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Author Topic: Shadow Heart: From the New World  (Read 32636 times)
Cauton
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« Reply #120 on: March 17, 2006, 08:37:01 AM »

I just beat the game as well, clocking in at pretty exactly 30 hours. I did most of the sidequests, but there were a few I didn't bother with because of the tedium involved with them (farming Soul Energy/taking hundres upon hundreds of photos).

I though the game was mostly great, even if it can't hold a candle to Covenant story and character wise. It's just as much fun when it comes to gameplay, though - perhaps even more so, thanks to the changes made to the battle system.

Some thoughts about characters and story (major spoilers ahoy):
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Did anyone else feel that the story ended quite abruptly? I had figured out most of the story after, oh, five minutes of the game, and really hoped that there would be some more twists and turns after The Gate had opened. As it was now it just felt like "hey kid, you're actually dead, now go kill your not-quite-sister!", without any time give to the characters to actually process this information. I mean, Johnny certainly didn't seem to make big deal out of just finding out he's some kind of zombie.

Not to mention that some things were just left unexplained. How did Hilda and Roger end up together on an airship? How could Johnny suddenly control his "Malice" persona, and use it in combat? Who, or what, exactly were the beings that took over Grace and Johnny (didn't their father mention their names?)? Was Gilberts ultimate goal really something as boring as turn everyone into a monster because he thinks they're pretty?

Then we have the characters. It's nothing new to the Shadow Hearts series to have a pretty shallow supporting cast, but in From The New World even the main characters were pretty uninteresting. Take Shania for example - being fueled only by vengeance might work for the hero of a Charles Bronson flick, but it doesn't make for a very appealing RPG hero.

Johnny is a little more interesting, but not really that much. He's the kind of clueless teenagare type that we've seen many times before, and even his backstory wasn't all that unique.

I think the character I found the most interesting was Ricardo. He actually genuinely loved Edna, and his lust for vegeance seems a bit more justfied than Shania's. At least we actually get to see Edna transformed/killed, while Lady's destruction of Shania's tribe is only mentioned in a quick cutscene. He's also a reference to El Mariachi/Desperado, which is never a bad thing.

But even with these flaws I really enjoyed the game. I guess the only reason I'm annoyed by them is because the rest of the game was so awesome.
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Ryos
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« Reply #121 on: March 17, 2006, 11:27:13 AM »

Quote from: "Cauton"
Code:
Did anyone else feel that the story ended quite abruptly? I had figured out most of the story after, oh, five minutes of the game, and really hoped that there would be some more twists and turns after The Gate had opened. As it was now it just felt like "hey kid, you're actually dead, now go kill your not-quite-sister!", without any time give to the characters to actually process this information. I mean, Johnny certainly didn't seem to make big deal out of just finding out he's some kind of zombie.

Not to mention that some things were just left unexplained. How did Hilda and Roger end up together on an airship? How could Johnny suddenly control his "Malice" persona, and use it in combat? Who, or what, exactly were the beings that took over Grace and Johnny (didn't their father mention their names?)? Was Gilberts ultimate goal really something as boring as turn everyone into a monster because he thinks they're pretty?

Then we have the characters. It's nothing new to the Shadow Hearts series to have a pretty shallow supporting cast, but in From The New World even the main characters were pretty uninteresting. Take Shania for example - being fueled only by vengeance might work for the hero of a Charles Bronson flick, but it doesn't make for a very appealing RPG hero.

Johnny is a little more interesting, but not really that much. He's the kind of clueless teenagare type that we've seen many times before, and even his backstory wasn't all that unique.

I think the character I found the most interesting was Ricardo. He actually genuinely loved Edna, and his lust for vegeance seems a bit more justfied than Shania's. At least we actually get to see Edna transformed/killed, while Lady's destruction of Shania's tribe is only mentioned in a quick cutscene. He's also a reference to El Mariachi/Desperado, which is never a bad thing.

But even with these flaws I really enjoyed the game. I guess the only reason I'm annoyed by them is because the rest of the game was so awesome.


Code:
There wasn't really time to process it.  As was fairly obvious with the change in Gilbert and the huge number of monsters going through the gate, time was of the essence.  Although Johnny does get over the fact he's a "zombie" as it were in the basement.  Don't ask me why neither he nor his crew cares about that too much, personally I'd be creeped out a bit more if I found out someone I "knew" was dead. :P

The Roger and Hilda part is just a tiny bit forced.  Roger headed to America because he wanted the N.Y. Heaven issue.  Why would you want to go to America just for some economic journal?  Well, he has been living a good 600 years now, and mostly as an old fart.  I'd be pretty darn bored too. :P  As far as Hilda going to America, that was never explained.  I figured it's for the same reason Keith partied in the first SH: he was bored.  America is at the tail end of the vibrant 1920s, the decade of great prosperity and exuberance.  Much of Europe is still recovering from WW I.  I'd rather go to America too. :p  Don't know on the beings.  I figure they must have been something specific since they have a different look, but I sure as heck don't know what they are.  Really the only significant part of that scene is that Grace transferred all the will to Johnny and got all the malice, so that's why each went their much different futures.  As far as Gilbert, I don't think he was so concerned about what happened to the rest of the world as himself.  He was weak.  Via the power of malice, he was "strong."  If the rest of the world has to perish for him not to be a sniveling coward, so be it.

Shania's a very tricky character.  This is one of the few games I can think of offhand that tries to make you look at not only what is presented in terms of characterization but also what is not presented.  What isn't said?  Why isn't it said?  Shania shows this greatly in her search to become part of the real world.  It's not just a matter of revenge.  Her whole tribe was brutally slaughtered (which IS pretty significant, especially when you consider it's not like your typical genocide, pack up your bags, and go somewhere else.  There are so few Native Americans by this time period that something like your entire tribe going down would be comparable to say New York and California being decimated).  She herself "dies" when Lady attacked, and this death is made all the more obvious when Lady contaminates her with malice during the game, since she's literally living on borrowed time.  Between these two things she's lost her place in the world and doesn't feel she belongs.  She has a tremendous burden placed on her shoulders and doesn't want anyone else to feel its sting, perhaps because no one else in the world, barring Yuri if he were alive, could understand her plight the way she does.  Only two Native Americans from the tribe survived the attack; only two Native Americans could seek revenge.  Natan did not have the strength and will.  Only Shania did.  From the beginning she's taken up the man's burden of being strong and protective, casting aside her feminity in the process.

I didn't really like Johnny either, so no complaints there.  I actually find him most amusing because he's probably the most feminine character in the cast.  Whoever came up with the idea of ShaniaxJohnny needs to be shot too, it's probably the worst "relationship" in quite a while.

Ricardo is definitely a bit interesting because you see a lot more of his before and after than you do with Shania, who only gets brief opportunities of showing her former self during random scenes like with Anne and her sidequest.  But ultimately, Edna was in the mafia, so the odds are she would have died at some point or another.  If it was not by the hands of McManus (a scene I really enjoyed, btw :p), it would have happened by someone else.  Would the Gavoy tribe have been completely decimated were it not for the appearance of Lady?  I highly doubt it.
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Cauton
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« Reply #122 on: March 17, 2006, 12:19:12 PM »

More FTNW spoilers, and even a SH: Covenant spoiler or two.

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[b]Johnny's death & resurrection:[/b]
Well, I don't quite buy that they didn't have any time:P The monsters pouring out of The Gate happens after Johnny & CO defeats Killer (The Malice contained in Killer was the last push needed to open The Gate, supposedly), and even if they were in a hurry I sure as hell would've taken the time out to think a little about the fact that I had been dead for five years. ;P

[b]Roger & Hilda & Gilbert:[/b]
Yeah, I did the N.Y Heaven sidequest too, so I know Roger's reason for going to America. What I would like to know is HOW the two of them got together. I guess you could speculate that Roger hung around with Keith and Joachim after Shadow Hearts / Shadow Hearts: Covenant and befriended Hilda then, but that's hardly a satisfying explanation. To me it feels the script writer just couldn't think of a good way to get Roger back into the picture, so he just came up with some arbitrary reason.

As for Gilbert wanting the power of Malice to be strong... Well, he was pretty damned strong at the start of the game too. Not only was he a very succesfull and respected scientist (as evident by him being the head of weapons research at Roswell), he already had the ability to open Windows and summon monster. I guess he could want even [b]more[/b] power, but that's a pretty old and clichéed reason. Once again making him a boring villain.

On a side note, I actually liked Lady and Killer alot as villains, as well as characters.

Killer had been wandering around aimlessly killing, untill he is rescued by Lady. For perhaps the first time in his life he develops feelings for another person, and protecting Lady and carrying out her wishes becomes his new goal in life. This too,is pretty much a cliché, but it's a way more interesting one than "I want more power!".

Lady's motivation, on the other hand, is pretty original. I truly believe that she just wants to get back to her home world - which she was viciously pulled away from during the Émigré ceremony. This changes a bit at the end of the game, of course, when the rage she feels after Killer's death makes her want to destroy everything.

This is actually one of few games in which I think the villians had a better motivation than the heroes.

[b]Shania & Ricardo:[/b]
A lot of what you say makes pretty good sense, even if that doesn't change my opinion that she's a pretty dull character. The presumed burden she carries is self-imposed, and is only her desire to to extract vegeance on Lady. Of course Lady's act of wiping out Shania's village is [i]significant[/i], but the way it's told in the story makes it hard for me to sympathise with her.

I will say that I didn't do most of the Shania relatade sidequests, due to the fact that I didn't have patience to search for the one fetish I was missing, nor did I much feel like collecting all the Soul Energy needed to level up all Fusions. So if any character development took place during them, I missed it.

As for Shania X Johnny, I agree. I'm glad that they kept it to a minimum (unless the good ending is some kind of sappy happy love ending), as it really, [b]really[/b] didn't feel like a very believable love story. The only scene I can think of that involves any kind of romantic feeling between the two is that short cutscene in Brooklyn.

God damnit, I wish that japanese developers didn't feel that every RPG needs a love story. One of the reasons I love Covenant so much is that there never really is any romance between Yuri and Karin. At least not from his side, even if there's a hint or two that Karin might harbour those kind of feelings. He still loves Alice and gets to go back to the time he spent with her, and Karin becomes Yuri's mother, so everyone is happy in the end anyway :P
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blackthirteen
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« Reply #123 on: March 17, 2006, 01:25:46 PM »

I will wait to finish the game before reading your 3 previous longggg posts :D
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Ryos
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« Reply #124 on: March 17, 2006, 02:22:23 PM »

Quote from: "Cauton"

Code:
As for Gilbert wanting the power of Malice to be strong... Well, he was pretty damned strong at the start of the game too. Not only was he a very succesfull and respect scientist (as evident by him being the head of weapon's research at Roswell), he already had the ability to open Windows and summon monster. I guess he could want even [b]more[/b] power, but that's a pretty old and clichéed reason. Once again making him a boring villain.

God damnit, I wish that japanese developers didn't feel that every RPG needs a love story.


(A SH:C spoiler of sorts in my response too :p)

Code:
Oh, I don't think Gilbert was very weak either, but he seemed to think he was.  Recall the first encounter with Killer where Killer wants Gilbert to help him but Gilbert says he's not up to the task and summons a beast to do so instead.  There's also a point in the story (don't remember which exact cinema, but it's after Killer's left the two behind) where he admits to thoughts of stealing some of Lady's power.  Does his lust for power make him a boring villain?  Hell yeah. :p

Definitely.  Death to the need for romances, dammit.  Actually, even Karin's one-sided lust in SH:C bothered me, but at least it wasn't totally contrived like this relationship was.


Quote from: "blackthirteen"
I will wait to finish the game before reading your 3 previous longggg posts :D


That would be a very good idea. :P
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blackthirteen
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« Reply #125 on: March 17, 2006, 05:33:25 PM »

Arrrr You can't know HOW MUCH ANGRY I am!! I almost wanted to tear my ps2 controller apart… Or rather my Shadow Hearts DVD!

Bosses in Shadow Hearts 3 are EXTREMELY LONG and unintelligent to defeat. I’ve spent 1 hour with Malice Gilbert only trying to survive (reviving characters, curing hp/mp/sp, etc). I was almost never able to attack the boss... In addition bosses in shadow hearts are doing non-stop double attacks, and most of those attacks are extremely deadly even with protective barriers. There’s no challenge, it’s not even tactical… it’s simply a gigantic lost of time. It’s only a nasty trick for developers to make the game appear longer…

In summary, I spent 1 hour fighting Malice Gilbert. All my characters were full HP. I had protective barriers too. Then the boss decides to make a super double attack. I couldn’t do anything except watching all of them die. Ironically, I just needed to bring a final strike to the boss.

I just hate to waste my time like this for stupidities. Sometime I really wonder if developers are playing their product… Do they have tester telling them "hey this thing is annoying, improve it before selling it" ?

Shadow Hearts is a good game, but far away from being a perfect one…
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« Reply #126 on: March 17, 2006, 05:37:34 PM »

Perhaps you should change your strategy to make sure that the boss never gets to have enough stock to do a double attack?

It's not really the game's fault that you allow the boss to use doubles on you.

Always, always end combos with a Hard Hitting attack (any attack that has two arrows pointing to the right). That's especially true with the last boss, or else it will rape you up the bum before you can blink.
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« Reply #127 on: March 17, 2006, 05:44:54 PM »

Dude, use your heavy hits and drop their bar so they can't do doubles/combos.

-John
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Cauton
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« Reply #128 on: March 17, 2006, 05:48:06 PM »

Yup, reducing the enemy's stock gauge is the key to easy wins in most boss battles. Rember that you can use Hard Hits to remove a full bar of stock from an enemy. That's not to say that the bosses don't use unfair tactics - one example is that they can use their second move in a Dual Attack on another of your characters, if their first target was killed. Very unfair.

Also remember that using Double Attacks or Double Combos will give the enemy several turns before you're allowed to move again. Sometimes the best tactic is to slowly wilt away at their health, rather than going all out and using long combos.
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blackthirteen
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« Reply #129 on: March 17, 2006, 05:56:57 PM »

I will try your suggestions, I didn't know we could lower the enemies' stock gauge. I thought they were filling when we hit them.
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Dizzy
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« Reply #130 on: March 17, 2006, 06:05:48 PM »

Addendum: Using a Hard Hit normal attack uses 50% of your stock guage, so using a Stellar Spell or special attack with a Hard Hit side-effect maybe more preferable. But that's only if you're picky about using your stock guage, like I am. :P

But yeah, the game isn't unfair. If anything, the game is TOO fair. :P
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Cauton
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« Reply #131 on: March 17, 2006, 06:06:43 PM »

The stock gauge does indeed fill up when you hit the enemy, but Hard Hits, as well as certain skills, allows you to reduce the enemy's stock. Just as Blackjack suggests, it's a very good idea to use a stock reducing hit at the very end of your turn.
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LaVal
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« Reply #132 on: March 18, 2006, 12:31:27 AM »

Quote from: "blackthirteen"
Arrrr You can't know HOW MUCH ANGRY I am!! I almost wanted to tear my ps2 controller apart… Or rather my Shadow Hearts DVD!

Bosses in Shadow Hearts 3 are EXTREMELY LONG and unintelligent to defeat.


I wouldn't say the boss battles are mindless.  The stock gauge adds quite a bit of strategy beyond the traditional "attack with the opposite element", as you have to concentrate on lowering your enemies' gauge with well timed attacks as well as filling your own.  

However, I agree the boss battles are over-excessively long.  I've spent well over an hour fighting 2 bosses late in the game only to succumb to them nearing their defeat.  It's extremely frustrating to spend that kind of time, only to have to repeat it, especially since you have no idea how to prepare for them until you've spent a good deal in combot with them.  The length of the bosses has me thinking "Oh no, not another boss" every time I see one.
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blackthirteen
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« Reply #133 on: March 18, 2006, 03:32:47 PM »

Quote from: "LaVal"


However, I agree the boss battles are over-excessively long.  I've spent well over an hour fighting 2 bosses late in the game only to succumb to them nearing their defeat.  It's extremely frustrating to spend that kind of time, only to have to repeat it, especially since you have no idea how to prepare for them until you've spent a good deal in combot with them.  The length of the bosses has me thinking "Oh no, not another boss" every time I see one.


That's exactly what I meant. I can accept being defeated without trouble when bosses last 5-10 minutes, in such a context I just want to try it again right away, but it's not the case when bosses are desperately long like more than half an hour…
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Cauton
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« Reply #134 on: March 18, 2006, 03:45:32 PM »

Half an hour? I don't think any boss battle in From The New World lasted longer than 15 minutes for me, not even the final one. What levels are your characters at?
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