Shadow Hearts, From the New World (PS2 / US)

14.14.2007 @ 21:11:11 | Midori  |   français

It is not a new game, and it is the third (or fourth, if like Anubis, you take Koudelka in the series) part of a rather intriguing series, even if somehow difficult to play (see below)
Shadow Hearts

Graphics
I think that if you are a girl, you will be less attracted by the graphics enhancing the plastic of certain characters. Apart from that, very beautiful graphics, and the work on colors gives very different effects and styles to Harlem or Rio de Janeiro, and helps locating very easily where one is, and in which environment (dangerous or not).
Grade: 9 / 10

Music
I have a problem with the music, not that it is ugly, but much like the colors, it sticks so well to the situation, that it creats some feelings of fear… But well, I repeat it, that does not lower the quality of the soundtrack, it is rather the opposite: the soundtrack is well thought and balanced and even beautiful.
Grade: 9 / 10

Gameplay
I was afraid when I discovered the system, fearing that it would be a problem of reflexes, but it is more something along the idea of rhythm and optimisation. In fact, for each action in combat, one quietly chooses in a menu what should be done (with possibility of going back in case of mistake), and when one validates, a wheel appears, with one or more sectors: blue or green, all the sector has the same value. Orange with a red edge, the closer to the red, or even in the red, the more the blow/object/… is effective. A normal attack will have from one to three sectors, whereas an object has only one sector, etc… If one choses to bind the actions of several characters, one must still press a button, then the blows rain. Good, accessible, and if really you do not get it, it is possible to set it to automatic mode!
Grade: 9 / 10
Menu de jeu / Gaming menu Roue / Wheel

Length / Sidequests
The game is already rather long (almost a little long or slow on the level of the advance of the scenario), proposes to play again (with advantages of the preceding game) and provides a number of useful and recommended secondary quests: collection and exchange of monsters’ pictures, arena, searches for the special weapons/armours… enough to play for hours!
Grade: 9 / 10

Story / characters
The characters can seem a little archetypal, but are nice (or funny…). Each one has his/her specialities (blows or special capacities), and progresses differently from the others. The history is a little strange, halfway between Lovecraft and Dashiell Hammett, encouraging to go on to know some more (yes, well, inevitably there were chances I would like a rpg with some detective aspects… ; -) ). My only regret is that the scenario is a little slow, and that I would like to know a bit more about the principal character before starting. It is only know that it is an orphan because of an inccident.
Grade: 8 / 10
Beware, if you do not want to learn more on the characters before playing, do not read the spoiler…Show ▼

In the end…
Alas, no PAL already existing or to come, which is a shame, this game is excellent! If you have a console that accepts NTSC US games, run to your usual gaming store!
Final grade: 8.8 / 10

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