PSP Review: Invizimals: Shadow Zone

Brian Blessed and friends reunite once again!

I missed out on the first Invizimals game, but to those who did…don’t worry. Shadow Zone has you covered by bringing you upto speed with what happened in the last game with full cutscenes featuring the legendary, Brian Blessed and a group of other unknown actors. Now I’ve added just an extra point to the presentation just because of Brian Blessed, but that aside…lets look at the game.

Shadow Zone comes with a card that you need to put down on a flat surface to capture and do battle with Invizimals, which is essentially a camera and card version of Pokemon. It also asks you to find bright surfaces to place the card on, as these will have Invizimals hidden in them…which took quite a bit of finding in my flat, let me tell you! I ended up using a bright red envelope that I got for Xmas.

Now I know I dug right into EyePet for not being portable by using the same method as Shadow Zone, but this is by far a more enjoyable and rewarding experience. You do have to do silly things though like shaking the PSP to use some Vector moves like earthquakes, but despite that…I really enjoyed my time with Invizimals, especially when I didn’t expect to.

The game works well and the cutscenes aren’t too bad, although perhaps a bit on the cheesy side…but what do you expect from the legend? I think it’s the first time I’ve seen him in a game and wish he’d do more if this is the result! But I suppose he chose to do Invizimals because of his great fondness of animals, I hear he has 2000 pets…according to Stephen Fry, anyway…

Combat works by simply choosing attacks like you would in an RPG, but you have to watch out that you don’t use up all your stamina, or else you’ll be unable to cast any more attacks or even block incoming attacks from your enemy. There is some level of strategy other than button-bashing thanks to the stamina bar, or else it’d be over quickly. The difficulty is of a decent level and will definitely challenge gamers. The cutscenes are great in quality, while the Invizimals themselves are nicely detailed. Acting is mixed, but Brian Blessed is truly amazing as always.

The Verdict

Invizimals: Shadow Zone is an enjoyable game, although not exactly the most practical in being on a handheld. Despite this, it’s good fun and the closest PSP owners will get to having anything like Pokemon on the handheld, but with the added bonus of the man who played Prince Vultan in Flash Gordon!