I’m not sure when was the first time I saw Shadow of the Beast in movement. I remember watching it on a videogame TV show and also it was demoed in a computer shop close to where I live. But I remember being mesmerized by those beautiful scrolling landscapes and the original art of the game, in-game but also on the game’s box with Roger Dean’s illustration. The game was developed by Reflections and Psygnosis published it in 1989. Unfortunately, never played it, but was lucky enough to have an Amiga and play the second game. Probably wasn’t as beautiful but it was great and had an amazing intro and music. It was really difficult and never finished it, I was too young and gameplay wasn’t strongest point of the saga. Never tried the third one, released in 1992, but I’ve read it has best gameplay of the saga, but is less spectacular graphically.
More than twenty years later, a passionate little group calle Heavy Spectrum Labs decided to bring back the saga. When they announced it, they had only released two little games for mobile and PlayStation Mobile. They showed a CGI trailer and even if I had doubts, I’ve to reckon the final game really shows what it was expected. It retains the beautiful design of the first one, with beautiful 3D landscapes (even if the game is played on 2D), but the gameplay is a bit different, more combat focused and with more linear maps. It’s a bit short, seven levels, but with great replay value, with different difficulties, score leaderboard (like classic arcades) and lots of unlockables, including the complete original game and soundtrack. Platforming controls can’t be a bit difficult, but compared to original ones, this plays much better.
Here I’m showing two gameplay videos, first one shows the beginning of the game and, as I wrote on the previous post, was streamed live, so sorry for not being best quality, both from the video part and also from my gaming skills part ;). I also liked the little video showing a flashback, really similar to Shadow of the Beast II’s intro:
Second video shows the third level of the game, called Swamp of Decay. Compared to previous level, it’s shorter, more linear and without a final level boss, but loved how spectacular is. In general, every level seems different and perfectly designed. Can’t believe that this small team (core is around 8 people) has developed such a beautiful game: