Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Complex Shadow

You know the old story.Guy and girlfriend go on a hiking trip. Girl gets kidnapped by a militant group hellbent on destroying America. Guy grows a pair, ponies up, and takes on a whole army single handedly. The classics never get old, do they?

Okay, so Shadow Complex isn't going to be winning anyone over with its thought-provoking, Shakespearean plot. You know what though? Who the hell cares! This $15 XBLA title that was released about a month ago is without a doubt one of the greatest side-scrolling experiences of the past decade. It's part Metroid (think power-up system, map, and accessibility), part Metal Gear Solid (you sneak around a lot - sorry, not cardboard boxes), and all kick-ass (you, well, kick a lot of ass).

While you start out with just a pistol, a backpack, and presumably a couple of protein bars for the hike (Caramel Nut Balance Bars for the win), you eventually get assault weapons, grenades, and experimental gear that would put James Bond to shame. The game really goes out of its way to give you power and let you do what you want with it. Experimenting with the best ways to kill unwitting soldiers is arguably one of the time killers with Shadow Complex. Unfortunately aside from that the game is too damn short. For $15 you get a whole lot of fun but if you just blast your way through you can easily beat it in a couple of hours, if not less. Despite that it's definitely worth the buy, but don't expect to be coming back to this one much after you beat it.

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