In 2012, the indie action game Ninja Gaiden 2 launched on the Xbox 360. The game was a huge commercial success and captured the imagination of the gaming community. After this, the game designer Team Ninja decided to make an all-new game that would take place in the same universe, but with a totally different story and setting. This new game was Cyber Shadow, which was released on the PlayStation 3 as a digital download in 2013. Anyone who played the original Ninja Gaiden or Ninja Gaiden 2 will see this as a sequel, but it’s not really one. It’s more of an extension of the Ninja Gaiden universe, and on its own merits, it might have a place in the discography of the series. But is it
Ever since Ninja Gaiden II: The Ancient Ship of Doom released, fans of the classic side-scrolling action game have been waiting for a true sequel. That day has finally come with the release of Cyber Shadow for the PlayStation 2, a third-person action game that pays homage to the original and offers an exciting new multiplayer experience.
Ninja Gaiden is a popular franchise in the gaming world that first made its mark in 1986 with the 1985 arcade game, Ninja Gaiden. It has since spawned multiple sequels and spin-off games, including the recent 2013 reboot. Those that are familiar with the franchise know that it is all about killing samurai, and while the 2013 game is a reboot of sorts, it is still a side-scrolling action game.
A lot of care and time has clearly gone into every single image of Cyber Shadow. If I didn’t already know that this had been a passion project of one man for years, I would certainly suspect it. It has that feeling you sometimes get in really neat fan games, when they wear their influences on their sleeve, and every element is carefully crafted out of pure love for the medium. This drug, by the way, is murder. Cyber Shadow will you death.
Cyber Shadow Review: Ninja Gaiden’s evil, cyberpunk grandson
Cyber Shadow is an 8-bit dystopian action platform game inspired by the part of the original NES library that focused on dystopias from the 1980s. You are a lone ninja with an impossible mission in the ruins of a once great city, where everything is rusting, falling apart and trying to kill you. The game was developed over several years by a single Finnish developer, Aarne MekaSkull Hunziker. Developer Shovel KnightYacht Club Games only appeared towards the end of the project to help refine and release the game. Cyber Shadow also contains an excellent chiptune soundtrack, made by Enrique Martin and Jacob virt Kaufman. Hunziker has made no secret of his influences in recent years, citing games like Contra , Shadow of the Ninja , the Level Design Mario series and Batmande Sunsoft. But more than anything, Cyber Shadowlooks like a sequel to the Ninja Gaiden trilogy on the NES. It has an atmosphere, a narrative style and a flow, but most importantly, it places equal importance on flawless execution. Every room in the sprawling Cyber Shadowmap is a long slide full of traps, enemies and hazards where every mistake, if not fatal, is costly. It’s a brutal and ruthless game, but it’s a fair game, except for a few bumps in the road.
Into the darkness of the future cyber ninja
At the beginning of the game, a ninja named Shedow wakes up and discovers that he has been fitted with new cybernetic parts, and he vaguely remembers being hit by an explosion. According to a friendly robot nearby, Shedou was once a powerful member of the ninja clan that defended Meka City. Now an army of synthetic soldiers rules over the ruins of the city, the master of the Sheadow clan has disappeared, his father has turned into Dr. Wily, and the handful of surviving ninjas are hooked up to machines that strip them of the supernatural essence that fuels their gifts. Shedou only survived because he was turned into a cyborg, and it seems his only chance to save his clan is to find and free his master. The strange news here is thatCyber Shadow is currently holding up his hand. It doesn’t wink at the camera like many retro; games do, it takes its story seriously and gives enough information at once to keep you enthralled. It’s rare but effective, and adds real pathos to a game that would otherwise just be a long succession of deadly corridors. From the very beginning the game Cyber Shadow makes it clear how low your chances are. In the first level, you emerge from a hole in the ground with only a sword at your disposal, and the sidewheels fall off almost immediately. Cyber Shadow moves fast, with fluid movements that most of his 8-bit inspirations could only dream of, and uses all that speed to kill you as efficiently as possible. The first few turns of Cyber Shadow are more difficult than the entire first half of many similar games. Also, the game seems to assume that if you play it, you already know the genre. Enemies inCyber Shadowhave clear patterns that you can recognize at a glance if you have experience with this style of game, and if something looks like it could kill you, it will. Each area contains a distinctly gratuitous assortment of spikes, steam jets, acid, electricity and other hazards, populated by a deadly array of robots and deadly mutants. TheCyber Shadowmap is roughly divided into specific areas that you can return to later and explore while picking up new tools and tricks; this makes the difference between a straight one-way street like Ninja Gaiden and the wide-open Metroidvania map. Between saves, you’ll traverse a series of brutal gauntlets filled with hand-to-hand enemies and cunning ambushes, each of which must be carefully executed if you’re to survive. You can get upgrades that increase your base damage, your maximum health, and your spiritual power, but the damage enemies inflict increases faster than your life count. The only real way to survive, especially after hitting 33%, is to focus on not getting hit at all. There is no way to force Cyber Shadow with endgame upgrades or grinds; it all depends on your personal skill and time commitment. Additionally, there are some very powerful special items that you can pick up, but they are immediately destroyed if you hit them three times while using them. One in particular, the spinning throwing star on the chain, instantly resembles the orange throwing weapon from Ninja Gaiden, and I’m shocked it took so long for someone to turn a yo-yo shuriken into a real weapon in a modern game. Overall, the difficulty of Cyber Shadow is challenging, but decent. Most of the moments that frustrated me were due to my desire to finish the meeting quickly, but a little patience and observation usually helped. The boss fights in particular feel impossible at first, and you’ll probably die within seconds of your first attempt, but they’re designed well enough that you can gradually figure out what you can and can’t do. What bothers me a bit is that Cyber Shadow, , like many of the games that inspired it, gives you a short window of invulnerability after you’re hit, but unlike those games, in Cyber Shadow, the window is very short and doesn’t give you immunity against immediate lethal threats. This is evident from the very beginning of the game, where you have to avoid accidentally bumping into another oxygen tank/industrial shredder/spike wall in various rooms. It’s more unpleasant than anything else. The most serious criticism, however, is that the game Cyber Shadow seems to lack a manual. There are many gameplay elements that you have to discover on your own, either through context or experimentation. Some are pretty easy to understand, like B. that your Charge Beam assistant has a visible lightand a beep , but the others are actively hiding from you. At the beginning of the game, you have to win a vertical race by using your new downward motion to bounce off objects and gain height, but the game never tells you that you can do this until you talk to a friendly ninja halfway through the game. Later, when you learn to sprint, there will be a gap that you can’t bridge until you figure out for yourself that you can sprint to attack and launch a long-range dash that works like a long jump. You used to have to learn this by reading the eight pages of Nintendo Power (or the disastrous layout of the Secrets section in the very first issues of EGM), and frankly, I didn’t miss it.
Cyber Shadow Test – The Conclusion of the
- Nice drawing.
- Management of liquids
- Good soundtrack.
- Difficult, but usually fair…
- …even if it is often disappointing.
- Some critical systems remain unexplained
- Built for retro game nerds and nobody else.
- Projectile matching is too risky and unprofitable for the game to use it that often.
I like a lot of things about Cyber Shadow. The soundtrack is great, the environments are impressively detailed, and the plot constantly drew me in. To some extent, it is held back by the fact that it feels like it was designed for people who have already played hundreds of similar games. Cyber Shadow is a product designed for fans of a very specific type of gaming experience, and virtually no one else. It’s worth it if you want a serious challenge, but only the toughest should use it. I don’t usually sustain this level of recreational masochism in my games, so if that’s the case, feel free to add a mental point or two to that score. [Note: Yacht Club Games provided a copy of the game Cyber Shadow used for this review].
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