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Shadow of Destiny



Game Info

Shadow of Destiny

What? You still are not sold on Shadow of Destiny yet? Here, give me your wallet... This is for your own good. But seriously, Shadow of Destiny is a must-play title. The plotline is excellent, and the multiple endings really work out well in this game; each ending will change your perspective on the entire story, unlike most games where different endings only affect how characters act after everything is said and done.

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Release Date: Jan 26, 2010


Shadow of Destiny is a port of the original PS2 game. It is over a decade old now, having been made in 2001, but ranks among the best games due to its fascinating plotline. You play as Eike Kusch, an average everyman who dies via stabbing at the beginning of the game but is brought back by a mysterious force to find and prevent the underlying cause of his death.


Shadow of Destiny is certainly unique as gameplay goes. The majority of the gameplay has to do with finding items, talking to people, and reasoning out how best to prevent your own death or unmask your killer. Although there are a couple fetch quests, almost all of them are optional, and codes, keys, and minigames are completely nonexistent (with the exception of TWO keys in the whole game), so almost everything is story-related with very little filler in between. The difficulty in this game comes from your timer. Periodically you will be seeing a fortuneteller that can tell you when your next death will be, leaving you to try and prevent your death before that time comes along. Even if you travel back in time, your present day timer will continue to tick, meaning that when you go back to the present day, you will have been gone for the same amount of time you spent in the other timelines. In addition to the timer ticking in real-time, certain events cost time as well, typically between 15 and 40 seconds, or up to 20 minutes for story-related cutscenes. To prevent the gameplay from being a blind rush because of the timer, your Z-Pad also requires energy cells to function, so you will want to collect them as you go, or go out of your way to look for them if you have extra time on your hands. While this originally seemed like a cheap gimmick to me, I later learned to understand that it is really the only thing that pressures the player. Balancing between finding energy cells and beating the clock can be somewhat difficult for someone new to the game. The only issue here is that energy cells always appear in the same places and respawn there each time you travel to another zone. Although you may not know all of the locations, soon enough you will memorize just enough of the locations to replace the cells you lose while traveling. To help the player along, journal entries and minor characters will offer hints to the player, as well as the captions that appear when you open up the Z-Pad menu. I found these to be a little bit revealing, although the game was not TOO easy. Personally I would have removed a few hints, or given an option for difficulty. It is also worth mentioning that after every chapter you finish, you get the chance to save. It is a good idea to keep these end-of-chapter saves separate from other saves, because the game is not very clear on what kind of deaths will allow you to retry instantly, and which ones will send you back to the menu. Also, if you dawdle too much, some mandatory cutscenes may put you past your time limit and make your save file impossible to progress with. So... Keep alternate save slots. One last thing I will mention is that as ports go, this is very smooth. The quality is high, the load times are almost non-existent, and the game does not even read from the disc that often, so you will preserve a lot of battery life. Everything works exceedingly well.


As far as the sound goes, I really like the sound effects of Shadow of Destiny, and the music is quite good as well (it sounds like something out of a movie soundtrack). Nothing groundbreaking, but I certainly like it, and I do not think the soundtrack could have been done much better given how it fits for the game. Besides, a few themes are quite catchy (like the one that plays in 1979 during the snowy day!) The voice acting for this game is incredibly good, too! I saw a few short bits of the original PS2 version and it would appear that the voices were redone. The voices this time around carry a lot of emotion and are nearly flawless in my opinion. The only problem with dialogue is that although some characters use dated expressions fitting for their timeline, the dialect of characters from even a hundred years ago is oftentimes much more modern than it should be.


A couple gameplay-related elements can be a bit of a hassle. First of all, your inventory screen is just a side-panel that you must cycle through vertically. If your inventory is packed, it can take a lot of scrolling to look at what you want to. Just adding a second or third row would have made it much easier to cycle through items. Second, the camera can be a bit foul-tempered as well. Since this is not an action game, the camera really is not a big deal but it can make it somewhat hard to navigate the map.

Review written by Kwing, last updated 3:00am 13.11.13