Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
By Shadow Planet Productions and Fuelcell Games
Yet another wonderful exploration title in the vein of that blended genre that’s come to be known, over the years, as Metroidvania, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet features exactly what its title would suggest; a Shadow Planet that twists and corrupts all it touches! It’s so insidious that even plunging into the sun of a certain system somewhere in the galaxy doesn’t destroy it, but instead the sun is corrupted itself! This prompts an intrepid young alien to board his flying saucer, and with a little support from his homeworld, blast off to the now-cooled but very dangerous corrupted sun.
You’re given a wide range to explore on this new, very dark planet, but you can’t go everywhere all at once! That’s the soul of Metroidvania; you explore, do battle with enemies great and small, and eventually find weapons and equipment that help you forge past previously impassable “Gates” as they’re termed on the Map screen – effectively barriers. This equipment includes but is far from limited to: your trusty scanner that can add information about said barriers to your map screen (as well as give you hints about how to kill enemies); a claw that can help you lift rocks to clear paths for your ship; a shield to protect you from projectiles; and the simple laser which is your main line of offense in the beginning of the game.
Iconography, rather than text (except in the menus) is the order of the day, and it’s up to you to figure out what the symbols mean. In your starting area, at least two such icons appear on your map (associated with Gates) that are different from the items you have; you see that they’re the Missile and the Sawblade, both of which you’ll get in due time to remove such obstacles.
If you want a unique environment to play around in but familiar gameplay elements and a feeling of accomplishment, I strongly recommend this game; it’s on Xbox LIVE right now for 1200 Microsoft Points! Five out of five!
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