Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Art style is something I immediately notice in a game. If the style intrigues me I’m typically excited for it, and I was VERY excited to play Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.

The gameplay of ITSP is an elegant combo of shooter mechanics, exploration and puzzle solving and the game sharply resembles such classic games as Metroid and Zelda. The player controls a small alien craft and must solve complicated puzzles and survive swarms of enemies with whatever tools and abilities the player has collected.

The gameplay is not without its downsides, however. Several of the puzzles give so little explanation that it’s difficult to even discern its goal. This can lead to a great deal of frustration. Another point of frustration is the fact that nothing stays dead. Instead, after going through the effort to kill enemies they quickly respawn, sometimes in as little as five seconds. Eventually I saw no point in even killing enemies and instead simply avoided them.

The story of ITSP is told through various “silent” cinematics (no sound effects or voicing, only music). The lack of voicing and explanation of the story causes more questions to be raised than answered. This could have been intentional, but it really makes the game feel empty and eliminates any immersion factor the game may have had.

The artistic style of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is unique and mesmerizing and the gameplay does not dissappoint. Unfortunately the game is much shorter than I expected and doesn’t take itself nearly as far as it could have. The music of the game also doesn’t meet the high standards that the artistic style sets. In fact, there is very little music except for during cinematics.

ITSP has the makings of greatness, the creators could have done so much more with it. Instead of a great game they instead have presented a mediocre game that looks great and doesn’t last very long.

Video / Audio
Huevos Factor



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