Shadow Hearts: From the New World ReviewJason Leyanna
Shadow Hearts: From the New World takes place in the United States during the time of the Great Depression. This is based during a realistic time period with a fictional story incorporated. Johnny Garland is the protagonist who is a private investigator who finally receives a real case. Johnny is supposed to be looking for a fugitive that has jumped bail. Initially Johnny only has to fight off human baddies. As the game progresses, other unique fantasy creatures are encountered. They can be fought with help from some new friends that are met along the way. One of the companions Johnny meets on his journey is Shania, who can transform into a winged being who resembles an angel. She's beautiful and she's got the brawn to match. Much like Yuri of the original Shadow Hearts, Shania's powers are what allow her to transform into a Fusion Monster and take on the abilities of spirits. Nathan, the Native American, has a unique combination of gun skills and martial arts. Others acquaintances include a Ninja and a cat that uses kung-fu.
The Judgement Ring Battle System fortunately returns in this Shadow Hearts: From the New World. The ring is used in determining the effectiveness of attacks. You have to time the pressing of the X button right to get it within the colored areas. The closer you come to the red the better the attack, but be sure not to miss the colored area completely. The CG sequences are aesthetically pleasing. Following each battle, a screen will come up displaying character information such as: hit points, magic points, current level, and points needed to reach the next level. Alternatively, you can access the command menu by pressing the triangle button in the field view or on the world map. Each of the characters, monsters, and spells have an elemental attribute. There are three sets of opposite attributes and when a character gets hit with an opposite attribute it will cause more damage. Less damage is incurred for attacks that are of the same attribute. Each character also has the ability to use Stellar Magic, except for Shania.
It is fairly easy to travel from one area to another, thanks to the World Map. Once you reach a path to another locale, you can go to the next place or to somewhere you've already been. There are different items that can be found along the way, which you can use when you find it necessary. Items and equipment also can be purchased from merchants.
In the end, Shadow Hearts: From the New World proves to be quite fun. I would recommend it if you enjoy Role Playing Games.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.