8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
For those who like an RPG a little... different,
This review is from: Shadow Hearts: Covenant (PS2) (Video Game)
I'll be honest, all that turgid, earnest, heartfelt Final Fantasy rubbish leaves me cold. If I'm going to role play I like something a little bit... nastier. The original Shadow Hearts was like a collision of all the stuff I like best in an RPG and threw in some extra oddities to surprise and delight aside.
The judgement ring, for example, which mediates the power of your attack by giving you a little quick on the X button rhythm action when it comes your turn to damage deal is an excellent innovation, that makes you feel more in control during a battle. The additions to this excellent feature in Shadow Hearts: Covenant are made with an assured finesse and are, importantly, entirely optional for the traditionalists in the audience. The judgement ring has always been my favourite battle mediator. Seeing it spin to attention and await my itchy thumb was like welcoming an old friend.
Also returning is the early 20th century Europe roaming scenario backed up with a kind of Lovecraftian mythology, weird monsters and pretty magic making. In addition we get plenty more bizarre carry on style banter which is kinda weird in the overall context of the game. Again as a feature of Shadow Hearts its inclusion in this game is like welcoming back an odd but well loved companion.
So what of the plot? Well, after a little bit of combat tutorialing at the beginning your opening gang is soon sorted out and in the lead is a young man original fans will remember called Yuri "I'm a Harmonixer so don't mess" Hyuga. Off you go on a quest to Wales (don't ask) to try to work out why an evil cult has decided that Yuri must die.
Don't know what happens after that but I've been tramping around abandoned Paris Metro tunnels unlocking fusion souls (which Yuri loses before he becomes a playable character) and getting to grips with the new refinements to the combat system. I would recommend having a pad ready because someone at Shadow Hearts central still thinks it is cool to map. The combat is sparky and the classes of magic (Fire, Earth, Air, Water, Light and Dark) are all pretty much as we remember them from before.
Basically, the central mechanic of the game has been honed and the story telling remains as compelling as before. I will be looking forward to 40 hours worth of Covenant. RPG wise, things couldn't be better for me right now.
Roll on Shadow Hearts 3!
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Initial post: 16 Sep 2013 21:35:22 BDT
Terry 309 says:
you should finish or at least come close to finishing a game before reviewing it
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