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Heavenly Sword


The NZA
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Right, so after Lair didnt hold up to well in reviews, people somehow started to worry about this title; God of War 3 is likely a long way off, Devil May Cry 4 isnt out till the year's end or so, and the PS3 could use a solid, exclusive action title. So how'd it turn out? Good, by most reviews; the metacritic (average) score is about an 8/10.

 

Just got my copy in from Gamefly, and only got about a half hour with it, but i gotta say, the presentation is awesome. Facial expressions & voice acting are top-notch, as well as the art direction & backgrounds and such, clearly taken up a notch since what we saw last gen. The music's good so far too, really fitting, and the plot's intriguing as well; the game starts off with a massive battle and does that Tarentino-like thing where your character seems to be dying, and the game itself starts as sort've a flashback from this prologue.

 

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The action itself is pretty tight; you can manage to a certain extent by the button-mashing familiar from God oF War, but youll need to learn the various stances and be prepared to switch up at a moment's notice to match the enemy's stance; im told this is pivotal for boss fights, and im not quite there yet. Its cool to have endless waves of on-screen enmies, a la Dead Rising. But yeah, you find yourself trying to dish out the most damage while taking the least hits in order to open up artowrk & extras, which is a fun incentive. Destructibel backgrounds & heavily stylized special moves (from timing & such) really add to the experience too.

 

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What's cool is that this plays in nearly every way as a kung-fu flick, from the sytlized moves to the acting itself, so if youre expecting/into that kinda thing, its really well put together. Combat (so far), i can see where some complain of repetition, but no moreso than other action titles in the same vein, such as Rygar or Ninja Gaiden.

 

The biggest complaint reviwers seem to have is the game's overall length, reported to clock in around 6-7 hours; personally, given that the standard Onimusha, Devil May Cry, etc - hell, even classics like Shadow of the Colossus - are about the same length, i dont find this very surprising, but ill have to complete the title to see if there's any replay value to be found on the harder settings & such. Granted, there's no multiplayer to speak of, so i can see some being apprehendisve of grabbing the title for $60, but im having a blast, and Gamefly's offering it for around $40, so im thinking of keeping it myself.

 

If youre an action fan with a PS3, you cant go wrong here, unless youre holding out for Stranglehold this week or something. More to come.

 

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  • 3 years later...

oh, man...summer 2007 was so boring when i fell off Oblivion that i was checking PSN EU and hong kong for anything resembling content. so odd remembering being excited for Stranglehold, which turned out to be a really fun, short rental at best.

 

i'm one of the few apologists for this one over at GAF, where Ninja Theory is currently despised for Capcom's new take on DMC. i argue the same stuff i said here: yeah, its short, but it was fun, presentation was good, i was interested enough to finish it (current beat-em-ups like DMC, god of war etc usually dont get this from me) and people rank on things like screen tearing, which i recall even in the original Uncharted (thought not nearly as much, granted). there's a famous .gif of a guy pushing the attack button and it not registering for an entire second or more, but i dont recall the responsiveness being that loose...always meant to replay this one, but i kept thinking they'd patch in trophies after Uncharted since it's already got them in-game anyway :???:

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They put a lot of time and effort into setting, music, character and story. The sword was a unique weapon, which I take as evidence of NT's ability to create unique weapons if they're tasked with it. The game was short, though, so short that I was actively upset with it, even after having earned gold medals on all missions for both difficulties.

 

Still, I trust NT. People be damned.

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