If you’re looking for a fighting game on your Android or iPhone, this is a really good place to start. It has the full package: gorgeous visuals, deep game play, and a soundtrack that is reminiscent of Mortal Kombat II.

Shadow Fight 2 is so named because through some silly back story, you end up as a shadow. However, everyone you fight is also a silhouette even though they’re not shadows. That silly set up aside, the silhouette look of the game is unique and would be the result of Limbo spliced with Soul Calibur.

As a shadow, you have to go and kill a bunch of demons you accidentally unleashed when you became a shadow. It’s not the strongest story, but it’s not different from a wandering vagabond fighter battling other fighters in streets around the world and practicing dragon punches under a waterfall.

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The lack of textures and colors on the characters not only gives the game a unique look, but also allows the devs to animate them with incredible detail. The kicks and slashes move with great fluidity, and you’ll recognize a lot of these moves from your favourite kungfu movies. My particular favorite is the forward double punch move for the staff: you slam it to the ground so hard it bounces up and then you catch it in mid-air and reverse thrust it into your opponent’s head.

Also, wait till the nunchucks and the ball and chain come out. You’ll find it hard to believe that mobile games can be animated this well and feature such realistic physics simulations.

The weapons give the game depth. For simplicity, all the moves are the same. You have a forward attack, an up attack, and so on. There are no charge moves, no quarter circle motions. But each weapon does different types of attacks with each move. The aforementioned staff attack when done with a katana triggers a dashing slash, or a 3-hit combo for the nunchucks. Learning each weapon and the timing and placement of their attacks is key to your success.

In that sense, while you’re only ever playing the same character it will feel different for almost every weapon.

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Speaking of characters, bonus points for not over sexualizing the female characters. They look like actual ninjas and warriors, not a porn star with a sharp dildo (although someone in act IV does look like Jessica Nigri in a ninja outfit). The enemies sometimes even refer to each other in the pre-battle dialogue. The story is still almost nonexistent, but kudos for trying to breathe life into the characters with some effort in writing.

There are different types of fighting scenarios to go through in the game. You have the main storyline enemies, survival mode, duels where you fight with random weapons and challenges that handicap you in some way, like no kicking or automatically losing if you’re knocked off your feet.

Lastly, the music reminds me of Mortal Kombat II and that’s never a bad thing.

It’s a game that has IAP, so there will be some limitations. Each fight will cost you one point of energy whether you win or lose, and energy is regained every few minutes or so. Weapons and armor require gold to purchase, and higher level ones require a lot.  Some of the exotic weapons require gems to unlock.

Unsurprisingly, energy, gems and gold can be bought with real world money. Surprisingly, the game isn’t so ridiculously unbalanced that you have to.

I’m in the 4th act now and I’ve never had to spend (although I did buy some gems to get the vanity armor that makes your silhouette look like Scorpion from Mortal Kombat). Survival mode is the best place to grind for gold, and will also give you more game time for the same energy cost. Last long enough and you’ll even regenerate energy by the time your survival game ends.

This is a really fun game, and you owe it to yourself to try it out. Some of the bosses will frustrate you with their difficulty, but it’s mostly a fun romp that doesn’t require an active Internet connection.

Get it from Google Play or the App Store.


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Review overview

Gameplay9
Story7.5
Presentation7
Value9.5

Summary

If you're looking for a fighting game on your Android or iPhone, this is a really good place to start. It has the full package: gorgeous visuals, deep game play, and a soundtrack that is reminiscent of Mortal Kombat II. It's a really fun game, and you owe it to yourself to try it out.

8.3
Drew

Drew

Drew used to be a professional videogame reviewer, then he took an adulthood arrow to the knee. Now he is a content strategist, helping brands tell their stories without resorting to overused videogame memes.