gamers (96%) found this review helpful
Shadow Hearts Covenant is one of the best RPG's ever made period. Let's just go through the criteria checklist. 1. Crazy great episodic story that keeps you guessing till the end. Check. 2. Battle system that is flexible enough for beginners and deep enough for the hard core. Check. 3. An upgrade system that makes all that fighting seem worthwhile. Check. 4. Memorable characters that make you care what happens in the crazy great story. Check. 5. A world that draws you in and graphics that keep you there. Check. 6. Awesome animated cut scenes. Big Check. 7. More than a few hours of game play, with a lot of extras that are cool, but aren't required to beat the game. Check. 8. The most important thing of all, is it fun. CHECK!
All the criteria fits! In addition to all of the above this game is made for gamers. It references all kinds of other games and keeps it real while doing so. It has something for everyone, puzzles, action, stealth, even math!
Some people will be intimidated by the battle system at first, but those people should refer to the detailed step by step explanation in the menu section. Most won't even need to. The random battles are a standard of the genre, but can be brought to a minimum if you like by using items that eliminate them all together. Don't be swayed by the nay sayers. Missing out on a game this good would be a crime.
Whether you are new to gaming or a old school pro, check this game out. You won't be disappointed.
gamers (100%) found this review helpful
It has an amazing story line, great graphics and great characters. This is the darkest RPG I've ever played and quite possibly the funniest. The battle system is extremely fun and challenging and very well done. Most people will find this game to be entertaining, just don't take the historical aspects of the storyline too seriously.
posted by StormyEyes (Harrisburg, PA) Apr 19, 2006
Member since Dec 2005
gamers (91%) found this review helpful
"Shadow Hearts: Covenant" picks up where the first "Shadow Hearts" left off, while managing to come full-circle with the beginning of the first game (if you earn the good ending). Along the way, the player will encounter, fight beside, and fight against several memorable characters, from swashbuckling German Army officer Karin, to Joachim the flamboyant vampire wrestler, to Princess Anastasia of Russia. Of course, if you've played the first "Shadow Hearts", be patient. You'll meet Yuri again after a couple of hours of play.
Battles are turn-based, but with a twist. Merely clicking "attack" is not enough in "Shadow Hearts", you must negotiate the Judgment Ring, which is different for each of your party members and can be upgraded. The Judgment Ring is a two-edged sword; it can easily become an annoyance if your hand/eye coordination is poor, but it also makes the ramdom battles more than an exercise in holding down the trigger and staying awake.
Unlike many RPGs released after 2000, the voice acting in "Shadow Hearts: Covenant" outshines the solid, but somewhat unmemorable soundtrack. Each character has his or her own personality (even the wolf, Blanca) and the crew gets very chatty once the story gets rolling. While the over-arching story is quite dark, with occult overtones throughout, the dialogue is often hilarious. If you ever wanted to know how to respond to a monologuing demon, this is the game to play.
The sidequests provide an amusing break from the main story, and many of them can be started early in the game if you pay attention and poke around every town and dungeon. All of them are worth completing, either for the upgrades or for the extra subplots.
While "Shadow Hearts: Covenant" is not for children (because of the occult overtones, historical references, and sexual innuendo), it is worth playing if you want a Japanese RPG that avoids the saccharine and cliches that riddle "Final Fantasy" and its imitators.