superxash's Shadow Hearts (PlayStation 2) review

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A fun game

Had the pleasant experience of finding this series of games.

Taking place in a (very loose) alternate history before World War I, (in the same world as the slightly obscure PSX "Koudelka" game) you play as a group of heroes led by the shapeshifting Yuri Hyuga as you battle hordes of demons and other supernatural beings to save the world. Basically take just about EVERY traditional horror/cosmic mythology from various cultures and sprinkle in a good helping of H.P. Lovecraft-inspired elements and a healthy dose of occasional (and quite funny) humor and you get the basic idea of what this is about.

The big gimmick in this game is the "Judgement Ring" system that dictates how well you do in combat (like how much damage is dealt, whether you're successful in casting a spell, etc.) by how well you can time your button-pushing to keep you on your toes during battle. It can be pretty challenging to get the hang of at first (especially if you're used to simpler RPG battle mechanics), but once you get the hang of it, it becomes almost second nature.

Things kinda drag near the end (as stated by a previous reviewer), but the characters are fun (and more than a little cheesy at times, especially with the voice-acting), the story is more memorable than most rpgs from it's time period, (with two different endings possible) and it all comes together to create an enjoyable experience.

Other reviews for Shadow Hearts (PlayStation 2)

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