God Hand + Bonus Music CD
Mix the muscular bad asses of Hokuto no Ken with the
slapstick of the Three Stooges in a big cauldron and
you might bubble out a concoction flavored like God Hand. Set in a dusty
landscape with a distinctive Western twang, the hero
of the game is a fighter named Jean who's an over the top bruiser with
bulging pectorals and moxie. He
dashes, performs back flips, punches up a storm, and
unleashes massive energy attacks through his God Hand. In
the first scene, he enters a town with a girl named
Olivia and immediately falls to his knees while
croaking, "Waaterrr." Olivia is unimpressed and
directs his attention to two "sexy" cowpokes
approaching them from the distance. They don't look
too friendly and Jean does away with his thirst
routine, cracks his knuckles and goes to work.
The first battle shows off the impressive techniques and moves
available to the hero. In addition to conventional
attacks, Jean may pull off special moves, running
attacks, combos, and almighty God Hand blasts that
level a local area. Much of the environment is also
interactive and may be destroyed to cause additional
damage to an attacker. To bump up Jean's powerful
repertoire of default moves, new attacks may be
purchased at shops for additional beat down skills.
Every copy of God Hand includes a bonus "God Tracks" music CD
that's packaged inside the DVD case.
» Press START and the following selections manifest
NEW GAME / Easy, Normal, and ??? modes. ??? requires
LOAD GAME / Resume a game from save data
OPTION / Controller config, Dual Shock vibration
toggle, Sound output
After starting the Normal game, a voice says,
"That's what I expected from you"
» As the game opens up, a dusty town with a
tumbleweed blowing across is shown and two people
walk in. There's a girl named Olivia and a guy
dubbed Jean. The guy falls to his knees and exclaims
"Water" in a croaky voice. Olivia replies, "this
place reeks" and then directs his his attention to
two "sexy" bruisers walking towards them. Jean
cracks his knuckles and heads towards them. The town
sports a Western in theme with a Saloon in the
background and a drugstore on the side. All of the
spoken dialogue is in English and a good amount of
the menus are in English as well for an relatively
import friendly experience.
R-Analog........Cursory movement (dash left, dash
right, bend backwards, and feint forward)
Circle............Special event activator
R1-Trigger......Select and ignite God Reel attack
L1-Trigger......180 degree rotating dash
R2-Trigger......Use the God Hand (God gauge must be
» After defeating the two attackers without much
effort, a fat guy stumbles out of a building and
falls flat on his face. He then offers himself up as
a punching bag since he isn't much of a challenge
either. Later, three goons may be seen beating down
on someone on the dirt floor. Crowd in on the action
and beat the goons up with a service of punches and
kicks. The enemies have fairly good AI and will
block attacks. They also react naturally to attacks
in that they'll wince and writhe in pain when
smacked but most importantly, they actually attempt
to protect themselves by raising their arms which
adds challenge and forces the player to mix it up
with dash moves, guard breaks, and variety. In other
words, mindlessly mashing buttons won't work.
» The early goons don't always use their brains and
gang up on Jean which is irregular since we would
have expected mob mentality from thugs. They
generally attack in single file although there were
scenes in later levels where goons crowded around
and attacked in rhythm.
» Once the miscreants are beaten, things get
interesting inside the building. A single goon is
seated at a table and gets up to greet you. Once
he's damaged enough, a hulking green Abomination
erupts from the thug's carcass and blazes with
purple light from its half-head and arms. Its
primary attack is a pick-up move where Jean is
lifted up and smashed to the ground. It can also
blink quickly from one part of the room to another.
To counter it, use a God Reel attack followed by a
barrage of punches to destroy it. There's a point
where you'll be able to activate a rapid fire
sequence of punches by hammering the "O" button
which triggers the special attack.
» When an enemy is down, the player can continually
kick him around for giggles if so desired. Even
after his energy levels are gone, he'll stick around
as long as you kick him around. Once you stop, he
groans and disappears.
» There's a roof that can be brought down on top of
a goon in the first level to do some damage.
» The controls and the camera are beautifully
executed. Whenever Jean turns around, the camera
automatically swivels to allow him a forward view of
the action at all times. The control scheme is also
peppy and responsive as our hero punches and kicks
his way through the ranks of enemy foes.
» NCS is
fairly certain that God Hand won't get the
recognition it deserves. At first glom, button-down reviewers
will dismiss it as a regulation-issue fighting game and won't
delve into the game any further than the first
level. If so, they'll miss out on one of the more
'em ups released in the past few years. The
difficulty level is up there however which may scare
away some gamers. Bottom Line: Clover
Studio is three for three thus far with Viewtiful Joe, Okami, and now
God Hand. Kudos.
This document and photos are ©NCSX 2006. All rights reserved. No
reproduction in whole or in part of this document
may be made without express written consent of
National Console Support, Inc.