Shadow Madness is the love-child of a group of developers known as Craveyard Studios. Formerly known as Big Rain, Craveyard is comprised of an assortment of industry veterans, including some ex-Square Soft programmers whose projects include the old Super Nes title, the Secret of Evermore.
Shadow Madness is a game that can best be described as a "Final Fantasy Light." Graphically, the game is composed of prerendered backgrounds (a la FFVII or Parasite Eve), with polygonal characters.
As you might expect, you navigate your party around the backgrounds and search for clues and openings, occasionally getting into a battle (which can be avoided, by the way). Whereas many RPGs will have you in a melee every three footsteps, Crave has incorporated a system which you can use to avoid attacks. Whenever a creature is about to wrap you up in a melee, it gives off a sound. When you hear the sound you can duck to avoid the attack. The problem is, if you avoid too many fights, your levels won't go up. So balance is the key.
When battles do occur, the game switches to a fully polygonal engine. Using a simplified interface, Shadow Madness eschews the traditional menu-heavy approach for a "stripped-down" list of options. During battle you can use a Guarded, Normal or Aggressive attack, while other options, like retreating and an items list, are but a button press away. In terms of special spell effects, unlike Square's masterpieces, Shadow Madness takes a different approach to its stunning spell effects. Instead of waiting for an extremely long spell to run its course, Shadow Madness instead switches (lightning-quick) to a prerendered FMV to illustrate special attacks. Other, simpler effects, such as healing spells, are simply rendered on screen using the game engine.
Although a few details, such as the battle engine, need a little fine-tuning, Shadow Madness is a title with a certain charm, that could turn out to be something special by the time it ships this coming February.
- MANUFACTURER - Craveyard
- THEME - RPG
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
Download Shadow Madness
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
We don't have much more than screenshots and a story line on this upcoming RPG from Crave Entertainment entitled Shadow Madness. From what we gather, the game puts you in the adventuring shoes of Stinger as he searches for answers in his dying world. A strange disease is spreading over his land, driving its victims into insanity and eventually killing them. As hundreds die from the disease, and strange beasts carry it from town to town. Stinger meets up with other warriors in an attempt to stop this destruction. As you visit prerendered areas, and more magic, weapons and technologies are found, the mystery unfolds. We'll have more info on this one as it progresses.
Without a doubt, the legendary Final Fantasy VII is the game by which all upcoming RPGs will be measured thanks to its great graphics and dramatic story line. But Shadow Madness looks to join Final Fantasy atop the RPG tower as it hits the PlayStation with a highpowered repertoire of impressive graphics, sounds, and story line.
Taking control of six diverse characters, you must solve the mystery of the "Shadow Madness" plague, which has infected the world of Arkose.Throughout your journey, you'll engage in multiple quests while exploring over 75 areas, conjuring up magic and using unique weapons to fight more than 150 creatures created by the melancholy and incurable plague. Shadow Madness' deep, involving story will be complemented by over 40 hours of gameplay.
Even in the preview version, Shadow Madness contained beautiful graphics and a commanding misleading. Despite this minor malady, Shadow Madness looks like it may make a huge impression in the RPG world upon its release.
Playing more like an interactive book than an adventure game, Shadow Madness is definitely geared toward the hardcore RPGer. The story line is compelling--if you want to read thousands of lines of text (no joke, this game has more words than an encyclopedia)--but you'll be wishing for a little more action.
Wrestling With Shadows
A terrible plague called Shadow Madness has spread death and chaos throughout the world of Arkose. It's up to you and your traveling mates to scour the land for a cure while battling monsters, completing side quests, and solving various puzzles. Shadows premise is intriguing, but the gameplays drastically bogged down by line after line of boring text The turn-based combat control can also be problematic as none of the fighting menus explain what SM's spells or items actually do (you can only decipher their actions in non-combat menus). When you do figure them out you'll find fighting baddies a snap. Unfortunately, there isn't much variation from battle to battle, and winning one doesn't take much strategy.
Graphically, Shadow Madness shines with unique camera angles and sharp, pre-rendered backgrounds. Sadly, some of the cool camera angles are so tweaked that it's difficult to figure out where to walk.
The game's classical soundtrack perfectly fits Shadows mood while the screams of disease-riddled denizens become eerily frightening. The warning cries of approaching monsters are both ear-grabbing and helpful--the fearsome yelp of an unknown creature will make you change your mind about fighting, especially if you're low on health.
CATION: Good/Words: Bad
Shadow Madness could've been great--instead, you'll feel like you're attending an English class. Even though SM is still a solid game, if you only have money for one new RPG and you want some good action, go with Legend of Legaia.
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