Heavenly Sword Review
By holding down the R1 button you can combine the two swords into the actual Heavenly Sword. By entering this power stance you can do slow but incredibly powerful attacks, perfect for handling bigger and tougher enemies. Lastly by holding down L1 you will enter the ranged stance. This mode, where Nariko swings her weapons wildly on long chains, is perfect for handling archers and other enemies who attack from a distance. Switching between these three styles actively is the key to surviving this game.
Unlike in most action games you cannot jump or truly block, most games allowing you to at least do one of the above. Jumping is reserved for cutscenes and combo attacks meaning that you will have to use the evasive roll maneuver to avoid enemy attacks. Blocking is another issue entirely and is possibly the most controversial aspect of this game due to how it is set up.
Whenever an enemy goes to attack you they will glow a particular color. This color determines what sort of attack they are going to do and how you must handle it. If they glow blue you must not be holding down any buttons or attacking. Basically you have to be in speed stance and not doing anything and he will block automatically. If they glow yellow you must press R1 and enter the power style and not be attacking to allow Nariko to block it automatically. Essentially to defend you must remain passive. It can be hard to play other games and then switch to this but it is manageable.
The proactive part of your defense comes in counterattacks. By blocking an attack and pressing triangle at the right time you can counter the attack and hurt the enemy, usually sending them flying. With a perfectly timed press you can even automatically kill most enemies. You will desperately need to master this as well as how to block all attacks or you will get overwhelmed by some of the larger battles, especially when there are nearly thirty enemies waiting to beat you down.
There are sections you will not play as Nariko, but instead as her close friend Kai. She is an odd girl who seems off her rocker, frequently talking to thin air as if something were there. Her sequences play as archery sequences where you use the Aftertouch system to take care of enemies from a distance. This involves holding down the square button and slowing down the arrows flight, letting you guide it manually into the enemies face. I actually found these sections to be almost more fun than using Nariko.
Heavenly Sword is an engaging game experience where, even if you donít love the gameplay, you will enjoy a movie quality experience. The storytelling is one of the best experiences I have ever seen in video games or movies. However the experience is too short, lasting only eight hours before it is over. The limited replay value also hampers an otherwise great experience. It really canít slow down this game too much though and it is an altogether fantastic experience that shouldnít be missed.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 80%. While it may be a storytelling experience worth seeing the duration of the experience really does a lot to kill this game.