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Shadowrun – Sega Genesis

Shadowrun – Sega Genesis

Shadowrun_BoxPlatform: Sega Genesis

Developers: FASA Studio, Sega

Publishers: SEGA

Release Date: 1994

Genre:  RPG, Action

Nerd Rating: 6.75 out of 10

Reviewed by LifeShowChris




Wow!  That is all I have to say.  Can we have a quick chat about Shadowrun?  I think everyone needs to take a step back. If you feel that there is an RPG game that you may have missed over the years, it is Shadowrun.  I first learned of this game on the Sega Channel and that is what was so disappointing.  With Sega Channel I had no ability to save, because my parents didn’t allow me to leave the system on!  Can you fucking imagine playing a Cyberpunk RPG game without being able to save?  Holy shitsticks Batman, THAT SUCKS!  Now if you were fortunate enough to go out and own this game, then you were able to save, but when it came to the Sega Channel, it was a lot more difficult.  That is why I am glad I finally got to own, download, the game.  That is right, I played this game on an emulator and it still was good.  So if I can recommend anything at all, it is to download an emulator for your tablet or laptop, buy a $10 Bluetooth controller, and download this game.  And if you are fortunate enough to still own a Sega Genesis, then buy the game on eBay or Amazon, and play it.  Play it until your fingers burn!  Play it until you aren’t even able to press the buttons!  JUST PLAY IT!

This is a review so I don’t plan on giving a whole lot away about the game as far as spoilers, but you start off investigating why your brother has died.  Your starting point is a motel with a creepy old man that looks like his face has been bludgeoned.  Evidently, your brother has some items that are still there but he owes 250 yen and you can’t get the items until you pay up.  In this game, it is going to cost you to do just about everything.  The good news, the clips for your guns are universal and only 25 yen.  The bad news, the gun you start with is a pea-shooter and you are slow.  This means that when the gangs or ghouls are after you, they will be on you like flies on shit and with no time to turn around, you will be running forever.  By the way, when the bad guys hone in on you, you immediately begin to run like you are running through sand and you move much slower than normal making it very difficult to get away.  Tip #1 that I will give away, spend karma first on your speed, you will be forever thankful that you did.  Also, before you go spending money on ANYTHING, save up and buy a good gun.  Preferably, the Predator heavy pistol.  Once you have done this, you will need to find a Mr. Johnson, and he isn’t going to pimp your ass out, just your life.  You are going to perform shadowruns in exchange for yen.  Doing a shadowrun is like running an errand in the beginning of the game.  You will find yourself doing an abundant amount of escorting or delivering packages from point a to point b.  It can get somewhat tedious with the small amounts of money you get paid paired with the outrageous costs of items.  The coolness of those items, however, will keep you running for your Mr. Johnson’s, and for the money.  Did I mention you have to pay for EVERYTHING?


Matrix? Or is this The Lawnmower Man?

After the excitement of this all wears off it will turn out to be the same thing over and over again whether it be attacking the matrix, helping destroy some ghouls, or freeing someone who does not want to be a part of the corporate empire.  Some of these will get rather difficult and they vary enough to stay entertaining, but be sure you are well equipped before taking on some of the missions.  Also, make sure your cyberdeck is good enough before going into some of the higher paying matrix missions.  You also will recruit people throughout the game whether they are hackers, mages, or other street samurai.  By the way, those are your three classes which you get to choose one before starting the game.  Tip #2 I will give away, you can level up to hacker as a samurai, but a mage cannot be a samurai.  I forgot the tip, oh right, pick the samurai, your life depends on it.  Now get back to running and making that yen.

If not for your own sanity, then do it for your brother!

If not for your own sanity, then do it for your brother!

The Great, the Good, the Bad of Shadowrun

Alright, now it is time to get into the good, the great, and the bad of Shadowrun.  First of all, lets talk about the mood of the game and the graphics.  We are talking about a generally dark, and dingy Seattle that reeks of post-apocalyptic grunge and no doubt evilness.  There is a certain crumbling of the background graphics and mood set by the lighting of the game that just keeps you on the seat of your pants.  Travelling through the streets and alleyways are a sure fire way to get beat to a bloody pulp, lose some of your yen, and have to start your trek over.  As you progress through the game though you will also find yourself in some of the swankiest joints around town.  Here the lighting will be cranked up a bit and the walls will still be in one piece, albeit, they should still be riddled with bullet holes.  You will also find yourself traversing your way around using escalators with pretty little green plants at the tops and bottoms.  Trust me, this doesn’t do much for your need to feel safe as you will quickly be back in the slums doing your next run.  Shadowrun runs with a top-down perspective and character cut-screens for chat.  It has a Grand Theft Auto feel mixed with a less-apocalyptic futuristic Fallout type feel, even down to your PDA that you use to track runs, the mission, and your equipment.  The guns have good images whether it be a pistol, SMG, or shotgun.  I only played as the samurai but the images of the other characters vary enough to keep you interested in the next NPC you meet.  I overall feel that the graphics of this game were pretty good if you want a futuristic Bladerunner-esque feel with a game that is exhilarating at first and somewhat tedious when you are 3-4 hours into it.  However, the graphics shouldn’t let you down throughout that entire experience, even if your gaming abilities do.

shadowrun_genesis01The sound on the other hand is just decent.  It isn’t overwhelming and it isn’t absolute crap.  There is a cool female voice when travelling through the matrix and outside of that there is gunshots and other ambient noise.  Sound for changing moods and sounds for completing tasks and moving the plot forward.  Nothing to write home about and nothing to piss on here in the review.  The sound is what it is and we will leave it at that.

The game really excels with the shadowrun aspect as well as the plot line.  Finding new people who know something about your brother’s death and balancing that with going on more runs to get the yen to upgrade your stuff can be somewhat frustrating.  I found myself spending much more time attempting to get more yen to upgrade my stuff as opposed to following the plot line behind why my brother died.  To be honest, I stopped caring why he died at all and just wanted more yen.  When I thought I had enough yen, I would find a new shop somewhere that had a different program for the matrix and then I would need the yen to buy that.  I felt very much like a yen addict waiting to get his fix to purchase the newest silencer, or sight, for my Predator pistol.  The shadowrun’s don’t hurt either, they can be fun and challenging while ever-changing.  This is because you may come across a vampire or crazy mental patient, or even a guy selling grenades.  Will you attack?  Help?  or run away?  Attacking could be disastrous and you could fail your run, however, you could be in for a big pay day and that is what keeps you running.


Keep an eye out for any creepy Mr. Johnsons in the booth’s!

Overall, I loved the game for hours before it became tedious, but considering there weren’t many games like Shadowrun at that time, and probably not even a whole lot of games with 4+ hours of pure gaming, I think it definitely holds its own.  There are some awesome concepts in the game that could have been done a little better, but that is why I play games, not make them.  I think the plot offers enough of a story although try not to get lost doing runs non-stop.  If you can stay focused and see the game through, then you will be rewarded.  But if you find it fun just killing things and making yen, then more power to you!  Either way, the game is enjoyable and I would recommend it to any gamer.  With that being said, check out Shadowrun.  I give it a 6.75, but I can’t rate it any higher simply because it does eventually get tedious and leveling up your character in the beginning feels the same.  Regardless of how you feel about the game overall, you will hate the first 1/2 hour, love the next 2-3 hours, and probably be sick of it after that, but those 2-3 hours are worth it!

Written by Nerd Bacon

Nerd Bacon


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