Heavenly Sword Demo Impressions then...


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peej
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Had a good go on this last night...and...

1) It looks achingly gorgeous. Lush visuals, fluid animations, beautiful backdrops and vistas, superb character designs

2) QTEs! HULK SMASH!

3) Scrapping was quite nifty, you could basically button bash and kill everyone easily - or you could bother to learn some of those thigh-round-the-neck, knee-in-the-balls combinations a la Dead or Alive / Tekken. Not bad, but I'm hoping there's a tad more to the scrapping than multiple respawning enemies.

4) Not much more to the demo per se. MASSIVE scope for wandering around a very tidy and beautiful game world though so sign me up!

Peej
#1 at 11:35:18 - 27/07/2007
CrispyXUK
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Vistas = Albundy

Anyways, this should be downloaded by the time I get home so I'll let ya' know.
#2 at 11:55:47 - 27/07/2007
quedex
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Some chap on the HS Blog wrote:
- Experiment with stance switching. Nariko can instantly switch between stances using the shoulder buttons. Your standard stance is the Speed Stance, L1 pressed and held is the Ranged Stance and R1 pressed and held is the Power Stance. Youíll find the various enemies react differently to each stance, meaning youíll need to find different tactics to defeat them with style.

- Once youíve mastered the basic attacks, it's time to try some advanced stuff. Wait for an enemy to attack and hit TRIANGLE to counter their strike. This relies on careful timing but, if you get it just right, youíll deliver a killing blow to your attacker.

- By this time, you should have some Superstyle built up. Look at the HUD element in the top left: the inner dial is your Superstyle bar. Whenever one or more of the gems light up, you have access to a variety of Superstyles that can wipe out dozens (and in later levels, literally hundreds) of opponents in one devastating blow. These moves are stance specific so, at each level, you have a Speed, Power and Ranged Superstyle. Activate these using CIRCLE while in the stance of your choice. Obviously the more gems highlighted, the bigger and more devastating the Superstyle!

- Got that nailed? Sweet! Now try using L1+TRIANGLE on someone who's staggered - they'll fly up into the air. If youíre quick enough, jerk the pad up and Nariko will launch into an aerial combo. Try SQUARE + SQUARE + SQUARE to start with but donít forget that other combos are shown in the pause menu.

- On that note, Nariko only has a handful of moves available in the demo, with tonnes more to unlock during the full game. Some of these moves have a little broken shield icon which signifies that this is a Block Breaker move - use these to break down enemy defenses.

Hopefully, thisíll give you a good place to start for now. Let me know how you get on - Iíd love to hear what you find cool! Over the next few weeks, Iíll try and reveal more of the techniques and tactics you can use in the demo and final game.

One final sneaky tip: donít kill the axeman during the opening hero sequence (i.e. miss the final SQUARE press) as you slide down the ropes. Thisíll give you a chance to see what itís like fighting a tougher character!
#3 at 12:19:10 - 27/07/2007
[maven]
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As I said somewhere else, it looks very nice, but the gameplay felt sluggish to me and I never felt in control.

But as always, that could just be me being crap.

edit: Although we all know we're gonna buy it, because what else is there for PS3 in that time-frame? ;)
#4 at 12:24:57 - 27/07/2007
peej
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Very useful stuff Quedex, I'll give some of that a go tonight.

Peej
#5 at 12:28:20 - 27/07/2007
boabg
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I really wasn't impressed by it. Myself and a few mates had a bash last night and none of us enjoyed it.

I love both God of War and Ninja Gaiden but this game just lacks the certain something that made those games excellent.
#6 at 13:07:13 - 27/07/2007
Trip SkyWay
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I really like the more methodical pace to the fighting, as soon as I stopped trying to play the demo like Ninja Gaiden I started to enjoy myself.

The evade stick didn't seem all that useful, feels a touch slow and the distance it covers a little short.

I was expecting not to like it at all, but I'm now curious to see how it reviews, and might well pick it up.
#7 at 14:20:23 - 27/07/2007
peej
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I think I need another few hours on the demo - playing it between bouts of The Darkness wasn't a great idea but it's a grower for me.

I think I'll be watching out to see what people think of the respawning battles vs actual exploration and story progression.

Good graphical showcase for the PS3 though at least - the menus and loading screen (which you spend a lot of time looking at) are very luscious too.

Peej

#8 at 14:33:05 - 27/07/2007
boabg
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I thought it had chucked it at the loading screen.
#9 at 14:55:08 - 27/07/2007
JimJam
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peej said:the menus and loading screen (which you spend a lot of time looking at) are very luscious too.

Peej



Seems odd when it's coming off the HDD that you should be looking at it for so long. Maybe they're preparing you for the disc based experience.
#10 at 15:01:56 - 27/07/2007
quedex
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JimJam said:Seems odd when it's coming off the HDD that you should be looking at it for so long. Maybe they're preparing you for the disc based experience.
They probably hadn't bothered to do anything to optimise the demo. Also, if the loading screen occurs right at the start of the demo, this would get hidden in the full retail version behind all the logos, cut scenes and menus. So while you might still end up waiting the same amount of time, you won't notice quite as much.
#11 at 15:42:52 - 27/07/2007
peej
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Could be a point actually - IIRC the Motorstorm demo was similarly slow compared to the disk versh - and as you know, that's hella slow :)

Peej

#12 at 18:23:10 - 27/07/2007
CrispyXUK
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Ok, just finished it a few times and I think it's bloody awful, especially compared to the likes of NGS and GoW.
#13 at 22:17:24 - 27/07/2007
JohnnyM60
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I think the combat is better than GoW and I really like GoW. If the game is like GoW, and apperently it is, I'm sure to like this.
#14 at 01:09:08 - 28/07/2007
peej
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Not feeling the love for it much meself either, tis a bit hit and miss and I've never been one for remembering huge strings of combos and fighting moves anyway despite honing my skills on Virtua Fighter for years.

Visually though it still presses the right buttons for me. Could've done with about a million more frames of animation for the lead character though.

One thing I really liked, physics based environments - watching people crash into a stack of barrels and them behaving like they ought to rather than just exploding. Liked that a lot.

Peej
#15 at 13:53:54 - 28/07/2007
quedex
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There's some (new?) gameplay footage in the 1up show this week, and the character animation looks pretty impressive in that. Is it possible that it's suffering from "early demo build syndrome"?

Also, they said that the QTEs are fancy branching ones, i.e. if you miss some of the button presses, it does something slightly different instead of killing you and making you start again like most other QTEs.
#16 at 14:03:26 - 28/07/2007
ilmaestro
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It sounds so bad from people's descriptions in the EG thread that I haven't played it yet, even though it's sitting on my hard-drive. I'll probably play it tonight.

maven: I can see that your comment is tongue-in-cheek, but it's a ridiculously packed schedule to be releasing a game into. If it's not top-notch then it shouldn't do too well.
#17 at 14:44:09 - 28/07/2007
Retroid
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Watched 1up and was confused by Shane's comment about it having some of the best voice acting he's heard. One of the enemies they featured the speech of SOUNDED FUCKING AWFUL.

Game itself looks nice enough. I like the after-touch on things like arrows, but otherwise.... still not that interested.
#18 at 15:25:57 - 28/07/2007
ilmaestro
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quedex said:
Some chap on the HS Blog wrote:stuff...

... that with the exception of the final paragraph, you're told about in the controls menu!

It seems okay. Nariko's movement isn't entirely convincing, the 'standard' counters lack weight, the transition to aerial combos is a bit incongrous, plus all the other stuff people have mentioned. I might buy it, but I'd have to a) hear that they'd tidied it up significantly and it all felt a lot smoother and b) not end up buying the FFVII Crisis Core PSP pack the same week.
#19 at 13:08:57 - 29/07/2007
peej
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The more I play the demo, the less I like it and the less I think it's got much about it other than some rather nice graphical gloss. Put it this way, the 10 or so minutes you spend on this demo can't really give enough of an impression of how it's going to pan out, but at the same time I can't see the combat system changing much for the full version, and that's the bit I have the biggest problem with really. Counters are hit and miss, ranged mode feels piss weak while power mode feels too slow and slouchy (though swapping between the two does yield the best results). As Il said, Nariko's movements don't really seem fluid enough, there's too much of a harsh transition between one move and another, so if they're aiming for some fluidity it's been lost.

Enemy AI is also a bit shitty, you can stand in front of someone and it seems to take them a few seconds to make up their minds what they're going to do - gives you a lot of an edge.

Once again the demo is so short, but I get the feeling that this game is going to be all about quicktime, battle, more battling, another quicktime, cut scene, battle, quick time, battle, cut scene and bog all to do with actual questing or a feeling of progression.

I could be wrong.

Rental first for me, most definitely.

Peej
#20 at 13:58:43 - 29/07/2007
peej
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Why didn't I stick to my intentions to just rent this. It's fucking atrocious.

Tears like a bitch, despite not even being properly in 3D (It's a metal gear solid 3 style job, you can't rotate cameras at all).

Lush voice acting, character models and scenic visuals completely and utterly ruined by so many graphical glitches and jarring errors that it completely buggers up any chance you'd have of getting immersed in the game. Horrible truly foul rinse and repeat gameplay with some severely broken level design and game dynamics (the whiptail fight f'r instance will have you wanting to snap your disk in half, it's so fucked).

Animation of characters is stilted, odd, just doesn't have any flow to it. Combat mechanics are a case of matching an enemy's attack stance with your own, then just button mashing for all you're worth.

Such an utter utter shame. The game's only saving grace is Andy Serkis' performance as Bohan (the bloke just fucking rocks).

EG were being generous giving this a 7.


Peej
#21 at 10:47:18 - 14/09/2007
nekotcha
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/Strikes off 'maybe' list

Cheers for the impressions peej - to be fair the demo didn't exactly convince me (found it a bit annoying and boring), but I was still kinda tempted. Definitely not now though.
#22 at 13:17:11 - 14/09/2007
boabg
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The usual early game in a console's lifetime shite review from EG.

What the fuck is going on with their scoring by the way? I know there's a load of reviewers there now with different tastes but this a seven and Blue Dragon a five? Another joke was yesterday's Two worlds review. Sounded fucking atrocious then got a four - one mark below average.
#23 at 13:27:07 - 14/09/2007
Retroid
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PSlol

Seriously; don't Sony have a problem with these hyped-up exclusive games being a bit arse?
#24 at 13:31:22 - 14/09/2007
boabg
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Yep they do, to be fair though so do MS. Remember Blinx? :D
#25 at 13:39:24 - 14/09/2007
Retroid
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Difference was that was MS's first console attempt and they were just thankful to get stuff. This is Sony's third home console and I'm still frankly baffled as to how they've managed all of this.
#26 at 13:47:38 - 14/09/2007
peej
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It makes me sad. I really wanted to like this and just put aside some of the misgivings I had about the demo, but the full version doesn't address any of 'em, hasn't been tweaked technically to sort out those hideous V-synch problems (put it this way, the vistas and backgrounds are truly stunning but as soon as you tweak the camera left and right to take in the full view, it tears like a bitch).

I also felt like a britsoft developer deserved a bit of love considering all the effort that seemingly went into the art direction, and the sheer amount of graphical goodies that built up the game's back story (those anime-style teaser movies f'r instance).

But the game's a sow's ear. It has one or two moments of fun, but more frustration, broken-ness and annoying elements that can't really save it.

Save your money, or buy Stranglehold today instead.

Peej
#27 at 13:53:24 - 14/09/2007
boabg
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Retroid said:Difference was that was MS's first console attempt and they were just thankful to get stuff. This is Sony's third home console and I'm still frankly baffled as to how they've managed all of this.


True.
#28 at 14:03:08 - 14/09/2007
peej
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I'll do a proper review when I've completed it btw...

Which, looking at the couple of hours I've put in, would probably be around 8pm tonight :(

Peej
#29 at 14:14:14 - 14/09/2007
El_MUERkO
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yup, the demo killed it for me, the way sony are going on like its the second coming but in fact its a bit meh.

/shakes fist
#30 at 14:54:21 - 14/09/2007

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