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Shadow the Hedgehog (JP) is a video game produced for the Nintendo GameCube console in 2005, as part of the Sonic franchise. Directly evoking the black hedgehog's full name in the title, the game stars Shadow as the main protagonist of the show, with Sega's usual blue mascot Sonic taking a backseat. 

Whilst still based upon the series' traditonal platforming, the game provides an unprecedented twist with the introduction of guns for shooting at enemies, combined with a much darker theme and tone used throughout its gameplay, story and dialogue. The story in particular has also been split into different paths ranging from dark, neutral and heroic. Each of these paths boast different missions, and determine the nature of the story and Shadow's role in it from an evil villain to a hero.

The game's story background originates from Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (which debuted Shadow), seeking to provide a deeper insight into the latter's storyline and rectify its plot holes, such as the reappearance of the black hedgehog in Sonic Heroes despite his supposed death in Adventure 2. The game was also born out of a desire for Sega to capitalise upon Shadow's immense popularity in the Sonic fanbase.

However though, the game received unfavourable reception from the critics that scrutinised it for its dark nature and 'edginess' along with vulgar language, which was widely considered inappopriate and unfitting for a Sonic game. It was also the last canon game in the series to feature Shadow as a playable character for 12 years on a Nintendo console, until his return in Sonic Forces.

Plot

The game begins with Shadow, who was thinking about his past when a alien race known as The Black Arms invades Westopolis. Black Doom appears and asks Shadow to bring the seven Chaos Emeralds as promised. Shadow now has three choices: to help The Black Arms invade the earth. If Shadow helps Black Doom, (1) he will become a servant of Black Doom or (2) claim the universe as his own, or (3) Shadow destroyed the planet earth with the Chaos Emeralds.  Remain neutral and help no one: If shadow remains neutral, he will think he is a shadow android and kill Doctor Eggman. In the hero path, he will help Sonic and G.U.N stop the Black Arms, protect the Ark and gets convinced that he is nothing more then a experiment gone wrong, and defeat The Black Arms and their leader, Black Doom.

Weapons

  • Worm laser
  • Bazooka
  • Egg pawn hand gun
  • Pistol
  • Sniper riffle
  • Rocket launcher
  • Egg pawn lance
  • Classic sword
  • Black arms sword
  • Tree branch
  • Stop sign
  • Pole
  • Torch
  • Exploading Barrels
  • Revolver
  • Blackarms Pistol
  • GUN Handgun
  • GUN Turret
  • Black Barrel
  • Blackarms Turrent
  • Boluder
  • Egg Pawn Homing Launcher
  • Egg Pawn Bazooka
  • Machine Gun
  • GUN/Eggman Box

Vehicles

  • Motorcycle
  • Air Soucer
  • SUV
  • Black Hawk
  • Gun Mech
  • Red Crosser
  • Parachute
  • Gun Recon Vehicle
  • Sports Car

Gameplay

In this game, the player can only play as shadow much like how he plays in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. In addition to the homing attack, the player uses a variety of guns. The player can ride on different types of vehicles. Shadow also has the spindash back as well as the ability to perform punches and kicks. The player has three paths to choose from; good, evil, and neutral. The evil missions have the player help Black Arm. The good missions have the player help Sonic & friends and GUN. The neutral path has the player just go to the goal ring. There is a last story in this game. 

Multiplayer

The players can play as shadow vs a shadow android in a variety of stages usually in a deathmatch.

Reception

The game had gotten mixed to negative reviews. While it was praised for its replay value, the game was criticised for it's level design, poor controls of the homing attack, bad mechanics of the weapons and vehicles, and the overall dark and mature theme (with the addition of guns and other weapons).

However, Nintendo Power gave the game a positive score of 8.0 and in the 2005 Nintendo Power Awards, it won the Players' Choice Award for Best Platformer.

Trivia

  • The game was the first to be rated E10+. Most likely because of the frequent use of the curse words.
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