Sunday, 26 October 2008

The Legend of Zelda : The Shadowgazer


It's rare that I enjoy a fan game. I mean Fan Games are like Fan Fiction and Fan Art, beyond showing your love and appreciation for something, they don't really show off original concepts and normally are badly done and 90% of the time are made by horny fan boys playing out their sexual fantasies.

Thinking about it the only time I've truly given a Fan Game a chance it was a Final Fantasy VII on RPG Maker 2K and sucked pretty badly so I've been burned already, so when I was browsing Game Trailers and saw a trailer for a Zelda fan game I was expecting a suckfest but I must admit, I was genuinely shocked to find this was a bloody good looking game!


Currently there's only a demo up for download but playing though it I found that The Shadowgazer, although a little buggy at times, is in game play and story at a quality which I personally think Nintendo would be stupid not to back as a WiiWare game or something.

So, what dose the game provide other than quality to make it different from other fan-games? How about the two key features:

Two parallel versions of the game world: the everyday waking world, and its nightmarish counterpart, unseen by all except those trained to use the Shadowgazer - a magical totem that protects the bearer from the nightmare realm's maddening effects

A rotating three-day schedule, governed by the comings and goings of the ships in the port town of Hyrule. Record valuable information regarding the nightmares of the passengers and crew in your Cabin Boy's Handbook


The custom sprites, the smooth animation, the classic music, the gorgeous Nightmare world (Silent Hill for those who don't like to be scared! :-D) are all perfect but there are a few issues which are a shame. Sadly the game has a fixed 320x240 resolution (same as the screen shots) which is understandable because no one finds stretched sprites attractive but still it dose leave you squinting a little at times and feels like on the average PC screen its a little lost. I also kept having an issue when walking up or down stairs in houses to different floors that as Link entered one floor he'd walk back down, but I hope this will be fixed soon. Finally the controls are a little uncomfortable using A and Z as the basic two buttons for Zelda games, which feels odd when Z and X are commonly used in Emulators for GBA and so on, also S is for your shield which makes it all feel a little more uncomfortable. Who knows, maybe they'll let you set your own keys in the final game!


Ok, so that's The Legend of Zelda : The Shadowgazer, there are videos on the official site but due to the capture software they run a little slow making the game look bad and I didn't want you passing judgement on the game off those. I recommend you download the demo (it's a TINY file, took me 20 seconds to download, no exaggeration) and give the game a real go to get a feel for what could be one of the biggest over looked indy games for a long while!


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