Shadowrun is a classic Super NES/ Genesis RPG game with a bizarre, but thoroughly enjoyable plot. The game takes place in a futuristic world controlled by corporations (I know, this sounds like a well-used idea, but the game manages to seamlessly mix firearms and spell casting within a complex story line). You begin as Jake Armitage, a man with no memory who was mistaken for dead and left at the morgue. In order to find out who you are and how you got there, you must find clues (like scraps of paper with phone numbers), interact with other characters (using keywords you acquire as you talk to more and more people), and fight your way through masses of cyberpunks, corporation hit men, and vampires, to name a few.
You can even download your consciousness into computers to steal valuable information and score cash to fund your character, which gives the game two different playing formats.
I don't want to spoil all the twists and turns the plot will take you on, but I can tell you that the game itself doesn't tire you out with pointless dialogue or fruitless missions. Each bit of information you gain progresses the story line, and in some cases allows you new items or access to new places. The characters and items themselves are inventive, such as a half female half fox hetman for hire who sings at a nightclub on the side. The main downside I found when playing the game was that
while most of the progression followed a logical point A to point B format, some parts were vague about what to do next. There were times in the game where I had to go back and retrace my steps, talking to each character again and searching everything for a missed item, which is a pain.
One word of advice on this (and a possible spoiler): When you're trying to get to the Jester Spirit's ship, ask the bartender in the club with the cat walk for an iced tea. He'll tell you that he's out of ice. This will allow a new person to appear in the club (I think he's identified as, A Busy Looking Man) and give you a new keyword, ice. Use the keyword "ice" when talking to him and he'll dump a ton of it in the water by the docks to get rid of the mermaids, which lets the boat driver take you to the ship (I told you the plot was bizarre).
While many people liken it to the Final Fantasy series by Square Soft, the game play is much more closely related to the diablo series by Blizzard Entertainment. The only difference is the items you use. The main bulk of the game has you equip yourself with guns and protective gear (and later on, magic) to fight enemies that repopulate within the full screen environment. The combination of guns and magic is so much fun; I'm not sure why more games don't have it. What compliments an Uzi better than a level five freeze spell? The interface doesn't allow you to move while you shoot, which is annoying, but as the game goes on, you'll get the hang of the best strategies for staying alive. Basically, click the trigger on, kill the nearest guys, click the trigger off, move, click the trigger on again, etc.
Money for gear is dropped by defeated enemies and found in certain computers that you can hack into. The computer hacking format is very simplistic (it's an overhead view of a bunch of connected squares). There aren't any enemies per se, but certain squares have 'booby traps' that lower your health. You need to travel across the squares until you get to the information file, download it, and head back to where you started (preferably the same way you came). This aspect of the game gets old quick, but overall, it's not used that often. You gain stat points to put into different attributes by gaining "karma" from killing enemies, allowing you to customize your character (The choices are lengthy, but the game difficulty allows for you to beat it without all your stats maxed). You have an inventory (which, thankfully, does not confine you with space limitations), and the standard health bar (though inexplicably, while you have a designated amount of magic points, no magic bar appears on the screen).
Perhaps the funniest aspect of the game is that you can hire certain characters to follow you for a period of time. There are a surprising amount of hirable characters for a 16-bit RPG, and the range of choices lets you pick from suit and tie mages to over-sized lizard gunmen. It would be nice if the characters could be hired permanently, or until they died, but unfortunately, based on who you hire, they will leave you after a specific amount of time. Also, while all of them have their own special strengths and weaknesses, towards the end of the game, none of them are strong enough to be very useful.
If you enjoy RPGs and you've managed to let this one slip by, I'd definitely recommend it. Even after playing through and beating it, it has solid replay value. I've played quite a few RPG games and I've never seen a story quite like this.