Shatterhand is an action, platformer for the original Nintendo. The game is set in the future of 2030. A cop by the name of Steve Hermann, you, aims to take out the notorious Metal Command organization that had earlier destroyed both his arms. Equipped with cybernetic replacements, he’s out for justice and revenge. It’s kind of a classic, nonsense NES plot from the 90s, but hey, it works. Nothing more. Nothing less.
As previously mentioned, Shatterhand is a platformer. Punch enemies with your cyber fists and traverse environments. Simple. There are also a series of slot like upgrades through each level that, when three are acquired, create a robot companion. These robots disappear after sustaining damage, but they’re very useful. Depending on the order and type, the robot can have a laser, flamethrower, or even grenades as a weapon. Hermann can even power himself up once per level, indicated by changing his jacket from green to red. There are also health restores in each level. Even with all these upgrades, the game is still hard as hell.
The game begins on a starter level, but then opens into a Mega Man style, choose your stage grid. There are seven stages in all, the beginning, five intermediate stages, and then the final stage. Each stage is divided into three parts: beginning, checkpoint, and boss. Unfortunately if you die in any part of the level, you must restart at either the beginning, or checkpoint. So if you make it to the boss, you still need to fight your way back from the checkpoint. It’s frustrating and challenging in only NES games can be. It takes a lot of practice, patience, and quick reflexes in order to make it to the end. Again, like Mega Man.
For the time, I can see Shatterhand being a great game. It’s challenging, yes, but not impossible like Battletoads. It’s more of an annoyance. Yet the concept, gameplay, and even the catchy chiptune music make it well worth a look. It’s epic in only a 90s NES game can be.
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on April 29, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.