Cyber ​​shadow, Review


Yacht Club Games begins as a publisher with a heartfelt tribute to the early Ninja Gaiden and the NES

Before you get into the good and evil of Cyber ​​Shadow, it’s worth thinking about what’s in store for this game. Or, rather, about what its authors and editors – especially the latter – want to consolidate into the independent scene. This is important because, at this point, who else knows at least that this sincere homage to Ninja Gaiden in the ancient NES is the start as Publisher from American studio Yacht Club Games, which is not silly since it is they who have raised the “NES style games” to the stage of their own tributary who are able to play the big leagues. What the studio that Shovel Knight has given us now needs is to put its seal of quality on other similar projects, who knows if with the long-term idea of ​​eliminating a kind of Yachtclubverso. There are no common points missing, be clear in advance, about a video game that aims prop up the first level of the slightly larger neo-retro scene.

Like Shovel Knight and many others, Cyber ​​Shadow is an NES game that could never run on NES. Just like the adventures of the shovel knight and his crazy fans, this robotic ninja – an eighties dream, by the way – moves at speed and maneuvers with a determination that would short-circuit any Nintendo 8 Bit console. However, and perhaps his greatest achievement, Cyber ​​Shadow goes on a combination walk featuring a world-class Yacht Club: the audiovisual aesthetic of the NES is fused with a great home design brand and levels with new features, but without crossing the line. With this medal and a dose of talent, Arne Mekaskull Hunziker and his Mechanical Head studio stand out from the Indian crowd with a retro aesthetic. Yacht Club Games finds this Finnish designer right

In honor of NES … idealized

It has always been said that Shovel Knight remembered Megaman a lot, and we will not deny him, nor can we ignore his influence in this Review. A game like this is bound to handle a series of influences, but in the case of Cyber-Shadow it gives us the feeling that they are a little more ethnocentric than other times. Obviously drink the game from the first Ninja Gaiden even more than The Messenger has already done, but throughout the campaign there are moments for everything. From motorcycles or the occasional ultimate boss in Contra style, to backgrounds with effects that may look like more than one game backgrounds for Mega Drive. Of course, all of this happens because we are reminded of other ninja brawls, like Taito’s sensational Blue Shadow. The older ones will appreciate a stage design and a color palette that is well remembered for the design of another great NES: Sunsoft’s first Batman. And, of course, for the Shinobi saga of Sega, especially in their games for consoles.

Well armed with the spirit of all these ninjas who came before him, our robotics heroes face ten stages that combine the best of the Nintendo 8 Bit tradition. with some modern trends, they are all finished by the classic final bosses that will make it quite complicated until we learn to read its mechanics. Not many surprises – just doing things right – Cyber ​​Shadow has fun from the start thanks to levels where everything is as it should be and every enemy is located on the stage for some reason. Some enemies, by the way, which can be eliminated in more ways than with the simple initial attack, due to Cyber ​​Shadow the course of the game It is marked by the various skills we acquire in the first levels and that is, of course, becoming increasingly necessary because of the design of the campaign itself. To that extent, the game gives the feeling that it is divided into two unequal halves.

Cyber ​​shadow, Review

These skills that every mechanical ninja must master will not award the non – existent Nobel Prize for innovation. Namely: about shurikens, attack from above in Shovel Knight style or flames to take out high objects and enemies. Binds a Dash which we found to be the most uncomfortable aspect of the game, since sometimes it doesn’t react as well as we would like. The truth is that our ninja takes great advantage of these gestures and their introduction gives us a sense of progress, but not all of them behave as well because of the weight they carry in the campaign. To our understanding, that Dash with a vertical attack that goes through almost everything – and encourages us to put attacks together – can always be incredibly fun, but it has led us to face the main disadvantage of the last level. .in which we are clearly encouraged to use and abuse. It is a great pity, because in them we include a hero whose training has already been completed.

Whether or not we experience this funny and chaotic gesture, the truth is that there is a big difference in what the final steps convey if we compare them to the path that led them. The fundamental question is that there is no firm ground at these last levels, but essentially a spiky carpet that forced Megaman to resign in 1987. If we take into account that these skewers – and other environmental threats – immediate death, we will understand why it didn’t seem so successful to us and we should play that more speed that motivates us. Adding any bounce bullet or small miscalculation to the scoreboard is a death knell, which does not add to how polished everything else in this title is. While things like this were years ago, there are unfair features falling to the spikes – almost randomly – that are not acceptable today: it ‘s not funny that a bullet bounces or a small error in the jump on an enemy throws us into a hole the previous one checkpoint. While we are clear that there will be people who like these reactions, precisely because of that historical realism Arne Hunziker seems to like.

Going on to ethos

Even with these backpacks behind, Cyber ​​Shadow clearly has a huge job behind it, and is undoubtedly in the top gaming arena with this aesthetic, category not as abundant as it seems. Mostly, this fact is due to the fact that not every game has such well-conceived elements like the structure of the levels and control points that take this title as its flag. Although some checkpoints too far apart – they become quite tormented in those last bars of the campaign-, the game suggests linear levels which we can return to to return to open doors that we could not have previously accessed. This point gives us a very successful sense of openness, which does not come close to recommending a metroidvania, but combined with some shortcuts that we can open at different levels, tell us about a very well done level design. While we have to regret that these backups and the extra challenges we will find in them are the only thing the game has to do to motivate us to replay it. At least from now on.

Cyber ​​shadow, Review

Cyber ​​Shadow is not a perfect arcade. Those discomforts we discussed may be more polished, because it’s a game that drips with the style of those individual developers who work for years on their project until it’s completely ready. Fortunately, the features that stand out make it strong enough to shape a game that will inspire the most retro players. Visually, the echoes of the Yacht Club Games work in their part cutscenes They fill him with a very special character, and his music deserves an honorable mention. The pieces by composer Pentadrangle –now solemn, now a typical video game of the eighties- on their own merit among the best chiptune we heard recently. Its graphic finish and sound feature contrast with – and quite a lot – a slightly disappointing, light-hearted story from the magic that Yacht Club Games told us about the benefits of Shovel Knight and its rivals. Anyway, the first forum this team made was a new feature of it Publisher it shows that we are facing a study that has come to stay among the elite, although the difficulty of the last levels of Cyber ​​Shadow will remove the game from those who do not have enough patience to play calmly, and it was this has never happened for previous projects by boys Sean Velasco and David D’Angelo.

Cyber ​​shadow, Review
Cyber ​​shadow, Review

Skew tide


Cyber ​​Shadow follows the path of Shovel Knight with good design and inevitable audio-visual charisma. While some inconsistencies leave it in a slightly lower stage than the adventures of the Yacht Club Games hero, this cyber ninja can pay homage to the old Ninja Gaiden in a game that has a very well measured length, culminating unfair difficulty aside. Confirmation that neo-retro has an eternal battle on the ideal NES.

THE BEST _____

  • Ninja-Robot. References to Dragon Ball, Super Mario Bros. 1 …
  • Stellar chiptune on his soundtrack
  • Very good level design


  • We seem to have some less controlled abilities
  • Excessive difficulties peak with a slightly random point
  • There are several reasons for its playback

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