Review: Shadow of the Beast – PC Engine/Turbo Grafx-16

When Shadow of the beast came out back in 1989 for the Amiga, it was definitely a ground-breaking game with great graphics, but the one thing that most people complained about was the relentless and unforgiving difficulty the game had. This version of the game was released in Japan and the US simultaneously on March 27th, 1992 and it was considered the most playable and casual gamer-friendly version.


The most popular shadow of the game version was the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive game because it was the only console that was having great mainstream success. The game was also released for the popular Super Nintendo console, but this version doesn’t even count due to the fact that it was never officially released and the available version is just a prototype.

The PC Engine version did get a very good reception from fans and they felt like it was the best version of the game that had been released so far.


The Gameplay

The gameplay in this version has a very different feel when compared to the Amiga version. One of the first things you notice is that it doesn’t feel anything like any other Shadow of the Beat game in the way that the hit detection works. The game has a good pace, but it feels different and the spacing of each area is much smaller.

The Graphics

This is one of the best-looking versions of the game. Only the FM Towns version looks better, but the Turbo Grafx-16 version has vivid colors and the bosses have a cool design. There seem to be more things going on in the background on some stages than what you found in the Amiga and Genesis versions.


The Sound

The sound is where this game truly shines. The PC Engine and FM Towns versions offer CD-Quality sound with real instruments being used for the music in the game. All of the stages properly arranged new versions of the original tunes. It’s not necessarily a better version in the sense of the compositions, but the themes are awesome to hear with such quality.

The only problem I have with the sound in this Shadow of the Beast game is the horrendous sound effect of the character when he takes a hit. Instead of sounding like a mad beast being hurt, he sounds like Michael Jackson got punched in the stomach.



This is a good version of Shadow of the beast, but it doesn’t come close to the experience delivered by the Amiga and Genesis versions. Stay tuned for a full review showcasing all of the Shadow of the Beast games in order to see which one is the best version, but we definitely recommend this one to any fan of the game.

Check out the Long Play video for Shadow of the Beast on the PC Engine: