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Shadow of the Beast 1 logo

Der britische Nobel-Label „Psygnosis" holt zum grossen Paukenschlag aus: In 350 Screens warten 132 verschiedene Monster darauf, eins auf die Birne zu bekommen!

Shadow of the Beast 1 Der Spass fängt hier schon beim Auspacken an: Die überdimensionierte Box mit dem wunderschönen Cover fördert neben den zwei Spieldisketten und dem englischen Anleitungsheftchen ein T-Shirt zutage, in dem man sich durchaus sehen lassen kann. Kaum ist die Startdiskette im Schacht, geht das vergnügen weiter: Allerfeinster Sound von David Whittaker (ziemlich ausgeflippt, irgendwie psychedelisch…) untermalt die obligatorischen zwei Titelscreens. Danach heisst's Diskette wechseln - eventuell vorhandene Zusatzlaufwerke erkannt das Programm nicht an.

An dieser Stelle kurz die Vorgeschichte: Vor langer Zeit entführten die „Priester der Bestie" einen Knaben, fütterten ihn mit allerlei Zaubermixturen und setzten das Kind jahrelang unter Hypnose. Als der Jüngling endlich geschnallt hatte, was da so ablief (ein Blick in den Spiegel sollte genügen: der Kerl sieht aus wie ein Ziegenbock!), war er verständlicherweise ziemlich sauer… Der Spieler darf nun die gestresste Geiss durch 13 Level zur wohlverdienten Rache führen.

Gottlob hat sich auch bei Psygnosis zwischenzeitlich eine vernünftige Joystick-Steuerung durchgesetzt. Es steht zwar nun ein Minimum an Schlägen (links/rechts und oben/unten) zur Verfügung, jedoch tut das ausnahmsweise dem Vergnügen kein Abbruch. Die Wanderung durch die besonders liebevoll gestalteten Screens gerät zum Augen- und Ohrenschmaus: Stimmungsvolle Bilder in herrlichen Pastelltönen (128 Farben!) und ständig wechselnde Melodien lassen niemals Langeweile aufkommen. Aber der Clou kommt noch: Shadow of the Beast kann mit dem besten Scrolling aufwarten, das der Amiga je gesehen hat. Mit 50 Bildern pro Sekunde erreicht das Game echte Arcade-Qualität! Nur die Animation hat offensichtlich unter dem Aufwand, der beim (komplett ruckfreien!) Scrolling in mehreren Ebenen betrieben wurde, etwas gelitten - das eigene Sprite bewegt sich eckig, die Gegner so gut wie gar nicht.

Das Gameplay gibt sich etwas hausbacken: Man läuft durch die Gegend, erklimmt Leitern, findet Potions (die nützlichen sehen genauso aus wie die ekligen, da hilft nur ein gutes Gedächtnis!), Waffen, oder Schlüssel zu geheimen Levels und verkloppt massenweise Monster. 12 Feindberührungen kann der Bock einstecken ehe er das Zeitliche segnet. Dennoch: Die perfekte Inszinierung bringt's einfach!

Mit Shadow of the Beast haben sich Martin Edmonson und Paul Howarth, die auch schon Ballistix programmiert haben, selbst ein Denkmal gesetzt. Allerdings haben die beiden angedroht, in Zukunft auf Konsolen umzusteigen, sollte die Sache mit den Raubkopien auf den 16-Bittern kein Ende nehmen. Das wäre ein herber Verlust, denn „Beast" ist eines der ganz wenigen Spiele, die den Amiga bis an die Grenzen ausreizen! (ml)

Amiga Joker, November 1989, p.19

Der Amiga Joker meint:
"Shadow of the Beast zeigt eindrucksvoll, was der Amiga wirklich kann!"

Amiga Joker
Shadow of the Beast
Grafik: 92%
Sound: 93%
Handhabung: 89%
Motivation: 86%

Gesamt:
Für Anfänger
90%
Preis: ca 99,- DM
Hersteller: Reflections/ Psygnosis
Bezug: Computershop Gamesworld
Landberger Str. 135
8000 München 2
Tel.: 089/5 02 24 63

Spezialität: Zwischen den Levels verkürzen stimmungsvolle Bilder die lange Wartezeit. Leider verfügt das Game weder über eine Highscoretabelle noch über eine Prozentanzeige. Kein Zwei-Spieler-Modus vorhanden.



Shadow of the Beast 1 logo

Psygnosis
Price: £34.99

Shadow of the Beast 1 For something this low on hype, Beast has an above-average price. But with this big a package, it's not surprising they had to bump up the price a little. The box itself is a lot larger than usual, exactly twice the size of a usual Psyclapse box. In one side of the box you get the game and all the blurb, plus a poster of some ORIGINAL ROGER DEAN artwork. In the other side of the box you get an extra large full colour Beast T-Shirt, with yet another SPECIALLY COMMISIONED PIECE OF ROGER DEAN ARTWORK!!! I don't know about you, but, arguably, two whole original pieces of Roger Dean artwork for only £35 is pretty good going. But what about the game?
Everything about Beast is as lavish as it possibly could be. The plot isn't a plot, it's a novel. You were stolen from your parents by the evil lords, who then proceeded to make sacrifices of your entire village. Then, by using strange potions, they transformed you from a normal human to a strange, disfigured creature, with incredibly enhanced speed and strength. They also wiped your mind, so that you wouldn't remember your parents. Or so they thought...
Slowly, you have remembered. And now you're out for a spot of revenge. This is where you, the player, take over. Race through over 350 scrolling screens of pure beat-'em-up action.

The graphics are lavish in every sense of the word. One thing that has been stressed time and time again is that the game was designed as an Amiga game, and so pushes the capabilities of the Amiga far more than a straightforward port would. For a start there are over 127 colours on screen at once, and on the outside scenes there are no less than 13 layers of perfect parallax, in both the ground and the sky. The sprites are large and gorgeously defined, but it's the backdrops and the incidental stills which steal the show. At last we have an Amiga product that's approaching what the Amiga is really capable of.
The sound is truly brilliant. Easily the best thing David Whitaker has ever written, over 900k of the stuff, and all of it sampled directly from a KORG Ml keyboard.
The only thing this game isn't amazingly lavish on is the game play. There just isn't enough variety. You can only move in four directions (use of ladders included) and the only move you can make is a punch left or a punch right. Now, being as this is a beat-em-up, this is a bit of a pity.

Shadow of the Beast has superb sound and graphics - perhaps the best ever on a game. What it is limited on, though, is gameplay. Nevertheless, a fantastic game. Shadow of the Beast may not be a name that will be on the lips of our tongues in five years time, but for the moment it sure seems stunning.
Mark Patterson

CU Amiga, October 1989, pp.58-59

Sound
Graphics
Playability
Lastability
92%
94%
78%
72%

84%



Shadow of the Beast 1 logo

Psygnosis, Amiga £34.95
Shadow of the Beast 1 The temple Necropolis casts a horrific shadow across its alien world. The courtyard is regularly sluiced with blood from the mass slaughter of humans at its sacrificial stone. One of the participants in the Beast Lord's appalling blood-letting is the warrior-messenger, a goat-headed creature. Yet once he was an innocent child, abducted by the Beast Lord and turned into a monster by his mages. For many years he has served the Beast Lord selflessly, but now his own parents have gone to the stone, stirring long suppressed memories…

You are the goat-warrior and your quest is bloody vengeance. You start on an empty plain with the Beast Lord's airships floating overhead. To the left there's a tree with a doorway to take you down into a cavern, a labyrinth of platforms, ladders and all sorts of monsters. Also here are some keys, which might be useful for the labyrinthine castle to the right.

You start off with twelve lives which can very easily be lost. As you explore more lives can be found, along with 'don't touch' levers, a laser gun and a jetpack. Some weapons, such as an electrical bolt last only a set time and must be used on the right monster if you're to progress. Get far enough and you'll find potions which restore all your lives, but it's no easy task to find them.

Zzap! Christmas Special, Issue 56, December 1989, p.76

Stuart Wynne In one way the £35 price tag is almost justified, the game is so tough and long-winded you need that price to force you back. Play Beast well enough and it rewards you with new opponents, but starting again takes 90 seconds with disk access and compulsory intro tune. And it's a long fight back to where you were. Gameplay is no great advance over 8-bit arcade-adventures; run about, punch baddies, work out enemy attack patterns and collect the goodies. But the 350 screen map is 16-bit size, as is presentation with a superb soundtrack and brilliant backgrounds. The parallax scrolling above ground is great, but some of the monsters are mediocre. Initially the price and difficulty make Beast disappointing, but persistence reveals an above average game, if not a mega one.

Phil King 'The ultimate in entertainment software' turns out to be a large, but not massive arcade adventure which mainly consists of timing your punches against masses of enemies. A very high level of difficulty substitutes for any real depth. At first this causes frustration, but after playing the game for quite a while it began to grow on me. A real sense of achievement comes from completing a section, and with five huge zones and a total of 350 screen, completing the game is an immense challenge. Although not quite the mega-game expected, Beast is beautifully presented and extremely playable.

6 4
No plans as yet for a C64 version.
U P D A T E

PRESENTATION 88%
Free T-shirt, good loading screen and plot details during frequent disk access. Wait when you die maddening.
GRAPHICS 92%
Excellent backgrounds, but many of the 132 monsters are blandly coloured and animated.
SOUND 97%
Superlative pipe-like David Whittaker soundtracks which vary according to situation.
HOOKABILITY 74%
Amazing graphics draw you in, but tough gameplay and lengthy disk accessing put you off.
LASTABILITY 88%
A big challenge, more due to tough opponents and no save option than size, but may prove too frustrating for some.
OVERALL
83%
Very nice to look at, very tough to play and very expensive!