Shadow of the Beast

released on Oct 01, 1989

A game that takes your computer into a totally new dimension.

Shadow of the Beast is the most stunning 16-bit game you've ever played- a game that pushes your computer's features further than you ever thought they could go. Shadow of the Beast boasts the most incredible high-speed parallax scrolling ever seen. It will confront you with 132 different and vicious monsters, all as arcade quality fully animated sprites. You will be dazzled by the 128 colors appearing simultaneously on screen and rocked by the 900K of atmospheric soundtrack. And you'll be completely hooked by Shadow of the Beast's 350 screens of fast and furious action. So prepare for an experience you will never forget.

Kidnapped as a child by the evil Beast Mages, you have been transformed into a creature of fearsome power, agility and strength. In this guise you faithfully serve the Beast and its cohorts for many years as their warrior-messenger. Until one day you discover an awful secret- the truth about your past... a truth that drives you wild with anger and leads you on a trail of bloody revenge against your masters. Now the time has come to enter the Shadow of the Beast!

Your task is to fight your way through hostile country to the heart of the enemy's stronghold, where you will face your ultimate adversary. Along the way you will encounter an awesome array of monsters and traps. Be ruthless, be quick... for only the strongest and toughest can hope to survive.

Prepare to live by your wits, relying on split-second reactions and ingenuity. Combat the diabolical creatures. Dodge the deadly plant life. Overcome the devious traps. Find and use the long-lost artifacts. Feel the adrenalin pumping through your joystick hand as the blood pounds in your heart and the tension becomes almost unbearable...

Prepare to enter Shadow of the Beast.

Reviews View More

Fake-ass video game. Timmy from the sitcom 'Meeting the Fredrickersons' plays this while his mom reprimands him for being late to school. Bart Simpson steals from his dad's wallet to buy this, he can't beat level seven.

It's just a short bizarre heavy metal album cover with crappy enemy placement and don't get me started on the Genesis' version NTSC speed up problem

I know this game isn't actually "good" and the positive score is partially because of the nostalgia, but man, the art and music in this is so good and the version of the game that's unlockable in the PS4 remake that allows you to continue makes it much more playable

"Apart from how many colours and layers of parallax and monsters we could squeeze on screen, no thought went into it whatsoever."
-Martin Edmondson, on Shadow of the Beast

10-year-old me never designed a game, but if I did there's a good chance it would look somewhat like Shadow of the Beast. Plenty of cool ideas, unique enemies, enemy formations and level hazards, but they're all strung together haphazardly with little regard for balance or flow - it really does feel like someone with ADHD just designed a whole lot of unique monsters, strung together a bunch of "wouldn't it be cool if-" moments and called it a day.
Shadow of the Beast's most infamous quality is probably its difficulty, and for good reason. Many handheld games had worse screen crunch, games like Secret of Evermore had worse hit detection, and Strider in its worst moments had far more hazards onscreen at once - but this game put all those frustrating elements together on top of giving the player a grand total of zero continues. I'll admit to using the invincibility cheat, without which I would never have made it past the penultimate level - a shmup stage made way harder than it should be by your vertically-oriented hurtbox.
Perhaps the game's most offputting quirk is how it handles its non-linearity. There are certain items (keys, a wrench, a torch, etc.) you need to pick up in order to make progress, but the game is buggy enough that doing things out of order will glitch the game out and softlock you. This turns dead ends into literal dead ends and leaves basically no room for deviation or exploration.
The game's graphics, cool soundtrack and surprisingly smooth controls save it from a lower score, but it's definitely one of the weaker-designed platformers from the era.

While the incredible sound and rich graphics immediately excites you when you boot the game, the first punch animation and hard death just as quickly evaporates that elating feeling.
Shadow of the Beast was a showcase for the Amiga's graphical power and its musical capability, but as per the reviews even back then the game design was not the best, veering too much into the bullshit category far too often, not helped by the stiff controls and limited animations. But THAT soundtrack... man it's simply astounding how good it is.