Shadow Force
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Technos
1993
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Technos' ambitious but relatively obscure beat-em-up Shadow Force contains a deceptive array of combat mechanics, making it more akin to a fighting game in many respects despite its side-scrolling levels and increasingly tough enemies and bosses. The game features a full six action buttons in the US release, which control high and low kicks and punches, jumping and the ability to possess enemies (the Japanese version has only three buttons and changes their commands, so check which version you're running). The latter ability is what really sets Shadow Force apart – when you activate the ability, you can inhabit many of the game's enemies, each of which has its own special abilities, adding a huge range of possible approaches to combat. Along with vibrant landscapes and sounds, it adds up to a challenging but memorable beat-em-up experience.

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