Wednesday, November 15, 2006

God Hand

This is the only game I've bought since I started this blog, and I bought it solely based on the developer, despite rather poor reviews across the board. GameRankings has it with a 75% average rating, which I guess is average. Anyway, it's developed by Capcom's Clover team, who are responsible for such gems (no sarcasm here) as Viewtiful Joe and Okami. Of course, since Capcom's shut them down, I guess it's the LAST game from them, which is terribly unfortunate. I've actually only just completed the first stage, but that took about two hours and many continues (you have an unlimited supply) to do so. It's tough.

God Hand is essentially a modernized version of an old-school side scrolling beat em up, like Final Fight, or The Simpsons Arcade. Instead of being a sidescroller, God Hand has a behind the back view, which it holds to as much as possible. The camera is fixed behind Jean when moving and doing basic attacks, the main character, but will change for special attacks. It's a little difficult to deal with. There's no jumpling at all, and a dazed enemy will allow you to do special attacks which generally require you to mash buttons as quickly as possible. You find and buy new attacks in a wide variety of styles, even drunken boxing, which is always fun to use. You can, of course, change your attacks to use more powerful ones at any time. You have a God hand meter, which fills as you attack and kill enemies. Once it's full, you can trigger your God hand, which makes you incredibly fast, strong, and unblockable. While in use, the meter drains, and you lose it once it's gone. When you die, you keep your meters, powerups, and money, which is handy. At the end of each section of a stage, which usually consists of a dozen or so enemies, you can save the game, go shop, fight in the Extreme Fighting Arena, and gamble in a casino for more money. When you die, you simply restart the section, hopefully learning from your mistakes.

From what I'm told, the game is intended to be a parody of the beat em up genre. Everything is very over the top, including the enemies. The first stage midbosses are a pair of flamingly gay black men. In thongs. The boss of the level is a very fat man who smokes a cigar. As far as I can tell, Jean is lacking in motives, and just goes through the motions.

Graphically, it looks very nice. It's certainly modern for the PS2, so no complaints there. The music is very repetative. It doesn't change at all in the first stage. It has a bit of a country/western twang to it, which at least fits. The voice acting is better than Resident Evil, but still over the top. It does the job.

There's really not much to say about the game, since it's frankly incredibly shallow. I'm not really sure if I'd recommend it as anything other than Clover's take on Final Fight. Of course, it's $30 brand new, so that's always a good thing.

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