Now it wouldn’t be a true retro JRPG without some good, old-fashioned turned-based battles now, would it? Here is where Shadows of Adam really delivers. Battles take place in a classic turn based-fashion. There are no random encounters. Enemies are placed in predetermined spots in the area you’re exploring, usually at a choke point so you can’t get past them without battling. The only modern twist to the battles is the AP system. Instead of having the typical MP bars, your characters have AP bars instead. It’s a standard amount, 100 for each character (though certain accessories can increase the amount). Each party member has a special selection of abilities to use in battle besides the standard attack button. Each of these cost AP, which can be refilled in various ways. During battle, you can use an ether item, use a character-specific charge ability, or kill a monster to earn back some AP. You also gain back 15 AP automatically every few rounds. The constant recharging of AP encourages you to make good use of each character’s abilities and keeps the action going. The way certain character abilities play off of each other also adds a decent level of strategy to otherwise straight-laced battles. For example one of my favorite strategies is to make Kellan use Taunt, which causes the targeted enemy to attack only Kellan while using basic attacks. I then use Talon’s Blur ability on Kellan, enabling Kellan to dodge almost every attack thrown at him by the enemy. This allows me to effectively shut down an enemy who would otherwise be launching a lot of devastating magic spells at the whole group. It makes for a more interesting pace than the typical JRPG battle would have offered.
So now it’s time to wrap this baby up. Shadows of Adam is a fantastic love letter to the bygone era of the 16bit JRPG. The total package of graphics, story, and soundtrack just scream out RETRO. Heck, it’s so retro that it even has a minecart level in it. Can’t get much more old school than that! This game hits all the right nostalgia-buttons for an old-timey JRPG lover such as myself. If you are looking for a game to scratch that retro-JRPG itch then look no further. Just make sure to equip your sword. Hey, don’t be embarrassed: it happens to the best of us.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 8.5/10
essence of the era
+Nice areas to explore