Hands On: Lost in Shadow
Lost in Shadow for the Nintendo Wii is one of those rare games that tries to be something beyond the norm. You control a young boy, who seems to have been captured by a dark, evil knight who has the ability to cut your shadow from your physical body. Upon throwing your shadow off the tower, you seek out to return to your body once again to become one.
The game, developed by Hudson, is unique in the sense that you do not control a physical entity as such, but the young boy’s shadow. Since you have been separated from the physical realm you can only walk, climb and manipulate anything that casts a shadow. The game offers a variety of control schemes that you can pick from but I chose to use the Nunchuck and Wiimote combination. The Nunchuk controls the young boy’s movement while A makes him jump. A winged sylph known as “Spangle” accompanies you which is controlled using the Wiimote and can manipulate the surroundings by holding down the B button to charge light energy. By using a combination of movement and manipulation of your environment, you guide your character all the way from the garden that he was disposed of, all the way to the top of the tower.
Gameplay is a mix of platform, puzzle and action as you try to visualise the best methods of going to point A to B. Along the way you will be collecting parts of “Memories” which act as your health and thus weight of your own shadow, as well as collecting items. Items in question are called “Monitor Eyes” of which each level has three of them of which must be collected to progress, encouraging exploration of all the levels. The Garden and subsequent levels act as a tutorial as you learn new tricks such as rotating cranes to shift the shadows to even rotating your whole perspective on the spot. Once you have the basics underway, the sense of exploration is encouraging as you want to look everywhere, not only to obtain the compulsory three “Monitor Eyes” but to see what other surprises lurk within.
Graphically the game uses fantastic use of strong art direction as it has been compared to ICO and Shadow of the Colossus on the Playstation 2. Using a 3D engine with a 2D gameplay plane, the Nintendo Wii does a great job of producing simple, yet stylish and atmospheric graphics to a very mellow and inviting soundtrack.
From my hands-on impressions I am left very encouraged by Lost in Shadow on the Nintendo Wii and just hope that gamers will give it a chance for being not only something unique and different, but also fun to play.
Lost in Shadow is scheduled to be released on the 12th November in the UK for £29.99.