Heavy Spectrum’s PS4 exclusive is packed with nods to the 1989 original
Few words better describe the talented folks over at Heavy Spectrum than ‘meticulous’. In bringing to life their bold re-imagining of 1989 side-scroller Shadow of the Beast, they combed the classic series obsessively and turned up an absolute stack of cool odds and ends. While dozens of these little touches are woven directly into the game, there’s a whole trove of additional features you can unlock as you progress.
You’ll accrue Mana as you progress through the game, with more skilful play and higher combos returning bigger rewards. Once you’re back on the world map, hit [TRIANGLE] to open the “Wisdom of Shadows” menu and spend the Mana you’ve earned. There’s a whole host of extras to unlock, but here’s our recommended must-haves:
- Roger Dean’s original artwork
Few artists working in the fantasy sci-fi genre during the ’80s and ’90s were as influential as Shadow of the Beast’s original box art designer Roger Dean. Hidden away in the game’s unlockables you’ll find a hi-res scan of the original artwork, leant to the team by Dean himself.
- David Whittaker’s original score
The synth-laden 16-bit score to the original Shadow of the Beast is iconic among fans of the original series and still holds its own, even today. Build up enough Mana and you can unlock the score to play alongside the team’s shiny new visuals.
- The Martyr’s Fire special move
Okay, so we’ll come clean, this isn’t really a clever reference to anything – but holding your enemies aloft and blasting a red-hot beam of explosive magic through them is pretty damn cool. It’s definitely well worth spending a little Mana on, in any case.
- The original Amiga game
Yup, Heavy Spectrum’s new Shadow of the Beast is actually two games in one. You can unlock an emulation of the original 1989 Amiga version of the game to play on your PS4. If you struggle with the notorious difficulty, there’s even an infinite lives cheat you can unlock as well!
There are no less than five alien languages spoken across the distinct world of Karamoon – none of them English. While the well thought-out visual storytelling means you’ll never be at a loss as to what’s going on, there’s a whole heap of extra narrative to be uncovered if you unlock the alien subtitles.
As a parting love letter to the game that inspired this project, the developers have also included an illustrated retrospective on the iconic Shadow of the Beast trilogy of games, charting the inception, development and lasting legacy of the fondly remembered franchise.
Shadow of the Beast is out now to buy on PlayStation Store.