Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is the third Summer of Arcade title to come out this year and arguably the most unique. Is it Insane enough to warrant it’s $15 pricetag?
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (or ITSP) is a 2D side-scrolling action-adventure game which puts you in a spaceship that is tasked to explore a strange planet.
The story is explained through a unique set of hand drawn cutscenes which are accompanied by music performed by Dimmu Borgir, a popular Norweigan Black Metal band.
-Craziest Art-Style Ever. The first thing you notice when you boot the game up is it’s unique hand-drawn visuals. Designed by Mr. Michel Gagné, each and every cutscene you witness is completely hand drawn and filled with all-sorts of awesome. The attention to detail really sets this game apart.
-Most of the Puzzles are fun. It would be fair to say that this game not only prides itself on it’s beautiful art-style, but the in-game puzzles as well. Most of them are simple enough to figure out within seconds and really add a sense of accomplishment when you complete them.
-Play how you want to play. Unlike most games where you need to kill every single thing in order to advance in a level, ITSP allows you to do whatever the heck you want. Feel like killing all those things that are shielded by a massive piece of armor? Go ahead. Don’t feel like killing a single thing? Do your best and steer your way through the waves of enemies until you reach your destination. The only thing you end up having to kill are the bosses which cap off the end of each area. And those fights themselves are unique and fun.
-Multiplayer that doesn’t feel tacked on. I absolutely hate when a game throws together a multiplayer mode just for the sake of having one. But that certainly isn’t the case for ITSP. Instead of making the standard deathmatch mode, which could have been easily done, the guys at Fuelcell decided to try something completely different.
I present to you Lantern Run. Based on a later part of the single-player campaign, this mode tasks you and 3 other friends to carry lanterns through the dark caverns of the Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet while being chased by a mysterious Shadow Monster. The further you and your team get, the more points you get which is then submitted to a global leaderboard. I really enjoyed this mode, but it’s not something that cannot be played for hours at a time as the simple nature of it make it become stale after 5-6 plays.
-No on-screen map. Since ITSP is based around roaming one giant map, it would have been great to seen an on-screen map instead of having to hit the back button every single time I wanted to see where I was. I must have done that hundreds of times.
-No in-game help for puzzles. I’m not asking you to solve the game for me, but some sort of help would be great after I’ve ran around the map several times trying to figure WTF I did wrong in order to not solve this puzzle. The in-game laser scanning device that your ship is equipped with is hardly enough help as all it does is tell you what to device you can use to interact objects with.
-Short single-player. Even after taking my sweet ass time on some levels and having diffuculty solving a few puzzles, my playtime with ITSP was about 5 hours total. With hardly any replay value once you’ve beat it the first time, ITSP is not a lengthy game by any means. Especially for 1200 MS points.
-The story. Having the story played out through animated cutscenes is a great idea. Adding great sounding music is even better. But I still had no clue WTF was going on throughout the entire game.
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is one of the more unique experiences you can have on the Xbox Live Arcade. But it’s also a very short one. And that is it’s biggest downfall.
This game was provided independently by MyGamerTalk.com