Forged in heaven, put through hell
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I'm Gaming Jay: Youtube gamer, let's player, retrogaming fan, and determined optimist... Join me in this series while I try out EVERY game in the book 1001 VIDEO GAMES YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE, before I die. The game review for each game will focus on the question of whether you MUST play this game before you die. But to be honest, the game reviews are just for fun, this series is more about the YouTube gamer journey. Let's try out those classic retro games we grew up with, have fond memories of, or heard of but never got a chance to try! And with that said, the game review for today is...
Developer(s) Ninja Theory
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Genre(s) Action-Adventure, Hack and Slash
Heavenly Sword tells the tale of Nariko, a badass fighter that wields a magical sword that was forged in heaven itself! (I think... I actually skipped most of the cut scenes in this game). Only problem with the sword, is it's cursed! But don't worry about that for now, there's too much killing to get done in the mean time!
Heavenly Sword starts off as a fairly standard 3D fighting game, reminiscent of games like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Between battles, are some scenes where you have to shoot arrows or cannonballs and control them by utilizing the motion controls built into the PS3 controller. This is by far the worst part of the game. I have never found motion controls to be all that impressive, especially when they're used a gimmick and are unnecessary. In the scenes in question, I would be infinitely more precise if I could use the thumbpad to steer my arrows but no, I am instead forced to awkwardly wobble the controller around, trying and failing to aim with any type of precision. But I digress.
After a few cutscenes in which you encounter an evil warlord (which are oddly comical), you even up wielding the heavenly sword, and this is where the real gameplay begins. The heavenly sword itself is a massive sword that can be wielded as a great sword, as two smaller swords, or as a series of blades on long chains. As you fight with the sword, you can dynamically switch between modes allowing you great flexibility in how you want to fight your enemies. The great sword does the most damage but has limited range and a slow attack speed, the chained blades do little damage but attack everything around you and hit at a fair range, and the two blades act as a middle ground. All in all though, you'll have a lot of fun figuring out combos and moves and strategies that combine some or all of these attack modes, and the controls themselves make using the heavenly sword very intuitive.
There really isn't much more to say here. Heavenly Sword is just a fighting game, but it is a fighting game with some neat and unique fighting mechanics, and it was a landmark game for the PS3 early in its lifespan. I would say that though the motion controls in this game are immensely frustrating, if you can get past them, you'll find a fun and varied fighting game that's worth a play!
➙ Must You Play It?
A unique and tactical fighting game mixed with oddly funny cut scenes mixed and some slightly frustrating motion control scenes. All in all, this is a unique and fun game with really solid core fighting mechanics that's worth a play!