So let me start this articolo off da saying I’m a fucking idiot. A few years ago, I made an articolo called superiore, in alto Ten Japan-Only Games, back when I did this horrible thing called superiore, in alto tens, and I truly was the Watchmojo of this website. On that list, I included a little Konami game called Shadow of Memories for the Xbox, stating that it did come to Europe, but not to America. Well it turns out it did. Only the Xbox version never came to America. But the PS2 version did, under a new title, Shadow of Destiny, for some reason. Why was it changed from Memories to Destiny? I don’t know. Point is, this proves that I did very little research and should’ve put that superiore, in alto ten in the trash. For fucks sake, the Xbox version didn’t even release in Japan. It was a European exclusive. But this isn’t another rant about young me. This is about Shadow of the Destiny, which I think, is one of the most unique murder mystery games out there, and kind of a shame that nothing came out of it
Shadow of Destiny follows our awkward young man, Eike Kusch, in a little town in Germany. One day, all of a sudden, he is murdered out of nowhere. But luck is on his side, as he is dato a chance to survive once again thanks to a strange being named Homunculus. Giving him a Digipad, Eike is able to turn back time to any point that is important in keeping him alive. Including the present giorno (as present as 2001), Eike can rewind time to different periods of the towns history, from the 80s to 1902 to the 1500s. All of these contain puzzles on how Eike can prevent his death from the murderer, who is so hellbent on killing Eike. It’s one thing to poison his Cibo with sea slug substances, but then he tries to drop a pot on his head, push him off a ledge, and straight up run him over with a car. And thinking about who the killer is, it’s kinda hilarious all the stuff they pull to kill Eike, but…. I won’t tell te that. I may spoil a lot with these reviews, but when it comes to murder mysteries, I refuse. te just gotta play the game yourself to find out. And thankfully, the PS2 version is pretty cheap. te can also get it for PSP, and on PC. I will say, the voice recitazione is a bit weird. The dialogue is so bizarre mixed with the stilted voice work of some of these characters, that it kinda takes away some serious tones of the game. But one voice of note is that of Homunculus. During research for this game, I was shocked to find out that Charles Martinet voiced Homunculus. Yes, the voice of Mario voiced this magical twink.
While the voice recitazione is a bit wonky, the story manages to keep me invested throughout. There are parts that I can’t for the life of me stand, like the brother and sister character that lives in the alchemist house that constantly domanda and talk to Eike. Like they’re super important to the story, so te can’t just go and ignore them, but man does the chipper tone of the sister mixed with the moody and sad tone of the brother irritate me to no end. But other parts, I love. I Amore the old style town that has the history of the museum in the modern day, and I really Amore the side quest where te can find out what happened to the museum owner’s wife and daughter before te were even around. Even when te go back in time, it has this nice little effect. Modern giorno is about what you’d expect, grey clouds and all, like typical Europe. But the 80s has this sort of blue tint to it that makes it look più moody. The 1900s has this black and white look to it, and the 1500s has this foto grain that gives it the look of an old book. It really does this nice effect and Eike’s colori contrasting with the visual style is a lovely touch. Speaking of going back in time, having to do so to solve puzzles is so much fun. What te do in the past can change so much in the future. Much like Chrono Trigger, te can change things in the present giorno just da a few conversations in the past. te can turn the museum into a biblioteca da talking to the museum founder all to get a book on curing a poison. te can ask a servant of a nobleman to plant a fiore letto in the court yard instead of a albero so that the killer has nowhere to sneak up on te and kill you. te can tell a director in the 80s what movie to make, changing his poster in the present and allowing there to be too much of a crowd for the killer to get you. It’s all these little touches that really add to the game. te can even change things with side quests, creating a timeline where te give a little girl a pet cat, resulting in the museum in the future being overrun da cats. It’s charming and funny, and it really adds to the creativity of this game’s puzzle solving. And there aren’t just single solutions. Every puzzle in the main story has multiple ways te can go about to solve it. te can go into a burning building with a way of extinguishing it, o te can prevent the fuoco from happening in the first place. To stop the killer from stabbing te in the back, te could use an item your future self gave te to trade for a pan, o te can steal a metal sign in the 1900s. There are multiple solutions all with different results and it really makes te want to play the game again to see the different results of each puzzle. And yes, the game does have branching paths in the story.
Shadow of Destiny kind of has a NieR situation, as in there are several endings and they are all cannone in one way o another. There are about 5 endings, each one giving te a little piece of the bigger picture and what’s going on here, and even still, te may be left scratching your head. But not in a “That doesn’t make sense” kind of way, più of a , “That’s a lot to take in” way, which is the right way. I think ending D was my favorite. I won’t spoil the different endings and what they lead to, I won’t even give a glimpse, because I really do like this game and if there was any game I could recommend to anyone from PS2 Cents, it would probably be Shadow of Destiny. The game isn’t perfect with it’s gameplay. There are some times where puzzles can be too cryptic. There’s also this collision issue that’s a minor annoyance where te can run into a small object in the road and come to a complete stop and have to turn to the side to keep moving. Also collecting little energy orbs to travel back in time is a real pain in the culo If te mess up and run out, te could really fuck yourself. Now I never did because I collected them like a mad man and they do respawn in areas, but I kinda wish they weren’t there at all. But those are minor nitpicks that I have, and the only ones I have for this kind of game. The game is four hours short, which makes replaying it a lot of fun. Plus te can get it for relatively cheap on PS2 from online sources, with the PSP version being slightly più pricey, but hey, it’s still cheaper than buying a full version Persona 3 and 5 Dancing, and has più quality to it.
Well, I have to say, this was one of the biggest surprises for this little series of games. When I bought this game off Amazon, I expected it to be a reasonably decent mystery game, little janky, and would probably need a walkthrough, and maybe give it a 6/10. But this was actually a great game and one that I kinda wish più people would talk about when it comes to PS2 classics. While being worked on da the dreaded beast known as Konami, so no sequel in sight, the games director, Junko Kawano, also known for her work as designer on the Suikoden series of games, has made a game that, while not in the same universe, had the same concept of time travel and time paradoxes, the DS titolo Time Hollow. I’ve never played it and know nobody who’s even heard of it, so that means I gotta play it now. Sadly, she didn’t really do much after that. She made another DS game, Zack and Ombra, and has not been seen since. Zack and Ombra was released in 2010. I really do hope she was able to make something out of her talent, because games like this are something special. If it isn’t clear, I give Shadow of Destiny the award of Hidden Gem. Seriously, if te can play it, get your hands on it. There is no game like it and it’s a real treat.