|System: PSP, PS2, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Konami TYO||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 26, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Many of the game's warp-focused puzzle challenges involve changing aspects of the past - both the recent past and the extreme distant past - in order to influence the present. For example, at one point your would-be assassin jumps out of a tree and slays you. Had the tree not been there, someone would have seen the assault coming and warned you. So you wind up warping back in the past to figure out a way to prevent the tree from even existing in the first place. Comprehending and playing around with these intriguing time-space relationships makes that aspect of the gameplay fairly entertaining.
Other times you'll stumble into chapters with obtuse objectives that force you to simply roam around aimlessly in hopes of triggering a cutscene or talking to someone who points you in the right direction. There are also plenty of uninteresting item-specific puzzles where you'll use an object from your inventory on a particular person or hotspot to progress. These moments may have been pretty standard for the adventure game genre in 2001, but they don't feel nearly as exciting or immersive now as they probably once did.
The graphical presentation in this port is spotty at best. A few characters are well-designed and have some distinct details, but Eike looks like he was whacked with an ugly stick. The same goes for much of the scenery you'll encounter. Some areas have a moderate amount of detail. Others are devoid of anything particularly interesting to look at. Konami's fidelity to the original game is understandable; it's just drab at times. On the audio front there's a lot of voice work that gives each character a very bold personality. Unfortunately, much of the voice acting is embarrassingly ham-fisted and over the top. A few characters are particularly painful to chat with, due to their obnoxious tones and insipid dialogue.
It's jarring how Shadow of Destiny thrusts you right into the story without any tutorial or sense of direction. Once you've recovered from this initially awkward stumbling block, the plot and gameplay grow more manageable and enjoyable. The game's time-travel element is cleverly implemented and makes the other less entertaining adventure game mechanics less boring. With the quirky story and dimensional warping, we can see in some ways why Konami would want to resurrect this unique title, but it's hard to imagine anyone other than serious adventure game fans being able to sit through this one for very long.
CCC Freelance Writer