Shadowgate (NES) review
"The true point and click adventure. Shadowgate is a game inwhich you go around and collect items that you will have to use in a different place. There is no button smashing and you can take as long as you need to solve the puzzles. This NES version was a succesful game but went by unnoticed by others. However the people that did come across it, and wanted the true thinking game were pleasently surprised. Shadowgate had alot to offer for that Nintendo system. "
The true point and click adventure. Shadowgate is a game inwhich you go around and collect items that you will have to use in a different place. There is no button smashing and you can take as long as you need to solve the puzzles. This NES version was a succesful game but went by unnoticed by others. However the people that did come across it, and wanted the true thinking game were pleasently surprised. Shadowgate had alot to offer for that Nintendo system.
STORY (7/10): This is closest to the RPG genre, and that would mean you would expect a strong storyline. However very few NES games had a story to them, so why expect this to go above and beyond. In truth you really don't know what of why your doing anything in this game except for the very beggining and the ending. It seems you are taking down Shadowgate or something. However there are alot of cool monsters so that ups the lack of story a little bit. Also it is definitely one of the stronger stories for the NES system.
GRAPHICS (8/10): Now the point of shadowgate was the not moving characters and the still views. So why penalize them for doing what they thought was best fit for the game. The monsters all look interesting even though there is no movement involved, and sometimes you get to see a little bit of graphical fun when you sit fire to something (no hints here). The ending shows a little bit of moving graphics too.
SOUND (8/10): The gloomy music really puts you into the damp dark castle. The sound will put a shiver down your spine and that is how it should be. Shadowgate has great music that sets the mood. Sure it won't be memorable, but it is only in the game for mood purposes and it does the job well. However I will point out there is little to no sound effects in the game.
GAMEPLAY (38/45): The gameplay is one giant interlinking puzzle. Nearly every item you come across you will need later on in the game to advance. Also along the way you will need to pick up various torches so you do not get stuck in the the dark in Shadowgate castle. There are thousands of ways to die in Shadowgate many of them different. You will have to read the scrolls to survive, and figure out what works best where. This is the type of game Shadowgate is. It is where every piece of your surrounding enviroment should be studied so you can survive in a huge castle led by a viscious Warlock. At points you will be annoyed for the gameplay is that hard, however you should be able to find your way through Shadowgate Castle if you keep playing through trial and error methods. This is not a bad thing for Shadowgate is a great old school game, and is entertaining nonetheless.
CONTROLS (9/10): I decided to rate the controls seperately and I am not rating the reaction time or anything like that for that really does not matter in a game. I am rating the system and if it works or not. The point and click system some believe to be outdated, but it works perfectly and is very effective in the Shadowgate series. The little mousehand is the only thing that really moves in Shadowgate, however that is the point so you really should not complain.
REPLAYABILITY (2/10): The biggest problem with the shadowgate series is once you beat it once it is pointless to play again. The puzzles are no longer challenging, for you already no the results. This is a one time thing, and then it ends. You may play through it once later on, however it will not pose too much of a challenge.
DIFFICULTY (5/5): Some would say the puzzles in Shadowgate are too difficult, and if you miss one single item you are doomed. However this is not completely true, for if you examine every room thoroughly you will not likely miss an item, and there is the trial and error method you can use on the monsters. This was the point of Shadowgate so why knock it.
OVERALL (77/100): Shadowgate was a point and click adventure, in which many people overlooked. However I was lucky enough to purchase this game, and I do not have any regrets even if I don't play it anymore. Now Shadowgate is a fairly inexpensive game, and I would reccomend the pickup if you love puzzles. I am not a big fan of puzzles however, and yet with a little help and a lot of trial and error I though this game was still fun, and I don't think you will easily regret the purchase.
Community review by ratking (June 28, 2002)
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