Okay, I’ll keep my “HiYa’s!” down to a minimum as we delve into the mysterious world of darkness and chaos that is Shadow Blade: Reload on PS4. Dead Mage’s fast moving scrolling platformer is a port from iOS and Steam, but while it certainly looks the part, does it have the sharp blades and stamina to make a killer impact?
Shadow Blade is an action-platformer where you play as Kuro. Kuro has to sort out some rather nasty business, and it’s pretty big business in fact – the fate of the world rests in his hands. The beauty of the story is the way it’s told. Well-produced comic book style storyboards unravel as you progress through the forty something stages making it a really bright and visual affair.
As this is a battle of ninjas, you know what to expect. Get ready for some punishment as Shadow Blade: Reload absolutely loves dishing out its evil side upon you. Challenging levels, traps, spikes and some tricky paths lay ahead, and each level is littered with glowing orbs which need to be collected. Bouncing off walls, smashing through floors, huge leaps and even a nifty dash feature make controlling Kuro a blast. Thankfully the control scheme lets you perform each action with ease and watching little Kuro banging about the screen does look sweet.
Each level throws up its own headache and is played to a timer, so perfecting those leaps and jumps is essential as every second counts. Get through unscathed and you’ll get a better ranking score. It’s not just traps and environmental hazards you need to worry about though, as you’ll encounter some quick thinking enemies all educated in the world of martial arts. Moreover, these ruthless mercenaries and bosses also come armed with guns, homing missiles and flamethrowers. Thankfully Kuro is a fully loaded ninja who has learnt his craft well. Not only can he deliver deadly life threatening moves, he can pull off some ridiculously sweet and swift air manoeuvres too. And of cause no ninja would be complete without the aid of some shuriken tossing. Right from the off Kuro is a very likeable ninja indeed and makes Shadow Blade: Reload an immensely satisfying game to play. It may not be one that you’re going to sink hours into, but early stages definitely pull you in. Being honest, it has to be said that there is not a huge amount of variety to Shadow Blade. Progressing sees much of the same, but with each level hiding three collectible tokens in increasingly difficult places to nab, Shadow Blade keeps you thinking. Visually it’s a treat too. Backdrops and landscapes beam out some bright colours and make this ninja-themed action platformer a delight to look at, and the aforementioned comic book story sequences add to the polished look too.
Shadow Blade: Reload is a slick, fast moving and fun little platformer that whacks out a fury of punches. If you’re a ninja enthusiast then you could do a lot worse than Shadow Blade: Reload being your next PSN purchase.
Lizard rating: 7/10