The Shadow Hearts series was a stunning success following its original release a few years ago. Recently, the third installment has been released, Shadow Hearts: From the New World. This game is a bit different than the previous editions as it takes on a more humorous side, rather than that dark nature of its predecessors.
The game takes place in the year of 1929 during the Great Depression in the United States. You play as Johnny Garland, a young detective that has lost his memory, father, and sister in an accident some time ago. Johnny is assigned to track down an escaped criminal. When he finds the suspect, a huge monster appears in a green light known as the “window” and engulfs him. Similar occurrences have happened all over the world. Johnny decides to figure out what is going on with these “windows” along with his friend, Shania. Shania is a Native American Bounty hunter that has been searching for these “windows” with her spiritual powers.
The battle system of this game is great. If you have played the previous editions of Shadow Hearts, you will be glad to know that the Judgment Ring system has been dramatically improved. There is also a Stock system that allows you to set up a combo attack with another character. Another great edition is the Double command that allows you to perform two actions at once. You can customize your attacks, use magic, skills, combos, and timed attacks. Lastly, you can set up 3 battle teams that you can switch between as you deem necessary.
The story line is completely new and reinvented so that players who have not played the previous Shadow Hearts can still jump right into this one. Old characters are still in this game, along with some new ones. One of the new characters is a European ninja named Frank. Frank fights with a swordfish. Yes I said swordfish. An old character that everyone loves is Shania. Shania can transform herself into various creatures.
The progression in the game is very linear. You just go from point A to point B. However, the story itself is very gripping and it will keep you guessing. The characters themselves are just hysterical, which is actually a pleasant change from past versions of Shadow Hearts. If you are wondering what I am talking about, well you will just have to play it and see!
Shadow Hearts takes you to some real world destinations such as: Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, and the Grand Canyon. All of the environments are beautifully designed and just gorgeous to look at. The cut scenes are of cinematic quality as they make you feel like you are right inside of a movie theater. The voice acting is also superb and the soundtrack itself is quite engaging. This is definitely an RPG (role playing game) to get
Shadow Hearts is available only on Playstation 2. It has an ESRB rating of T for Teen. This is because the game features suggestive themes, crude humor, mild language, use of alcohol, violence, and use of tobacco. If you get lost or if you just want a little bit of help, a strategy guide is available.