東京SHADOW ● Genre: Adventure ● Release Date: 1997/04/27 ● Developer: HIGH-TECH LAB JAPAN ● Publisher: TAITO ● Media: CD-ROM x3 ● System Specific: SEGA SATURN
■LIVE・ACTION HORROR ADVENTURE !!
TOKYO SHADOW is a live・action horror adventure game based on the work of renown Japanese writer「AYA NISHITANI」author of the book novel「DIGITAL DEVIL STORY : MEGAMI TENSEI」.
Before anything I ought to mention that I haven't played TOKYO SHADOW in a long, long time. And unfortunately at present I just don't have the time to get into it neither.
Still, I wanted to feature the game on the blog, first to generate more interest towards it as it is a rather overlooked title. And second, because from what I can remember it is a very enjoyable and interesting adventure game.
I love the file loading screen.
When I last played the game - which I think it was way back around 1999-2000 or so - there were various pages (in Japanese) around the net with detailed information about the game's storyline and about the various different story branches, endings, etc. However I was unable to find a single one now so it's more than likely they no longer exist.
Needless to say this came as a huge drag as the info certainly would've come in handy. Oh well...
TOKYO SHADOW (whilst on the「Real World」) takes place on the city of Shibuya. The player assumes the role of an occult-obsessed detective called「HIDE」who is currently investigating a series of disappearances believed to be linked to a mysterious new cult in town.
In the typical TV & movie fashion -- HIDE, an average unremarkable guy has (inexplicably) a very hot girlfriend called 「KYOKO TAKASHIRO」. KYOKO, a fellow detective (although a lot more trigger happy), is enjoying a long overdue vacation and so she has asked HIDE out for a date in town.
The game starts with KYOKO phoning an overworked HIDE to remind him of the date they have planned for the day. HIDE then travels to Shibuya to meet up with her.
HIDE meets KYOKO outside of a new live music club house which the couple suspects to be a hub used by the cultists (talk about multi-tasking a date). To his surprise KYOKO is talking with a suspicious-looking man.
The busy streets of Shibuya.
An ominous thunder... Perhaps a sign of things to come ?
KYOKO is a real babe for sure.
At this point you will be given the choice whether to proceed with your date with KYOKO and enter the club, or dump her in order to investigate that man. Whatever you decide to do, things will start going down to hell for you... literally....
TOKYO SHADOW is gameplay-wise a very straightforward adventure game. Outside of occasionally needing to examine stuff and move around the map, you mostly only have to worry about deciding how to proceed through the story.
Of course this is actually a good thing since that's where the game excels at the most.
Something that's definitely worth mentioning is that TOKYO SHADOW is one of the most replay-friendly adventure games out there.
Once you've reached the end of a story branch, whether by successfully clearing the main story or through a game ending 「Bad Choice」, you will be shown a detailed story flow chart containing all of the possible story scenarios that can be unlocked as well as your total game completion percentage.
Even better -- the next time you play the game you will be able to start directly from where the story branches out. Thus you won't be forced to replay any unnecessary scenes unless you want to, and also won't have to worry about picking any choices you want for fear that they may lead you to a bad ending.
You shall die ! Oh yes, you shall die !!
Please angel lady, make me an avenging spirit of death !
Visually the game seamlessly combines still photographs with full motion video.
Back then I thought the stills looked (for the most part anyway) amazingly clear, but obviously nowadays they will come as outdated.
The FMV quality is around of what you'd expect from a CD-ROM game at that point in time. Way better than the late 16-bit stuff for sure, yet still on the grainy side.
As for the game's cinematic qualities and production values, don't expect to find in TOKYO SHADOW something in the likes of what you can see in late 90's and beyond Japanese horror movies. This is at best early 90's TV drama quality stuff.
Feeling lucky ? Huh... Punk !?
It's probable that most players nowadays will find the acting, special effects and characters a bit cheesy. Personally I really dig the prodcution as a whole in spite of its evident weak spots. I mean, this was obviously a low budget production, yet I do get the impression the developers did the best they could with what they had at hand.
TOKYO SHADOW was originally released for the SONY PlayStation in 1996 and then ported to the SEGA SATURN the following year. Both versions are identical and come in 3 CDs with two CDs containing the game and the third one being a bonus disc featuring interviews with the cast and production notes.
In spite of its rather limited production values and other cheesy aspects, TOKYO SHADOW comes as a well made and enjoyable adventure game with a nice amount of replay value. Plus if we take into account that the majority of live・action adventure games of the 16 and 32 bit generations were awful wrecks, then this release comes as even more commendable.
I think fans of retro adventure games as well of newer ones like「428 : IN A BLOCKADED SHIBUYA」will get a kick out of TOKYO SHADOW.