If given the chance to change your fate, would you?
This question is the theme behind Shadow of Destiny (aka Shadow of Memories in Japan), a game I played on the PlayStation Portable (PSP) this past January.
You play as Eike, a guy who is apparently in someone’s crosshairs. When we first meet him, he had just finished eating at a diner; Next thing he knows, someone stabs him to death. The scene ends, and this is where Eike meets Homunculus, a sprite of some sort who brings him back to life and gives Eike a digital time traveling device (a digipad) used to travel back in time to just before his murder takes place, encouraging him to find out who is trying to kill him and why. He is permitted to travel to 4 different time periods, including as far back at the 1500s to investigate this mystery.
The game consists of a prologue, eight chapters, and an epilogue. At the end of each chapter, Eike gets killed, in a different locale and in a different way, but with each chapter he gains more insight into who the perpitrator is. The story goes much deeper than someone trying to murder him in foul play. As we meet different characters from different time periods, we find out the thread that ties all the time periods he explores is Eike himself, and it’s interesting to see this legacy unravel.
Similar to the plot device of the Walking Dead game I played on the Xbox 360, this game relies heavily on the choices the player makes, in dialogue and interaction with other characters within the game. There are 8 possible endings to this game, and there is no wrong way to play. I didn’t go and try to replay the game to see what other ending I could pull (not that adventurous / satisfied with the ending I got).
Shadow of Destiny was originally a PlayStation release in 2001, which was later released on Windows, and then on the PSP in 2010. No doubt, at first, I figured some elements of the game would be a little hokey in appearance being from the early 2000’s, but it looked good, and its story more than made up for any flaws. The game bodes well on the PSP, making it a perfect portable adventure game. I first came across Shadow of Destiny at an EB Games in the bargain bin for under $5. I didn’t think I had anything to lose by buying it, nor did I have high expectations. But, having played it, I can honestly say that Shadow of Destiny really is a great story with solid gameplay.
Shadow of Destiny (PSP)