Shatterhand (NES) Review
We’re on a roll with late released NES platformer games. Shatterhand was released in 1991 after the Super Nintendo was released. If you were lucky to hang onto the NES while the Super Nintendo was about to hit store shelves, you would have got to experience a bunch of great Natsume released games like Shadow of the Ninja, Power Blade one and two and scat to name a few. Shatterhand is no exception to the great action platformers on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Everything in Shatterhand you’ll end up punching with your fists, from Giant Barriers to Bullets. With a name like Shatterhand, did you expect him to pull out a bazooka and start firing? God, doesn’t that hurt? I guess not if you have metal fists? Is it me or does this look like David Arquette finally losing it? I wouldn’t fault you for passing on a cover this generic.
You’ll be thrown into the first stage of the game and then move on where you can select one of the five stages to play through. If you make it through each of the stages, you’ll go through the final stage.
Even though punching enemies from close range might feel a bit tough at first, it put you into a bit of a different perspective that worked well in a game like this. Scattered around some of the boxes were these different letters that work like a slot machine. Pick up a combination of three letters and you get to have a different robot buddy help you along the way. Some robots fired lasers or threw grenades so its important to hit the letters before you pick up a letter in order to change them around. These Robots can take damage and die so you’ll have to be careful in order to pace yourself from the different enemies unlike charging forward and smashing them with your fists. You can also scale walls by grabbing and hanging on. You could use this to get to hard to reach areas or well climb walls where you otherwise couldn’t.
Sometimes the boxes will drop coins that you can spend at these kiosks by pressing the down button. One you can use to get your health back, One will increase your attack power by upgrading your flashy vest from green to brown. The most expensive purchase is an extra life that costs a whopping 2000 coins.
I really hated the way that some blocks had grenades that just blew up forcing you to take damage. This type of jack in the box is really cheap, the game is hard enough having to run up to enemies for crying out loud, now I have to remember the different level layouts!
The chiptune music in Shatterhand is great. It gives you a rush to make you want to run up to one of the enemies shattering them to smithereens.
The graphics in Shatterhand are fantastic with very little slowdown. With a game that borrows so many elements like the patterned boss battles like in Ninja Gaiden, or the Level Select and upside down stages like in Mega Man 5 I think that Shatterhand falls short from the A tiered action platformers. It’s not to say that Shatterhand isn’t a great game because it definitely should since I had a ton of fun running around and punching enemies. You just really have to hang onto the right robot powerup for the job, otherwise the difficulty is just way too hard.
A copy of Shatterhand is pushing through the acceptable price point of many, pushing above 70$ for a loose copy. If only Nintendo put it on their switch online service like they did with S.C.A.T or Shadow of The Ninja. You might have to play Shatterhand any way possible until then.