Everyone's seen games that manipulate light as the core of gameplay, but how many games center around manipulation of shadows instead? Everyone's seen games that involve manipulating the background and foreground, but how often do they get in the way? These two concepts define Hudson's intriguing platformer, Lost in Shadow. A little time at E3 showed how the game took its concepts and explored some neat twists on classical mythology.
You have to learn to look at the shadows that the platform casts in the background, not at the platform and obvious path along the foreground. Your character does not have a physical body and only exists as a shadow. This means that obstacles interact unintuitively, but in a fun way. A scaffold in the foreground becomes the platform to jump to. If it's too tall, it becomes a wall that you must break down. Most of the monsters that you face also don't have obvious physical forms.
Fortunately, you have the fairy, Spangle, to help. Unlike you, Spangle does exist in the physical world and can be directed with the Wii Remote, pulling switches and the like for you. She can also move light sources to create, shift or remove shadows for you.
The game's story is told by memories that reveal the plot and replenish your character's health. Related objects called Monitor Eyes are the key to getting to new levels, but we didn't discuss how they would work.
The game actively revels in its central element, with lighting and shadow effects running in much crisper detail than you would normally see on the Wii. One could easily mistake the game for an Xbox 360 release solely based on the lighting detail. The results are a bit surreal compared to what we're used to on the Wii, but that can be a good thing, especially since the game maintains a clear, focused style throughout. The player-character, even if only rendered in shadow, had enough detail to provide an eerie feeling of near-presence.
Lost in Shadow was the most intriguing game at Hudson's booth this year, and when it finally comes out, those who are interested in something different in their Wii platforming should definitely pick up this title.
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