Many of the today’s beautifully crafted games and titles that blew audiences away have a distant relative in the PS1 franchise and have been collecting inspirations from that time. Bloodborne and Dark Souls franchises, which ended up as being one of the best video games in the horror/mistery/ adventure genre have a predecesor in one of the most underated PS1 game of all time – Shadow Tower. Released back in 1998, Shadow Tower was an impressive game from Dark Souls developers FromSoftware and definitely the one that you will like to see re-released for the next gen gaming consoles.
You encounter the game as the mercenary by the name of Russ Hardy, who comes back home to the city of Zeptar only to find out that darkness and underworld prevail in his home town. A single-eyed crown used to keep peace in this land and the darkness has overtaken its powers. Determined to free his home ground from evil, Russ enters the center figure of the city – the tower, where the crown is sealed – to fight of demons and restore peace. The player must go through seven levels in the labyrinth-like tower and defeat enemies to succeed at his mission. Shadow Tower is a direct improvement to a very much debated King’s Field, which barely got any reviews in Europe. The game follows the same concept as you roam dungeons and fight monsters on different levels.
While most games like these (survivor/horror games) gave the player a chance to improve on experience points, in Shadow Tower you must collect Soul Points, which allow you to improve your player mental and physical strenght. The natural progression is a key here, as there is practically no logical chronolical chain of monsters you fight. As you gather soul points, your character will improve, thus enabling you to defeat some opponents easier than before. Monsters are scary, creative and certainly difficult to defeat if you don’t apply some tactic to it.
If you are a fan of Diablo franchise, the “weapons-repair“ concept will be old news to you. Using hit points you can repeair some weapons and improve their durability and it is quite a challenge, since most weapons tend to break pretty quick. Gathering money through killing monsters is hard enough, so your hit points is basically the main resource for recycling old weapons for further use.
The graphics of Shadow Tower was very powerful at the game, with about 20 fps frame rate. The environment is dark and highly depressing with even no soundtrack whatsoever. Footsteps, roars, screams is basically the only thing you get while engaging in this game, making it even more scarier for play.
Shadow Tower is mix of King’s Field franchise and RPG superstar Diablo – a game that has proven to be one of the darker games on the PS1 platform. The surviving concept, filled with great graphics and somehow, cheesy plot sumarizes this game which was released at the brink of the century. It is interesting to check the game out, especially if we look at their relationship with the current bestsellers from FromSoftware.