Shadow of Memories
Genre Adventure -> Adventure
Today's Rank 9005
Homepage N/A
Date N/A
Publisher Konami
Date 2003-02-07
Publisher Konami
North America Retail Box ArtUnited Kingdom Retail Box ArtImagine being able to turn back time and prevent your own death. Now, imagine that in doing so you forever alter history and have to jump back and forth through the dimensions to put the world to rights. Welcome to Shadow of Memories. Described by Konami as an "interactive novel", the game's plot follows the fortunes of lead character Eike, a man knifed to death in a quiet German town by an unknown assailant. He must save his own life and in the process discover why he was murdered in the first place. This is a full 3-D world around which Eike can wander in a number of different time zones ranging from the present back to the middle ages, with suitable graphical treatments for all. It's standard adventure game fare, with the usual array of objects to collect and use in the pursuit of altering history. Graphics are well above average and convey a real sense of being there; this effect is heightened by the superb 3-D sound, which makes a major mark on the gameplay, thoroughly enhancing the atmosphere in a way rarely seen in console games. There are only two things that prevent Shadow of Memories from being a grade A title. The first is the length and frequency of the cut-scenes. In the first 45 minutes or so of play there's so much scene setting that there's precious little for the player to do except watch. This can be frustrating, but the patient player is rewarded with a deep and immersive experience that becomes compelling. The second is the short playing time--around seven hours to complete one of the game's half dozen paths. It's just not long enough for the serious gamer and does the title no justice. However, if you can get past these hurdles, Shadow of Memories is a wonderful game, with the plot intriguing enough to have you arguing over who the killer was. Shadow of Memories certainly won't be to everyone's taste. Its unusual mix of heavy storytelling and adventure action seems a little odd at first but perseverance is the name of the game and the player who sticks with it will be enjoy an engrossing experience. --Chris Russell
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