Shadow Hearts: Covenant

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Shadow Hearts: Covenant
Game: Shadow Hearts: Covenant
Platform: PS2
Studio: Midway
Rating: 8/10

GAME STUDIO DESCRIPTION: Taking place amidst the chaos of World War I six months after the original Shadow Hearts ended, Yuri and Karin embark on a grand journey to conquer a secret society that is taking advantage of the war to fulfill their evil ambitions. Yuri and Karin must test their powers and magic skills to combat terrifying creatures and conquer the evil that Rasputin’s malevolent society plans to unleash upon the world.

The epic adventure that fills 2 DVDs with over 40 hours of intense gameplay brings back its innovative combat system, The Judgment Ring, allowing players to wield the power necessary to fulfill their destiny. Players must combine split second timing and skillful combat strategy to master the Judgment Ring’s powerful and stackable attacks. The improved Judgment Ring allows players to choose which characters to bring to battle and features new team-based combo attacks and defensive formations. Also featured in Covenant is an inventive magic system where players must build skill sets, strategize gameplay moves, earn and cast spells with a team of complex characters, each with distinct personalities, attributes and magical abilities.

GRAPHICS: Getting around Europe during WWI is wonderfully rich and full of gorgeous detail. The colors are vivid. The cities are full of scary places to hide for the enemy so you’re always on edge. There are great textures and fluid animations. There are some issues with jagged edges and pixels but overall a gorgeous game. The cutscenes are gorgeous and help move the game along.

PLAY: The action is odd. You must time your strikes as a line goes through what looks like a pie chart. If you hit it right you can sit and watch as your character whips so rear end. The judgment ring is how you battle. Depending upon your timing you can put together combinations of attacks. It’s an exciting innovation. The problem is when it spins to fast it can be nearly impossible to react.

Shadow Hearts: Covenant is an extremely interactive RPG. There is a lot of customization as many of your skills can be upgrading allowing for more interesting fights the further you get into the game.

SOUND: The music is good—eerie and haunting. The voice acting adds a good deal of personality to the characters.

FRANKLY: Shadow Hearts: Covenant is hysterically corny. Pink kitties and wrestling vampires are only part of the bizarre features. You have two different endings to inspire some replay however once you play there is no real reason to go back and run through it again.

+ Richie Wright

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