Shadow of Destiny Review
Shadow of Destiny box art
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.

Shadow of Destiny screenshot

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.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Freelance Writer

The characters and scenery are pretty dated.
Running around with the thumbpad and interacting with folks using buttons is standard stuff. The camera angles are a little frustrating.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Almost all of the voice work is pretty atrocious.
Play Value
The story and adventure itself is actually solid enough to merit checking out if you're an adventure game fan, but everyone else will want to steer clear.
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • A Truly Unique PSP Experience - Shadow of Destiny is a game unlike any other PSP game available, where players can embark on a unique murder mystery, they're own! The setting within the game will span over 500 years deep into the past to secure the details of why and how they were murdered. What you do in the past will affect the present.
  • Time Warp Puzzles - Solve various different puzzles while finding clues to reach the killer.
  • A Blast From the Past on the Go - Shadow of Destiny is the same game from highly rated release in 2001. It has the same mysteries, characters and look and feel as before, but now for the PSP.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Shadow of Destiny screenshot - click to enlarge Shadow of Destiny screenshot - click to enlarge Shadow of Destiny screenshot - click to enlarge Shadow of Destiny screenshot - click to enlarge

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