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Reviewed: Shadow Hearts: From the New World
Producer: XSeed JKS
Required System:  Playstation 2
Overall Rating:
Author: Michael Ahlf
Date: March 20th, 2006


Following up on a series that some gamers considered "closed" is a tough task; the designers have to come up with a unique storyline, work up a reason for the story to exist, and make sure that gamers are going to become intrigued enough to try it out and to enjoy the new title.

The obvious out is to create a prequel. Plenty of games do this, even if the events of the first game were supposed to be a "surprise" to the original protagonists, and then work them back in, or else create nearly identical (but unrelated) characters to play with. Sometimes a meaningless sequel is done. In either case, the games suffer from this easy premise, mostly through constant self-reference, making newcomers to the series wonder what's gone on before.

XSeed and the Shadow Hearts designers decided to go the harder route - they looked inside their world for another unique group, another setting, and a way to somehow connect them, however vaguely. The result is Shadow Hearts: From the New World, a game which has almost zero connection to the previous titles in the series except for one event that happened in the middle of Shadow Hearts: Covenant.

Thankfully for the team, it works. While not quite up to the level of Shadow Hearts: Covenant, From the New World is a unique, fun, and enjoyable title on its own merits, and well worth picking up for fans of the series and new players alike. T

Added:  Monday, March 20, 2006
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 1/3

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