Review: Play with Your Johnson in ‘Shadows of the Damned’

A game filled with boobs and dick jokes, one would automatically think of Duke Nukem. Well, move over Duke, you have another hombre that wants a piece of that gaming pie. Enter Garcia “****ing” Hotspur from Shadows of the Damned. He’s tatted up and wears a leather jacket and pants. He has that suave Mexican accent and a Boner (his gun), which can shoot out bones and explosives. This is right up Robert Rodriguez’s alley. If they were to do a movie, I can see Antonio Banderas as Garcia Hotspur.

Already at the beginning of the game, you already know what you’re getting yourself into. Garcia is told by a demon that his Paula will never be safe. He goes home to his apartment to find his girl dead by hanging. Demons pop out of her body and now it’s your turn to get some payback. After killing all the demons that have been roaming around your pad, the demon boss Fleming shows up and takes Paula away. What? I thought she’s dead. You see, Fleming is so cruel that he keeps a person alive after having them killed, over and over again. Paula is now trapped inside his body as he escapes back to Hell. Garcia takes to the road to Hell (Yes, an actual road) as he rides on his Johnson (his sidekick demon that can transform into different types of guns and a motorcycle). As he’s riding his bike on the highway to Hell, we are then introduced to the Main Menu. How badass is that for an intro?

Shadows of the Damned is a product of dev studio Grasshopper Manufacture (No More Heroes), executive director Suda51 (Goichi Suda), creative producer Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil) and composer Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill). You can clearly see both No More Heroes and Resident Evil’s influence in the game.

The gameplay is just like Resident Evil 4 & 5, except one major improvement, you can walk and shoot at the same time… gasp! And just like RE, you won‘t have crosshairs, since your Johnson puts out a laser sight. Johnson can transform into a handgun, machine gun, and shotgun that shoots out teeth and bones. Each time you collect a reg gem, you can upgrade your Johnson, like reload times, damage, and capacity. You also have the light shot, which is necessary to extinguish the darkness-covered demons, sheep heads, an ugly looking sushi-slug, and many more things to help light the way.

You’ll encounter many different types of demons with many different ways of finishing them off. If you see red on a demon, shoot the hell out of it. When it comes to boss battles, the game will test your skills on figuring out how to defeat them. Usually you just aim for the red.

The visuals are good, not the greatest thing you’ve seen, but still good. The characters are fun to look at, whether it’s Christopher, the half demon/half human seller, towering over you with his height, or Paula in her sexy lingerie, each character in the game is visually appealing. The levels in the game are also pretty to look at too. I mean, who doesn’t love the part where you’re walking through the darkness, and the only way to cross a gap is to walk on top of a giant half-naked Paula, who’s using her breast and her ass as a bridge to help you cross.

With composer Akira Yamaoka, it’s nice to hear some of his new music, especially after he departed from the Silent Hill franchise. His best music to me is still Silent Hill 3, but the music in Shadows of the Damned serves its purpose.

The one thing that really annoyed me about the game though, is that when you die, you can’t skip cut scenes. There were parts of the game where I would keep on dying, and not only do I have to wait for the loading time, I have to go through the cut scenes without being able to skip. Gah, this makes me want to pull my hair out. This game will test your patience when it comes to defeating certain enemies, and if you’re good enough, you won’t have to worry about repeating a certain area over and over again. I’ve only stumbled upon this moment once, where I was facing a demon that can kill you instantly by grabbing you. What I did wrong was mistaken the flashing icon displayed as tapping the button repeatedly. What I was suppose to do was press the button once, then wait for the next prompt (QTE event). Yeah, I felt dumb after figuring that one out.

Shadows of the Damned is a fun, crazy ride with a dash of an ass and boobs bridge that has you slaying demons with your Johnson, who can turn into a Big Boner. Even though certain parts had me frustrated, I had fun from beginning to end. Sadly, the replay value isn’t high. The story is fairly simple and straight-forward in that you’re Garcia and you’re focused on saving Paula from Fleming. That’s pretty much it. One thing I‘d like to know though, is what happened to one particular villain in the game? I’m not going to spoil it for you, but the game never really explains what happened to the villain at the end.

Grade: B

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