God Hand PS2 Review
Unlike many other scrolling fighting games of this day and age, God Hand doesn’t possess a living city nor does it feature a substantial story. Good old fashioned beating up people is very much the focus of the game.
You are Gene, a drifter who in an effort to rescue a woman, has one of his arms lopped off by thugs, only to find that his severed limb is replaced by the legendary God Hand. From this premise, the game is obviously one that is not to be taken seriously. Story segments are fairly rare and when they do happen they’re brief.
When we said it wasn’t one to take seriously it was perhaps an understatement. Enemies can be punted into space and kicked where it “really” hurts complete with comical ding sound effect and an audience laughter track. All such crazy things we could do to our adversaries left us with a smile on our faces.
Stunning an enemy will bring a button prompt which usually requires you to hammer the button, resulting in an enemy specific attack and yes, whilst God Hand is a button basher, it’s also so much more. Every skirmish -be it with lowly goons or elite bosses- has to be treat with a lot of care and attention, as even the regular baddies are as tough as bosses in most other games and in some cases even tougher. Deft avoidance manoeuvres and a true understanding of the combat system are required to overcome the majority of enemies.
It’s possible to entirely overhaul Gene’s move-set, with items found in the good old gaming cliché of breakable items, by defeating enemies or by simply purchasing them. There’s a vast range of options, allowing you to create your own unique style.
God roulette moves are the craziest moves in your arsenal and without doubt one of the games most entertaining of methods to punish your enemies with. These are limited and should be saved for the tougher moments.
Likewise for the titular “God Hand” ability itself. To unleash the God Hand, you must first fill up the TP bar to a certain amount, done so by striking or defeating enemies, as well as making your opponents wince with cheesy one-liners. The God Hand ability, allows you to enter a god mode of sorts (pun very much intended) for a set amount of time, causing you to become invincible, faster and stronger. However the TP bar fills up at a relatively slow pace, so the move must be used sparingly.
God Hand’s camera is one of the games weakest aspects. The action is followed closely behind Gene, showing off some great character detail, but never really an ideal view for your pummelling business. Such a zoomed in view means you’re not often able to see enemies located to your rear or your sides, causing needless frustration. There is a radar, but viewing it whilst fighting is easier said than done.
God Hand is not fantastic by any means, but it is a good old fashioned fighting game, with a bizarre, but at the very least, mildly amusing sense of humour as well as a satisfactory fighting system.