GerbilMechs 083 : Break!

23Mar04 (Monthenor): Is Spring Break over already? Man...

Nightshade: This is something of a marvel. Nightshade is the semi-sequel to Shinobi, a game which put up a screaming fight all the way to the last boss. Nightshade would more properly be named's not a full sequel, just some different characters and monsters in the same game engine. It also seemed to be a lot less fun.

The problem is with me, I'm sure. The level design is a little tougher, a little less inspired. The techno soundtrack is also usually mentioned as a sore point. It definitely doesn't fit with most of the action or the ninja theme, that's for sure. But I just wasn't prepared for the little tweaks to the difficulty. The addition of the kick move meant that most enemies gained a level of armor...I could no longer blaze through each stage by pounding on the sword+dash buttons. The bosses no longer summoned the maximum nine minions, so you can't charge your sword up for the one-hit kills. One-hit kills are still possible, but usually only after charging up on the five minions, kicking off the boss' armor, and standing still to charge up the (also new) Stealth Clone Attack. A task that, I hate to admit, was far too difficult for me. I managed to squeak through most of the game, but the second-to-last boss...Not only was he armored, not only was he three stories tall, not only did he throw massive fireballs that took away about a quarter of my health, but he was in league with the camera. We're talking some sort of dark unholy pact with the game code, which is not surprising considering the boss was a demon. In any case, the small narrow hallway in which the fight took place wreaked all sorts of havoc with the camera view. If you jumped just so or took a single hit, the camera would skew wildly and you'd get hit three or four more times. After an hour of beating my head against this bullshit, I gave up.

Good game, but too hard. And how many times are you going to hear me say that?