In Shadow Madness , a mysterious plague, leaving destruction and chaos in its path, has attacked the inhabitants of the world Arkose. It is supposedly incurable and it is up to you to prove otherwise. Shadow Madness, is an RPG-style game, and opens by placing the player straight into the action. Its story line is a little crude in places and doesn't have the subtleties of plot expansion and character development as displayed in the Final Fantasy games. The in-game graphics display the main characters slightly blocky, although the cut sequences are excellently displayed. The sound track is atmospheric and the sound effects are adequate. Its menu engine is much less complex to use, making battling with enemies easier than other titles in its genre. However, as a result of the simplicity, there is less depth in learning the battle system and battles may become more of a chore than a challenge. Puzzles are plentiful and aid in the development of the story. Shadow Madness is an admirable attempt by Sony to enter the RPG market and, compared to Final Fantasy VII, it is a good alternative. However, Squaresoft have since released two further Final Fantasy games, which re-enforces its position as the genre leader. -- Alex Leung.