Tuesday, May 1, 2012

S&S Review: Shifting World


Title: Shifting World
Format: 3DS
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer: Fishing Cactus
Price: $29.99
ESRB Rating: E

Shifting World is a converted flash game that is so blatantly built for your computer/phone that the $29.99 price tag screams "stay away." By no means is it a bad game; but when you view it on a 3DS, and see how little the 3D is actually utilized, you'll wonder how this was ever decided to be a cartridge game rather than an E-shop download.




Presentation/Story
Shifting World starts off with you, the unnamed main character, receiving an invitation from the "Duke of Shadows." Upon your arrival at his house, you're whisked into the "shifting world" where an butler politely aids you in your quest. Beyond that, the story does not go much deeper. Although you eventually must escape the clutches of the Duke of Shadows, you often wonder why the main character would unquestionably visit a house named after someone called the "Duke of Shadows." Isn't that the basic parody of every horror movie that screams to the audience "Don't go in there! The killer is in the room!" Shifting World missed a huge opportunity to compel players to delve deeper into the plot.


Core Gameplay
The main idea behind Shifting World involves the actual shifting of the world around you (who would've guessed?). Players can switch between a dark and light world, opening up new areas with hidden mirrors, keys, and doorways that lead you to the next level. It is a simple puzzle game with simplistic controls: Jump, move, shift....that's it. Although in theory it sounds entertaining, the constant rotation of the screen hurt my eyes, especially with the 3D. You are forced to shift every few seconds, sometimes dozens of times within one level. If this game were in color (It is only in black and white...how boring), I would have walked away with a massive headache. The repetitive music doesn't do much to help, since the same song plays in EVERY level.


Final Thoughts
This is the perfect game....as a phone app. The simple controls and unimaginative story beg for a $.99-$1.99 price, rather than the outrageous $29.99 for the 3DS. The 3D graphics do nothing to enhance the game except make shifting that much more of an eye sore. In my opinion, releasing a game like this as a cartridge title only hinders the 3DS, showcasing a lack of missed opportunities on such a dazzling portable system.

Final Score: 5/10

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