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Heavenly Sword was one of the first games released for the PS3 and was a sort of martial arts beat em up style game.
It told the pretty standard story for this kind of game - We are introduced to Nariko (Voiced by Anna Torv), the fierce red-haired warrior whose clan (her father is the chief) has protected the mystical Heavenly Sword, a blade with the powerr of the gods that, when wielded, drains the user of all their life. Andy Serkis plays the evil, power hungry ruler King Bohan who wants to use the sword for personal gain, like power and wealth and stuff.
Pretty standard stuff. What put this game apart from the others in its genre was that it played out more like an interactive film. While you ran around around killing things with the X button, followed by loads of crazy combos, it all felt kind of empty. To me, the main part of the game comes during the cutscenes, most of which are interactive.
The game seemed to be designed for the sole purpose of showing off the Playstation 3's HD capabilities as for the most part the game was a sequence of cutscenes where everything was huge and magnificent and every so often you had to press X or O or something to avoid dying.
For the most part, it also seemed like it was almost impossible to die. Sure there were some tough fights, but your character seemed a little too strong and most people a little weak.
There are also different modes of play. Throughout the story, you can play by firing rockets at mass armies and catapults, play as Kai - Noriko's weird Gollum-like friend and skilled archer.
The final boss fight, though, wasn't. You're invincible and for all you know he is too, and the whole point is just to slaughter your way through the thousands of people with huge sweeps of your sword. What's strange is that this is all given away right at the beginning, then the rest of the game is flashbacks all leading up to the point where you started. That and the fact that the game can be finished in an afternoon or two, and you wonder if it was worth it.
All in all, as a game it's kind of boring, and standard. As an interactive story designed to showcase how many soldiers the PS3 can show at any given time and - wow will you look at all of that in the distance there - it gets an A+. It's not the most original story, and the gameplay is all pretty boring, but it certainly looks good.
This was one of the first games to be released on the Playstation 3 and is still one of the best. The graphics are excellent and it has Andy serkis as the voice for the bad guy. It's not your usual hack and slash like Ninja Gaiden or Dynasty Warriors. In this one you play as two characters, one called Nariko who is the one with the sword, and a younger mad one with a crosbow called Kia. As you play the game you earn medals that unlock more moves, so the better you do in one level the more damage you can do with the new moves in the next. Most of the levels are you slashing up the bad guys with a sword but about 20% of them are shooting. With crossbow bolts or cannon balls that you can steer through the air by tilting the sixaxis controller. This for me was the best bit of the game, although I like the rest of it as well.
I absolutely loved playing this game from start to finish and go back to it again at least once a month. Once you've completed it you can pick the levels you like best and just do them. It's out on platinum now for less than £15 so in my opinion it's a bargain.
Heavenly Sword features some of the best graphics to be seen on the PS3, the character design is beautifully rendered and the cut scenes are a joy to watch - party due to the high quality of acting. The game features none other than Andy Serkis (of LOTR fame) providing voices and also directing the other characters. The decision to get Serkis involved really works, as the acting stands out as some of the best I've seen in a game. I ususally skip cut scenes in games due to the terrible voice over work, but not in this game!
The game itself plays like your God of War type games, part platform - part beat 'em up / fighting with swords, however it doesn't quite match the brilliance of GOW (even though GOW was on PS2, it is still in my opinion, far superior).
There are some great features in this game, which break up the platform / fighting sections, such as the archery sections. In these levels you take on the role of another character other than Nariko (sorry I forget the name), whose weapon of choice is an arrow firing 'gattling' gun. The beauty of this is that you can control the flight of the arrow, and as you do so the game world slows down so you can follow the arrows in slow motion as they hit the desired targets. This is very satisfying, and once you master it, you'll love picking off soldiers one by one from a distance....brilliant!
Overall, this game is a classic and one that stands out in the ever growing catalogue of titles as a true great.
In this game you follow your character Nariko as she fights to defend the heavenly sword and prtect her vililage from the evil invading bad guys. Not going into the story in any more detail but it is relaly well written and depicted really well in game as well. The narration helps add to the feel of the game.
Graphically the game is brilliant the game was made using real actors for all the mouth movements. And on top the characters look lovely and in game the graphics are slendid especially when pulling off some the nicer moves. That's when you will really appreciate the graphics.
The game is a general hack and slash but your character has 3 main stances which she can use. These are basically the 3 different types of moves available to you. Ranged attacks, obviously for a wider range and gets more people. Speed attacks, mid range but faster and less powerful. Power attacks, short ranged attacks but filled with power (and probably some rage too).
All the enimies are vulnerable to different kind of attacks so you have to change around from time to time, but it is fun using them all because they are all so different to each other. The game also has bosses which are defeated with normal moves but they obviously challenge you to get around the bosses stupidly powerful moves like sending huge tidal wides your way etc.
You can play as aanother character later on called Kai where youg et to control arrows with the sixaxis motion detection which at first is irritation but once you get how to use it properly and you master it becomes very satisfying.
The game is really good and I think it is something you should play, it is definately a fun hack and slash and is simple to play yet very satisfying.
Heavenly Sword is an action game exclusively for the Playstation 3 console developed by Sony themselves.
The story follows our main character Nariko, her clan is under attack from
the evil King Bohan who wants to gain the power of the Heavenly Sword. Nariko is going to have it and so takes up the Heavenly Sword to defend her people at the cost of possibly her own life .. The story is actually very well told and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.
Heavenly sword for the most part is a hack and slash affair and you will be controlling our heroine Nariko. She can use her Heavenly Sword in a variety of different stances you can use either speed attacks, ranged attacks or power attacks.
Each enemy in the game is vulnerable to different types of attack and will attack you with certain attacks which you will automatically block depending on the stance you are in. It adds a layer of strategy to what would otherwise be a button masher.
You will also get control of Kai who plays completely different from Nariko, she uses her bow and you can actually steer the arrows into enemies using the Sixaxis motion controller which is a bit weird but very cool and satisfying when you make a good shit.
Nariko also gets a giant cannon at a point in the game and the same mechanics are used here. Add in a bunch of quicktime events that are popular at the moment and you have Heavenly Sword.
The games graphics and production values are through the roof, the game is visually stunning thanks to real actors being used to portray the characters as well so everything moves well, especially when characters are talking it looks believable (so many games get this wrong). The significant graphical power of the Playstation 3 helps too.
A great action game for the Playstation 3, they only downside is that it is a little on the short side!
Heavenly Sword tells the story of Nariko, a strong female warrior within a small tribe that guards the Heavenly Sword. The tribe has had it's share of problems and the fact that the merciless King Bohan is determined to not only steal the sacred sword but destroy their tribe makes things even worse. The prophecy dictated that the sword itself was only meant for a man so when Nariko takes it upon herself to save the tribe by using the sword her decision has drastic and unforeseeable consequences.
This sets up the story. An unlikely hero, not viewed worthy enough by her own tribe, challenging the might of a vengeful despot with thousands of men at his command...can anyone say girl power?
What ensues is a dramatic rollercoaster ride that takes us through some frankly jaw dropping backdrops and pitches Nariko against the wickedly insane forces of King Bohan (voiced perfectly by Andy Serkis). So far this sounds like it could be a film and to be fair it was treated as such in many ways.
The voice acting for one is some of the best I have heard in recent years, the motion capture and facial animation is second to none (you actually see genuine character emotions realistically conveyed) the writing is fantastic and the story as a whole is well crafted. Here's the best bit. Because the story and the characters are so well fleshed out, you care what happens to them and you, as a gamer, exhibit emotions normally reserved for real life situations. As a result, this makes the combat very good indeed because you care about Nariko.
It's a game after all and you will be fighting the forces of King Bohan. Luckily the combat does not disappoint and the Heavenly Sword has a few tricks up its sleeve. You have three different stances with the Heavenly Sword - Ranged, Speed and Power. Ranged makes Nariko's moves attack a wider area which is good for creating space between her and the enemies but it doesn't do them much damage. It's handy for knocking enemies off balance or sending them flying off a cliff. Speed uses very quick combos to juggle opponents and attack relentlessly not giving them an option to counterattack. Power is much slower and Nariko very noticeably finds it harder to swing under its weight but when it hits it knocks an enemy to the core. All of these stances can be switched up in real time so you can start of in a speed stance, move into a power stance then finish with a ranged stance. It's very fluid and looks amazing.
Nariko can also unleash superstyle attacks when she has collected enough style points (from unleashing hell essentially) she can perform a special cinematic attack that differs depending on what stance she is in. They all look very well animated and are a blast to use.
As well as Nariko, you will also take control of Kai at certain points in the story. She is a little weird and very mischievous but spot on with a bow and arrow. At any time you can make her arrows fire in slow motion and guide them either with the wireless controller or the buttons themselves. It's very satisfying to guide an arrow from far away for it to finally hit the target in the head or groin! She is fun to control as well.
The only thing I would say about the game is that it's quite short....10-12 hours but there is lots to collect such as artwork and unlock movie cutscenes, a making of video and even 2 episodes of Heavenly Sword made into an animated series so lots to look at once the journey is over.
At the time Heavenly Sword was released for the PS3 I remember all the hype centered around a game that not only boasted to be one of the best looking titles yet, but that it had a truly cinematic feel not present in titles of a similar genre. I played the demo, thought it was ok and that was that. Two years on I picked it up very cheaply and to my surprise I enjoyed it so much more. I now know that the main reason being is that the demo could not do a game of this type justice with a five minute combat sequence.
Heavenly Sword is a journey you wont soon forget and one of the most passionately crafted stories in a long time. Together with spot on fighting mechanics this is a game you should not overlook...much like I did two years ago rather foolishly.
Heavenly sword is a fantasy hack n slash game set in ancient times with an oriental theme.
The game was released fairly early in the PS3 life span, around september 2007 in UK. The game gets you playing between two characters, both girls.
One called Nariko whos primary weapon are swords, and later the heavenly sword, and the other being Kai, who uses a very large crossbow. For most of the game however you play as Nariko.
So the story is about your clan being attacked by King Bohan's army in his seeking of the sword to obtain ultimate power. As your people retreat, you are forced to use the sword in order to stand any chance in rescuing your captured father and destroying Bohan and his army. That being a very brief paragraph on what's going on.
Graphics and gameplay: Well, I have to say graphics are 5 out of 5. They simply look gorgeous, colourful and characters are extremely well animated. The way their lips move when speeking is spookily similar to watching a real person. For a relatively early game, I have since seen few others that match this game visual wise. Gameplay is very fun, with different types of specials moves a plenty and a menu of combos so you don't have to memorise them all. As you play as Kai, and use the crossbow, it really works well in breaking the "hack n slash" of Nariko. But playing as Nariko is by no means boring. Special moves and attacks have mini cut scenes which are nice to look at and enemy's weapons can be picked up and used against them.
Boss's look awesome, the fights are inventive and get you thinking. All in all a great fun game to have.
Heavenly Sword is a third person fantasy action game set in a fictional world somewhat reminiscent of ancient Japan (or at least, what I imagine ancient Japan would have been). You play as Nariko, daughter of the clan chief Shen, who's life purpose is protecting the Heavenly Sword. This is a mystical blade that is said to drain the life force of any mortal who wields it. King Bohan - a merciless warrior who has conquered almost all of the land - seeks to possess this sword, as a symbol of his rule, but must first defeat Shen's clan, the last remaining free people in the land.
*** Gameplay ***
Most of the game takes place from Nariko's perspective, battling a wide range of enemies from a third-person perspective. During this mode of play, winning is mainly a matter of frantic button mashing - although a wide range of combos are available, they revolve around just two buttons (and I hardly think "press the same button 9 times" counts as a real combo!).
After the first level, there are three sets of combos to choose from, depending on your "stance" - but this simply reduces to holding one or other shoulder button while mashing Square and Triangle.
There is also a set of Arial Combos - supposedly achieved by flicking the controller after the first button press - but I only ever achieved this once in the entire game.
In later levels, you face faster and more deadly enemies, and these can often only be defeated with counters, or scripted button presses. These generally involve hitting the right button at just the right moment, then following a short sequence of stick movements and button presses as indicated on screen.
I found these quite tricky - mainly because I don't play on the PS3 often enough to have an intuitive grasp of which button is which - but to be honest most of these sequences felt like the developers saying "Oops, it's too easy - let's add in a button sequence".
In other sections of the game, you will be using ranged weapons - either a cannon, during some of Nariko's levels, or a crossbow when playing a level as her adopted sister Kai (note that there's no choice, each level is played as one particular character).
Here, the controls change somewhat - and in my mind, become far more fun - as you use the tilt function of the SixAxis controller to guide arrows and cannon-balls to their destinations. This may not be an innovative use of the PS3 controller, but it is certainly effective - and left me with far more respect for what it is capable of.
Here, the detailed character models become very self-evident - missing an enemy target because you accidentally guided the arrow directly between his legs is frustrating, but proves that there's none of the "bounding box" logic from older games on other systems.
*** Graphics ***
The visuals in this game are stunning. Both the background scenery and the characters are superbly detailed to a quality you might expect from mainstream films instead of computer games. In fact, some of the characters and scenes struck me as more realistic than the CGI in films like "300" (a film that my mind kept going back to as I played this game).
*** Sound ***
Sadly, the sound system I have connected to my PS3 isn't top quality, so I can't comment on any 3D effects that might have been present. However, the voice acting was very well done, giving depth to the characters that the otherwise simple script might not have supplied.
One interesting quirk though was the choice of accents for Shen and Bohan. While the look and story felt very Japanese to me, the voice of clan chief Shen kept making me think of the Scottish highlands, whereas the very urbane King Bohan (voiced by Andy Serkis, aka Gollum from Lord of the Rings) seemed to belong in a far more modern and civilised setting.
*** Summary ***
The game lasts for 43 segments split over 5 chapters - but despite that, can be completed even by an only moderately skilled player in well under 16 hours. Completing the game unlocks a "Hell Mode" difficulty setting, but replaying the same storyline at a harder difficulty holds little appeal. There is a challenge to collect all 129 "glyphs" (up to 3 per level awarded for "stylish" play), which unlocks additional media content, but the rewards aren't enough to motivate many people to replay the same level over and over.
The variation in game play style keeps the game from being boring the first time through, but the precision necessary for the scripted button press counters and finishing moves is often hugely annoying.
Despite Heavenly Sword being a game which most companies will give free with your PS3 it is probably one of the best games out at the moment and definatley shows of the power of the ps3 in terms of graphics, voice acting and story line. The only downside is the slightly repetitive, Dynasty Warrior like gameplay and fairly short campaign.
The game is about a clan who has to protect a heavenly sword, said to give powers to the wielder that could make him/her the most powerful in the world. Your clan is currently under jepordy from King Bohan who has his eyes set on the sword. You control Nariko one of the last survivors of the clan and it is your job to keep the sword safe.
The graphics are spectacular and you will be hard pushed to find a game with better graphics. The cenery is magnificent with waterfalls and mountain sides. And the voice acting is on another level, from Nariko to King Bohan, played by Andy Serkis (who plays Gollum and King Kong.
The actual gameplay is not as impressive, but still good. You mainly use two buttons to attack at first and although there is a wide range of combos you generally ignore them and button bashing often does the trick.
However not too far into the game you get 3 modes, fast, ranged and power attacks which help differentiate between attacks and stop the repetitiveness to an extent. The game also splits this up by adding a few modes, such as a crossbow section, with Narikos adopted sister Kai, and a cannon section blowing down catapults and blasting literally thousands of men. On top of this the boss fights add a different dimention with different stages within the fight and a sort of Shen-mu style button presssing when the button appears in the middle of the screen.
Sadly the game ends quite quickly (around 10-20 hours) and even though it unlocks a harder mode its not fun to play the exact same game you just played.
Overall its a great showoff game for the PS3, and is definatley worth a try, definatley a rent and despite some of its gameplay flaws, fighting against hundreds of men at a time does have its appeal and as a dynasty warriors fan I had great enjoyment out of this game.
Emotionally charged, stunningly beautiful and delivering unprecedented dramatic character performance, Heavenly Sword showcases the power of PLAYSTATION 3. A dramatic tale of revenge sees Nariko, a fiery red-haired heroine embark on a quest for vengeance against an invading King and his army. The story builds around the ancient Heavenly Sword which once belonged to a powerful deity. It can never be wielded by a mortal without it draining their life-force, killing them within hours. When the invading King (played by Andy Serkis) destroys the warrior clan that guards the Heavenly Sword, the clan leader's daughter, Nariko, takes up the sword in a desperate fight for survival. Nariko must now pay the ultimate price as she embarks on one last mission of vengeance against the King and his army before her life is finally drawn to a close. Andy Serkis, the world's leading CG actor, famous for his roles as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and Kong in King Kong, was heavily involved in the creative process. As well as starring in Heavenly Sword as the villain, King Botan, Andy was a major contributor to the character development, writing, casting, directing and performance capture for the PLAYSTATION 3 game. Heavenly Sword features a deep, diverse combat experience made possible by PLAYSTATION 3.