The Fairly OddParents: Shadow Showdown is a game that was released in 2004 by ImaginEngine and published by THQ. It's based off of the hit Nickelodeon TV show The Fairly OddParents, and follows the journey of Timmy Turner as he works to return power to his fairies after the Royal Jewel of Fairy World is stolen, resulting in magic loss on a massive scale! Eventually, it turns out that the best way to retrieve the second-most-powerful source of magic is through the first-most-powerful, namely the Fairyversary Muffin, but when the ingredients get completely disorganized by Vicky, the trio must retrieve them before it's too late for Timmy to fix his TV and see the season finale of Crash Nebula!
I'm gonna come right out and admit that the main reason I got this game was because I had Breakin' Da Rules, before and got a lot of enjoyment out of it, so knowing that this title would be similar, I tried it out.
I find now that it's actually an improvement over what that game started! As opposed to basing levels off of the TV show, they used original ideas for the levels that were based on themes from the show, which I really enjoyed because it had more of a sense of freedom than the last game.
THQ also took a big leap forward as far as gameplay goes, because they added things such as new power-ups (like the Crimson Wing, among others), and made the chances for wishes more frequent. There were about three wishes per levels, and each could be gotten by collecting three stars of a single color. This added some much-needed fantasy to the game and made it extraordinary where Breakin' Da Rules was just OK.
The levels themselves are far more impressive, in the way that they generate stunning and challenging gameplay from the templates from the TV show. For example, one of my favorite levels is the one in space where you have to get the Moon-Calf Milk back from Vicky and Mark Chang, because you have to do careful flying with a jetpack, navigation of platforms of gamma waves, and last but not least, rolling around in a crazy pinball-like capsule to open doors. The cool thing about this is the fast-paced rock and roll playing as you roll at fast speeds; talk about a serious rush! Other examples of this kind of interest include the Crimson Chin level where you have to use power-ups to beat an enormous H2Olga, as well as the detective / spooky mansion level where you have to constantly flip over the room to progress.
In addition, you now have the option of visiting shops to exchange crowns for items that can help you during a level, like star detectors or crown detectors. I frankly really enjoyed this, because some items were wicked helpful, like the extended sprint shoes. My biggest problem is that the items are crazily overpriced, which is saying something since crowns are basically everywhere in this game.
Other than that, the game is almost exactly the same format as the sequel, with the exception of sprinting, which is an improvement. Some people don't like it when things stay basically the same, but whenever a game is a direct sequel to the first, I enjoy the consistency as long as any changes better the game. I just hate getting thrown off whenever I have to adapt to a whole new way of doing things when the big reason I got the game to get a different story for the same format.
All in all, I totally love this game. As far as I'm concerned, it's the most fun, unique, attractive, and challenging game in the series. If you're looking for a truly great Fairly OddParents game, this is it.