Cyber Citizen Shockman review

by on June 26, 2023

I will always get behind a good archaic retro title, be it a localisation or a brought-back-to-life effort like Clockwork Aquario. Cyber Citizen Shockman certainly falls right into my wheelhouse in this regard, being a renamed, remastered version of a 90s Turbografx game never before seen in the West.

The series as a whole was not exactly groundbreaking in terms of dynamic platforming, but did stand out due to the anime-inspired characters. Whilst it’s sequel had more of a straight up Rockman/Mega Man feel, the first game in Winds platforming mini-saga is more of a scrolling hack and slash platformer, with a nice structure that allows you to choose your destination through the game using a Super Mario World-esque map.

Cyber Citizen Shockman

You play the role of one of male/female due Tasuke or Kyapiko, who have been given crazy cyborg fighting upgrades by a mad scientist, so that they can take on the nefarious the rogues gallery of classic baddies. There are Gundam style robots, cybernetic monkeys (a real mainstay in games of the time, see Strider and King of the Monsters if you need further evidence) and even one dude who looks like a knock off of Darth Vader. Beating stages and rescuing citizens in distress allows you to buy stuff in shops to upgrade your character. But each boss you take down will also give your hero a permanent upgrade too – such as an improved energy bar, or boosted defence.

The stages look like you would expect from a 1989 PC Engine game – decent pixel art, some interesting, if heavily recycled enemy sprites and bosses, some of which have really lovely designs. The music is very much of its era, but suits the action perfectly. There is a two player coach co-op, and some lovely comfort options such as the now-standard scanline filter mode.

So far, so good….except for the fact that, sadly, the game just isn’t a very good one. The problems surface immediately and tell you that you are in for a bad time. The physics are all to-cock, with the inertia of movement an absolute pain. Acceleration is slow but once you do build any momentum it is hard to slow down. Dinky little platforms and this kind of setup are a terrible mix, and negotiating even the most simple level can be a traumatic lesson in pain. Throw into the mix some of the most outrageous collision detection I have experienced for many moons, and you have a game that is hard to recommend to anyone but the most hardcore PC Engine fans out there.

Cyber Citizen Shockman

But then, thinking about it, this kind of title and its annoying unpolished controls were ten a penny back in 1989, and I would have probably still played it to death just out of sheer determination and spite. I can remember other platformers around then having similar issues, with the NES Turtles game being a prime suspect; and I must have spent weeks on that excruciating mess.

So what I am saying is, this is a great little piece of history, a gaming museum piece, and a labour of love that deserves a bit of respect, even if it is a pain in the arse at times. For the meagre asking price, you get some nice artwork and renderings of the original packaging and manual, the aforementioned filter and screen curvature options, and even have the ability to rewind gameplay which, admittedly, does take the sting out of some of the more precarious, anxiety inducing leaps of faith. But all told, if it’s better gameplay you want, then track down the far superior sequels.


Nice old school graphics
Some decent quality of life options


Platforming is awful

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Cyber Citizen Shockman is a gaming museum piece, and a labour of love, but if it's gameplay you want, then track down the far superior sequels.