Retro Review: Shadow Warrior: Twin Dragon (PC)

Review-Shadow-Warrior-Twin-DragonWho wants some Wang?”. Shadow Warrior was the spiritual successor to Duke Nukem 3D, and was full of sword-swinging, shuriken-tossing, politically-incorrect FUN...with ninjas. Poor sales meant the game did not sell so well after its release in 1998, which was why the expansion packs were cancelled and released for free online. On the whole, Twin Dragon makes for a great add-on which could have done with a few tweaks and a bit of a stronger polish on the whole.

Twin Dragon was created by Wylde Productions and Level Infinity, two obscure third-party developers. The plot revolves around the awkwardly-named protagonist Lo Wang discovering that he has a twin brother, seperated at birth and raised by evil forces whom of which thought naming him Hung Lo was slightly less embarassing than a name like, for instance, Gerald. Now the nefarious brother has called for the nasty monsters from another dimension to eliminate his kin. After being ambushed during meditation, Lo Wang sets off to defeat his bad bro.

Twelve levels, compiled with a bonus secret level, are available in this expansion pack. They look just as good as the maps in the original game, and are packed full of well-hidden secrets whilst leaving room for plenty of key-hunting. Just a few keys are placed in obscure locations. One example includes climbing vines on a tree, which looks like any unclimbable tree. Nonetheless, levels like Wang's Home and The Fortress are great fun to explore, and provide a fair challenge. A few more vehicles can be driven around as well. It also includes a few WangBang (deathmatch) maps, yet they're particularly small and mediocre in design.

There are a few levels that are notably weak. Toxic Waste is a rather bland and generic level set in a plant. Hide and Seek is a lazy maze-like map set in the sewers, with strict 90-degree angled tunnels with a few enemies scatted here and there. Even the secret level The Prison Camp is a bit of a letdown, considering the copious amounts of ammo left around and how limited the enemy resistance is. Design-wise, it looks nothing like a prison camp, more like a private villa in the woods. Puzzles are uncommon in Twin Dragon, so those who don't like using their brains will be happy, but who doesn't like the occasional challenging puzzle? Perhaps just a few more could have been dropped in.

Review-Shadow-Warrior-Twin-Dragon-Screenshot

Gone fishn'

Perhaps some more clever puzzles and a bit more of an emphasis on difficuly could have peppered this one up.

The final boss battle is a pretty good one, but it's too bad that the developers were a bit generous with the health and ammo. After running around activating various hidden switches, walls will explode, exits will be blocked (forming a spacious, symmetrical arena-like area to battle in) and Hung Lo will reveal himself. He is a sprite-swap of Zilla and has the tendancy to call out “There can be only one!” all the time, which gets annoying. Nevertheless, there is plenty of build-up and a good amount of resistance from the bad guys on this one.

Unfortunately, there are no other new, or sprite-swapped, weapons and foes to be found in this expansion pack. Apparently, there were supposed to be new music tracks to be included, but these are nowhere to be found. Don't be fooled, though, because the Shadow Warrior soundtrack is already brilliant.

Twin Dragon adds plenty of fun maps that offer a decent challenge for ninjas to blast their way through. Perhaps some more clever puzzles and a bit more of an emphasis on difficuly could have peppered this one up. Some of the filler levels were alright to play through, but could have done with a vigirous polish. On the whole, since it's free to download from 3D Realms' website, and is bundled free with the Shadow Warrior Classic Redux port on Steam, Twin Dragon is recommended for all those grasshoppers out where who's after some more Wang.

Shadow Warrior: Twin Dragon (PC) Gameplay


Last Updated ( 27 May 2015 )  

Comments 

(Link to this comment) oldgamerz 2015-12-19 07:01
Due to this games lack of storyline I never figured out what I was doing in this game. I played it but somehow never really enjoyed it as much as this games twin Duke Nukem 3D. Shadow Warrior never really caught my likeness as a first person shooter. Mainly because It involves solving puzzles in some of it's levels. I never like complicated puzzles in first person shooter games in which is why i don't really like this one but I still have this on my PC. Maybe I'll give it another go someday. ;-)
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