Whenever I play a platform game I am always skeptical. When I started to play Shadow Blade: Reload I was, of course, skeptical. Platform games can either be really good, annoying, repetitive, or just bad. Once I played through the first few levels of Shadow Blade: Reload, my skepticism quickly turned to joy. This was the first speed running, platform game that I have enjoyed in a long time.
In Shadow Blade: Reload you play as Kuro. He is the last ninja of his ancient clan because his clan was annihilated by rival clans. It is up to you to guide Kuro through each level to help him get revenge and protect the ancient relics. There are seven chapters in the story. As you play through the game you unlock a new chapter to the story and another location. What I loved about this game was that the story was very much a part of the gameplay. It wasn’t just told in the beginning and forgotten about. You don’t have to guess what is going on and the story keeps progressing as you do.
The story is told through beautiful comic book style cut scenes in between levels. The levels have that same beautifully drawn comic book style to them. They are filled with colorful graphics and designed well to go with the story. As you go to a different location on the map you aren’t seeing the same exact backdrop over and over. I was pleasantly surprised to see that each level in Jade City had a different background. Having a different background in each level made the game more interesting for me. As you play through a level and kill your enemies it is done in a smooth and sleek style. What also sets this game apart is that you are playing a ninja in modern times. Many of the enemies you face use modern, high-tech weapons. Even some locations like Jade City are modern.
Another great feature is that you can play the game in normal, hardcore, and master class. If you play a level in normal mode and then again in hardcore you will get a different experience. The layout changes with each level of difficulty. Shadow Blade: Reload also has a race mode and a dojo builder. In the dojo builder mode, you can create your own levels. There are also hidden collectibles in each level that add to your points. The more points you get the higher you are on the leaderboards.Each level has a variety of enemies and traps waiting for you. You won’t face only one type of enemy in each level. Some will use guns while others will try to use a missile launcher. There will be some points where you will have to face multiple enemies using different weapons that are trying to take you out. At the end of each level, you see how many enemies you have killed.
A big plus for me with this game was the controls. There was no guess work as to what they were. When you play through the first level you are told right away what they are. Actually you are shown what they are while you play. If you are like me and you forget there is no need to guess. You can hit the esc button on your computer, click settings, and the control menu is right there. The controls aren’t scattered all over either and there isn’t a multitude of buttons you have to press. You can even use a controller if you prefer.
You don’t have to have a lot of skill to be able to play Shadow Blade: Reload. It is very easy to get into no matter how much or how little you play platformers. It is a game that you will want to replay over and over. There are many different ways to replay it. You can simply replay a level just to beat your previous time, get a higher score, change your difficulty level, or create your own level. Shadow Blade: Reload gets just about everything right. It’s fun to play, isn’t too challenging to the point where you want to break your computer and has beautiful graphics.
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