Reviews

Reviewer: Entity

How long you've played the game: 20 hours
Learning curve: 1 - 2 hours
Difficulty: Very hard

Graphics: 7
Gamplay: 8
Sound: 8
Replay Value: 10
Gamer's Tilt: 8

Overall: 8.2

Its a hard game to sum up but thats not really because its complex but more because its hard to give the right idea of Godhand without making some people think you were way off when they finally play it, whether you were as accurate as possible or not.

Ign unfairly gave the game a 3.0, but thats mostly because Ign  get attracted by not only mainstream style gaming more than hardcore, but also have self admitted themselves to be graphically obsessed in one review I read. They're known for giving stuff like Guilty Gear X2 only an 8.9 and God of War near enough a 10, when thats silly as they're decent in their own ways and Guilty Gear has the superior learning curve, as well as charm. A better example would be the middle 7 scores they give the Phoenix Wright - which many percieve as epic and unmatchable - games based on their simplistic technicality.

Story~? Gene's a drifter with a similarity to the lead of Fist of the North star, but unlike Kenny boy hes not as noble, unvolatile and as honorable a worry. Nah, hes a wuss. He doesn't want to fight at all. But fight he must, for within his arm dwells the Godhand and within his bed dwells the most annoying, naggy, and bratty girl with a twisted sense of justice who wants nothing more than to make him a work horse, clearing the world of evil. Upon trying to save her long ago, he got his arm cut off by a bunch of thugs who were relatively indifferent to his interference. So she, a protector of a tribe who worshipped god and protected his arm, went to fix him up with it.

Now? Hes never going to get any rest, and if you get hooked by this thing, nor are you.

Well, Godhand has alot of similarities with Resident Evil 4 even though the end result is as different as possible. Its a fighting game. And Capcom's first - in my opinion - playable one since Final Fight that didn't revolve around competetive 1 v 1 play. Leons choke escape animation? Its identical to Genes. Seems they re-used the motion capture data, and you even escape the choke the same way. Camera is similar, albiet you can't look around - a slight letdown since it'd be nice to see the sky more - as the right analogue is now used for a complicated but handy and fun evade system.

Theres a hidden thingy in RE4 people don't know about - read up at sirlin.net, the difficulty article - where the harshness of the game lowered and raised depending on how well you played, but its now out in the open in godhand. Its a beat em up, see, but one you won't get bored of if you need to have the pressure on constantly in order to enjoy a game, for the aforemention difficulty system will heat shit up if you play stylishly and well, and quickly.

From Lv 1 to 4, what seperates this from the oldschool beat em ups is that as you pound people or get pounded, the difficulty raises or lowers respectively in order to match your punk killing skills. It isn't just damage and speed which changes too; You'll see a greater mixed bag of attack patterns, reduced hit stun and shorter frame windows for attack interuption, which is a technique - its just interupting their move with one of your own quickly - that is vital for extra damage and to keep them at bay longer.

And boy, you will want to keep them at bay longer. The enemies are pretty much capable of all the shit Gene is - sans the super form-like state he can use with the Godhand and the R1 attacks he can bring out of it - and they will surround you, pounding you to death, kicking you in the balls multiple times and even laughing at how crap you are at the game once they manage it. I'm not joking. Godhand has a trademark humor that it prizes before any level of immersion in the story, so get used to it. And being crowded isn't just where you're going to be humiliated, its where you want to be less than anywhere else in this game.

In any case, fans of technical games like Virtua Fighter, Tekken - when played well, anyway - and Street Fighter will be very pleased that creativity is rewarded, as well exploration and knowledge of the system. As Gene's arsenal of moves increase, as does your ability to play technically and even out the difficulty. Ala DMC3 you're able to level up stats, and the ammount of stocks you can accumulate for the super moves activated via R1. Though nothing uber new in the gameplay system comes out to shock you as you progress and gain power, you still have full customization over - and plenty of options for - everything you see in the game at the start. Infinitely.

So is it worth it~? This is the problem. Aforementioned difficulty thing? Its great to see a game service your efforts at being crazy, by making itself crazier and giving you some praise via the form of extra cash and such - cash is everything in this game, growth wise - but it makes sure to be extra rewarding to experts at the expense of making many mediocore - in terms of skill, not fandom for games - gamers want to smash this game and jump on the 'Godhand sucks' bandwagon. Its not too hard to use the R1 special and grovel for mercy, lowering it by a single lv, but its still a test of everything you have.

Likewise, being crowded in this game is frustrated and the enemies really do make use of how they can do everything you can, physically at least, and when hit stun is reduced on lv 4, its hard to get a breather. But impossible? Nope. It just demands effort, and lots of it.

Thrown in the acquired taste of a camera angle, graphics which don't have a distinct style to them like other clover titles - Viewtiful Joe and Okami - did, (its hard to render realistic graphics well on the ps2 in this day and age, especially in a game with this many colors and varied scenery) and a story which isn't interesting as much as its lively and a parody on everything that probably came to the writers mind, and well, its hard to get into.

But overall, I'm nitpicking. Godhands worth a try. I won't say you'll like it for sure, but if you like it, you will really, really, really like it. Although it tries its best to keep you away from its most prized posession with its insane difficulty, and mediocore presentation, gameplay, and graphics, nothing will change the fact that prized posession exists. And that posession is? Depth. Challenge. Self expressiveness, and tons and tons of gameplay time and variation to explore those concepts in. Thats why, if you do indeed like it, you will love it.