Games | NES | Shatterhand

Article by Anthony Rogers? | December 13, 2010


Developer: Natsume
Publisher: Natsume
U.S. Release: 1991
Format: NES

Rumor has it that not every single person on the planet likes Shatterhand. In fact, many of them haven’t even played it! How something titled “Shatterhand” doesn’t instantly appeal to every single person is a mystery, but that’s apparently the bleak future that has become the grim today.

In fact, this present future is almost as bleak as the distant year 2030, where any rookie Bronx cop can lose his arms in a skirmish against the rogue military group Metal Command at the drop of a hat. Luckily for (slightly older) us, that rookie happened to be Steve Hermann, a brave soul that attached cybernetic arms and took the codename Shatterhand.

The Shatterhand game -- based, naturally, on the future adventures of that lone badass -- is a sidescroller in which the player punches the hell out of anything that moves, up to and including enemy bullets. Furthermore, by collecting different combinations of special a and b power ups, the player can call forth different robot sidekicks to shoot, slice, and punch the bad guys. (Think of it as a precursor to the systems in Gunstar Heroes or Contra 4 and you’re on the right track.)

To reiterate: Shatterhand is a game about a disabled (re-abled?) cyborg in the not-too-distant future that uses Greek letters to summon robots and kick ass. It’s also got very tight controls and catchy music. Oh, and it has a Mega Man-style level select system, too.

You know what? Forget about good writing, or balanced opinion; Shatterhand is probably one of the best games ever, and it’s a shame it arrived too late to get the recognition it deserved.

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