‘Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet’ PC Review – All Style, All Substance | The Indie Game Magazine
April 21st, 2012 | By Gerrard Winter
Tagged in: games for windows live | insanely twisted shadow planet | PC Game | review | shadow planet productions | shooter | steam
I’ll come out and say it, I LOVE concept art. There’s just something so pleasant about seeing a creator’s pure unadulterated vision; one that isn’t clouded by the harsh realities of modern game development such as hardware limitations, finite budgets and the incessant cries of “add more space marines” from the marketing department. But for something so beautiful, it gets treated pretty badly; mainly being relegated to obscure ‘bonus’ sections as a cheap and easy way to fill them out. I think the most apt moniker I’ve heard it be given in recent memory was “the mechanically separated chicken meat of video games”. Lovely.
But that makes it all the more interesting that Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet was headed up by hollywood artist Michel Gagné (of Iron Giant fame), an immensely talented concept artist who, by his own admission, knows absolutely naff-all about games. His mission? Create a video game that truly captures the essence of that high quality 2D artwork without any compromise.
So, did it work? Well, first let’s get something straight: there’s absolutely nothing unique about how Shadow Planet looks; basically It’s just a montage of black silhouettes with a bit of clever parallax mapping thrown in. For those of you who don’t understand what I’m getting at here, I just described a graphical style so common in the indie scene that it makes me want to cry tears of liquidised displeasure. Yet, even with my heart turned to stone from experiencing one too many Limbo wannabes, I can’t help but gaze in awe at Shadow Planet’s gorgeous visage. See for yourself, take a gander at one of the hundreds of delicious screenshots floating about the net and give praise to the mighty Gagné and the assorted other dudes/ladies. They totally did it bro, they made playable concept art!
Or better yet, you should watch the video embedded above this very paragraph (don’t worry, I’ll wait) because honestly, it’s only when things start moving that the magic really happens. You see, Shadow Planet’s world is a quite literal hostile environment; it writhes and pulsates with your very presence, letting you know at any opportunity that every inch of it wants you dead (and that it’s more than capable of making that happen!). You feel like less of a hero fighting off an alien menace and more like a foreign parasite aimlessly drifting around the innards of this gigantic cyborg beast, desperately trying to fend off it’s freakish immune system. It gives the game a surprisingly dense eerie tone, one that only gets more ominous when the dynamic soundtrack throws in a couple of Inception-esque “brrrrrrrmmm!”s every time your ship goes decidedly FUBAR. Which happens an awful lot by the way, as your craft has the structural integrity of a cheap cardboard box on a particularly rainy day. For the casual gamer this title is not!
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2x frugal query: Shipping to Japan
2x is reminded of the requirement for this query per the prior post and politely acknowledges such.
2x -- being a wanderlust -- must now ship several large & somewhat heavy boxes of household items to Japan. Transit time is not a priority. Frugalness is. 2x would query here the most frugal & friendly shipping vendor who might accept an assignment to ship cardboard boxes filled with household items from sfo to Osaka, Japan on a leisurely & frugal pace?
2x would then query another, as to why "leisurely" is spelled with the "e" before the "i", inasmuch as such combination followith not "c"; but rather "l".
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