Shadow Blade Review

Shadow Blade Review

Mar 10, 2014

I think it’s unfair that ninjas get to wield katana swords. These have historically and culturally belonged to samurai. Ninjas get shurikens, smoke bombs, climbing claws, sai, and ninjutsu. What do samurai get? Katana, harakiri and stupid haircuts. Remove katanas and what do you get? Bushido scene kids, that’s what. But there’s no fairness in pop-culture, so we’re up for another sword-wielding ninja in Shadow Blade. This in no way means he’s anything but awesome.

Shadow Blade‘s story isn’t important, as the game is an action through and through. The player-controlled ninja who goes by the name Kuro, needs to get through enemies and traps, keeping in mind that a single mistake means death. To get a maximum possible score, the player also has to collect all of the shiny sprites that are hanging around the level, and find two secret scrolls that will help him become a true ninja master. The controls are pretty Shadow Blade 4intuitive, even though special moves could very well be distilled into a couple of buttons, instead of requiring swiping.

Kuro can slash his sword to reduce the enemy’s health, and getting into a correct position near the enemy allows to kill him with one swipe. The battles aren’t exactly awe-inspiring, but completing a level, while one-hitting the enemies left and right does feel incredibly rewarding. The game identifies itself as a platformer, but it mostly comes up in form of traps. The player needs to time his runs and try to get through difficult places as quickly as possible, or get impaled, squashed, or killed in other unpleasant ways. There’s not much setting apart the platforming part of Shadow Blade from others. Kuro can jump, double-jump and jump from walls – the most frustrating part of the game – but there’s nothing too unusual.

I liked Shadow Blade, although I had somewhat higher expectations. Certain elements work better than others, but overall, Shadow Blade is a smooth, exciting action with lots of challenging levels and great graphics. Besides, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a great action with ninjas.

Shadow Blade Review Rundown

Graphics/Sound - Nicely done.
Controls - Small issues with wall-jumping and special moves.
Gameplay - Stylish and smooth. Not very original, though.
Replay Value - Lots of levels and lots of challenges to complete.
Overall - It's not perfect, but it's still damn fun.

Download: App available at the Google Play Store »

Tony Kuzmin
Basically, a talking digital extension at this point.
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