Lost In Shadow: Lost in Translation?

One thing I’ve been impressed with since I purchased my Wii is the ability for game developers to take an age-old, simple concept, like the platform game, and manipulate it into something new and exciting just by putting sort of a fresh spin on it. While the Lost in Shadow Wii game does take some elements from other games like Ico and Echo Chrome, by forcing us to play as a shadow throughout almost the entire game, it does bring it’s own brand of freshness to the table. The concept is pretty simple: you are a shadow separated from the boy you belong to, and you have to return to the tower and rejoin with your host, which you do by running, jumping, and fighting your way through this world while manipulating light and shadow to reach your objective.

Let’s start out by saying that the Lost In Shadow Wii game might be one of the most aesthetically interesting games I’ve seen in a while, certainly on par with games like Braid and Limbo in their unconventional take on platforming. You play as a shadow throughout most of the game, interacting not with physical objects, but with the shadows of those objects. Using the Wiimote and nunchuk, you can manipulate your environment and the sources of light within it to reach your objective, which is really the heart of the game. This dynamic, while simple, is super cool to watch in action as you lengthen and shorten shadows in order to reach your objective. Levels are laid out well, with well-crafted puzzles interlaced within to break up the running and jumping.

However, there was one thing I could have done without, and that was the combat. It simply wasn’t needed in this game, and amounts basically to hacking and slashing with the B button until your enemy is dead, or jumping out of the way of their attacks if they aren’t. There are some enemies that can only be defeated by using the surrounding environment, and fighting them was the only time I found the combat any sort of enjoyable. Also, the Wii Lost in Shadow game uses the Wiimote almost like an afterthought. Whereas you would think that you would manipulate the Wiimote as your light source, in reality you’re doing little more than adjusting a slider.

The Lost in Shadows Wii game, once you get past the interesting mechanics, is pretty much your average one player platformer. It’s pretty, and it’s got an interesting gameplay mechanic, but it lacks real meat and probably would have been done a lot better as a shorter, downloadable title. In the end, if you’re a huge platformer fan or just a fan of this kind of game, it’s probably worth a purchase, but I would probably just give it a rental if given the choice.

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