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Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet Review

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

Save an alien world before it's too late in this 2D adventure.

When the universe is in danger, its up to you and your little space ship to come in and save the day. That's what we think is happening anyway; there's no narration to this amazing story. The game opens with a spectacular cinematic that shows gobs of something taking off from a decidedly alien looking planet, shooting out into the sky. A nearby sun is hit and a transformation takes place, leaving only darkness where once there was light. Immediately after, your home planet is attacked and you jump into action. Using the weapons you have as well as others found at key points, players will shoot, claw, saw, laser, and scan their way through the game.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

It's all somewhat difficult to explain, as the player may not initially have a grasp as to what's going on. While not having narration is a refreshing change from most games, there are times its presence could have been helpful here. The only real words provided come at the very beginning, when the player is instructed to assign hotkeys (A,B,X and Y) for their ship's various functions. That said, what we do know is that you are one tiny little spaceship in a massive planet. The map reveals itself as you navigate your way though the tunnels and by using you scanner you can update the map to show where things are blocked off or to find out how to destroy something. You'll have to defend yourself against exploding spores, tentacles, tongues and a host of other shadow creatures, all while collecting bits of artifacts that reveal more of the story to you along with upgrades for your shields and gun and even some bonus concept art along the way.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

The screen is left completely open for you to see your surroundings. There isn't even a health meter or anything to distract you from the amazingly detailed backdrop you're exploring. Now not having a health meter can be a bit of an issue here, especially when a lot of the creatures are red in colour. The only way for you to judge how well or poor of you are is to watch as your ship starts falling apart in front of your and flashing red. It's a minor issue that sort of solves itself as you upgrade your shields and more things are added to your ship; basically noticing how poor off you are gets easier. Health does become available as needed, it will just pop up on some plants or be left behind when you kill something. The best part is that if you need health and you're near the ones that are just floating around (aka not the plant ones) it will start coming towards you and when you're dodging things all over the place this comes in very handy.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

Along with the campaign mode, the game also includes lantern run; a multiplayer version based upon one part of the regular story mode. Working with up to four other people you have to use everything you've got to transport your lanterns through the tunnels and not get destroyed by the giant squid-like creature chasing you. Of course, the option exists to play this mode solo as well, but it does get rather difficult to multitask carrying the lantern and getting rid of all the obstacles.

As a whole, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is a markedly different take on the 2D shooter genre. With great visuals, a number of challenging bosses, and well designed puzzles, this is an experience unlike any other shmup. Ignore the lack of a narrator, step in your spaceship, and save the galaxy!

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
Gameplaywww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
A unique 2D shooter with a campaign that will not be whipped through quickly. Bosses are plentiful, and will not be dispatched easily.
Soundwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The brilliant orchestral opening gives way to a minimalist soundscape. Effective, but not as rousing it could have been.
Graphicswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Sharp, fluid visuals highlight the game's unique visual style.
Controlswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
While aiming accurately is important, the ability to assign ship functions to hotkeys ensures that navigating the landscape never becomes frustrating.
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet meshes a strong 2D shooting experience with a visual style rarely seen in most XBLA games.
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