Shatterhand (Nintendo, Jaleco, 1991)
Shatterhand is a side scrolling action game much in the style and quality of the excellent Batman game by Data East. Shatterhand was published by Jaleco, but it was developed by Natsume. They also developed the awesome Shadow of the Ninja for NES and Ninja Gaiden Shadow for the Game Boy. The Famicom version of the game is actually the video game tie in to the TV show Super Rescue Solbrain, a Power Rangers style show, but in this one they are basically super cops and firefighters and whatnot.
In this game, you can punch bullets, which sounds a lot cooler than it looks. It’s difficult to time, but can save your life at times. There are little boxes spread out over each stage with either coins inside it, a grenade, or a robot part. Robot parts either show an alpha or a beta. After collecting three in any order, you gain a robot satellite. There are eight different combinations, and each one has a different weapon of some kind. They float around you and aid in attacking enemies. They can take damage, but they will be destroyed if they take too much. You can replace your companion with a different one, but if you collect the same robot again, it’ll give you robotic armor and you can punch flames out of your fists.
You can choose whatever level you want to, except for the last stage. There are some interesting gimmicks like some areas where gravity is reversed. There are plenty of stage hazards as well. The graphics look great, with interesting backgrounds and enemy designs. This game is totally worth playing. It’s a blast!