Excerpt: Shadow Hearts is in fact a sequel to a not so famous game called "Koudelka" which didn't seem to pick up as much as Shadow Hearts did. Still, Shadow Hearts was a game with content that I would never expect.
Pros: + Pros-Brilliant story, game play
Cons: - Cons-Sound felt like something grating against my mind
Excerpt: It's not often I like a modernized fantasy story. Actually, it's pretty damn rare for me to be totally happy with one. I'm not generally into stories that blend fantastic elements into a modern day setting. Whether this is with games, books, or movies, I generally steer clear of it. Because of that, I missed Shadow Hearts when it was first released.
Excerpt: The idea of a follow-up to Koudelka wasn’t exactly something I looked forward to. Although that PSone RPG featured a decent storyline and a deliciously dark atmosphere, it was plagued with some of the worst gameplay around. Developers Sacnoth decided to take another stab at the genre with Shadow Hearts. While it certainly won’t be remembered as a classic, it’s still a decent game exceeds its predecessor in every possible way.
Excerpt: There wasn't a lot of hype for Shadow Hearts upon its release. Unfortunately Final Fantasy X was released soon after and Shadow Hearts was a bit of a sleeper. Still, it's currently one of the better RPGs on the PS2 and shouldn't be overlooked.
Excerpt: Shadow Hearts is an RPG published by Midway that few have heard of but really should have. Its a "dark" RPG that is fun and surprisingly very well made. In this game you take the role of Yuri, a man who has the ability to transform into other creatures. He is what they call a Harmonixer. You join him on a great quest spanning Asia and Europe.
Pros: Great Intro, Easy Controls, Good Story, Lengthy Quest
Cons: Sub-Par Graphics in certain areas, Voice acting isn't the best
Excerpt: For the most part, Shadow Hearts does very little to push the PS2's power to the limits. The environments are statically rendered locations the likes of which you've seen in many a RPG in recent times, and the character models, while high-resolution, aren't particularly detailed. The battles fare better, with a smooth framerate and a high resolution, but the enemies aren't particularly detailed (bosses excepted) and the spell effects definitely leave something to be...
Excerpt: As a gamer, do you ever notice that some development studios tend to turn out the same substandard kind of product without ever stepping back to evaluate their handiwork before churning out a sequel? Im not talking about the debugging process or other technical things like that, but rather, game design and philosophy in general.
Conclusion: Generally, though, Shadow Hearts feels clunky and out of date. It runs slowly, the dialogue is as claustrophobic as the dungeons and not very well translated, and the music is occasionally good but not that memorable. Despite all these flaws, I’m glad to have played it. It presents a unique and semi-realistic (if not historically accurate) setting, fun and unusual characters, and the occasional satisfying boss battle.