Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Fists of Men?

Having no prior experience with the first game, I went in to Shadow Fight 2 totally blind. Which, I suppose, kind of makes sense. You know… because everyone’s a shadow. But while I was extremely impressed with the fluidity of the animations and the detail on the character silhouettes, that all quickly gave way to frustration as I found myself fighting the controls more than my opponents.

When the nameless protagonist is somehow reduced to nothing more than a mere (and literal) shadow of his former self, he’ll have to fight to get it back. And I mean really fight for it. All sorts of demons and henchmen stand is his way, and none of them want to make it easy. Fortunately he’s a reasonably proficient fighter – at least, he’s getting there. That’s where you come in.

Shadow Fight 2

Shadow Fight 2 plays much like a traditional fighting game, only combat is a bit slower and there’s steady character progression. As you beat down other shadows, or even get beat down yourself, you’ll earn money that can be spent on better equipment. Better equipment will give you better odds against tougher opponents, which will in-turn allow you to earn even more money for even better gear.

The ever-present cycle of earning better stuff to fight nastier bad guys to earn better stuff and so on is about as as big a driving force as you’d expect – which is to say it’s downright compulsory.

The overall style in Shadow Fight 2 is also exceptional. The backgrounds look very nice, certainly, but the smoothness and extensive variety to the animations of the various combat styles is hypnotic. Fabric sways, limbs snap with a believable force, and it’s incredibly easy to imagine all of this happening in three dimensions despite everything being a single silhouette. The way the game sometimes slows down dramatically as a finishing blow connects (or just narrowly misses) is just gravy.

Shadow Fight 2

What’s unfortunate about all of this is way the virtual stick doesn’t always do what I want it to do. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if the move sets weren’t so varied, but when I try to perform a sweep and end up rolling backwards instead, or do a jump kick when I meant to do a roundhouse it can be very frustrating. Especially in a game like this, where timing and precision strikes and incredibly important. Incidentally, the way that some of these moves have a tendency to come up short quite often also drains a bit of the fun out of each fight.

Even with the occasional control issues and often times frustrating tendency for moves to miss entirely, it’s hard not to recommend Shadow Fight 2. Personally I think it’s worth checking out just for the animations themselves, but there’s also a reasonably entertaining fighter behind them. Just make sure to bring your Zen with you.