Here’s the Steam review of an older but still fun Metroidvania title.
New feature to these posts is that I’m including the text of the Steam review right here so you don’t have to click to the review itself. Still, if you found it helpful/not helpful/funny, I’d appreciate it if you marked it so on the Steam review itself.
A Paladin’s Steam Review: Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. An Enjoyable Metroidvania That Made Me Feel Clever.
- Genre: 2D Metroidvania Exploration/Puzzle Game.
- Developed & Published by: Shadow Planet Productions & Microsoft Studios
- Platform: Windows, Mac and Linux
- Business Model: Base Game only.
- Copy Purchased by Myself
Fly around in your own “little” flying saucer picking up weapons or tools, figuring out puzzles and enjoying artistic backgrounds. The lack of gravity means you get a wide degree of movement though the levels themselves with limit where you can go. Gliding around in this flying saucer was definitely a different experience from the norm.
Overall Gameplay Thoughts
That being said, exploration and puzzle solving is the main focus of this game. Combat is straightforward with your weapons being easy to aim and land on enemies. That being said, you’ll need to keep in mind that neither of you can handle more than a few shots, exempting bosses. So, it’s in your best interest to dodge the shots coming your way. The saucer can only heal from save checkpoints and rare health pickups, so avoid taking damage whenever possible. While enemies do re-spawn when they’re off-screen, they can be bypassed if you’re simply passing through the area. Most of your time will be spent focusing on exploring this crazy planet you’ve landed on. Thanks to the pacing of the game and upgrades you can find, said exploration remains enjoyable the entire time.
What I really liked about this title is that I felt clever when I made progress. Boss fights aren’t big slug fests where you outlast your enemies but outthink them. You just need to use the tools and weapons you find along the way. If you’re having a frustrating time with a certain situation you find yourself in, you probably need to think your way out of it differently. Use the scanning tool. It will help you out a lot if you get stuck. The only part of this game that can get overly frustrating is the ice level, where you have to place ice crystals in the right places to get a beam of light to where you need it. The pick-up tool is…quirky and sometimes won’t place the crystals correctly.
You follow the adventure of an alien who has gone to…well…an insanely twisted up shadowy planet to stop an invading force from destroying their planet. At least, that’s what I got out of the story. Most of the story is shown via pictures and cutscenes with no text or voice over to really clue you in to what’s going on. As the cutscenes are short, they only give you a basic idea of what’s going on. So, there’s not much to say about the story.
PC Settings and Port Report
ITSP makes it way from Xbox to the PC platform in good form. Custom resolutions, fullscreen, texture and shader quality sliders (on/off choices) as well as depth of field and anti-aliasing up to 8x are here. It’s more than I’d expect from a 2D game but I’m definitely not complaining. The game runs exceptionally well and I never ran into bugs or crashes during my time with it. Keyboard bindings are present but you’ll have a better time with a controller as the movement simply feels more natural with an analogue stick. I didn’t try out any of the multiplayer, I just wasn’t all that interested in it.
It felt like this title mostly got ignored, which is a shame because there’s a really solid game here. Sure, the laser puzzles are finicky and the combat depth is shallow. But the presentation is solid, the pacing is great and the atmosphere is really nice. Add in some fun exploration and clever boss fights to make for a great title.
Released nearly three years ago, I only recently picked up and played Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. I left the experience rather satisfied. Which is rare, as this genre is so often plagued with some sort of pacing or mechanical issues that get in the way of having a fun time. I recommend picking Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet up if you’re in the market for this type of game.
Thanks for reading!