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I’m not sure exactly why, but I’ve seen A LOT of platformers in my life about a robot hero that is fighting against monsters and other big robots, robot conspiracies and upgrading your character to combat new enemies after every boss is killed. If that is your kind of game, (think classic Mega Man) then a new game has come out right in that area. Cyber Shadow follows a robot ninja that finds himself and his allies in a bind and has to kill his way through various hazards and levels. It doesn’t trail off from the well trodden and already experienced path of 2D platformers, which is both its strength and weakness.

If you’ve ever played any Mega Man game where you get to play as Zero or played the much lesser known Strider, Cyber Shadow will be extremely familiar and easy to pick up. Both those games and Cyber Shadow send players through a standard platforming experience but use a sword instead of a gun. The controls on Cyber Shadow feel tight and responsive and offer gameplay that is just as challenging as the previous named titles. In other words, tough but fair, hard but reasonable. The boss fights are usually where a game like this gets to shine, and Cyber Shadow has some good ones, but they don’t do much of anything I haven’t seen in a game from 20 years ago. They are all challenging while still having unique spins on each of them. Like true Mega Man fashion, after killing a big boss, players get a new power to add to their arsenal. I just wish that the powers you obtained could be bound to other buttons and that the powers would be more effective and could be used more frequently in gameplay. Basically, using the powers feels clunky and somewhat ineffective compared to standard attacks.

Everything in this game runs smoothly and stands as a pretty good challenge to players, giving an all around fine experience. The biggest issue is that it doesn’t do things differently than the hundreds of other great platformers that were made prior. In modern 2D platformer games like Celeste, Cuphead and Shovel Knight, there is a new gimmick or way to approach platforming which allows for a unique and with while experience. But Cyber Shadow lacks major creativity or originality. It is a fine game, don’t get me wrong there, but it doesn’t offer more than that. If you’re a big performer fan and want to play through another set of 2D platformer levels with moderate difficulty, then this game could be for you, but don’t expect much, if any, different gameplay than games that have come before it. 

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