Review by ValisHD
"No people! Megaman 3 Boss ShockMan did not get his own game."
One of Masiya's earlier games (and one of my first Engine games), Shock Man (Schbibin Man) in a fairly straightforward platform action game. Playing either Arnold (Tasuke) or Sonia (Kyapiko), you have to make your way across many levels with just a sword to take down an army of robotic creatures while avoiding floating mines and lava pits. The game is not completely linear, as you start of on a map screen and have to decide which route to take to reach the final boss. This means that you don't have to play every level to win - although certain levels will allow you to obtain special power-up items. One of these (the most important) is the ability to fire a ball of energy from your sword - very useful when timed right as it can take out a whole line of enemies.
The levels are basically of three types - a park, a city and an interior of a factory. Each level is also presented as day or night, giving a limited sort of variety them and most are fairly short, ending with a boss. This is always either a giant robot (which just involves whacking it as fast as possible) or a flying dragon, which needs a little more skill to defeat. While the park and city levels are similar in structure, the factory tends to be a little more platformy, and requires better timing for all the moving platforms.
Graphically, the game is a little rough around the edges, particularly compared with its sequels. Sprites are small and bright, but backgrounds are a little messy - although they look less like the 'toyland syndrome' that many Engine games suffer from. Sound however is excellent. A great title tune and in-game music is made better with some typical Masiya sampled drums. There's also a few snippets of sampled speech.
Despite the fact that this is a pretty simple and not particularly attractive platformer, I really quite enjoy this game. The levels don't spew forth random enemies, so it is possible to learn the enemy patterns and this gives you a certain satisfaction. But mostly, I think I play it for the music. It's not too hard too and worth completing if you can. I can see many people writing this game off at a glance, but don't be too harsh on it and give it a go. Two player simultaneous play is also a nice bonus. So recommend getting this game as a collection to all of you megaman fans out there.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/07/05
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