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The Game in Review 3: Shadow of the Beast




My last entry was filler, and I apologize for that. Unfortunately "The Black Bass" is a game about which I have little to say. Today's game, however, has left me both speechless and unable to stop talking about it.


I present to you "Shadow of the Beast". I own the Genesis version of this game, but it was released on multiple other formats such as Commodore 64, Lynx, and Turbo Grafx CD. Essentially, you play as some sort of mutant creature named Aabron going on an epic quest of some sort. Actually, the plot line makes no sense to me, so I'll leave it to you to decipher. According to MobyGames:

While very young, Aarbron was kidnapped and enslaved by the Priests of the Beast Lord. He grew up on drugs made to destroy his own will and turn him into the Beast Messenger, a powerful creature serving Maletoth, The Beast Lord himself. He did his job, until one day he noticed a man about to be sacrificed in a ritual, his face triggering ancient memories... and as the sacrificial knife descended into the man's body, Aarbron recognizes the face. Of his father. As his father dies in the altar, memories of his childhood and tormented past at the hands of the Beast Lord emerged, and as feelings of hate over his captors took over him, he swore revenge and fled the temple, knowing the road to avenge his father and redemption would be hard.

Huh... Anyway, this game is probably the strangest game I have ever played. What makes it so weird? First and foremost, in the first level there's this inexplicable blimp flying around in the background.


Right off the bat, that confused me. Then I noticed the enemy design. It ranges from strange to mind-numbingly weird.

The strange:


The really strange:


The borderline disturbing:


See what I mean? This game is weird.

But the question which may or may not be on your mind at this point is, of course, "Is this thing fun?".

The game is essentially your basic sixteen-bit (or eight-bit, depending on the format) adventure game. You have a few attacks and you get one or two weapons. The controls are simple; one button to jump, one to attack, and it works pretty well. The game is challenging, but not to the point of pulling your hair out in a blind rage. The problem is, this game is just well... not particularly interesting.

Now, I know I said it was weird. I know I said it was the weirdest game I've ever played. But 'weird' and 'interesting' aren't the same thing. Shatow of the Beast just doesn't carry with it any particular hook that makes me want to sit down and play it regularly.


I'll give it a 5/10. It's kind of a cult classic, so if you happen to find it cheap, then go for it, if for no other reason than the weirdness.



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