This looks cool ! I really am enjoying Trine right now (on PC) im really liking this trend of making the 2.5 sidescrollers lately. It's cool to see some devs taking us back to the old school once and a while.

    MARKIISIGFORUMSIZE_zps17defe18.png
    MechWarrior Online: Khyber Pryde
  • nlawalkernlawalker Registered User
    edited August 2009
    I am very excited for this game. It sits right in the sweet spot of length and complexity that I can handle nowadays - stuff like Fallout is just too big and complex for me to take on anymore with my limited playtime. This looks perfect.

    I'm really hoping that the lead fellow is pumped because he's got a great game on his hands, and not because he finally got to live some personal dream of making a Metroid spinoff that's golden in his eyes but uninspired and unoriginal to everyone else.

    -SPI- wrote: »
    Not enough facepalm in the world for the cavalcade of fuckmuppetry this game's launch has been.
  • MechanicalMechanical Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Hooooly crap, this one got completely under my radar. I've needed a fix for this kind of game for a few yers now, and it drops this week? Looks awesome.

    3DS: 2809-9292-5994
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Bullied BatRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I am....Iron Man!

    (thunk)
    Spoiler:

  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Klonoa of the Wind WAHOO!Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    It is now impossible for me to think about Iron Man without thinking of Burger King.

    BwQ9Ecd.jpg?1
    Magya! | Sometimes I stream PS4 games here | PSN: UnbreakableVow
  • MarioGMarioG Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I must hook up my xbox to the nets!

    Kay wrote:
    Mario, if Slenderman had a face, I would punch him in it.

    Hey, I have a blog! (Actually being updated again!)

    3DS: 0860-3240-2604
  • PendegastPendegast Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Damnit, why did they have to base this on a Orson Scott Card story? It looks like my dream game... But Card is such an insane scumbag, there's no way I'm paying a dime toward his royalty checks.

  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Klonoa of the Wind WAHOO!Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Pendegast wrote: »
    Damnit, why did they have to base this on a Orson Scott Card story? It looks like my dream game... But Card is such an insane scumbag, there's no way I'm paying a dime toward his royalty checks.

    Have fun not playing what is probably going to be the downloadable game of the year. :lol:

    BwQ9Ecd.jpg?1
    Magya! | Sometimes I stream PS4 games here | PSN: UnbreakableVow
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Death Groupie Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Pendegast wrote: »
    Damnit, why did they have to base this on a Orson Scott Card story? It looks like my dream game... But Card is such an insane scumbag, there's no way I'm paying a dime toward his royalty checks.

    Technically they didn't base it on an Orson Scott Card story. They had Orson Scott Card write books for an eventual videogame. At least so says wikipedia
    Empire is not an original Orson Scott Card project, but rather stems from the development of the Empire video game. The game is being developed by the brothers Donald and Geremy Mustard, founders of the newly formed Chair Entertainment Group development studio. Card was contacted by Donald Mustard and offered the chance to develop the game's storyline as well as a novel to set the series into action.[11]

    The Xbox Live Arcade Game Shadow Complex was announced by Donald Mustard to be a tie-in to the second installment of Orson Scott Card's Empire Trilogy.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_(2006_novel)

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  • KainyKainy Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Any time a game comes out on XBLA or PSN and not simultaneously the other, god kills a kitten. Sometimes two.

    Please, Microsoft, Sony, think of the kittens.

    IcyLiquid wrote: »
    There's anti-fuckery code in there now :) Sorry :)
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Death Groupie Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Kainy wrote: »
    Any time a game comes out on XBLA or PSN and not simultaneously the other, god kills a kitten. Sometimes two.

    Please, Microsoft, Sony, think of the kittens.

    It's an MS exclusive game. Not much chance of seeing it on PSN.

    steam_sig.png
  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Klonoa of the Wind WAHOO!Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Well uh

    It's published by Microsoft.

    And you know, competition.

    BwQ9Ecd.jpg?1
    Magya! | Sometimes I stream PS4 games here | PSN: UnbreakableVow
  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    New preview up on Kotaku
    http://kotaku.com/5315410/shadow-complex-preview-to-get-past-metroid

    One of the things I noticed is that the game is going to be 900MB

    I need a bigger hard drive :(

    Word of advice. Only the 160Gig drive comes with a transfer cable. If you want a used or 60Gig instead, your LIVE account will let you see EVERYTHING you ever downloaded and take it one by one. But not your actual game-saves.*

    Instead you buy a cheap memory card from Amazon, get all your game saves off the old hard drive and move them to the new one.

    *Some games record your progress on Live, like Call of Duty (I kept my rank and classes and didn't even have to look for intel again.) and Splosion Man.

    steam_sig.png
  • APZonerunnerAPZonerunner Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Pearoast from XBLA thread:

    http://www.thegamingvault.com/2009/08/shadow-complex-review-360/
    Even taking its small issues into account, Shadow Complex is a stunning Xbox Live Arcade offering and indeed one of the strongest titles to grace the Xbox 360 period, outstripping many big-budget disc based games.

    It’s absorbing, addictive, charming and above all else fun – and it bought out the obsessive kid in me who spent hours and hours trying to 100% Super Metroid. Chair and Epic have put out something that suits both their names here – it will definitely keep you glued to your chair and it is definitely, definitely Epic.

    My Review. It missed a 10 by a tiny amount. Tiny. Still a fantastic game though, one of my favorites this gen.

    APZonerunner | RPG Site | UFFSite | The Gaming Vault
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  • Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Pendegast wrote: »
    Damnit, why did they have to base this on a Orson Scott Card story? It looks like my dream game... But Card is such an insane scumbag, there's no way I'm paying a dime toward his royalty checks.

    Why, if there were no Orson Scott Card, then I would have no Ender series...a world without the Ender series is like if there were a world without the Dune books. :(

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  • FreakinchairFreakinchair Registered User
    edited August 2009
    I am....Iron Man!

    (thunk)
    Spoiler:

    Hey, your sig - what comic is that?

    Also when does this hit marketplace?

    I'd construct a situation such that everyone died at the exact same moment so that we could attack whatever afterlife there happens to be en masse and so take it over and create a perfect unending afterlife existence. Also, everyone who wanted one would have an afterlife pony.
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