• Aaron Main

Cyber Shadow Review



Cyber Shadow by Mechanical Head Studios is yet another retro 8-bit action platformer reminiscent of the Ninja Gaiden series on the NES. Unlike the grueling difficulty Ninja Gaiden presented, Cyber Shadow finds a unique balance between difficulty and playability that will allow a much larger group of gamers to enjoy the experience. And that's a good thing because Cyber Shadow is one the best retro style games I've ever played.


The city has been turned to ruin, the few survivors of the Ninja Clan are spread far and wide, while robots and deadly machines now roam the streets of Mekacity. When the dust settles, the ninja Shadow awakens. With his katana in hand and limited abilities on his side, Shadow must gather his lost essence and save his clan from the oncoming danger.


Being a retro 8-bit style platformer, Cyber Shadow gets everything right from that era, and really amps up the nostalgia with its wildly authentic music and simply two-button controls. Remember when the Nintendo controller had just A and B buttons? Same concept, but of course this modernized version runs way smoother than anything from that era.


Starting off you'll only have a simple sword slash, but later on Shadow will learn to throw shuriken's, wall jump, do fireball uppercut and more.

What's a retro game without smooth controls and precise dynamics in movement and balance? Well Cyber Shadow excels with all of these. I didn't find a moment where the controls failed me, or Shadow didn't make the exact jump I needed to reach a difficult ledge. I only found that if I failed, it was from my own doing. The well-placed checkpoint locations are meticulously positioned for you to meet those more challenging moments that may be troubling; not to frustrate you into replaying them over and over, but to train you. Allowing you to get the hang of it for the more difficult challenges that lie beyond.


When you defeat a boss or finish off zones, Shadow earns a piece of his essence back that grants him new skills in the fight against the machines. Starting off you'll only have a simple sword slash, but later on Shadow will learn to throw shuriken's, wall jump, do fireball uppercut and more. Some but not all abilities take SP or spirit points to activate, forcing you to plan your attacks, and be more strategic with each action with the limited points you have to spend. And similar to the Mega Man series on the NES, the key to defeating enemies is using these newly earned abilities on the enemies and bosses to make them more manageable.


Like I mentioned earlier, the music of Cyber Shadow deserves its own accolades. The beats are so masterfully crafted that I would literally be getting flashbacks of my gaming life back on the NES.

Cyber Shadow has 10 excellent levels that are laid out with beautiful detail that, for someone who started gaming in the '80s, is stunning to see and revisit. Each level represents a different zone Shadow will traverse through. From sewer, ship yard, construction complex, cavern and much more, you will explore the stereotypical landscapes most video games offer. But the layout of these levels present new challenges and tough boss battles that are a hell of a lot of fun to play.


Like I mentioned earlier, the music of Cyber Shadow deserves its own accolades. The beats are so masterfully crafted that I would literally be getting flashbacks of my gaming life back on the NES.


Overall, I can confidently say that Cyber Shadow is one of the best retro 8-bit style games I've played in a very long time, and a contender for my game of the year. It's stunning details, amazingly simple but flowing controls, and stellar music make this a must play.


Score:









This game was played on Xbox Game Pass for this review.

Reviewed on Xbox One X.


Specializing in Video Games, Gaming Lifestyle, Reviews

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