PS2 God Hand + Bonus Music CD  - New Import
NCS Game Synopsis
NCSX 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.

 

 

NCS Game Notes
Press START and the following selections manifest themselves:

NEW GAME / Easy, Normal, and ??? modes. ??? requires unlocking.
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.

CONTROLS
L-Analog........Movement
R-Analog........Cursory movement (dash left, dash right, bend backwards, and feint forward)
Triangle........Roundhouse kick
Circle............Special event activator
Square..........Punch
X-Button........Forward kick
R1-Trigger......Select and ignite God Reel attack
L1-Trigger......180 degree rotating dash
R2-Trigger......Use the God Hand (God gauge must be full)
L2-Trigger......Taunt

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 enjoyable beat '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.

 
Summary of the Week
Monday NEWS Preorders open for NDS Jump Ultimate Stars, Animal Crossing Ichiban Kuji, Aquapict, Alter Motoko Kusanagi, Dragon Quest Dungeon R, Weekly release outlook 
Tuesday BOOK Rockman Zero Complete Works shipping to preorders  NEWS Samurai Spirits Iroha figures, Illumination Cube, Gun X Sword: Full Action Max Dann Figure
Wednesday NDS Earphone Microphone  PS2 Metal Slug 6, Rurouni Kenshin: Enjou! Kyoto Rinne, SP2000 Vol. 106: The Block Kuzushi Quest, SP2000 Vol. 107: The Honoo no Kakutou Banchou,
Thursday NDS Nounenrei: Nou Stress Kei Atama Scan, Wi-Fi Taiou: Yakuman  PS2 God Hand, Minna no Tennis  PSP Ridge Racers 2
Friday NDS Nounenrei: Nou Stress Kei Atama Scan, Wi-Fi Taiou: Yakuman  PS2 Godhand  NEWS Animal Crossing Alarm Clock, Animal Crossing Finger Puppets, Animal Crossing Movie Figure Set
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