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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 20 September 2017
pleased with the order arrived early pleased with the condition of the game it very good first time playing on the game love it pleased with the service excellent
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on 1 June 2017
Received today. Great game with good graphics
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on 17 February 2008
Despite being a massive fan of Shadow Hearts 1 and 2, 3 turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. Gone are the well-received cast from the previous games, something entirely expected but nonetheless disheartening as their replacements are not even on the same level.

You play Johnny Garland, a young boy in New York playing detective, who takes on a case that leads him into more trouble than he was banking on. The usual themes, of the forces of malice, bizarre characters coming together, and an around-the-world quest come quickly into play. The harmonixer this time around is Shania, who transforms into numerous godly creatures much like Yuri and Kurando.

After a fairly good beginning sequence in an atmospherically creepy abandoned theatre, the game loses steam and increasingly fails to impress, with plot, graphics and characters all pretty much bog-standard and lacking the charm of the previous games. The graphics seems rushed and unrefined, and despite a few pretty areas they are largely uninspiring. The environments are equally disappointing; non-combat areas are often unrealistically tiny and limited, while the combat areas themselves are all very similar, tedious and unimaginative. The dungeon puzzles of the previous games are no longer a challenge, but a frustrating impediment to your progress.

One of the series' continued strengths is the soundtrack, utterly unlike any other RPG I've played and mixed this time with some great tribal beats to reflect the Native American themes in the game. The voice acting is pretty good and does the job.

Since they're prominent in the reviews so far and certainly present in the game, I'll briefly cover the technical issues. I played it at 60hz and despite no crashing, the graphics were constantly leaping and twitching all over the place in battle. They are very glitchy, and so distracting at first I wondered if I'd got a dud copy. In the end, though, the issues are endurable, but they only lend weight to the rushed, unpolished feel of the game in general.

The story and characters themselves are also generally a let-down. Where the game tries to be serious it is failed by its silly and weak concepts, and where it tries to reinforce the trademark SH humour, it comes across as trying too hard. The staple 'bizarre' characters, like Hilda the fat vampire and Mao the giant cat, again just feel like someone trying too hard to be weird and fun, with little payoff. The one exception is Frank, the BrazEElian ninja. Quite possibly the most guffaw-worthy, hilarious and entertaining character in any RPG to date, and almost a selling point for this game in and of himself.

The main character, Johnny, feels too weak to carry the story until much later in the game, and besides her utterly unattractive personality, Shania is only in the game to get naked ~every time~ she transforms, be it in FMV, battle or a cutscene. As a woman playing the game I frankly got sick of the sight of her rather early on and was entirely put off using the fusion system at all, but besides a few key plot points you can probably manage without it. She's strong enough in her regular form and the battles are not exactly difficult - the difficulty level in general is really lax.

Ultimately, while I don't regret playing Shadow Hearts 3, it is annoyingly average, and the series' strengths are not very prominent in this one. I give it 3 stars because it wasn't ~bad~, but neither was it very memorable.
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on 12 July 2012
Ok, to start off I just want to say that I think people are way, way too harsh about this game.

Shadow Hearts I and II are extremely hard to live up to, so you've got to appreciate how difficult it is to create a game that will be just like those.

I've heard many people complain that Yuri was not the main character of this game. Now, I understand he is a much loved character, and I agree, but there's only so much you can do with his story. In I, the bad ending was canon. In II, the good ending was canon, so, in turn, it was actually the good ending that happened in II the second time around, as Yuri knew how to save Alice. So there's your happy ending for them.

What else could you do with him? He's been developed a decent amount and he's been fun to play with. I think it's only fair that they come up with a new main character.

I'll split the rest of the review up into various categories.

Graphics: I admit that the first time I started playing this, I was a little taken aback by the graphics. They were strange, and extremely bright and garish compared to what I was used to with the other two. But then I found that if you adjust the lighting settings on your tv, or play it on a different tv, it's fine. The FMVs are gorgeous as usual, and it's a great pleasure to see the amount of them increased from the previous games.

Gameplay: It sure is fun! There aren't too many, or too little battles. It requires a little grinding when it comes to the end if you're not into finishing the side quests, but that doesn't detract from the game too much. The battle system is fantastic, improved even more over the II, allowing for easier and more enjoyable battles, and a much stronger chance against the bosses which are difficult in this game compared to the other two.

Story: Ok, let's be fair on the story. Compared to the other two, there isn't much story to the game, yet it lasts long, however isn't boring. It may start off a little rocky and I myself was unsure whether I wanted to play this, however I gave it a chance, and it actually improves a lot as you go on. There are some touching and plenty of humorous moments which make this game have laughs yet a serious and emotional side to it. To be honest I didn't find II that dark, so I don't know what people mean when they say the third is nowhere near as dark as it. The first was very dark, however, but I think the second was a little lighter, and III the lightest. That's not to say there aren't sad or creepy parts to the game. Granted there are few, but it does happen.

Characters: These characters are just downright fun. Well, a few of them. It takes a while to become attached to them, but in the end, you'll find yourself caring for them and loving them like you would with any other game where you "raise" characters up through levels. I'll break it down into each character here.

Shania: I admit I don't like her very much, and I'm glad she's not the main protagonist. She seems rather moody and sassy, and doesn't seem to care for Johnny that much, when he cares for her a lot, as shown later in the game. She's rather weak for a Harmonixer, as all of her fusions are dark elements, and while some people see her as the best physical fighter, I disagree, there. I found myself keeping her out of the party about half way into the game to make way for characters I found more likeable.

Johnny: What a cute protagonist. I was sceptical about him at first, and wasn't sure whether I'd like him at all, but his goofy ways got to me and I found myself liking him more and more. I think it's a nice change that he starts off as a very weak character, as in the first two you start with Yuri who is automatically a great physical fighter with many advantages. It's interesting to see the main male as weaker, needing the female to protect him at the beginning, and therefore makes it more of an effort to train him up, therefore bringing you closer to him. He's a very sweet and hilarious character, and I think he makes a great main hero.

Ricardo: Again, I was sceptical. I didn't think I'd like him as much as I do. But I find his "muse" attacks and support moves extremely valuable to the party, and the nice little guitar tunes that play are very pretty and have a distinct sound to them. He has an interesting story, and a sad one, as he finds himself searching for revenge, but discovers many other things on the way.

Frank: Frank is damn hilarious. And adorable. If you use him, and you train him, he can easily be one of the best members of the party. His physical attack is strong, he can gather up a huge load of HP in the higher levels, and his ninja arts are actually extremely useful when used correctly. He's got a good heart, and is funny to boot, making him a very likeable character.

Hilda: Hilda is wonderful. The fact that she can take on three forms is unique and makes the gameplay a whole lot more intricate. What's great about her is you can change her to whichever suits your needs. If you want a great mage, go for slim Hilda. If you want a kick arse physical attacker, go for curvy Hilda. And if you want a good physical attacker who you're not worried about losing HP, go for the Pink Bat. The connection of her to the second game makes her that much more appealing, as I enjoy all of the Valentines and the fact that they appear in all three games.

Natan: I find his character quite boring to be 100% honest. I don't think there was much to his personality, and he's quite a background person. I took him out the party quite soon when I could.

Mao: A drunken female cat. Now that's what I'm talking about. She's hilarious and snarky, and can dole out some pretty fierce moves even when she's at a low level. I enjoyed her time in the party I had her, and I like her more than I thought I would as well.

Length: Now this game can last and LAST when you want it to. All the side quests chalk it up to at least 60 hours the first time around, otherwise it's a good 30-40 hours of gameplay if you just want to follow the story. I often see people complaining about RPGs being too short, and this certainly isn't. Yet it isn't too long, either. You have a choice to make it last or not.

Voice acting: Again, at first I was rather iffy about this, but it turns out this is better voice acting than most games out there. I think it was as good if not better than Shadow Hearts 2 voices.

Music: Oh, God. The music. The OST is still as mind blowingly gorgeous as ever, with "Dead Fingers Talk" and "Garland Detective Agency" ranking in some of my top VGM ever. It still has that lovely Shadow Hearts charm to it as well. Really wonderful sound work.

All in all, I find this game extremely fun, and I recommend it to everyone, Shadow Hearts lovers or people who've never played SH at all. You should give it a try.

I think the main problem is people didn't give this game a chance. If you just play through a while, I'm sure you'll find something about you enjoy. It picks up pretty fast after a few hours. Give it a shot.

A truly lovely game that has received way too much stick in my opinion. Try it out!
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on 13 October 2008
I was a bit apprehensive about this one as I had heard some dissapointing things said about it,ultimately it's not as polished or deep as Covenant but it's still a very good rpg.
Yes,Yuri's gone but I found Johnny Garland a decent enough 'replacement',likewise Shania for Karin.the graphics are slightly less polished than Covenant but since the game almost never came out that'a small price to pay.If anything the Judgement Ring is even easier to use this time and the 'Double/Combo'attacks are a welcome addition,The main story is very good although a teeny bit shorter than last time but it has just as many sidequests,some of which I didn't/couldn't do.
Saying that it still clocked in at over 60 hrs by the time I'd finished and I'd gladly start it again,in fact I have.
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on 6 November 2007
I played this game through at 60hrz no problem. Not so much as a glitch. If this is holding you back from buying the title, don't let it.

This entire game was absolutely hilarious. Sure it's not as dark as its predecessors, but it has the same tongue-in-cheek humour, mixed in with the purely silly. Every character is unique, each with their own side-missions and special abilities that need to be earned. The judgement ring now affects most everything you do and makes Shadow Hearts stand out from other RPGS.

What I enjoyed most was the variety in this game. If you didn't feel like smashing your way through a dungeon or solving a puzzle, then there are dozens of other mini-quests to be enjoying instead.

If you've played any Shadow Hearts games, you'll enjoy this one. If you haven't, get it and enjoy a new kind of RPG experience.
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on 21 August 2007
I've been a huge fan of the Shadow Hearts series, but "From the New World" is the weakest so far. I might be a little biased as I played it immediately after finishing Final Fantasy 12 and it just can't compare to that, but even so I remember having a far better time playing the first game and the sequel, "Covenant". The story of Yuri and Alice really made the first game memorable, and the second was almost as good, with Karin making a very sympathetic female lead. This time, however, I am not warming to any of them.

The story this time is a brand new one. A 16 year old called Johnny Garland has his own detective agency in New York (like all 16 year olds do), and one day a chance visit from a stranger begins a missing person hunt that leads to uncovering an evil force that threatens to wipe out the entire world. Along the way he gathers a team of new friends and so the stage is set for a typical RPG. Now, Shadow Hearts is famous for having off the wall characters and this time is no exception. I thought having the puppet master Gepetto and Princess Anastasia as part of your team in Covenant was whacky enough, but this time around you'll be joined by a giant drunken Kung-Fu cat, a kittenish female Vampire and a comedy Ninja. The trouble is that I'm having a harder time becoming attached to them in this game because they just don't seem to be original creations. Frank the Ninja is a direct copy of Joacim, with his weapon upgrades from found objects, and Hilda the childish and annoying vampire changes form between being fat, skinny or a bat in the same way that Keith and Joacim did. Shania the indian squaw can shape-shift into elemental fusion monsters like Yuri did, and characters learn new moves and spells by finding documents or manuscripts like Karin did. As this is supposed to be a completely new game, I found this amount of repetition in the characters to be very disappointing.

Another thing is that in this day and age, there is no excuse for the playable environments to be so small. New York is represented by four "boroughs", most with just one street and no visitable buildings. Go the wrong way or step off the kerb and you drift back to the world map, showing you how tiny each location is. There's no moveable camera and the scantest populations of NPCs to talk to in each place. The dungeons are little better, relegated to just a few rooms or stages, with no more than about three varieties of enemy in each. You can do each dungeon level and boss in a single sitting and it sometimes seems like the game is whizzing by. The game still plays with "alternative" versions of real places, but it doesn't impress much this time around, with Alcatraz prison and the Roswell UFO site being very lack-lustre.

There are some new ideas, but they are not all good. The stellar chart magic system is terribly clumsy and you have to navigate endless permutations of screens and options to set each character up with decent spells. Plus the stellar charts themselves have to be modified at shops to hold the better magic spells, which makes it even more of a bother. One good thing is that each character has unique abilities, which means that they are not endlessly interchangeable like in some RPGs (even in Final Fantasy 12 you could have built up all the characters in exactly the same way), and this gives some variety.

The best thing about the series, though, is still it's trademark Judgement Ring system, and if you enjoyed the first two games for this reason you will be well served here. The battles have even become more complicated with the introduction of the "Stock" guage, which acts like a meter that fills up when you give or receive damage. This can then be used to unleash devastating linked attacks once filled. Managing Stock is crucial to a good battle, and I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the Combo mechanism, with great results for those who have good reflexes (missing the correct symbol button and breaking a good combo is frustrating but fair, because if you want that 4 chain Combo magic you have to work for it!).

My overall impression is that "From The New World" has been created to ride on the glory of the games before it by simply copying them. It's nowhere near as impressive as "Covenant", and all it's ideas are second hand. It's also trying too hard to be funny. There's scarcely a serious moment in here, or anything approaching the depth or the adult orientated themes that the series did so well in the past. It's all now just a giant cartoon, and while Kung-Fu cats and fat vampires are funny for a while, they don't draw you into the story at all. There is scarcely any plot to speak of as it is, the whole game is just a chase from start to finish, following the villains all around the world. The fun in the game lies with the battles and becoming an expert using the Judgement Ring. Battles are complex and even random encounters need some forethought, especially as there are bonuses available for very good performances (perfect ring turns, enemies killed without having a single turn, etc), so there is a lot to enjoy. Boss battles can be long, but at the same time, the game never gets particularly difficult, and levelling up sems to happen very rapidly so you can easily make a powerhouse team to face almost anything. Sidequests are good - there are seperate side stories for each character which is a nice aspect, and something of a tradition now in the series. It's a shame that these good aspects are not complementing a more impressive basic game, because as it stands, the Judgemant Ring and the good "extras" are the only thing lifting a very short and mediocre RPG plot and characters into being a passable game.
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on 24 June 2007
The Shadow Hearts series has been my favourite RPG series of this generation, much better then the incredible FF series even. The judgement ring was a superb innovation and is very flexible. The dark overtones, great collection of characters and strange sense of humour makes Shadow Hearts that little bit special.

From the New World is no different to its predecessors. Your selection of characters is good fun and the camp Brazilian Ninja will almost certainly give a few giggles. Fusions are still in the game, but this time the main character is not the one who has the Harmonixer power and also there are only a few Fusions in the game. For most of the title, you'll only have three Fusions and there's no cemetery.

The storyline is very similar in style to previous games, there's lots of darkness and tales of demons are everywhere. You'll find yourself all over the Americas, from Roswell to Rio de Janeiro, from Alcatraz to Hollywood.

The Judgement Ring has been given some improvement. There's a new thing called "Stock". It builds up by having turns and receiving damage and it allows you to do combos, double attacks, or a double combo. Learning how and when to use your stock is important. Also, height now makes a difference, a flying enemy will be immune to ground attacks and vice versa. It all adds to the strategy element.

The Stellar Chart system is okay, it's nothing special at all but it's not bad either.

Overall it's not as good as Covenent, the characters though fun, just are no replacement for Yuri and friends. The game feels much shorter then the previous two games and there's much less in general compared to Covenant. It's well worth playing, the new features are good and there's a fair bit of mini games and quests to the side to make the game a good purchase.

Yes, there is a crashing issue in this release, I've had it hang on me twice at exactly the same point. When one of the characters (Natan) attacks using a standard attack, it would sometimes freeze completely. However, it was pretty easy to avoid as all I did was change the type of attack and once that area had been passed everything seemed to work fine.
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on 6 October 2009
As a big fan of the Shadow Hearts series I was glad to know the 3rd title in its series had been released for a considerable while now. I heard from import reviewers its more of a spin-off than a "true" sequel. After playing it for a while I tend to disagree.

Shadow Hearts is an RPG that asks for an active attentive role from the player due to its battle system of the "judgement ring" which sweeps after every action you make to determine whether you hit or miss depending on your timing. A simple system that make a world of difference. I personally love this system and am glad they never altered it any. The graphics sadly aren't any better than the previous game of the series. The Music and sounds are fairly similar to its predessors so at least that isnt a let down to the fans and the characters are still as quirky as ever. Or maybe moreso this time.

The story however feels much weaker overall this time. The general plot is alright but the reasoning behind some of the characters fighting this big evil is thin are best in some cases. Its because of this that I felt the story was really trying to skirt around the issue of the characters not having much of a relationship between each other. That might just be me though since other RPG's have since elaborated on their relationships are lot more and make them very believable and entertaining.

All in all a fair game from the Shadow Hearts team but it lacked the depth that the last 2 titles held and although shorter as well I don't hold that into account. It's only short by what RPG standards seem to be.
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on 16 August 2016
This is another ps2 rpg classics and the latest (hopefully not the last) in this ps2 series. Many people claim that this instalment is weaker in story than the second one, but I believe it is strong in its own right.

The gameplay remains almost unchanged; while the main crust of the battle system is still turn based, there is a distinguishing feature in the series which is the real-time mechanic of the 'Judgement Ring' in which every attack needs to hit certain areas in real time in a ring for a number of times normally and some areas deal more damage than others.

Graphics; They are some of the best I've seen on ps2 and very colourful in contrast to the second part which was generally darker and gloomier for the most part.

Music: very good and some soundtracks are amazing. Not final fantasy level but still enjoyable to listen to. The battle music is very memorable and a masterpiece in my opinion.

In short, this game is a must have for rpg fans if you still have access to a ps2 as it is still not available on psn last time I checked, which is a shame and it is currently dirt cheap!
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