Shadow Of The Beast 2 (aka Beast 2 and abbreviated as SOTB 2) is the second game of the Shadow Of The Beast saga. The game was released in 1990 for the Amiga, Atari ST, Sega Mega Drive and later for the Sega CD.
STORY / GAMEPLAY After defeating Maletoth on the first game and gaining back your human nature and body, you return to your homeland Karamoon to lead a peaceful life. But the demonic forces won't just let go of the fact that you killed Maletoth. Zelek, a powerful dragon-looking beast enters your village and kidnaps your baby sister to use her as a "Messenger" replacement for the Beast Lord! This is where your quest begins, to find and bring your sister back and ultimately kill Zelek! On the way, you will be called to fight against more than 100 types of evil minions and monsters that are now out to avenge their master's loss. In each visually stunning level, there are many puzzles for you to solve and proceed further to your final goal and the intense action makes things even harder. SOTB 2 is a good but very difficult -and sometimes frustrating- game. It's particularly hard to finish it since your energy level (presented in a bottle) can easily deplete after taking some hits! Your main weapon is some kind of a chained mace that can kill an enemy from a pretty safe distance since the chain is quite long. This is a positive aspect compared to the first game where you had to engage in full-contact fight (with your fists).
GRAPHICS / SOUND The Mega Drive's visuals fare quite well compared to the original -and amazing- Amiga game, though the impressive opening intro of your sister's kidnapping is missing (which is odd if we consider the console's power!) The game uses 64 colors on screen (pretty close to the Amiga version that runs in EHB mode with 64 colors max on screen), making the game look really nice and -sometimes- better than the original. The sprites are also great and identical to the Amiga and the animation runs with not a single issue. Note that the Sega CD version differs from the Mega Drive as it uses more colors and more details, it offers better backgrounds and far crispier sound (due to the CD Audio). Aurally, the Mega Drive version's tunes are good but comparably inferior to the Amiga's original version. I liked the sound FX though!
OVERALL This game is technically good and, compared to its predecessor, SOTB 2 is a much better conversion for the Mega Drive console.
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
Amiga (original version)
Megadrive (EU) / Genesis (Jap)
CPU: Motorola 68000 at 7.16 MHz in PAL, 7.67 MHz in NTSC / Secondary Zilog Z80 at 3.55 MHz in PAL, 3.58 MHz in NTSC MEMORY: Main: 64Kb RAM + 8Kb / Video RAM: 64Kb / Audio RAM 8Kb GRAPHICS: VDP Chip: 256x224, 320x224, 256x240, 320x240 / 512 colors (1536 using shadow-highlight mode),64 x 9-bit words of color RAM, 4 lines of 15 colors plus transparent, allowing 61 on-screen colors / Sprites: Up to 64 on-screen, 16/20 per line, 256/320 pixels per line, per-sprite priority / Interlace Mode 1 (no increase in resolution and Mode 2 (2x vertical resolution) SOUND: Main: Yamaha YM2612 @ 7,16MHz with six FM channels, four operators each / Secondary: TI SN76489 with 4-channel PSG + 3 Sq Wave channels.