Review by Hjjf 309

Reviewed: 01/10/03 | Updated: 01/10/03

The great adventures of Lampshade!

Introduction: This game is awesome! It's another one of them games that are basically hidden gems in the NES game collections. This game is extremely good. One would think that it would be very popular, and although it probably has a silent following, it's still very under-rated.

Graphics: The graphics in Nightshade are nice. Everything is a little fuzzy, and lacks the type of detail you might want, but it's still nice. When someone talks to you, a close-up picture of there face appears beside the dialog box. The people look pretty detailed in this box, but unfortunately, most of them are clone's. For an example, all the women look the same, they just have different colors of hair. But it's an old nintendo game.. What do you expect?

Play Control: Nightshade is half menu-based, and half fighting game.. I know that's a weird mix. There is no problems with the play control. When your walking around talking to people, and looking for clues, you can press a button to bring up a courser. You can then move it around and click on stuff to see what interesting things nightshade will have to say about an object. When you press select, you bring up a menu of things that allow you to interact with your surroundings. This includes ''Pick up'' for taking items, and ''Talk'' for talking to people you meet. When you fight an enemy, you use buttons to jump, and punch, and duck.

Music: The music is dark, eerie, and fits the game perfectly! It's suspenseful, too! You can't go wrong with eerie suspense.

Sound effects: Not many at all. Some ''Punch'' sounds when you fight people. That's about it.

Story: A cool story, but not the most original. You are Nightshade. Not to be mistaken with a lamp shade. You live in Metro City, a place that used to be safe and happy. Because it had a resident super hero, Vortex. Not to be mistaken with a vacuum cleaner. Soon however, crime got out of hand, and Vortex was out-numbered. He was killed, and soon Metro City was a city of crime, and crime lord's fought over control of the city. Nightshade knew he had to do something. he had to take Vortex's place and stop the crime. In the mean time, some megalomaniac named Sutekh is gathering all of the gangs into his own power. He is Nightshade's arch rival!

Gameplay: Nightshade is like no other game I have ever played, and probably ever will play. At the start of the game, you are tied up on a chair, with a bomb behind you. You will see this game is different right from the start. You must move around on the chair to get away from the bomb, and then go up against a candle to burn the ropes. Well, I found it impressive. From here on, you explore your area by pointing and clicking. You take items, find secret passages, ect, ect. Finally, you will escape the sewers and go into big Metro City! This is the ''Overworld''. It's very large, and there is a lot to do and see. You explore it by pointing and clicking, as well. You will find people around to talk to, that will give you clues, or just make fun of you. You will also find bad guy's wondering around the city. When you walk into one, you go into battle! A battle in Nightshade is like a fight in a one-screen fighting game. You both have life meters, and you both must jump, punch, and duck to fight your way to victory. One of the coolest features in the game is the ''Popularity System.'' As you do nice things, like help old ladies', and save people from burning buildings, you build your popularity. Some people will only talk to you if you have high popularity. Some things can lower it, too. The main goal of the game is to find and defeat the four main crime boss's of Sutekh's, but there are lot's of other things to do, too. There is also a lot of humor in this game. Like people always calling you ''Lamp Shade''.

Challenge: The game is hard. The city is large, and there is a lot to explore. The puzzles can be very difficult 'till you figure them out. The fighting scenes are also very hard. Perhaps the most challenge in the game comes from fighting some of the enemies'. Another interesting thing is that if you run out of life, Sutekh captures you and puts you in some crazy trap. If you can figure out how to stop it and escape, you are allowed to continue with the items you collected thus far.

Replay Value: This game is great! Even if you do beat it eventually, it's likely that you will want to play again. There is a lot of things to interact with, and you might have missed things the first time around.

Rating Chart:
Graphics: 7 / 10
Play Control: 8 / 10
Music: 6 / 10
Sound Effects: 5 / 10
Story: 8 / 10
Gameplay: 10 / 10
Challenge: 8 / 10
Replay Value: 9 / 10
Overall: 9 / 10

Final Word: This game is great. From what I've seen, it's pretty rare, too. If you are lucky enough to come across this gem of a game, get it! Although some may disagree, I don't think up to 40 dollars is too much for this game. It's not common, you probably won't see it again if you pass it up, and besides the rarity, it's worth the money! It's one of the funnest yet probably the most under rated of the later NES games to be released.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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