|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2007)|
|Designer(s)||Ted Woolsey (executive producer)
Paul Reed (design/story)
Annabella Serra (art director)
|Genre(s)||Role-playing video game|
In Shadow Madness, your party consists of three members, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. In battle, the player has a choice of using physical attacks, magic, items and escape. It also plays the same on the field in terms of using your inventory, moving about and talking to non-player characters.
Battles in Shadow Madness are random, but one unique aspect of this system lets players avoid some battles. When exploring, the growl of a monster is heard. Pressing L2 and R2 simultaneously will make Stinger "hide" on the ground and doing this allows the player to possibly avoid a battle altogether. Shadow Madness uses some elements of Square's Active-Time Battle system. In particular, enemies will not wait to attack you. The maximum level of experience a character can reach is 15. Characters also can unleash powerful "summons" during battle.
Shadow Madness features 3D polygonal models on 2D pre-rendered backgrounds, with the battle scenes taking place in a fully 3D environment. The game includes CG cutscenes to further the storyline.
The storyline is centered around saving the world from a mysterious plague that is spreading quickly. The player takes the role as Stinger, whose town has just been destroyed. The player meets many friends and foes on their way to finding out how the chaos started and how it can be stopped.
- Stinger (hero) — When the chaos wipes out his hometown, he vows to end the chaos.
- Windleaf — Joins Stinger after her secluded sylvan village gets attacked.
- Harv-5 — Robot originally created for harvesting crops, but when the demons destroy his fields and home he sets out to find out his purpose. His catchphrase of sorts is "There will be death."
- Xero Von Moon — Mage Warrior who has been resurrected from his deep sleep, he has no body so floats around with just his head.
- Clemett — He is a native Gadgeteer, but he didn't agree with how they lived so went to live with humans, and when the chaos started he vowed to protect his 'Friends'.
- Jirina — She is a proud Org-Ta and a native of the underground world known as Wyldern. Her people have been enslaved by the Darg who turned a once peaceful land into a twisted hell. She vows to get revenge.
Shadow Madness' development team Big Rain included some notable figures. Ted Woolsey, who helped script the story, formerly worked at Square in Washington as a translator. His past credits include Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy VI, and Chrono Trigger. Paul Reed, who also wrote game's story, previously worked on the Super Nintendo Action-RPG Secret of Evermore before making Shadow Madness. His most famous game since Shadow Madness is the internationally acclaimed Metroid Prime for the Nintendo GameCube. Most of Shadow Madness' development staff were new to the industry, learning as they went along while designing the game.
Much of the music throughout the game is deliberately dark, ambient and mood-setting. Unlike most other turn-based RPGs, Shadow Madness has multiple battle themes, most of which are orchestral in nature.
The game, an American attempt at the Final Fantasy series, gained quite positive reviews. Notable ones include "Deep, involving storyline and beautiful graphics" by GamePro. It also received positive remarks from PSM: "Epic... Unravels like a good mystery", and OPM: "World of prerendered backgrounds, sharp dialogue and moody music". The game also was greeted with acclaim for introducing a younger audience to the RPG genre. Although, X-Play placed it at number 3 on their top 5 worst RPGs video, ranking higher than the worse-received Quest 64.
However, OPM also gave the game the award for worst character design in its 1999 Editors' Awards. GameSpot summed it up by saying "Whoever said 'Graphics don't matter' never played Shadow Madness". The game also gained negative reviews from experienced RPG gamers and RPG only websites, deeming its character development too short: the level cap is a low 15, which is quite uncommon for RPGs.
3. X-Play Top 5 Worst RPGs http://www.g4tv.com/videos/36579/X-Play-Presents-The-Top-5-Worst-RPGs-Ever/