An Unbiased Review of God Hand

Five things that sucked:

1. Voice Acting

Much of the dialogue was kind of clumsy, and this is coming from a guy who’s relatively accepting of crappy voice acting. Bear in mind, I’m not talking about the voices that are supposed to sound ridiculous.

2. The Demon Forms of Elvis, Shannon, and Belze

All true except Panel #4

In an otherwise “ball-bustingly hard game,” these three fights were a letdown. The bosses looked cool, but they were slow and easy to read. While I died 219 times in the game, fewer than 10 of those deaths came from these three battles combined.

3. Buying Upgrades of the Same Attack

I have no problem buying weak-looking attacks that actually cause tremendous damage. What offends me is the notion that a monetary transaction can somehow make the same exact attack twice as powerful. Money can’t buy power. Only training, preferably mountain training, can make your Mach Speed Jab stronger. I mean, what are we supposed to believe, that this is some sort of a magic technique shop or something? Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.

4. Some of the Credits Song lyrics don’t rhyme

But it’s still the most satisfying (and spoiler-free) credits sequence ever.

5. The Roulette Wheel

Why did the wheel have to move in only one direction? And why did it have to randomize the starting point? I picked unintended attacks way too often. One time I even picked Grovel. Onegaishimasu.

Five things that rocked:

1. Soundtrack

Masafumi Takada and Jun Fukuda from Grasshopper Manufacture composed the game’s soundtrack. The score contains many throwbacks to older video game music, and is heavily influenced by 1960’s and 1970’s theme songs and other genres, including techno, rave, rock and funk. Takada was told by Mikami that due to the game’s hardcore nature, the soundtrack should be composed to “relax things a little bit.” – Wikipedia

The typical action game soundtrack says, “You’re fighting an epic battle to save humanity!” God Hand’s soundtrack says, “Go out there and kick some ass!” The first stage sets the tone of the game perfectly with Gene’s Rock-a-Bye, heard in this trailer:

Is that not the perfect casual ass-kicking track? They even found a way to work in timpanis, the best instrument ever.

2. Comedy

Finally, a game that lets me play out my fantasy of punching a gorilla. And just when you think the game can’t get any manlier:

“My dad was over and saw me playing this game at this exact point. I told him it was the manliest fucking game around, but he just looked atο»Ώ me like I was the biggest dissapointment in the world.” β€” Comment on the video (+58 rating)

In sum, this is a funny game.

3. Combat system

It’s brutal and ruthless. Its style is impetuous. Its defense is impregnable. It’s Alexander the Great.

4. Minimal Problem Solving

When I’m playing an action game, I want action. I don’t want to spend half of the game searching for orbs to stick into matching orb sockets to create a beam of light to shine through a gate that can be rotated with a lever to align it with two other rotatable gates to expose an elevator that takes you to the next level where you get to do the same problem-solving bullshit all over again.

5. Symmetric Opposition

A Ken to your Ryu. A Vergil to your Dante. A Seifer to your Squall. It goes without saying that the God Hand must fight an equal and opposite Devil Hand.

Five things I’m indifferent about:

1. The Casino

I played about 10 games of video poker, 10 games of blackjack, and never went back.

2. The Plot

God Hand was never designed to be a plot-intensive game. Still, between each stage, they could’ve done a little better than repeat some variation of:

Oilivia: Hey, Gene, go into town and beat people up.

Gene: Do I have to?

Olivia: Yes.

Gene: Ok.

3. The Challenges

I got annihilated each and every time without fail. I couldn’t even break the car.

4. Enemy Variety

The lack of enemy variety wasn’t nearly as bad as a lot of reviewers made it seem. At the very least, it wasn’t any worse than the enemy variety in God of War.

5. Random Demons

Any standard enemy can turn into random demon at any time. Since there are only a few enemies that are guaranteed to turn into demons, you have few opportunities to learn how to fight them. This spells certain death early in the game. Later on it becomes a fun challenge.

Final Score: +++

Next up: Metal Gear Solid 3

So far I’m about eight hours in. It’s been about 70% watching cut scenes, 20% crawling around like a pussy, and 10% getting creamed in gunfights because the only first person shooter I’ve ever played was Chex Quest.

As for my next RPG, out of respect for God Hand, I’ll be playing the other game Studio Clover produced just before dying out.

Tags: ,

48 people love sucking up to me

  1. digitalboy says:

    yeah I don’t really get why they dubbed a game who’s dialog was all in English in the first place, haha. Glad you liked the game, though I knew you would anyway, because you are a man. Sad that this amazing studio had to die, but Capcom is making sequels of the games at least…

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      I can finally empathize with this concept of studio worship. In the case of anime, I’m so often impressed by so many shows that I’ve never felt the need to follow any single studio. But with video games, there’s a much higher crap/quality ratio. I’d be a loyal Studio Clover fanboy if it still existed.

  2. 6six6 says:

    I really need to finish this game.

  3. sniffits says:

    Damn, this game was so manly. As for MGS 3? Haha, oh man, you think it’s bad now? You’re actually in what I would consider the fun part of the game. Seriously, it only gets stupider and more cut scene intensive as it drags on, and try not to pay too much attention to the plot. Hideo’s logic hurts.

  4. Glo says:

    It’s games like this that make me angry my xbox is broken, and unable to be warrantied.

  5. Zantetsu says:

    As the saying goes, deep under the tons of piles of shit and debris you’ll strike oil. God Hand isn’t the best game ever, but it just oozes the spirit of what a game should be. I just simply can’t wait to get my hands on Hokuto no Ken Musou myself; after all, nobody does Kenshiro better than Kenshiro.

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      In most of the games I’ve played over the past few years, the battles weren’t particularly fun or exciting. I found myself fighting just to get on with the story. God Hand had me playing for the thrill of the fight. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

  6. Yi says:

    “My dad was over and saw me playing this game at this exact point. I told him it was the manliest fucking game around, but he just looked atο»Ώ me like I was the biggest dissapointment in the world.”

    Loll that’s funny.
    The first image looks fucking awesome.

  7. Shiro, Long Tail's says:

    Hell yes Okami! I need to finish that myself..

    Any elaboration on the gameplay? Can I button mash my way through fights or must I master elegant combos to cause my enemies head to explode?

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      You can’t really button mash your way through battles. If you attack carelessly, enemies with block and counterattack.

      You’ll find yourself using a variety of attacks, not necessarily because you have to, but because it’s easy. There’s no jump button, guard button, or any of that stuff on the main four keys. Those keys are just for attacks, so you don’t have to memorize complex key combinations to execute a variety of attacks.

  8. Laguna Loire says:

    You beat it very fast πŸ˜‰

    A guess all parents like to bitch about all the things we do… when we have some fun playing, watching animes, are out, messing around with friends/girlfriends or even when we are on the crouch doing nothing… nothing we do seems to please them πŸ˜›

    Okami is a nice game, the concept, the arts, the story…everything, plus it happens on japan, with japanese mythology and elements, and up to this point, okami is the ONLY action/rpg you don’t gain experience through battle (aka bitch work), their leveling system is very different from other games, and you can just fight the obligatory enemies and bosses and skip all the other shit fighting if you’d like =)

    (…)

    By the way…where is the God Of War II Review ? πŸ˜›
    I’d ask about the Chrono Trigger Review too, but… πŸ™

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      God of War II comes after Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil 4, which I picked up first because they were on sale. God of War II would’ve cost me as much as both of those together. What’s the point of being several years behind on video games if I can’t take advantage of the sales?

      • Laguna Loire says:

        I guess you’re right, me too, haven’t played all the games the past generation has to offer to us…Resident Evil 4 is the best installment of that series in my humble opinion, although i liked a lot the previous games, there is a wii version for the Resident Evil 4 , and it is cool to point to the screen as if you had a gun in your hands to shoot, and seeing that legendary maddox post today ( http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=contra3_owns ) reminded me of one thing, they only didn’t mess with the 3d metroid, because it was made for the wii πŸ˜‰ Metroid Prime 3 for the wii kicks some huge ass πŸ˜›

  9. chinlamp says:

    Sounds awesome. Seeing as I just got given a second hand PS2 (first thing from Sony I ever got in my life cos I hate the company and refuse to give them money), I’ll probably see if I can find a copy (won’t get my hopes up, Australia is like the black hole of games).

    When are we getting another anime review? I’d love to see a mid-terms post again, especially with the two heavily lesbian shows from this season, and the couple others with a bit of lesbianism.

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      Midterm reviews only work when I’m watching shows in the 26-episode range. Most of the shows I’m watching right now only run up to 13 episodes. Other bloggers do midterm reviews of them anyway, and they end up having little more value than a first impressions post.

      And I understand if you hate Sony.

      Fuck. This is where I’d link to Maddox, but his site is down. Fuck. Fuck fuck Fuck.

  10. vendredi says:

    Even if your only experience is Chex Quest, Chex Quest itself is fairly hardcore – it’s DOOM with bran! Terrifying.

  11. Joe says:

    Man, add another game to the list of games I’ll play when I eventually get a PS2.

    HELL YEAH Chex Quest! That game was crazy awesome, I don’t remember if I ever finished it. Might have to dig it out…

  12. Alejo says:

    Thank you, dear Baka-Raptor, for your wonderful review, you’ve convinced me that it’s worth plugging my old PS2 back to play this game, I’ve so far reached chapter 4 and I can’t get enough of hokuto shinken-ing the shit out of everyone.

    As for future games, I’d recommend Psychonauts, it’s a simple enough platforming game from the guy who made monkey island, it’s got some of the most amazing dialogues ever.

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      Nice, Azel’s level. Getting caught by him and then pummeling the shit out of each other was a blast. An extremely hard fight but damn fun—a microcosm of the game.

  13. FaS says:

    I don’t mean to use your comment box to say this, but this is a matter of life and death for my anime-blogging career and my following @ finallyanime.com Please don’t delete this comment.

    Hey, it’s me FaS, from Finally Anime. I had to use a different name because MY WEBHOST SHUT ME DOWN!!!!! They fucking shut me down!!! Apparently I’ve been taking too much of their bandwidth/processes. This is what they said:

    “As you probably aware, here at Just Host we proactively monitor all our servers
    to ensure that our clients websites are loading as fast as possible at all
    times. During this routine monitoring we
    have found that your account is utilizing an excessive amount of system
    resources, and we have been forced to suspend your site as per our terms and
    conditions ‘10% CPU Policy’

    For your reference, here is a copy of your usage report:

    Top Process %CPU 82.0 [php]
    Top Process %CPU 72.0 [php]
    Top Process %CPU 54.0 /usr/bin/php /home/finally1/public_html/index.php

    Just Host offer unlimited hosting space and unlimited bandwidth, but as per our
    terms we will suspend any website which exceeds our 10% CPU policy. We hope that
    you understand our position in
    ensuring that we provide the best possible service. In order to continue to
    provide this high quality service, you will need to upgrade to a dedicated
    server, which will give you an abundance of
    additional resources and speed up your website.”

    Get this, they didn’t even let me get my material!!! This is what I sent them:

    You know, I don’t get irritated very much, but why would you do such a thing like this without any warning. I’ve been a loyal customer and you shut down my site without ANY warning?! Like I’ve worked SO hard on my site and you do me like that. I almost want to create a lawsuit. I am not made of money and simply cannot afford that. That’s just Ludacris. 143 a month????? If you would please put my website back on for at least a day or two or even half a week I’ll pay extra, I don’t care, but you don’t seem to understand that I need to let my audience know what’s going on…however you just cut me off…I apologize in advance for the flaming email, but you’re destroying everything I worked so hard for….all the important anime directories will now have dead links….and worse, important other anime bloggers. You’re killing me literally. As someone in need, ID VERY much appreciate if you put it back up for at least 2-3 days. You never even warned me. HOW was I supposed to know this??? Really?? At any rate, I eagerly await your reply.

    Anyways, to make a long story short, if you could make a short post that tells people Just.Host.com SUCKS and not to use them and that finallyanime.com is shutdown, I’d appreciate it.

    Thanks for being a cool fellow blogger.

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      Just Host looks like a shady company that’s done this sort of thing many times before:

      http://wordpress.org/support/topic/290190

      http://www.besthostratings.com/web-hosting/just-host-review-comments-6007.html

      http://www.hostgatorcouponcodex.com/blog/justhost-a-scam/

      According to the terms of service “you can either upgrade your hosting package, or request a pro-rated refund of the amounts you have paid in advance for the services.” At the very least, you can get your money back. I’m going through the terms of service, and there doesn’t seem to be any promise that you can access your material once your site goes offline. It does say that it’s your responsibility to backup your data. I’ll keep looking for now (I’m a law student, so I don’t mind), but I don’t think anything I find will change your best bet: write a much more professional email requesting access to your files. Even though you hate them, write to them with the same courtesy you used when you wrote to me. The more professional you are, the more likely they’ll be to take you seriously.

      “[W]e will do everything reasonably feasible to provide you with a warning prior to taking your site offline, but we accept no obligation to do so.” Cheap ass piece of shit company. Though there’s probably enough of a promise there to either demand an explanation or threaten them with legal action (that would almost certainly cost you more than it’s worth).

      Did they provide you with any way to check CPU usage? If not, legal issues could pop up, but once again, it’ll probably cost you a lot more than it’s worth to actually take legal action.

      By the way, anyone who knows anything about hosting (I know jack shit), please feel free to chime in.

  14. FaS says:

    Again, sorry for the long post

  15. FaS says:

    Mmmm, yeah, I guess you’re right -_-” Sorry for the long comment on your site dude. I just didn’t really know what to do and wanted to let everyone who’s site I frequented what was going on. Again, I apologize and thanks for the research man. I appreciate it. Oh, random comment – podcast was great πŸ˜€ And GodHand was just as great. Definitely hard at times, but it feels SOOOOOOO rewarding to just kick people out into space, literally. hahah.

    Oh, and btw, at the moment, my site is back up, but I don’t know what to do about the CPU usage thing. They’re telling me I have to fix it…..which I don’t understand since it’s THEIR server…weird. Anyways, I’ll definitely be emailing them more about this. I’ve worked too hard to look at my stats only to see 13 people viewed my site that day (which was on my stats :/)

  16. TheBigN says:

    “But it’s still the most satisfying (and spoiler-free) credits sequence ever.”

    Yes. “God Power keep my pimp hand strong.” I wish this line was utilized more in real life.

  17. FaS says:

    Dude, yeah, the keep my pimp hand strong was friggin sweet along with a “how can you resist a ballll-bastaaa” lol. Like this shit’s too funny. A girl I had a crush on in highschool got it for me for my birthday. What a sweetheart πŸ™‚ But after beating it about 2 or 3 times. Definitely 2, I was done with it. And hard mode is FUCKING HARD.

  18. Funny thing about that ending theme is that it’s actually a straight up riff of the music from the Mazinger Z theme.

    Always loved that reference

  19. Omisyth says:

    It’s great to know most of the crew from Clover are still making games. Can’t wait for Bayonetta.

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