Cyber Citizen Shockman (XSX) Review with stream
Hey look! A Japan exclusive PC Engine game that has been newly translated into English and ported to modern console with added QoL features
2-player co-op helps to subside the difficulty by the tiniest of margins
Earning all the Achievement is much more enjoyable with the invincibility feature activated
The soundtrack is excellent!
The worst hit boxes I have ever seen makes the dragon bosses impossible
Cheap enemy place and stage design is drastically unfair to the player
The translated ending was glitched pretty bad and doesn’t scroll correctly
Much thanks and appreciation must be forwarded to Ratalaika Games and Shinyuden for translating and porting Cyber Citizen Shockman, along with a few other recently released titles such as Moto Roader, Greylancer, Avenging Spirit, and Gynoug, to modern platformers. When old games like these, especially ones that receive an English translation, all gamers win.
Cyber Citizen Shockman was originally released in 1989 for the PC Engine. It is a 2D side scrolling action platformer that is sort of similar to Ninja Gaiden’s melee sword play, has Mega Man’s story, mixed with the level select structure of classic Bionic Commando. While its heart is in the right place, especially considering there is an included 2-player co-op mode, this game is impossibly difficult… for all the wrong reasons.
Everything is out to brutally murder you and the steep difficulty factor is constant. Missiles will fly at your face from off screen with no time to react. Your character walks with a weird sense of inertia, where it takes a second to build moment to reach full speed and jump distance. The repeating dragon boss has the most unfair hit box I’ve seen in all of gaming. Platforms sometime move at breakneck speeds and can be unfairly invisible so you have to guess when jumping over lava pits. The worst part – the player is not equipped to handle any of these gameplay hazards and remains horribly underpowered throughout the entire game. Armed only with a loose jump and standard sword attack (you cannot attack while ducking either), you will see the game over screen quickly and with authority. In fact, this game is impossible to beat even if you milk the newly implemented rewind feature or save states.
Knowing that this game is frustratingly unfair, the devs included an invincibly toggle on the main menu along with an option to instantly have maxed out gold. Once I activated these helpful cheats, I immediately had more fun with the entire experience even though the limited upgrades don’t really alter gameplay. Like their other retro releases mentioned above, there are a few screen border options, the included scans of the manual, game, and case are a nice touch, and the entire game has been translated into English. Unfortunately, the English text during the ending cutscene is horribly glitched and illegible. Perhaps this can be fixed with a future patch.
When I first started playing, as you can see from my embedded stream here in this article, I gave it the old college try and quickly realized just how difficult this game is. When I ended the stream, I went back and activated the invincibly mode, then managed to clear all the stages, earn all the Achievements, and see the glitched ending. While it is far from being the best game ever made, I am glad I had the opportunity to experience such an interesting and forgotten gaming relic. But, man, is this game a product of its time. The soundtrack though, is excellent.
Not As Original As: Mega Man’s origin story
Better Than: playing the original release without invincibility, rewind, save states, and English text
Wait For It: another forgotten PC Engine game to get re-released on modern console – keep’em coming!
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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