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: 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: 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: When their first game, Koudelka was released, Sacnoth really wasn’t a household name for producing RPGs; in fact, the company was relatively unknown. Sadly, Koudelka didn’t do too well, and Sacnoth couldn’t meet the standards of most RPGs at the time. Sacnoth’s latest game and sequel to Koudelka, named Shadow Hearts, has not only been vastly improved from its predecessor, but may very well be used to mark the beginning of better RPGs for the PlayStation 2’s lackluster...
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.
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.
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.
Excerpt: Usually when you think of great Role-Playing Games (RPGs, for you folks just getting into video games), there are a couple of gamemakers that come to mind. First, Square for the Final Fantasy Series and Sony with Wild Arms and other series. Well, forget everything you thought you knew; Midway, the company that brought you hits like NFL Blitz, Mortal Kombat, and, of course, Spy Hunter, has thrown their name in the hat with their first RPG.