Shadow Hearts is frustrating and I
hate it think it's pretty average. Still going to keep playing though...
This plus your review on The Last Story (plus your reviews on about a half dozen other games I love) has led me to believe that we enjoy games for VERY different reasons...
The judgement ring is bar-none the best battle system in a turn based JRPG
edit: I'm interested to know what it is about SH that you find frustrating?
I gotta side with Andrew on this one. I just played Shadow Hearts last year and it was a bitter sweet experience for me. Presentation and atmosphere were wonderful. Virtually everything else DID frustrate the sin out of me. That being the case, the pros more then made up for cons and I did see it through to the end.
As for the judgement ring mechanic itself, I can't call it anything other than polarizing. It keeps you more engaged than you typically feel in turn based gameplay which is great. However, doing so with a mechanic that relies so heavily on rhythym-esque timing execution may not be everyone's cup o' tea. I personally suffered more agony than joy as a result of the ring but I also have hated rhythym based gameplay since the dawn of guitar hero.
The last point
I remember SH:C's font being /really/ hard to read on my old TV :S
EVERYTHING WAS HARD TO SEE!!!!! Various visual design choices hurt my eyeballs. (Subjective matter)
ETERNAL EDEN/ Finished it up Klyde did. Sadly I don't feel as positive about my experience with the ending as I did the journey. There is a terribly obvious and unforgivable means of sequence breaking the last hour or two. Thing is, doing so yields out of place text, dialogue, events et cetera that should not trigger yet. What is worse yet is the fact that the pay off nullifies any chance of even the slightest difficulty for your final confrontations.
In short my final verdict on Eternal Eden is as such. Beautiful and charming journey that had the potential to yield magic lost with the SNES era but is FAR too casual and broken to ever realize such possibilities. The unforgivable mess of an ending needs to be viewed as seperate from the rest of the experience to appropriately appreciate the title, which is a shame. That isn't to say the game isn't worth the time. The ending and shortcomings only account for a fraction of the experience they just happen to be too damning to ignore when discussing my experience.