Well TQ’s I thought it might be a neat idea to post up a retro review. With today’s economic crises and cost of living, picking up new games at full price is not an option for many, however picking up a game in the pre-owned or $10 wheely bin is an option for most.
NOTE: My retro reviews is based on value for money on top of how the game plays, this will effect my review score.
Gameplay in Heavenly Sword is very nice, you control the character movements with the left thumb stick while the right thumb stick controls rolls and evades. Square and triangle are pressed to do a standard attack. Holding down the R1 or L1 and hitting square or triangle, changes the sword hits from light to heavy attacks and in the heat of battle this work flawlessly. There are a ton of combos to learn and some are complex, some very easy, but performing combos is complete eye candy, as the detail that is shown on screen is much like watching a Japanese Kung-Fu movie.
The story uses 2 characters. One of the characters is a joy to play with, she uses a bow n arrow. While using the bow n arrow, holding down the action button causes the screen to go in super slow motion. This part of the game was entertaining from start to finish and something that was greatly enjoyed. It was just awesome shooting and arrow and guiding it across the map for a head shot or the very entertaining groin shot in which the enemy grabbed its crotch in pain while in super slow mo.
The game moves into real time sequences at points and you have to press the corresponding button to perform a move, something an old Dreamcast game Shenmue had and it’s used very well in Heavenly Sword. You cannot control the camera angle in this game, it’s preset, but it works great! I am one to have full freedom of the camera, but this much like God of War 2, is set out with a good angle of the levels and it’s set in such angles that you appreciate just how good the game looks.
This game has graphics to drool, it’s ultra sharp, ultra smooth, the art direction on the game is superb, amazing waterfalls, huge backdrops that draw miles into the distance and of course plenty of characters on screen at once. At points in the game you will fight over 1000 enemies on screen, and the game engine handles it with ease. Textures are super high and it’s easy to just sit there and stare at how beautiful this game looks, it’s on another level for graphics, and the fact this game came out almost 3 years ago says a lot. Character models are at higher resolution than anything I have ever seen for its time. The game does have more of a bright vivid look to it, the characters are so life like and move just as realistic as they look. The game does suffer from some slowdown, but only during cut scenes. This slow down may be caused by level loading. However it’s far a few and does not happen while in game play.
This game has an earth shaking effect, the game has 10GB of sound files all uncompressed audio and it shows it in a big way. Just to give you an idea of this, a full blown Xbox 360 game, fmv, sound, extra content, texture etc, fit on a dual layer DVD of 9GB, the sound on this game alone would not be possible on anything other than a PS3. The voice acting is top notch and really adds a great feel to the story.
Overall, Heavenly Sword is a super solid game. While the game is short, it’s as sweet as they come. The old saying is so true “short and sweet”. There are great boss fights, interesting characters to control, awesome story and great level designs. Finishing the game, unlocks a hard mode that will allow you to progress through the game again with tougher enemies. This would have been a 5 Michelas game for me if it had trophy support and a longer story mode, but regardless of this, it offers great value for money. Heavenly Sword is a must have game that’s a joy to finish and like myself, you will be playing it again in the new unlocked mode.