Shadow Blade Reload Review

Before the rise of Ninja Gaiden and it’s subsequent fall, (we’re talking about you Ninja Gaiden 3) there was Shinobi. Known for it’s high caliber of quality and of course difficulty, these games were legendary in introducing a new type of unforgiving and slick platformers. Yet, there’s been no great attempts to re-emulate this nostalgia, with a 2011 3DS reboot dudding altogether. So is Shadow Blade Reload the one we’ve been waiting for the whole time? Yes, but in a different way.

Gameplay:

One of the harder encounters in the game

Shadow Blade: Reload takes some time to get used to, but the more I played it the more I realized this was a good thing. In fact, it leans on the edge of being unresponsive, with slight floatiness in jumps and fast striding attacks. Yet, this type of structure and gameplay symbolizes how quick you’ll really need to be to survive in later stages (Don’t even get me started on the missile enemies!) . It’s kind of clever really.

Story & Design:

Wall jumping is incredibly responsive

While Shadow Blade: Reload’s story is immediately forgettable, the level design is the exact opposite. It’s a perfect mix of all the mechanics the game teaches you during it’s befogging stages, and without unnecessary platformer tropes like backtracking. It’s also one of the few games I’ve played where wall jumping is more enjoyable than actually killing enemies, but this doesn’t feel out of place in the slightest.

Presentation/ Visuals & Audio:

The main character sets the stage, looking like a samurai inspired mix of Deadpool and Deathstroke

Upon playing Shadow Blade: Reload for the first time, I kind of scoffed at how gory it could be when you killed enemies, but like much of the game, this grew on me. It fits with the almost Dysnasty like art style, and all the bamboo and hollow wood really sets a nice aesthetic whether you’re climbing, jumping, or killing.

Conclusion:

Shadow Blade Reload is an example of how to properly pull a platformer off without the unnecessary clutter seen in more tropey and uninspired titles. It’s to the point which ties into it’s accessibility and overall entertaining value, and it’s a game I can easily see myself going back to after finishing once, or even twice.

Shadow Blade: Reload gets a 8/10 (Very Good)

We’d like to thank Dead Mage for giving us a code!

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