Shadow Complex shows us how an old dog can be taught new tricks...and cheap!!!
To this day, only one other 2D side scroller had been able to do that to me and that game was Castlevania for the Playstation. Now that wolfpack of two has added one more.
Shadow Complex calls on all the things we loved about those previous titles and adds a new spin to rejuvenate and modernize the genre. The fun act of looking at your map and knowing all the areas you have been and want to go to and progressing through the game to figure out how is revisited in this title. The decent next gen graphics and a 3D (though still technically 2D) environment adds a flare to the genre that will have old fans drooling on their mother's basement carpet.
The 3D aspect of the game is also one of the games downsides. Too often have I found myself trying to shoot a soldier far in the distant 3D plane, and had to find the perfect angle to fire. See, Shadow Complex has an auto aim on the 3D plane and it is not without its small bugs. On the whole, this is not enough to detract from the fun and at no point did it cause me to want to stop playing.
At a $15 price point, I would argue this game a bargain, though making it one of the more expensive XBLA games. The game is short (about 6 hours), however, the replay value is there with a second game mode and multiple difficulty levels. A leveling system also keeps players coming back for more experience. My roommate and I are already competing to see who can beat the game the fastest, as we had with Super Metroid.
All in all, I would say this game is a definite buy considering the serious lack of titles out this summer and all the delays being announced for the holiday season.
Shadow Complex is a modern blast from the past and I rate this game an 8.5, taking away only for the length of the game and a few bugs here and there.