Shadow Complex Review: Amazing Sci-Fi Platformer

Shadow Complex
Shadow Complex

Having purchased Shadow Complex quite some time ago, it is quite clear that this is one of the best and highest quality games that have been released on Xbox Live. One of the latest games released by Epic Games, it definitely preserves their status as one of the best game development companies there are.

Shadow Complex starts off with your character and his girlfriend walking through a forest. Basically, things happen, and she ends up wandering where she should not have, “accidentally”, and she is dragged in for interrogation and investigation by a group of high-tech looking guards. You travel inside of this base, through a ventilation system and go in to save her. The story takes off from there, as you get your first fire arm and you go around with your flash light and weapon drawn, ready to dispatch of anyone who gets in your way.

As cheesy as this story may sound to you, there is a fairly interesting twist somewhere at the end. It my be clear to some of you, some where in the middle of the story line progression, but for me, I was caught by complete surprise at the ending. But that is the end of the story, it is a fitting story, but the meat of this game is in its gameplay. This is an old school platforming type of game, sure to instill feelings of nostalgia in the retro-gamers who may play this. There are actually direct homages to some of the classic video games, like Metroid, made within this game.

The platforming and general gameplay is very simple. You are able to dash, jump, climb, hang off of ledges and shoot your gun. The aiming can get a bit awkward at times, because this game has a sort of innovative aiming system. Although this is a 2d side scrolling video game, there are enemies in the background that you will be able to aim at. But sometimes, you will feel as if you are moving the analog in their direction, but you will end up aiming at the floor or ceiling. This can make you look like a complete novice at times, but besides that, the game is solid.

For an Xbox Live Arcade game, it has pretty detailed graphics. The lighting is very good and adds to the over all tone of this video game at times. The flashlight works very effectively when in a dark room or cave, your flash light will give you that narrow lighted area, to guide you to where you seek. The music and sound effects… well, to be honest, if there is music in the game, I have not noticed because it is not something I pay attention to. However, the sound effects are something that is well done, nothing sounds out of place, the sound of your feet hitting the surface changes depending on what you are stepping on. It is well done.

The progression throughout the story is well done. You grow levels as you go on throughout your journey to take down this evil organization, and preventing them from taking over San Francisco. As you grow levels, you get added benefits, such as increased accuracy or increased health capacity. Also, you will find capsules that increase the amount of projectiles you have, and when you get the max amount of capsules, you will have an infinite amount, such as rockets or grenades. You will have to find these capsules in hidden areas scattered across the map, however. You will probably find a majority of them as you progress throughout the story, if you are explorative.

All in all, I would have to say that this is the best, if not one of the best, platforming and side scrolling games available on Xbox Live, and possibly the Xbox 360 as a whole. It only costs you $10 for the whole game, so might as well invest your money into Shadow Complex.

Bayonetta Impressions for Xbox 360


The Bayonetta demo has been released for the Xbox 360, by Capcom, and it finally offers the opportunity for a hands on impression of it.

Bayonetta has a weird storyline that even I do not fully understand, nor did I bother to attempt to understand it at first. So what I vaguely understand about the character is that you are a gun wielding witch who does magic with her hair. Apparently, your clothes are made up of your hair (from what I am told) and when you do magic at times, your clothes will disappear since you are using it for magic. Your character was in a deep sleep and awoken or something, and is trying to regain lost memories of some sort. I can be wrong, but this is what I get from the game. I know little about this video game in terms of storyline, but I am still an avid fan of it actually.

While I may not know about the storyline, that does not matter for this game to be honest. Capcom did an amazing job of creating a deep combo system. You are able to do a lot of combos on the fly while fighting your enemies, and these combos will mesh with each other very fluidly which only improves the overall impact of the game. There is a tutorial mode in which you can simply try out all of your combos and try to find new things, and during load screens you are able to do the same. The combo system is nothing short of amazing, while playing the demo, I was enjoying button mashing and doing some visually stunning things. At one moment, I was shooting every enemy around me in a flashy manner, and then I break into a more close quarters combat with my guns and then out of no where, my clothes disappear and I start grinding and a foot appears or something, it is pretty interesting.

If you are a fan of Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry, you will most likely be very interested in playing this game. There are some guys who will refuse to purchase a game with a female lead role, but I personally think it is worth it. Some guys say that “I will not purchase a game with a female lead, I’m a man, I can’t relate to them…”. Well, this is a game that is very entertaining in terms of action, if not for the interesting and fairly unique storyline. So for those of you who have not played Bayonetta yet, read these impressions then download the game immediately.

Left 4 Dead 2 Free Xbox Live Weekend Event

Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2

Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2 will be getting a free Xbox Live weekend event for those of you who actually own this video game, but lack the gold membership to be able to play competitively online.

The L4D2 free Xbox Live event will run from January 15th at noon until the following Monday.  Once Monday comes, this event will be over, and those of you who do not have the gold membership will either have to put up the cash or enjoy playing the single player game.

I do not know many people who would actually get this game without being able to play the multiplayer, to be honest. This popular zombie-shooter is mostly well known for its co-op playing experience. The single player experience actually gets mocked for the team member’s artificial intelligence.  But whatever the case, if there is ever a time to play Left 4 Dead 2, it will be during the Free Xbox Live weekend, so be sure to remember that date.

A Look Into Video Game Development

Rockstar Games
Rockstar Games

It is no secret that many video gamers have contracted a deep interest in it, resulting in some wanting to even enter the industry of development. If you are interested in the creation of videos, here are some areas that you may wish to explore.

My field of choice in video game development is easily the programming portion. For those of you who like to code or sit at your computer for long periods of time, the programming field will be sure to interest you. But it is not all glamor, though, it does require a very versatile and intelligent follower. You will find that you will be learning a multitude of programming languages, since new languages are continually coming out, and some consoles support different languages. Not only that, but some game engines have a whole learning curve of their own. So if you are one who enjoys the constant incoming of knowledge and challenges, you will enjoy this. The programmers in the video game industry enjoy one of the highest pay checks in the field, often being well paid even as an entry level coder. For those who decide to move into middle management, such as the role of Technical Director, you will find your pay check increased exponentially.

For those of you with a more artistic touch to your personality, you will find great enjoyment in this aspect of game development. You will yield an artistic touch and influence on whatever gaming project that you may be apart of. Creating the whole aroma, environment, style and cast to be held in the video game. This is a very important piece of game development, but sadly, it is also a highly competitive portion. Which means that you may not always have an easy time finding a job. Compared to Computer Programmers who have little competition, due to the difficulty of their work.

There are other portions of game development as well, involving a more financial task. There is need for writers, those with musical talent, and much more. I just chose my two favorite aspects of video game development to touch up on and describe in detail. I will be entering the industry as a computer scientist, into the AI programming field.