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Review: Shadow of the Beast PS4 remakes Amiga classic

17 May 16

Shadow of the Beast is a classic video game that originally came out for the Amiga back in 1989. The game now has a new PS4 remake. 

I was too young to have remembered Shadow of the Beast even though my family owned an Amiga computer,. My older brother played it however and remembered it was a difficult game, but it had excellent visuals and music for its time. Now a remake has been made 27 years later and it captures the spirit of the original perfectly. 

One of the major flaws of the original game was that the combat system was very simplistic. Aarbron's (the main character) only attack was one short-ranged punch and that was it. He could jump and do an awkward air-kick, but the punch was his main attack and it wasn't really that effective. 

Thankfully, this new remake totally implements a fresh combat system that is fluid and very bloody. It takes cues from the God of War series as Aarbron can slice enemies with ease. You are also often prompted to press specific buttons in certain situations in order to counter the attacks of enemies and more. 

Aarbron can dish out a multi-hit combo and can also roll to evade attacks. If you are old enough to have hated the combat system in the original, you'll love the wealth of new abilities that are on offer in this remake. Aarbron is more efficient this time around. 

I do like the fact that Shadow of the Beast is not just a mindless hack-n-slash style of game the whole way through. In some levels, there are puzzles for you to solve that require some backtracking and lots of exploration. The puzzle sequences are not hard to solve and I admired how they implemented a bit of variety to the overall experience. 

Aside from the gameplay, the graphics have also been totally overhauled too. The game is still a 2D side-scroller, but the visuals look great on the modern PS4 console. The game pays homage to the original by being set in similar looking locations such as a plain field, a dark castle and other unworldly locations.

The locations might be familiar to fans, but Shadow of the Beast PS4 adds fresh new bosses to the mix. The boss battles in the original game were a bit pathetic as the main character literally just had to punch multiple times to beat them. In this remake, the bosses are larger and much more epic to fight. 

The story is something that fans are left to decipher on their own in this remake. This is because Aarbron doesn't talk and the other characters all speak in different alien languages. You can unlock a bonus to understand the languages, but I admire how the player has to find out what is going on for themselves. 

Speaking of bonuses, one of the best things that you can unlock is the original game itself. The game has an Amiga emulator so you can play the 1989 classic in all its glory. To make the game easier for modern day gamers like myself, you can view an entire walkthrough or turn on infinite lives. 

A flaw that might not please some gamers is that the game is relatively very short. No matter what difficulty you play the game on, it might take you roughly only 3 hours to complete. There is some replay value as you can try to get a higher score or you can tackle hard original game. Another minor gripe is that the new soundtrack is not as memorable as the old game. 

Overall, Shadow of the Beast PS4 is a fun game that fans of the original will enjoy a lot. The graphics are excellent and the gameplay has changed for the better. The only major flaw as aforementioned is that it's over all too quickly. Other than that, this is a great 2D-style beat-em-up that has a lot of unlockable content. 

Verdict: 8.0/10


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