AGH Lynx Review:

by Atari

Shadow of the Beast Pic 1
Shadow of the Beast has so many things going for it on the Lynx that it's a shame that its weaknesses hold this title back from becoming a true Lynx classic. As if you didn't know already, Shadow of the Beast was a Psygnosis title that has been released on everything from the Amiga computer to the Sega Genesis (and everything in between, it seems). You've been turned into a demon by the evil Beast Lord, and you must exact revenge upon the devilish monster as you fight your way through side-scrolling stages.

This isn't just another side-scrolling action/adventure game -- Shadow of the Beast requires incredible concentration in order to progress very far, and not just because of its insane level of difficulty (more on this later.) Try and blitz through the game in Mario-esque fashion and you'll meet your fate faster than you can blink. This game requires careful exploration through every pixel of its vast world. There are dozens of puzzles, traps and pitfalls that must be dealt with, and you're well advised to search for as many hidden items and weapons as possible. Your standard skills include running, jumping, climbing and attacking with your weapons. Controls are fairly straightforward.

Shadow of the Beast Pic 2
Shadow of the Beast's mind-boggling level of difficulty frustrated many players on other versions of the game, and on the Lynx, it's no exception. This game will have you pulling your hair out in frustration, folks! You only get one life -- once your life meter runs empty, that's all she wrote. You do get three continues; however, it doesn't help matters much. Die anywhere in a given stage, and you're brought back to the very beginning of that level. Each level is long and very drawn-out -- a few deaths in a very difficult part of a level and your frustration will no doubt start mounting to unbearable levels. What about a save game option? Perish the thought, there's none of that here.

It's a shame that most players won't get very far, because Shadow of the Beast has a lot going for it. The graphics are among the very best to date on the Lynx. The color portable's entire color pallete seems to be utilized, and everything is drawn and animated in fine detail. The multilayered parallax scrolling is a sight to behold as well. The true horsepower of the Lynx's hardware abilities are brought to light with this game. On the audio side, Shadow of the Beast also shines. While the sound effects consist of nothing more than blips and beeps, the accompanying background music are sinister and terrific.

Ace gamers and those with immense levels of patience will derive great pleasure (or pain) by trying this game. Others will quickly pull out the cart in disgust and move onto something that's slightly less mind-wrecking I'm sure.

Title Shadow Of The Beast
Publisher Atari
System Atari Lynx
Graphics 9
Sound 7
Gameplay 7
Overall 7
Reviewer Keita Iida

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