Shadow of Memories
Genre Adventure -> Adventure
Today's Rank 0
Date N/A
Publisher N/A
Date 2002-09-27
Publisher Konami
Imagine being able to turn back time and prevent your own death: 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, who 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 a 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 on the Xbox and convey a real sense of being there; this is heightened by the superb 3-D sound, which makes a major mark on the gameplay, thoroughly enhancing the atmosphere in a way little seen in console games. There are only two things which prevent Shadow of Memories from being an A grade Xbox title. The first is the length and frequency of the cut scenes. In the first 45 minutes of play there's so much scene setting that there's precious little for the player to do except watch--it can be frustrating, but the patient player is rewarded with a deep and immersive experience that becomes compulsive. 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 left with an engrossing experience. --Chris Russell
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