Title Shadow of the Beast (Third Review) Publisher Psygnosis/Reflections, 1989 Game Type General Action Compatibility Not A1200, but WHDload patch available HD Installable Yes (With Patch) Submission Shane Armstrong Review Absolutely awesome....that was my first impression upon viewing the rolling demo of this game in my local computer shop, from the moment I saw this game move I knew I HAD to have it. Psygnosis were in my opinion the ultimate Amiga programmers, and they are British too, I say this because in the heyday of the Amiga, British made games were always regarded as the best. These days, however, the best games seem to come from Japan or America, probably due to the fact that Japan never received the Amiga (and if they did, they never produced any games of note in my opinion), America did though, and those companies used to produce movie license platformers that were uninspired and dull. Here however was a completely original game that redefined gaming on the Amiga, it was admittedly a sideways scrolling platformer/beat-em-up, but the atmosphere, graphics and sound were out of this world at the time, and it was a game that set the standard on the Amiga up until the present. Yes, I believe this was THE most important Amiga game ever created.... As I have stated the game was a sideways scrolling beat-em-up, however you could venture either way in the game world, it wasn't like you were "forced" in any direction, so it also had an adventure feel to it. Upon loading the game, you are treated to (in my opinion) the best music ever conceived for an Amiga game, a panpipe affair with big drums and stirring strings, this set an unbelievable atmosphere before you had even picked up the joystick, and upon hearing and viewing the intro you knew you were in for a good time. The story is kind of strange, but in a good way, you play the role of a half man/half beast in a mythical and magical world whereby you are venturing into the unknown to try and break the spell cast upon you to return to a normal human, why the spell was cast and who by eludes me, but that's not important, the important thing is to get out there and try to stay alive while numerous inventively created monsters try to stop you in your tracks. You have to fight through these monsters by either punching or kicking with your character, and the key to success is remembering the attack pattern of the foe. This usually consists of about 10 or so monsters following a set pattern homing in on you every once in a while, and the timing of your punches and kicks is of paramount importance to your success. There are certain times when doors can only be opened by collecting the appropriate key, this was never boring to accomplish though, as the keys were never very far from the appropriate door, and usually were gained by beating a larger monster. I have to say that the graphics for its age were AWESOME. I don't say that lightly, because even to this day they are very respectable, and this is the game that I go back to now and again even after all these years. The sound was right up there with the graphics though, and this was no afterthought and was probably as inventive and mesmerising as the graphics. Words cannot express the emotion involved with the music so please play it and see what I am talking about! The game is not only a sideways scrolling beat-em-up though, some levels require you to shoot oncoming hordes of monsters via your gun and jetpack. This played much like R-Type, and was an added bonus to the game, mixing up the gameplay and adding more variety, and therefore longevity. I would like to say at this point though that the game was incredibly hard to finish (even by Amiga standards!) but with those visuals and that music, it was never a chore to replay certain scenes. Overall this game is my personal favourite Amiga game ever produced, so excuse me if you think otherwise, but I don't know anyone who had an Amiga and didn't thoroughly enjoy it, so if you get the chance, get it on, seriously, you won't regret it!