Sunday, January 24, 2010

Shockman (Schbibin Man 2)


Schbibin Man 2 retains the charge-up method of attack featured in its predecessor but ditches swordplay in favor of MegaManish run-and-shoot action. Indeed, that this is a PCE game so prominently featuring the MM style (the resemblance goes beyond basic combat elements) makes it a novelty unto itself...

...but its many huge bosses are hardly clones of the midget men fought by the old blue bomber.

There are even some sidescrolling shooter stages included, and while they feel a little sloppy, they do play well enough to serve as satisfying, nice-looking change-of-pace boards.

The visuals are nice throughout the game, in fact, though some areas are prettier and less repetitive in backdrop design and foreground layout than others. The music is good, as per the norm for this series. But the best part of all might be the fairly high level of difficulty. The game gets quite tough as you near its conclusion and definitely provides those who conquer its challenges with a well-deserved feeling of accomplishment.

I certainly like all of that stuff. What I don't like very much is the floaty gameplay. Sure, Schbibin 2 plays better than its forerunner, but it still leaves plenty of room for improvement, and you might find yourself frustrated while attempting to get through tight parts that call for careful advancement.

Despite its gameplay issues, Schbibin Man 2 earns a spot amongst the recommendable PCE action games. It's hardly extraordinary, but one can see in it signs of creative potential, the origins of ingenious ideas that were eventually realized in the brilliant Schbibin Man 3.

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