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Shadow Of Memories (PS2)

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      03.09.2012 09:40
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      Charming mystery RPG.

      One of the earlier releases for the Playstation2, Shadow of Memories is a classic and unique game with a complex storyline. Unusually the game begins with the death of its protagonist, Eike Kusch, who is murdered. With the aid of a sinister benefactor he must go back through time to other eras to solve the mystery of why he was killed and prevent his death, while avoiding the other attempts on his life occurring in the present. The game has multiple endings and a complex storyline where your choices in each time period will affect all the others. You also gain a completion percentage for each stage - to fully resolve the game you need to go into other eras than just the one you need to solve each issue. Shadow of Memories is a puzzle-solving story-driven game, so some players may be put off by the lack of combat. This is reinforced by the game system which does not even have combat controls or mechanics. All the puzzles tie in to the storyline, and you have to take actions in the past to change the present which are not always obvious. While there are limits on how often you can time travel, you do need to undertake sidetrips, unless you want to be lead by the nose through the story without finding the truth (which, without spoilers, is what the bad guy would like). The controls are easy, intuitive and basic, since Eike usually walks around, performs basic actions and talks to people. Graphically the game is attractive, with different colour schemes for different eras (black and white for the twenties, sepia for the distant past). A highlight is the cats in the museum office, which made me wonder how they motion-captured kittens, they are that lifelike. The voice acting is excellent and believable, and the cut sequences work into the game seamlessly in most cases. The sound is good and does not detract from the game. The only problem I have is that, as an early PS2 title, the graphics are slightly dated but the immersive storyline makes up for it. The multiple endings give the game replay value: there are eight (five basic and three expanded). While there are two obvious points in the game where you can affect the ending by answering questions, the other endings are obtained by uncovering and investigating side issues which come up during play. You cannot find out the full truth from any one of the basic endings so you will need to complete the game multiple times to learn it. To solve it, through an expanded ending, requires gaining almost all the basic endings to find out what is going on. It's not just Eike locked in a timeloop repeating the games events to solve the problem - if you want the best ending it's the player as well. Despite this it does not become repetitive, perhaps because each time through you are trying to discover the truth behind mysteries you found on your last quest. Trying to get the task to save your life done quickly enough to have time to explore and investigate is one of the game's main challenges. I still go back it occasionally. It loses one star for slightly dated graphics, and a few non-obvious and critical puzzles, but otherwise this game provides five star gameplay and a great plot. Overall this is an excellent mystery game with high replay value, but designed for thinking rather than action-orientated players. (An update on my CIAO review)

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        17.06.2011 10:43
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        A nice little puzzle adventure game

        Most people (those who like gaming that is) have by now purchased one of the latest games consoles, however more often than not you will still have one of the older consoles hanging around the place, I know we have. Along with a Nintendo Wii and an Xbox 360 we also still have our trusty old PS 2, that incidentally is still in great working order. Going through the many PS 2 games we have stashed away, I came across this one "Shadow of Memories" I remember playing this game religiously, it was a game that I enjoyed playing myself and so decided I would review it for all those of you out there who may also have a PS 2 on standby. This game was also released on the original Xbox and later for the PC. ~Shadow Of Memories PS 2 (age rating 11+)~ Shadow of Memories was first released for the PS 2 in 2001 by Konami, they describe this game as an "interactive novel" in which you take on the role of Eike, a young man who has just been murdered. This game seems to begin where most other games end, only with this game you have to go backwards and forwards in time trying to find out why you were murdered and who murdered you. I thought the concept of this game was good because it was a little bit different to the norm. Out of the blue you (Eike) lose your life, at the hands of someone unknown. You regain consciousness in a strange darkness. Now you are guided by a mysterious person known as Homunculus, you are given a strange time travel device better known as "The Digipad" with this in your hands you are able to change the course of history, thereby changing your tragic destiny. You will activate the device and find yourself in a coffee shop that is somewhat familiar to you, exactly 30 minutes before you are due to lose your life. Within this 30 minuets you have to move and think fast to try to unravel the mystery as to who kills you and why. You must find a way to prevent the tragic event from happening. So travelling between the past (16th century) and present, you have 30 minutes where this will indeed be a game of trial and error, but whatever happens you must change your destiny! The game consists of ten separate chapters, within each chapter you will find yourself in mortal danger. Each time you manage to avoid the dangers presented and outwit your deathly fate, the game will progress one step closer to the end, but hurry you only have half an hour to save yourself. The game screen consists of the game (obviously) and several things placed around it, there is a compass in one top corner, to help you with direction, the other top corner is the time display, two times are shown here, the present time for the era you originated from and the other shows the time for the era you are visiting. Underneath the time is a power gauge this indicates the amount of energy owned, you need this energy to use your Digipad. Along the bottom of the screen you will find time that has elapsed during an event after an event is completed. Across the other side of the screen along the bottom you will find a location display, showing you street names and places you are visiting. Throughout the game you will encounter people who will help and hinder your progress, the ones to look out for to help you on your way are as follows: Dana: She works part time in the coffee shop where you begin. She is in the present day. Margarete Wagner: She is the alchemists daughter, who is fascinated with your present day tales finding herself very attracted to the present day. She obviously is in the past. Eckart Brum: He is the curator of a private art museum, he is also an acquaintance of yours. He is in the present day. Homunculus: This "being" I don't know the gender of, it is someone mysterious who will aid you throughout and assist you in your efforts to prevent your death from happening. There are several items you will find throughout the game, these you will need to progress: Energy units: You need these to operate the Digipad, but not to worry to much about these as they can be found all over. Red Stone: This is a key item in the game. Lighter: This you already have at the beginning of the game. Mobile Phones: Although you will not use these phones to call anyone, there is another use for them which you will have to discover for yourself. The game itself is on one disc and is obviously played using the controller, each and every control you will need is explained in full in the instruction manual, which is included with the game. I found the instruction manual to be very handy, as it always takes me a while to remember which button does what on the controller whenever I start to play a new game, and the manual made it easy for me to have a quick glance at when I played the game in the beginning, before I became familiar with it. It's also wise to make sure you have a memory card for your PS 2 in order to save your game progress as you go along. ~How I got on with it~ There are six different endings to this game, but only having played through it once I have only got to see one of them. I did enjoy this game as it's full of different puzzles to solve and what made it more exciting was watching my time tick away, as I desperately tried to solve and complete puzzles as fast as I could. There are quite a lot of cut scenes though, throughout the game I was continuously greeted with yet another scene to watch, which cut the actual game play down quite a bit, I realize that the cut scenes were all a big part of the game, but for me I would have liked to play a bit more and sit and watch a bit less. For it's age I guess the game is alright, the graphics are by no means brilliant but for a 2001 game, they aren't that bad. Music and voice over's in my opinion are quite good. While playing the game I found that by reading Eike's memos every time he found something interesting, as he always writes everything down and his notes did help me at times when I found myself stuck. Another thing I made sure I did, was pick up as many energy units as I could, I constantly needed them so I never had too many at any one time. Lastly I found that by travelling backwards and forwards through time I would be met by a different situation each time which did indeed lead me to more unexpected discoveries. This game could have been completely different had I chosen to take a different road or travelled through time at a different time to which I did. With six different endings available in this game, anything could happen, each game I play will be different from the last. I appreciate this as it's like I get extra games for free. ~A couple of good reviews~ "A thinking man's masterpiece... without doubt this is a brilliantly conceived, wonderfully executed game." 5/5 Computer and Video Games Magazine "Spooky, unnerving and darn right brilliant..." 8/10 Official PlayStation 2 Magazine ~Price and availability~ The game I bought years ago from Game Station and it was part of a 2 for £20.00 deal at the time. The game can be purchased now from Amazon for PS2 priced at £19.95. I'm giving this game 4 stars, I did enjoy playing it, the only draw back for me was the drawn out cut scenes, in my opinion the game did not need so many of them. Thank you for reading my review which may also be posted on other sites.

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          06.09.2009 18:29
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          A solid and engrossing game

          Konami make some of the best and most original games on the market. Shadow of Memories, whilst not among the most popular games ever made, is a thrillingly inventive RPG-esque murder mystery, where there's no combat or "boss fights" to speak of, but the game still offers a high degree of difficulty due to some meticulously designed gameplay, in which you must attempt to solve puzzles in order to save the protagonist's life. You play Eike, a man who was recently murdered, and given a second chance to find your killer, you must continually travel back in time and amass clues as to who did you in. Like Konami's Metal Gear Solid series, this is a very cinematic game that has a LOT of cut scenes, so if you want something that's instantly gratifying, this probably isn't the way to go. It's a slow moving game that requires a certain degree of patience, but will reward patient gamers with a thoroughly engrossing plot that offers a number of alternate endings, meaning there's a lot to go back for once you reach the end of your mystery. The puzzles have a fair degree of range - they can be as simple as telling someone something or giving them an object, then travelling back in time and helping change something in their lives that will then affect your fate. They do get more challenging, but the game never gets too challenging, and your hand is held somewhat by a mysterious rake-looking man called Hormunculus. Presentation-wise, this is a really solid game - the cut scenes are well directed and, despite the often bland colours of the past levels, the locales are extremely well rendered with a high level of detail. The sound fits the atmosphere of the game, particularly in the past levels, and the voice work is pretty solid for a video game, although not as good as some of Konami's other games (chiefly MGS). Although the gameplay doesn't have a HUGE deal of variety, the central mystery is very interesting and will keep you coming back to unlock all of those endings!

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          24.08.2009 19:13
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          Interesting, fairly compelling game.

          Eike Kusch has just died. Murdered while strolling through the German town of Lebensbaum, he shall never know the motive behind the murder. Or at least he shouldn't, but he awakens in a bizarre, inter-dimensional realm where a disembodied voice offers him the chance to go back in time and prevent his death. Despite initial misgivings about the intentions of his mysterious saviour, who admits a vested interest in Eike's survival, he accepts and wakes up in a coffee shop with a time travel device, half an hour before he is destined to die. The race is on. And what follows as he puts off the first attempt on his life, manipulating the past to secure his future, makes up the first of ten chapters in Konami's 2001 PS2 adventure game, Shadow of Memories (Shadow of Destiny in the US). This chapter sets a general template for the game: after foiling one plot, Eike is killed by some other means and must rescue himself again while trying to find information about his assailant. The complicated plot splits off into several possible timelines, requiring six playthroughs to reveal every possible outcome. Intriguing moral dilemmas are introduced throughout the course of the game, but along with the periods Eike lands in, are never fully explored. Despite the confusion of parallel timelines, the plot remains intelligible and rewards the player's curiosity with additional storyline content which reveals new details about the characters and the plot rather than being trivial non sequiturs. What the game does well, apart from character development, is imbue the mundane and the supernatural with an equal sense of drama, tragedy, and mystery; weaving them together into a deeply personal tale of a town and its denizen's past. A daring concept and unconventional structure such as that employed here invites problems, and the game shares some of those that many story-driven games are accused of. Mostly connected with the implementation of cutscenes. While always interspersed between sections of gameplay, the high cutscene ratio remains very noticeable. Also, while making them initially unskippable seems a wise decision given the amount of important information divulged in them, every eventuality is not accommodated. If Eike dies outside of his own time, all progress is lost, the title-screen reloaded, and the chapter (and all cutscenes within) must be replayed. Any variation (however slight) caused by the player's decisions removes the skip option. Choosing a different solution or dialogue option can uncover previously unheard dialogue and new events, but the tedium of watching a previously seen cinematic with a single, cosmetic difference or an inconsequential line of new dialogue happens too often. Replays are encouraged, and necessary to fully grasp the plot, but these features can contribute to a mild ennui before the game's content is exhausted. Also, many of the cutscenes' context in the game is questionable. They eat up precious game-clock time which discourages triggering them, and limit the amount of plot players can experience before Eike's demise. Dying as a result of spending too long talking is both frustrating and breaks the illusion of the game's fiction. Despite Eike's mild mannered nature, surely he can break off a trivial conversation when his life depends on it? The abundance of cutscenes isn't the only suggestion of the game's cinematic pretentions. Time periods all receive a different graphical flourish. Medieval Germany is tinted brown, populated by grey-faced peasants, and the 1900s receives a black and white style that becomes more colourful as the century progresses. The effect is interesting, but superficial. Modern and medieval settings are evoked well, the architecture in particular showing a modern town built up from parts of its history, but the empty streets feel lifeless and reduces the believability. 1900s Lebensbaum is (understandably) similar to its current state, but the colour filter isn't enough to make it stand out as wholly separate period. These experimental touches are rare, and the game looks like a standard, first-generation PS2 game. But there are noticeable deviations. In cutscenes, characters are convincingly animated and excel in their "digital acting". Their faces, while the character models lack much detail, express an impressive range of nuanced emotion. In-game, however, characters move stiffly, as if their movements are based on a theoretical algorithm of movement rather than direct observation of humans. the result is that characters move as if their joints are rudimentary hinges. The quality of the environments is mixed too. Areas generally look fine; especially interiors which are littered with period detail, but some textures look sub-PSOne which is disappointing and a little disorientating. Some of the lighting effects, while not particularly advanced, look good too, the transition of the day noticeably over the 12 hours the game spans, and the quaint streetlights giving the nighttimes streets a (perhaps not entirely appropriate) cosy atmosphere. As the game was designed for the PS2 rather than PC, it uses a simple analogue control system where Eike can only interact with certain things, access his inventory and adjust the camera. The main puzzles are just as simple, despite the added complexity of the parallel timelines. Any relevant information is pointed out by NPCs or revealed by Eike's audible musings. A solution is always apparent, but only made so through clear hints rather than unassailable logic. Most of the challenge comes from the game's real time countdown before "the fated hour" of Eike's death which fits perfectly with the story but can be needlessly cruel and restricts exploration. Instead the game rewards a methodical approach taken over several playthroughs. After finishing the game once, I was dissatisfied with the puzzles. I dismissed them for their obvious solutions and the way I perceived them to only take partial advantage of the time travel mechanics. But when playing the game a second time, I experimented and was pleasantly surprised to find multiple solutions to puzzles which introduced new scenarios. My interest in the game was reignited by the discovery of so much new content. The amount of in-game content seemed to dry up after the second playthrough and my interest waned. The game's length just felt artificially extended. It asks for six complete playthroughs to uncover every ending, and while key cutscenes in the game are worth experiencing, the rest of the game doesn't warrant so many repeated plays. A short "EX" mode, tucked away after the original five endings are seen, drastically re-jigs the games' structure and plot but it never felt worth the effort. There's a worthwhile storyline in the game, just hidden amongst menial repetition. Lebensbaum has something of an uneasy, sterile atmosphere due the small size of the playable area and the population. A feeling reinforced by intermittent bursts of off-key music that are partially effective but don't reach the heights of this devloper's work in Silent Hill. The occasional twangs and percussion are foreboding, but slightly distracting. The random jolt it provides contributes to the game's unique flavour and serves to oddly refocuse the player if they're losing concentration. An interesting effect, the storyline losing none of its poignancy in the absence of a bombastic score, but it feels something of a missed opportunity to really manipulate the player. Unfortunately, the questionable elements of the voice acting don't serve to reinforce the mood. While major characters benefit from decent performances (Homunculus' clipped, resonant tones being debateable), peripheral characters are shocking. Possibly a result of the financial constraints of producing a plot heavy, fully voiced game in 2001: most of the inhabitants sound like a parody of themselves. Screeching mothers, obnoxious teenagers and high pitched elderly characters diminish whatever scene they blemish with their presence, their minor roles never short enough. Incidental NPCs who don't portray exaggerated caricatures are fine, but their respectable work is overshadowed by their colleagues' histrionics. In such a story-heavy game, anything that detracts from the player's sense of involvement in the game is to be decried, and poor voice acting can certainly do that. Shadow of Memories is a very worthwhile experience despite feeling that it has no right to be. The unique plot, refreshing time-travel mechanics and multiple plot paths rescue what could have been a pedestrian adventure gaming experience. The lack of challenge, restricted environments and repetition isn't game breaking, and neither is the incredibly short length (the first playthrough shouldn't take more than five hours, although repeat playthroughs can take one). It's thought provoking (within the context of the game-world) and is certainly worth whatever bargain bin price it would cost. It's not innovative or refined enough to stand out as a classic, but it's a daring, if stuttering step in great console's infancy that just happened to be overshadowed by more conventional blockbusters.

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            11.08.2005 22:58
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            A bad day can make a good game...

            It’s fair to say we all have our bad days from time to time, where nothing seems to go right. Spare a thought then for the star of Shadow Of Memories, Eike Kusch, who before the 8th April 2001 is over will be stabbed to death, burnt, smashed over the head, poisoned, run over and pushed off a tower. After being unceremoniously murdered in the opening cut-scene, Eike is resurrected and told by a mysterious entity that he has the ability to avoid he preordained death, though avoiding it alone won’t solve the overriding problem. Kitted up with a time-travelling device, Eike is sent back to the town of Lebensbaum to try to change his destiny, finding his assailant in the process. It’s going to be a long day… Shadow Of Memories (SOM) was one of Konami’s early PlayStation2 showcases, released as it was back in 2001. A quick glance at some of the screenshots may suggest that it’s a close relation to Konami’s own Silent Hill franchise; both set in creepy towns populated with suspicious inhabitants, a third-person perspective and a bemused central figure. However, closer inspection reveals that the two are little more than distant cousins; rather than going down the familiar survival-horror route Shadow Of Memories opts to put a more mystery/whodunit slant on things – it’s a definite individual. SOM is, when ultimately considered, something akin to an interactive movie. You’ll be watching cut-scenes for a longer period than you will be actually controlling Eike, but don’t let this put you off. The adventure is split into eight chapters and a prologue – each generally begins with the hapless hero being killed in some way, given hints by the mysterious ‘Homonculus’, and then resurrected between thirty minutes and an hour before the event happened. Successfully prevent Eike’s doom, and you will be rewarded with a bit more time as you progress to the next chapter. Time is everything in SOM; you’ll always have half an eye on the clock that runs throughout your travels. Whilst Eike is moving around Lebensbaum the clock progresses in real-time, but particular care should be taken when deciding who to talk to; though certain members of the community can hold crucial information, others merely deliver idol chat, and each time you interact with them thirty seconds will be whittled away from your time. It’s a terrifically original and well-crafted effort, with several ideas that could, in the current gaming climate, be considered very brave. Highly unusually for a third-person adventure these days, there is a conspicuous absence of any weaponry or fight-scenes whatsoever (it’s the only game I’ve ever played that can be completed with the player dying more times than the enemy) – it instead focuses on challenging your brainpower and awareness, with time being your only foe where gameplay is concerned. As you progress, timelines in 1979, 1901 and 1580 are opened up, with decisions in the earlier times changing the ‘modern day’ look of the Lebensbaum environment. These can range from minor things such asking a famed local artist to paint a specific picture so it appears in a gallery in ‘2001’, to crucial decisions such as influencing the owner of an old house to convert it either into a museum or a library. It’s gripping stuff; the storyline is mostly excellent and though there are some rather lengthy segments of dialogue, it’s all rather atmospheric and immersive. The characters are quite superb too as there is such variety in the cast, and it’s all extra-appealing given the relative freedom you have to alter their destinies along with your own. Shadow Of Memories looks absolutely wonderful; in every respect it is a feast for the eyes. Whilst the basic layout of the town remains the same in each time-period, the contrasting visual approaches are highly impressive. The older eras are predictably the most unusual, both in terms of the architecture and inhabitants. 1580 sees maids and squires roaming the streets, with a remarkable mixture of pale browns and yellows making for an understated class, and the palette of 1901 proves muted to the point of black and white – a wonderfully successful contrast to the rather more consistently-colourful Eike. The modern era shows off the designers flair; its easy to see why the camera is set slightly lower than in most games, its uncomplicated rotation-system (which can be navigated with the shoulder buttons) allows the player to witness some truly beautiful sights – the church in particular is a remarkable structure, both from inside and out. The attention to detail is quite brilliant; there is even a tower from which the entire town can be viewed from all directions – it’s breathtaking, especially given that the same view can be admired in 3 different time zones across a hundred year period. Without doubt, Shadow Of Memories has an immense amount of style and uncomplicated beauty that suits it down to the ground. The cut-scenes are generally very good – they need to be given how big a role they play – camera angles are superbly cinematic and though there isn’t the kind of see-the-frown-lines detail on the characters that some newer games aim for, it again doesn’t matter a great deal. It’s all so perfect and glitch-free; aiming in certain areas to appear quite minimalist (menu presentation, character design), whilst in contrast using sheer detail and variety to hammer home the overall visual quality (environments, weather effects). It’s just lovely. Whilst the plot is every bit as a complex as Konami classics Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill, the gameplay ultimately lacks the depth of these titles. Playing Shadow Of Memories through first time is an immensely gripping and enjoyable experience that does have a fair degree of challenge to it at times. However, it took me only 4 hours to finish first time through, and that included cut-scenes. Having completed it once you are given the option to skip the cut-scenes that you have already witnessed, and consequently a second play took me only 1 hour 45 minutes. After that, with only the various different endings to play for, there is well under an hour’s total gameplay left, which is rather alarming by today’s standards. Sadly, when you strip away the intriguing storyline, you are left with a game that is at its core quite basic – simply requiring you to move from one point to the next, talking to the correct person and using the right item at the right point. Perhaps in the long-run a lack of enemies does hurt Shadow Of Memories, as there is little real challenge once you have figured out exactly what you’re doing. In terms of its voice acting, in typical Konami fashion SOM fluctuates wildly from the sublime to the ridiculous. Fortunately for the most part the main characters reel off their lines nicely, if you can ignore the (I assume historically inaccurate) American accents in 1580 and bizarrely out of place lines such as “hey, you’re cute” and “I’ll go take a peek”. It does lapse at times towards the old Silent Hill technique of placing ridiculous emphasis on totally innocuous information as if it was the key to life itself. Oh well, some things never change… One of the benefits that comes from the time-travel/destiny elements is the wealth of endings that can be uncovered. Predictably the varying conclusions involve certain decisions made at key points throughout your journey, with six normal endings (each with their own minor variations). Attain all of these and you’ll uncover the ‘extra’ game mode – essentially nothing more than an extended prologue, but very funny as Eike pre-empts most events that he (and you) will have seen several times already, surprising the fortune teller by telling her they’d already met a bunch of times! As another minor incentive to play out the different conclusions, the more endings you unlock, the more bonus movies are revealed – in this case there are three rather nice game-expo clips; nothing too unusual but fans will no doubt enjoy them. Given that it can be found relatively cheap (around £5) on eBay these days, the lack of longevity may not be as big an issue as it could have been. The lack of violence and gore means it’s suitable for pretty much all ages, and I know that there are a lot of gamers out there who enjoy adventure games for their cerebral side rather than their action-based parts, and Shadow Of Memories would ideally fit those in this bracket. Ultimately, Konami have themselves an adventure that combines tried and tested elements with some eye-catching and generally well-implemented new ones, with the end result being a gripping and clever time-travelling mystery. Gaming veterans will find little challenge beyond a couple of days, and ultimately its brave decision not to use violence as a form of gameplay works against it somewhat as most of the challenge evaporates after you have completed the game through once. It’s a real shame; Shadow Of Memories is gorgeous-looking, cunning and well-structured – a little more gameplay and it could have been fabulous. Perhaps a sequel is too much to hope for but it would certainly be something to keep an eye on given the foundation laid down here – worth renting or buying cheap.

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              08.12.2002 20:34

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              One of the best. - Advantages: Engaging plot, Mesmerising movie sequences, Brilliantly rendered characters - Disadvantages: Too short, unless you play over and over

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              01.06.2002 18:04

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              • repetative

              Shadow of Memories was one of the first games on the PS2, however, already outdated in this fast moving market, and is a rather distinctly average game. You play the hero Eike, who has just died, and play a game where you can morph through time, in order to stop your killer, and to prevent your own untimely death. Which varies, from poisoning, to being run over, to being pushed off a tower, to the simple stab in the back. Each time you are brought back by the hormolucus, who to put it mildly is a strange character. This simple idea, starts off well, but by the 10th time, it becomes tedious as you are always against the clock, preparing for your “time of death!” What the game boasts as well as its good graphics, and towns to explore, in times varying from the supposed “ present day,” to the Victorians, of the Tudors. Is its story line, which takes many twists and turns as the plot thickens, however what happens depends on how you play the game, and in total there are 7 different ending to complete and find. Which isn’t really that hard when the game only takes around 4-5 hours to complete, and that’s only the first time, when your not sure on what to do. The game is incredibly clever, even with the other characters subtle hints on how to prevent each death, it still takes a lot of work. No wonder CVG, (a computer game magazine) called it a thinking mans masterpiece, well…perhaps that is a bit too extreme, but they do have a point. Well, that is all there really is to say about the game, there is no music, (or good music anyway,) no extra things, quite simply that is all, “what you see is what you get,” Overall, it is good idea, and if put in the hands of a world class company, say. Square, then this would be a record-breaking game, but as it stands, it was a little bit rushed, and there are obvious area’s for improvement.

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              08.05.2002 21:46
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              • "Too easy"

              Check any gaming site for a review of this release and you will find it scoring quite highly. Frequent mentions of strong gameplay, great graphics and an intriguing story-line pulled me in. The premise is that your character, Eike, is murdered but, is given the chance to save himself by a mysterious being. Once returned to the land of the living you can make use of a portable time-travelling device to unpick the reasons behind your death and make changes in the past to stop you from dying in the present. Sounds good.... ....it isn't. The game-play is formulaic and lateral. Often you are guided towards the correct choices to make in the game by glaringly obvious signs. The plot is simply dazzling in it's lack of depth and integrity. I do not understand the buzz this game seems to have generated and no, it is not that I didn't get it, it's that there is nothing to get. It is too heavy on the cut scenes - I often found myself grinding my teeth at the inane dialog. The puzzles are far too easy - I won't give any hints here, you won't need them. The graphics are poor when compared to other titles - The main characters could be either sex and their body proportions are way out of whack. The repeat play value is minimal - I was too bored to play it after the first day. It is much too easy - There are five different endings, I completed it three times the first day I played it but, just couldn't be bothered to come back to it again to get the last two endings. The plot line is full of holes and the paradoxes it throws up are ludicrous. I can only imagine that those who loved this game aren't used to thinking too hard. If you're looking for an engrossing, challenging and enjoyable gaming experience then look elsewhere.

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                20.12.2001 18:09
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                This was one of my first PS2 games. I enjoyed it, although it is very short. SoM is based around the events of one day in Eike's life. It starts when he leaves a cafe and is killed. He is then taken back in time to a room where he is met by a mystical creature. This creature wants to help him to use a time-travelling datapad to move through time, changing the events that lead up to his death. Eike is still suspicious, but has nothing to lose. He embarks upon a series of adventures, meeting relatives from previous ages and cheating death. The game is very short and takes about 4 or 5 hours to complete. But there are different options in each section of the game (Acts) where your choices and actions can influence the ending. There are 6 different endings. Once an ending is complete, it opens a story in theater mode which can be viewed independently of the game. Eike has to make decisions, such as how to advise a failing playwright, whether a house should become a library or art gallery and whether or not to build a statue or flower garden in the town square. Each decision could save his life or seal his doom. If he dies in certain circumstances the game is over. Other times he is revived and given another chance to save his life. This game is fairly dark in atmosphere, but enjoyable nonetheless. The graphics are exceptional and the story is addictive. The game is fairly easy to play and would be enjoyed by people from the ages of 8 and upwards.

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                  18.12.2001 18:26
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                  Shadow of memories is a spooky RPG for PS2. it was one of the first titles available in the Uk but it is great fun to play. Shadow of Memories is a story about Eike, who is trying to avoid dying. It is broken down into Acts, each Act starting with Eike's death. He is given a datapad, which allows him to travel into time (backwards and forwards) to try to influence events in the past and present. These influences are to try to avoid him dying. Shadow of memories is gripping and addictive. It has various endings, which you achieve through making different decisions each time you play. The game is relatively short, but can be played over and over again to influence different outcomes. Shadow of memories is simply the best rpg on PS2.

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                    17.08.2001 22:00
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                    Title: Shadow of Memories Format: PS2 Publisher: Konami From time to time a gaming title comes along that seems to be doing something that hasn’t really be done before. That’s very much the case with this PS2 title from Konami – Shadow of Memories. If you were to judge this title by picking up the box you’d be forgiven for thinking ‘that looks a bit naff’ and putting it straight back on the shelf. Try not to be so hasty though, if you give this title the patience and attention it deserves you may well uncover one of the most enlightening gaming experiences yet seen on PS2. To bring you up to speed, your character is Eike Kusch – an ordinary chap who is just going about his everyday life without any major drama. That is until you witness him being stabbed in broad daylight. Whoaaaa there! You play Eike and he’s killed at the beginning of the game?! That’s right, if you’re looking for a game that begins in a slightly unconventional way then this could well be the thing you’ve been looking for. The whole idea in Shadow of memories is that you’ve got to somehow discover who is trying to kill you and more importantly, how you can prevent it. Now don’t worry, this isn’t done in some ‘now you’re Detective Dickinson’ kind of way. It’s MUCH more bizarre than that. Shortly after your (Eike’s) death, you find yourself waking up in a strange and dark room. You’re alive it seems but not all is as it should be. Then a voice speaks. It’s the voice of God surely, or the Devil perhaps. It’s in fact Homunculus, a guide whose mission is to prevent you from dying. To do this you’re going to have to travel through time using a Digipad that Homunculus gives you. Using this Digipad your mission is to travel back and forth in time, meeting people on the way, to hopefully uncover and prevent the reason why you’ve been killed. Eye candy: Shadow of Memories is visually quite a treat if not the most impressive title on PS2. The town’s buildings, features and people all look truly wonderful with quite a respectable level of detail. Your character is slightly out of proportion (check out the length of those damned legs!) but with a fairly complex character model and even moving hair it all looks the business. As you travel through time you’re treated to a swirling string of colours which is a little naff but at least gives that Bill and Ted feel to the time travel feature. Arriving in different time periods is also very cleverly illustrated as the 1900’s visuals change to take on a more black and white feel whilst visits to the 1500’s take on a more earthy/sandy appearance. Ear candy(?!): Not sure if that’s even a gaming term but who cares? Everything that’s pleasing on the eye is equally good on the ear. There is a substantial amount of speech involved here and the characters all have their individual voices. General town sounds are present too although in a much more subtle form, it’s not exactly a huge city full of activity so don’t expect buses, cars or the occasional jumbo jet overhead. The music deserves a special mention as it totally compliments the varied gameplay. Calm moments have relevantly soothing music whilst the scenes involving fear or action have a much more dramatic score. Lastability candy (Stop it – Ed): It’s not the most complex or packed title out there, certainly not in the same league as Zelda or Final Fantasy, but it will last you many hours depending on how quickly you run around the place and how many people you meet and greet. The real beauty of this title is that although it is generally quite linear, there are options you can take along the way. This means you may complete the game but you could replay it with different choices on subsequent plays. Of course you’ll plough through much quicker on additional plays but at least you can see parts of the game that you may have missed (either by choice or accident) the first time around. Even if you only play the game through once (10 chapters including pro and epilogue) you should be looking at around ten hours of solid unrepeated playing. That’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of even if it’s not the lengthiest adventure game available. The Verdict: Shadow of memories is certainly one of the more original titles currently available although it’s not going to be the choice for everyone. Some moments can become a little tedious as the interactive movie gameplay does involve many cut sequences that you just sit and watch. If it’s a title that has passed you by I can reassure you that you haven’t missed the game of the decade but in terms of originality and absorbing interactive entertainment, this is a quality title that shouldn’t be ignored.

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                      01.07.2001 05:57
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                      Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!! Fuck Bill gates & windows!!!

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                        18.06.2001 21:07
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                        • "Poorly Scripted"

                        Before buying this game, i had read reviews in magazines that praised it to high heaven, and i have always been an adventure game fan, so decided to try it. Words don't sum up what a horrible mistake i made. I will start with the good points. The graphics are beautiful, and there are lots of great video cuts. It also had a very good plot, going back in time to remove the reason for your death, sounds compelling and exciting. Unfortunately this is where the good points end. You have very little control over what goes on in this game, i remember one of the chapters, all i had to do was pick up an item from a chair, and then watch about 30 minutes of footage and the chapter was complete. I don't find this the type of gameplay that draws me in. Some of the puzzles are quite good, but you are always told exactly what to do, and it removes all of the thinking process from the game. The puzzles also generally take about 5 minutes to solve, then leave you to watch about half an hour of badly scripted film. I was constantly expecting the game to get harder, hoping it was just trying to draw me in, with several easy chapters before the puzzles got hard. This hope was taken away from me when after just over 5 hours of play i had completed the game. The best thing i can say about this game is that i finished it quickly enough to be able to go and exchange it for another game.

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                          30.05.2001 22:09
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                          Shadow of memories is from the developers of silent hill, currently available for the playstation(my view 10/10-better than resident evil), so you know your in for a treat here. U play Eike in the present day who wakes up in a small cafe, after leaving you walk down a sidestreet and the camera moves back to give the impression of someone behind you which there is and who then stabs you and leaves you to die. Soon after you wake up and are given another chance at life, you are given a time travelling device so you can visit different time periods to stop your murder from occuring. Although the game is short(finished it in around five hours), there are many different endings to find which depends on the decisions you make in the game and once you start playing you will be hooked till you finish, i stayed up to the early hours to find out who it was and when you do find out it takes the wind out of you. I highly recommend this game for its sheer originality and fun to play factor although if you can you are better renting it.

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                            15.05.2001 21:57
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                            • "Can be boring"

                            Baffling, interesting, and annoying the many ways to describe "Shadows of Memories". This is a strange game as it is brilliant and original one minute but the next it is dull and boring. The plot is straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster, you play Eike young man who is destined to die a bloody death. But with a magical device, which can take you too different time periods significant to help you in your quest, such as: 2001, 1902, and 1584. On your journey from preventing your many deaths which involves: being stabbed, knocked down by a car and pushed off a library tower, you met many people who you must help to help yourself. The graphics are nice, smooth with little slow down, but the faces look to clean cut and realistic with no cuts or marks. The characters interact with objects well so lighters and stones don't float in the air. But the dialog is disappointing and could be vastly improved, but it is nice to hear voices instead of reading reams of text. The cut scenes are impressive, its nice to see a game were you can pause during a cut scene, but sometimes to long and there sometimes seems to be more cut scenes than actual playing. So "Shadows of Memories" is a good intriguing game with good smooth graphics, nice backing music and believable accents. But the down side is bad dialog, a bit boring and a little short in the tooth.

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