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Cyber Shadow Review – A War Of Attrition

Cyber Shadow will kick your butt. Make no bones about it, this retro-inspired action title will chew you up and spit you out, much like the classic Ninja Gaiden series that inspired it. As in the NES staple, the fun comes in trying to overcome that steep challenge. Unfortunately, Cyber Shadow doesn’t back up its challenge with gameplay and progression that feels consistently fun or rewarding. 

For better or worse, Cyber Shadow nails the era it tries to evoke thanks to a faithful 8-bit presentation, stylish animated cutscenes, and demanding difficulty. Armed with a trusty katana, you test your reflexes by slicing through a robot apocalypse in order to free your ninja brethren and rescue your master. Stages are devilishly designed, with seemingly mean-spirited hazards placed exactly where you need to go (or where you land when you slip up), and may as well be giant, pixelated middle-fingers. Making that crucial leap only to be hit by a stray laser and knocked back into the pit you just avoided is nothing short of maddening, and Cyber Shadow is filled to the brim with such moments. It doesn’t help that checkpoints are sparse, meaning you must replay long, arduous stretches to reach a new spot to exhale. 

Cyber Shadow will beat you down and has its share of flaws, but solid fun awaits those willing to press on.

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