Shadow Gangs tells the story of Dan, a ninja order master, whose mission is to rescue his family from a crime organization called the Shadow Force and whose members are known as Shadow Gangs. Beat up the Shadow Gangs on your way to saving your family from certain death.
Shadow Gangs is an arcade 2D beat’em up where players have to go from start to finish and kill every enemy in your path. You will use your faithful shurikens and ninja kicks to take out everyone barring down on you. You’ll also be able to morph into a super ninja… with a machinegun (*sigh*). Yes. A ninja with a gun. I don’t get it either.
Interestingly enough, the game will try and switch things up by having first-person sequences reminiscent of the arcade classic Operation Wolf. The game features 10 levels with 6 bosses. Enemy design is decent; you’ll face off against smaller and big enemies. One of the problems is that some enemies are laying on the ground and our superhero Dan can’t aim in any other direction than forward or backward. If you point up or down, the protagonist will look in said direction, but he can’t fire.
Also, the game is unforgiving and it doesn’t feel fair either. On Easy difficulty setting, it takes simply three hits before dying and considering some enemies will seemingly fire projectiles off-screen (more on that below), it’s frustrating and unfair. And with the aforementioned crouching enemies, you can’t do much besides jumping on them, but as soon as they prop up, they will attack; once again leaving little to no time to react.
One of the problems with the game is the detection physics. You have to hit enemies between the torso and the head; otherwise, your hits, while clearly hitting the enemy, won’t register and it proves to be a pain in the ass when the enemy on the floor above and you can’t kill them. The other problem as well is that often times, you won’t see enemy projectiles until they hit you. When enemies generate, their projectiles will also spawn at the same time leaving little to no chance to avoid it.
The game looks fine; it’s hand-drawn and traditional style animated. The level design varies and levels look different from one another and it makes sure that each level feels different as well. The soundtrack is also arcade-inspired and gives the game a classic feel, but it’s annoyingly loud and forgettable.
Given the plethora of beat’em ups available, Shadow Gangs is an easy pass. From the unforgiving nature of the game, questionable detection issues in combat, the game feels rushed, half-assed and could’ve used a bit more work. There are so many better options out there. Don’t waste your hard-earned money on this.
- Had some potential…
- …but falls flat on its face
- Questionable detection
- Even Easy difficulty is a pain in the ass
- Pause button is B. WTF.