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Shadowrun [SNES]

Developer: Beam Software Publisher: Data East
May 1993
Shadowrun [SNES] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.55 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
62 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#2,044 All-time
#34 for 1993
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Releases 3
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1993 Beam Software Data East  
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XNA 0 13252 01102 1 SNS-WR-USA
1993 Beam Software  
Cartridge
GB 9 315973 020001 SNSP-WR-UKV
1994 Beam Software Data East  
Cartridge
JP SHVC-WR
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Shadowrun is charming and ambitious, but falls short. The scope of the game is impressive considering the hardware and date of release, RPGs in 1993 were still a generation away from the refinement that would produce classics like Fallout. And it has a serious vibe - some of the music tracks are excellent, and a lot of the narrative elements are pretty damn cool. And how about that opening cutscene and start screen??

But the combat is quite boring, there's not much more to it than place your crosshair on an enemy that's standing still and mash the shoot button for a few seconds.

And the design of the game's environments are pretty uninspired. You can tell by the opening cutscene (and the name) Blade Runner is a heavy influence. But Blade Runner achieved excellent set design at the street level, the city was cramped, dark, violent, detailed, intense, and full of unlife. For the most part, Shadowrun's environments lack these attributes. The streets are mostly empty and bereft of detail and thoughtful design. Some buildings and street sections did have some care put into them, but it's usually quite lacking. It's simply a dang shame that the artists weren't able to achieve the feeling that the game's cutscenes (such as the opening) have, though I'm guessing technical and budget constraints played a role here.

There are some other art assets in the game that are similarly lacking. NPC portraits are very frequently recycled and plainly look bad in some cases, and a few of the music tracks shouldn't have made it in to the game (the combat music! it's the most frequently recurring song and it's also the worst!)

The way the game progresses is not so well designed either. There are a few parts that really don't make sense, and I imagine that without a walkthrough on hand would lead to hours of frustration. There are instances you cannot pass if you failed to learn a keyword that is used to prompt particular NPCs into telling you something critical, but actually gathering these keywords is a guessing game, and so is using them. Searching for keywords is a real pain in the ass, you can ask every NPC with every keyword, and about 90% of the time, they have no answer, which is very tedious. The developers could have at least made this system a bit smoother.

Some more minor criticisms: while walking the streets, there is a constant barrage of assassins that attack you, probably included to compensate for the lacking environments, but they end up being nothing more than a nuisance pretty quickly. The hacking minigame looks and sounds so cool, but it takes about 5 seconds to figure out that there's nothing to it. Just walk straight to the objective and press "attack" every step. It looks like a puzzle / tactics game, but it just isn't.

Cyberpunk is a critical social commentary on "the decadence of industrial democracies" or "monopoly capitalism" or whatever. Shadowrun is no exception to this, the opening cutscene is a scary story about violent inhuman "megacorps" that run the world. They use up human beings like toilet paper. In the future, life means nothing to power. Beware. So the inclusion of fantasy risks being a bit of a mélange, being incoherent, and ultimately shallow. What are we to make of a social commentary with all of these heterogenous elements? What the hell do orcs, elves, zombies, and vampires have to do with computer networks and capital? There's a legitimate back story to this stuff in the board game, and, I think it half-works. We all know shamans, magic, vampires, zombies, spirits, and all that stuff is real anyway. I do think the orcs and elves don't quite fit though.

Despite all of this criticism, I still think Shadowrun is good. None of these things break the game, and its coolness really keeps it afloat. I mean have you heard the Morgue song? It's dark, heavy, dirty! And the actual plot , if you can follow it, is thrilling!
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Catalog

funkeh Shadowrun [SNES] 2024-04-16T03:20:35Z
2024-04-16T03:20:35Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dipthesillyme Shadowrun [SNES] 2024-03-23T23:22:29Z
2024-03-23T23:22:29Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FetteredPassKare Shadowrun [SNES] 2024-03-19T03:03:59Z
2024-03-19T03:03:59Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten Shadowrun [SNES] 2024-03-15T07:28:16Z
2024-03-15T07:28:16Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
QuodDixi3161 Shadowrun [SNES] 2024-03-03T14:02:53Z
2024-03-03T14:02:53Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Giann96 Shadowrun 2024-02-06T23:26:54Z
SNES • XNA
2024-02-06T23:26:54Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
21stCenturyDevil Shadowrun [SNES] 2024-01-17T01:57:14Z
2024-01-17T01:57:14Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dolu Shadowrun [SNES] 2024-01-17T00:48:39Z
2024-01-17T00:48:39Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
chikin Shadowrun [SNES] 2024-01-06T04:07:55Z
2024-01-06T04:07:55Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
hevykofe Shadowrun [SNES] 2024-01-04T06:05:24Z
2024-01-04T06:05:24Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
lunalunar Shadowrun [SNES] 2023-12-18T21:49:32Z
2023-12-18T21:49:32Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
vnianpurks Shadowrun [SNES] 2023-12-06T23:59:18Z
2023-12-06T23:59:18Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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Single-player
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  • Styl_oh 2018-09-11 19:16:15.610883+00
    this game seriously fucking rules
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  • HoustonMcGrit 2020-01-02 20:06:38.888011+00
    I never played this one on SNES but I was (and am) a massive fan of the totally different Genesis version so thanks to emulation and ROMs played this one years later. It took some getting used to since it's so different from my beloved Genesis version, but now I recognize it as being equally outstanding in a totally different way. Shadowrun rules.
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  • alliterativeAlpinist 2021-04-05 21:47:25.994504+00
    I wish I knew ROM hacking so that I could mod in SNES mouse support here
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    • Temon357 2023-05-06 16:47:29.256682+00
    • alliterativeAlpinist 2024-02-07 08:30:51.742826+00
      YOOOO
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  • calt 2021-07-02 21:40:59.264561+00
    Music is so good
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  • Agustinb3ab2 2021-07-21 15:54:30.409966+00
    I love the soundtrack. Dog controls your destiny.
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