So I went over to Green Bay a few days ago and sold some games so I could buy a new copy of Shadows of the Damned for $40 (hooray tight finances) and finished it yesterday. My impression of this game is...well, it was odd (as expected) but fairly tame as far as Grasshopper Manufacture games go.
What should be said about Shadows of the Damned is that the entire game is one big, long phallic joke as far as story goes. Everything is written in the language of sexual innuendo, and the humor is actually clever most of the time, or at least outrageous enough to make me wonder how they got this game past the ESRB with anything less than an AO rating. Then again, this is a Suda51 story...
An example of said humor is the terminology given to a demon bone-launching handgun called the Boner, which is then upgraded to the Hot Boner that can launch sticky bombs called Sticky Loads onto the faces of demons. This means that you're able to launch Sticky Loads from your Hot Boner onto the faces of demons and have them explode with another shot from your Hot Boner.
Phallic humor aside, the entire game oozes cool. Akira Yamaoka's sound design is top-notch, even utilizing sounds for specific types of enemies, such as using a harmonica for one enemy that then shifts to the sound of a broken harmonica once a specific event happens. The background noise is Silent Hill-ish most of the time, but then delves into hard rock, metal, and even strange choral numbers at certain times. In addition, there's a demonic Red Light District in the game which utilizes Yamaoka's carnal Silent Hill beats perfectly.
Shinji Mikami's contribution to gameplay is undoubtedly amazing, as the core of the game controls like a much smoother, user-friendly version of Resident Evil 4. In fact, it's improved upon significantly by being able to counter enemy attacks from behind with the press of a button, unlike in Resident Evil 4 and 5 in which being blindsided was a seriously annoying issue. The array of weapons, the absolute brutality of the combat and the one-touch healing system make Shadows of the Damned a fast-paced yet accessible venture into the underworld.
One last thing: Booting up the game for the first time is a pleasant treat since you'll be treated to one of the most awesome file select screens I've ever seen.
Buy this game if you haven't already. You won't regret it.