#560 – Shatterhand

That’s gotta hurt so good.
David Arquette finally loses it.
That green vest is money.




GENRE: Action

RELEASE DATE: December 1991

In Shatterhand, you play a man – let’s call him Biff ShatterPow – whose hands can literally cripple nations. Or at least shatter them. It’s no exaggeration to say that Biff’s hands do almost all of the work in this difficult action platformer. Punch, uppercut, and thrust your way through seven levels of mechanical mayhem, mayhem, MAYHEM. Shatterhand’s not groundbreaking, but it employs enough unique ideas to warrant a playthrough.

The first level introduces you to Shatterhand‘s concepts; namely, using your hands and only your hands to destroy everything in your way. At first, you feel like a regular Schwarzenegger/Stallone hybrid, toppling metallic towers and taking down large robot walkers with just a few simple punches. But even Biffs need a helping (shatter)hand, and that’s where your levitating robot buddies can assist. After acquiring three tablets with the alpha/beta insignia, a robot will appear above you and perform a certain task, depending on the tablet inscription and the order in which they were collected. Let’s say you got two alpha tablets and one beta tablet in that order: the robot would fire a diagonal stream of lasers directly in front of you. There are eight different kinds of robot buddies, some more useful than others (the Flamethrower robot is too much of a pain in the heat of battle). They take damage just like you, but if you keep them out of harm’s way, they will stick with you throughout the level. Also, enemies drop either small or large gold coins. Use the coins at different white platforms throughout the level to either purchase health, power-up your punch, or give you an extra life.

Shatterhand is based on a live-action television series in Japan called “Super Rescue Solbrain.” The original Famicom version – entitled Tokkyuu Shirei Soul Brain –actually stars a robot instead of a man with a strong shatter hand. This makes a lot of sense, given the protagonist’s insane strength. The game is probably fun in either incarnation, but strangely, I think the American version is the more ridiculous of the two, at least in conception. After playing a million and a half action platformers on the NES, very few stand out as fresh or original. Shatterhand is different, and you should totally play it.


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11 replies on “#560 – Shatterhand”

Why do you gave this game a B+ ?, this is one of those hard games that we need to be in the actual consoles and am really know what am talking about cause this year I purchased my copy of this one.

In my personal opinion it deserves an A, not only for the hard and well designed of the stages and enemies, we are talking about Natsume as the developer of this game and both of us know that is an excellent company we are talking about anyway is only my personal opinion and I do respect yours, that’s why am purchasing some of my Nes games based in your opinion, keep the good work sir.

Just because a game is developed by a specific company does not entitle it to greatness. Case in point: Natsume developed and published Casper for the SNES and it was garbage.

Shatterhand was developed by Natsume, who is known now by their Harvest Moon games. Who would have thought they had titles like this in the past. It’s a shame that Natsume doesn’t even have this game, Shadow of the Ninja, or SCAT on their website as one of the nes titles they made in the past.

Indeed Shadow of the Ninja is awesome, for me it’s a must have game the one that I can’t still purchase is the SCAT but have to get my copy of it before the price will go even higher.

In reference to the rest of this thread… I, too, believe Shatterhand deserves a solid A. Fantastic music, excellent controls, *very* unique gameplay features (some of which it looks like you might have missed… if you have a robot and get that same roboto again in the next sequence, it disappears and YOU powerup into a robotic thing for a bit), reasonable difficulty, solid level design and nice graphics. I list it as my favorite game on the system by a mile, but my bias ends there. Not many people can deny the above attributes, and if that doesn’t have “A” rating written all over it, then I don’t know what does. Couldn’t give a rat’s arse who made the thing… it’s just that good.

I do enjoy this game, but always thought the title is stupid. Makes it sound like he has really fragile hands, which isn’t that inspiring. Why not just call it “Dainty-hands” or “Fairy-fingers”?

While we’re celebrating the Natsume connection, didn’t they also do the Pocky ‘n’ Rocky / Kikikaikai series, or at least the SNES iterations? Those were bloody awesome.

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