Shadow Blasters


Review by Nathan Dunsmore



Graphics: 6

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 5

Overall: 4


At release, a short game can be a hard bargain for the consumer. It must have a strong lead that follows through to the finish, driving the player to experience it again multiple times over. Short and Sweet are two words that do not belong in the same sentence when describing Shadow Blasters.

Mankind on Earth has turned brittle with ignorance and distrust. So severe, they are now ignored by the gods of another dimension who once vowed to protect them. The menace Ashura takes advantage of mankind’s grim circumstances and consumes the fury clouding the Earth’s populace. To amend their errors, a god by the name of Hyprion purifies the bodies and souls of four warriors: Horatio, Leo, Tiffany, and Marco, with good will and the power to vanquish this inequity and restore harmony on Earth.

shadowblasters1genesis.gif (18617 bytes)Gameplay mechanics feel like a shmup gone side scrolling; warriors harness different projectile attacks while all having the same special technique (limited one per round) that obliterates all enemies on screen. Players can power up their warrior by holding down the attack button or with emblems enemies leave behind. Increasing jump, strength, health, and speed, emblems aim to fit many needs, but most ends up in vein.

The development team thought of every possible reason as to why the player may give up out of boredom or difficulty so they went ahead and tied up all loose ends, even if it meant wasting some potential. Enemies charge from both ends of the screen; no problem, just power up the strength gauge and fire back and forth to take them out all at once. All four warriors perish in battle; relax, there are unlimited continues to fall back on.

At the very least, freedom of selection has been included; the first six levels can be played in any order. It’s doubtful that anyone will play from favorite to least favorite since they are all barren, indifferent, and marginally escape the shadow of the NES’s graphic processor. The best looking moment comes at the short-lived cut scene before the final battle, the only part where the game actually heats up.

Hiding in the shadow of a doubt, Shadow Blasters is a victim of its own courtesy. The strength gauge was a good start, and the two-player mode is the only way you will receive maximum enjoyment because the graphics and dark soundtrack will not leave much of a lasting impression when this thirty-minute session is concluded.

Tip: Still moving slowly after picking up some emblems? Rest easy, no expert navigation needed for reaching the bosses, who all share the same weak spots (hint special technique hint) but do shed some ingenuity in their design.


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Last updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 11:42 PM