Shadow Hearts: From the New World

Is anyone playing this? I think I’m going to break down and buy it today. I’m a huge fan of the series, especially Covenant, which is pretty much the best PS2 RPG that’s been released.

I’ve heard some middling reviews of From the New World, though; the complaints tend to agree that the random encounter rate is way high (and I thought there were too many in Covenant!) and that the game gets bogged down in repetitive dungeon crawling once you get into it (again, I had the same issue with Covenant), but other than that it’s pretty much in line with the rest of the series.

Anyone played it? Thoughts? Reactions?

Huh. I thought it wasn’t coming out for a little while. The reviews I saw early on said it was pretty good, so I figure I’ll pick it up soon.

Yeah, it came out about a week ago, and the reviews are slowly trickling in. It kind of snuck out without much fanfare.

I’ve been playing it. I like it, and as usual they’re playing fast and loose with history. “Any similarity to people, events, or countries is entirely coincidental.” Riiiiight. That’s why I’m busting Al Capone out of Alcatraz.

The characters are awesome as always. Frank, Mao and Ricardo are quickly earning top spots on my team.

Like you said, the encounter rate is really high. Very high. But my average battle length is 153.75 seconds (it tells you! Isn’t that handy?), and the battles seem to take more tactics to string together decent combos than just “everybody stand close together.” On the positive side, it is possible to get in the equivalent of 11 turns in a row if you do it right.

One hint: Take lots of pictures, especially of bosses.

I caved and bought it this afternoon. I’m about 2 hours into it, and really enjoying it. I like that it’s as kooky as the others, but doesn’t (yet) seem as over-the-top silly as they got, though with that big fat cat, I’m sure it has its moments.

The battle system does seem a bit more unnecessarily convoluted, though. I feel like I have to string together a ton of combos, doubles, and double-combos for every random encounter instead of just hacking my way through and saving the hardcore strategy for the boss fights. I’m sure as I begin to internalize the system, it’ll flow better.