|The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004
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Shadow of Power
"A million adventures for glory and honor"
Gaming Gold Award Winner for Best Graphics and Best RPG
Get ready some for sword-swinging action andreal-time
spellcasting in this overhead RPG adventure from Master Creating.You play
Holger, the not-so-bright but powerful fighter from the smallvillage. Your
mission is to gather the four pieces of the lost gem anddiscover the mystery
of the Mystic Tower before you are overwhelmed bya managerie of medevil-type
Each gem you must find is scattered withina
vast universe of deserts, forests, castles, labyrinths. Sniffies, Orcwarriors,Goblins,
and undead creatures await you at every turn. The bosses are especiallynasty
because they can cast devastating spells! So master your own spellsand
unsheath your sword, Holger! The world is against you!
of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|This is the thirdtime
Shadow of Power has been reviewed by V Planet. The first two timeswere
requested by Merlin of Master Creating. This third review is saluteto Shadow
of Power v1.4, which now features a new voice actor. So sincemost of the
improvements in the game involve the sound, the graphics scoreremains the
If you've ever playedZelda
III, you're probably familar with the body of graphic elements thatmake
up Shadow of Power, considering the fact that the game itself is outto
be the premiere "Zelda III" clone. This is apparent from the very beginning,whenyou
wake up in Holger's little world. You'd find yourself surrounded bynewly
drawn Zelda trees and Zelda grass. You know it's redrawn, but you'veseen
The scrolling andanimation
for this game is very polished, and you get to see a lot of atmosphericeffects
that you wouldn't usually see in QB. Some examples include raineffects,
lighting, and explosions. In terms of art style, SoP doesn't compareto
Zelda III, but it does come just one league below. Overall, I was impressedvery
much by Shadow of Power's use of graphics. A point off though forlack of
originality since it looks a little too overinspired by Zelda III.
blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
|Let's start by talkingabout
the sound effects, which was the emphasis of Master Creating's improvementplan
for Shadow of Power for this latest version. Surprisingly, a lot ofthe
sounds remain the same. The villagers sound just about right with theirprofanity
and what-not, the enemies and sword-slashing are still as crispas the first
time this game was tried, and overall the sound effects borrowedfrom the
Net were unchanged.
The dialogue in Shadowof
Power is a mixture of live speech and text boxes, with Holger (the maincharacter
in SoP) doing most of the SB voice sampling. That's why I foundit very
peculiar that Master Creating initially chose such a cowardly-soundingvoice
actor to do the voice of Holger. I swear... when I was playing Holgerin
Shadow of Power v1.0, I felt like I was playing an over-acting wusswho
didn't know how to swing a sword if his life depended on it (andoftentimes
That's why it waspleasing
to me when Master Creating mended the situation by hiring Lukasto re-do
all of Holger's voice samples. Lukas has a much manier voice (althoughHolger
still sounds high-pitched when he's a little dumbfounded). So thecentral
character of the game is no longer annoying.
But as far as I'mconcerned,
Master Creating has only rid of half of the sound dilemma thatmakes me
cringe. Shadow of Power's choice of BWSB music includes one toomany popular
video game tunes and radio songs (Act Raiser, Zelda, Alladinto name a few.)
These are great songs, but the only way to truly give SoPit's individuality
and get at least a four on the sound/music categoryis to spice up the game
with some original music from a QB musician.
of control and involvement of character within its universe
|I'll say it beforeand
I'll say it again: Shadow of Power may have an abundance of weaponsand
magic, but there are only a handful that prove to be very useful. Allthe
standard Zelda weapons seem to come into play as your quest in SoPdevelops.
The gameplay is also similar to Zelda III, with overhead swordbattles and
sparse amounts of gold. My best advice to you, since gold israre at first
and a lot of the items aren't very practical, is not to buyanything unless
you really need it.
In terms of the game'slayout,
Shadow of Power is a dungeon-to-dungeon type game with some bosses,an auto-map
feature, and an arrow pointer that helps direct you to thenext part of
the game. Instructions are given to you every step of theway in terms of
what to do, so the emphasis in SoP is focused on battling.There's no experience
though; most of the time you have to battle to stayalive.
In terms of gameplayI
have two complaints regarding the latest incantation of Shadow of Power.Exhibit
"A" is the game's auto-save feature, which automatically savesyour game
whenever Holger leaves to the next room. This includes the positionof the
monsters, so oftentimes if you run away from a battle you couldforce yourself
into a very sticky situation. l've also seen instances wherethe game's
engine can't tell which room Holger is actually in, which causesthe game
to go pitch black until you ease Holger left or right. Then there'salways
the occasional walk into a room that doesn't exist and causing yoursavegame
to crash (by the way, if that happens, click hereto
get some tools that you'll need to restore your corrupt savefile.)
This brings me tomy
second complaint about the gameplay, which involve the lack of fairnessin
battle. You see, when Holger gets hit he bounces backward like a pinballuntil
he hits the corner. So I see enemies that hug the corner of the roomsso
that Holger is instantly killed before he can move or lay a hit (makinglife
bars useless). I've even seen enemies that teleport right on top ofHolger,
which will kill him outright. Yeah, it's great to make a game challenging(SoP
is border-line impossible on Hard mode), but at least give Holgersome space
to make a decision before he's put into a compromising position!A few routines
that assure that the enemies don't just appear on top ofyou as you walk
around, or even a "blinking" state which gives Holger achance to physically
recover after he's hit once, would make SoP a lotmore fair.
and presentation of the game's critical plot
|Shadow of Power'sAchilles
Heel. I found SoP's plot to be very ambiguous, and full of thingsthat I've
already seen before from one Playstation or SNES RPG from timeto time.
Of course, a lot of RPGs, both QB and console, suffer from thissame fault.
But SoP didn't have the flow or the depth of a grand storyeither... these
are things to think about, perhaps, if Master Creatingdecides to make a
Shadow of Power 2.
SoP features livespeech,
which has its ups and downs. Sometimes I couldn't hear what washappening
next, which made me lose an important clue. Then, I tried speakingto them
again but they mumble the equivalent of "So don't forget what Itold you"
or something like that. The result is a lot of guesswork. Theplot is also
a lot of "Find this! Now find this!" in ways that didn't makea lot of sense.
|Replay Value (n.)
of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeatedagain and
|With three challengelevels,
there are some parts in Shadow of Power that are a joy to playagain, and
some parts of Shadow of Power that you'd rather not. For example,it would
be great to enjoy more of SoP's treasure-hunting and enemy bludgeoningelements.
But when there are rooms with ten wizards and two orc warriorswhile you
don't have the magic or the elf boots to protect you, then you'drather
pass on repeating that experience. Stay especially wary of the Hardchallenge
level, in which the enemies are just too cheap for the game tobe playable.
the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought andreflexes
|Shadow of Power'sdefinite
high point. Shadow of Power features a lot of puzzle elements,especially
when you have to find the blue crystals. Also, you can't stockpileitems
like bombs from stores like you usually would in most other QBRPGs.You
have to find the items you need in the vast SoP world, which meansyou have
to solve more tricky room puzzles. The layout of the game alsooffers many
hours of solid play.
As if the challengewasn't
thorough enough, the battles are so difficult that SoP would makeGauntlet
Legends look like a cakewalk. Sometimes the difficulty of a roomwill border
the impossible mark, not only because the enemies outnumberyou, but because
the enemies will try to smother and cheap you to death.Again, it would
be nice to get a little more fairness every now and thenhere, because sometimes
I would get a chain of Game Overs before I canescape or have an open shot
to cast a big spell in a trafficked room.
|Fun Factor (n.)
entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|Shadow of Powerstill
has some ways to go in indvidualizing itself from being just a "Zelda"clone.
The first step involves making some new music, which will allowpeople to
stop subliminally comparing SoP with the console games with whichthese
music tunes come from. If I was going to add another suggestion,some changes
in gameplay need to be done. Fairness in battle somehow needsto be increased
without getting in the way of Shadow of Power's high challengerating, and
some over-similarities to the gameplay formula need to be tweaked,if not
changed. But then again, being a full-fledged Zelda clone isn'tsuch a bad
thing considering that so many QB games try to be a Zelda clonewhere only
a limited few succeed.
||To solve: 4-12 hours Final Rating:20/35
Shadow of Power (3.90MB), click here.
unzipping this program in DOS, use the -d option.
Power will not run without Microsoft Windows or Microsoft Windows 9x.
using Microsoft Windows 9x, right-click each .EXE file. Choose "Properties",then
click on "Screen". Change the "Usage" to Full-screen. Then, clickon "Program"
and change the Run Selection to "Maximized." This should preventWindows
from interfering with the game.
Shadow of Power, run "Shadow of Power.EXE".
Back to RPG Page
of 35 points
Huge game-world and top-notch graphics.
Some unoriginal sounds, characters,and game concepts get in the way of
enjoying Holger and the rest of thegame.
V Planet! Archive
This is an archive of V Planet, circa November 2004, when the site was last active. This is read-only, and preserved here as part of the QB Zines Archive at Pete's QB Site.
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