Gone from the days of gaming are the distilled shots of adrenaline and the twitch based action from titles such as Shinobi
that pressed us to try again and again. Now replaced with fluff and filler, the complex tutorials and drawn-out narratives that take the place of what could be great gameplay. Shadow Blade
follows in the spirit of the aforementioned hacknslash titles with it's to-the-point levels and their memorable designs. Shadow Blade: Reload
is a speed runner's paradise, through and through.
It includes all of the usual markings you'd expect from a solid action game from it's straight-forward yet deceptive level designs, to the quick arcade-like combat and addictive score chasing incentives. Your initial runs will be easy but they will be sloppy, and as you play you'll discover tricks and shortcuts that make conquering your past efforts a serious treat. The levels come in bite-sized pieced which keep the pace perfect and easy to jump into again and again to tackle your previous scores.
With 60 levels and counting set across 4 differently themed stages and a wealth of modes like easy and robust level-editor and a multiplayer Race mode for up to 4-players that brings Speed Runners
style competition, this is already showing some serious potential in it's Early Access state as it continues to receive updates.
It's also received a hefty amount of changes and polishes to the combat since it's highly acclaimed mobile origins, most importantly the layer of depth and strategy added by Shurikens for well planned ranged shots, effecting how you approach each situation. With the addition of new levels, more secrets, more exploration and features, it's easily worth it even for those who have played the hell out of the original version.
Seemingly simple first glance, Shadow Blade
really begins to shine as the player revisits past stages and begins to explore it's possibilities for a faster run. There are loads of hard to spot tricks and little shortcuts that will cut down on your time, and going back to discover them and besting your previous scores just feels really good. All in all, this is the kind of game that should be played from the perspective of a speed runner to be enjoyed to it's full extent.Shadow Blade: Reload
hits the spot and keeps you coming back for more long after you've overcome the obstacles of it's many cunning levels.