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Heavenly Sword Demo Out

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the like-kratos-but-with-red-hair dept.

PlayStation (Games) 66

Thursday saw the release of the Heavenly Sword demo on the PlayStation network. Kotaku has impressions from the play experience and GamesRadar offers up some helpful tips to make the most of the short playtime. From Kotaku's rundown: 'Seven minutes, and it ends just like that. No big boss fight to try out, no giant plot revelation, no finding an ancient artifact. Just, "here comes more enemies, see you in two months!" You know that feeling you get when you're about to sneeze and then can't? Exactly the feeling I got here. As for aesthetics, the graphics were solid but the framerate was erratic at times. Sound was excellent no matter which language option I chose in order to stretch out my playtime a little by pretending I was a different guy from another country. By far the best aspect of the whole demo for me, the music was completely top notch. Very atmospheric and brilliantly arranged. ' Back at Kotaku, Brian Crecente received a longer version of the demo than the one publicly available, and is now playing through it live over the internet.

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66 comments

Yes! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20014891)

A new game!

You know it gets really bring sometimes here in my parents basement with only games and porn to entertain myself. I though about getting out and interacting with the World, but I decided not to. They are soooo stupid. It's best if I stay here and play my games getting fatter and fatter, reading Slashdot, watching the computer generated babes, and then jacking off. God, I wish there was more to life! But hey, life sucks, all there is the RIAA out there to bust me for my rightful use of copyrighted material. I have a right because the IP laws are unfair - so there!

Ooooo, more porn is up! Got to go!

Re:Yes! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015053)

Not only do you apparently fail at life, you obviously fail at trolling too.

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015257)

Not only do you apparently fail at life, you obviously fail at trolling too.

Well, my motor hasn't been working well - I have those special trolling motors for my boat - so that may be why.

But, if I really had a life, I wouldn't be here.

Now, I'll go cry at my miserable life because some fat fuck, who thinks he's soooooooooo much smarter than everyone else on Slashdot insulted me.

Booo woo hooo! Wahh aaaahhh haahhh hardy dy har har!

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20016223)

Well, my motor hasn't been working well - I have those special trolling motors for my boat - so that may be why.

But, if I really had a life, I wouldn't be here.

Now, I'll go cry at my miserable life because some fat fuck, who thinks he's soooooooooo much smarter than everyone else on Slashdot insulted me.

Booo woo hooo! Wahh aaaahhh haahhh hardy dy har har!
Quoth the dude with nothing better to do than troll people on Slashdot. You know what they say about those guys who run around making a big deal of calling people fag and talking about how much they wanna bang chicks? I think it might apply to trolls who claim others live in basements. *nods sagely* Very sad.

A Second Game! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015075)

Wow - finally a second game for the PS3 besides Resistance: Fall of Man [ctrlaltdel-online.com]!

It almost makes the PS3 worthwhile! Except not!

Re:A Second Game! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015301)

Aww, lookie..its at bitter fanboy.

Resistance - 40 player dedicated servers. No lag ever. No framerate drops ever. Insane graphics.

Motorstorm - Absolutely insanely fun and unmatched offroad vehicle physics and destruction.

Tekken 5DR - An arcade perfect version for only 20 bucks from PSN

Ninja Gaiden Sigma - A massively upgraded 1080p remake of the classic game

SuperStardust HD - Old school shooter action in glorious 1080p graphics

GT HD - 1080p 60fps racing that looks like an entire generation ahead of racing games on other platforms - free download on PSN

And full backwards compatibility with the largest and greatest console library of games ever - most of which can be picked up for 20 bucks now.

Sorry fanboy, PS3 owners are frantically trying to find time to fit all of the games they want to play into the measly 24 hours each day has - and what is nice about the PS3 is we can play 24/7/365 and not have to worry about our machine dying over and over again like the POS 360 does.

Re:A Second Game! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015539)

I know I shouldn't, since you're just astroturfing and apparently didn't bother reading the linked comic, but...

Ninja Gaiden Sigma - A massively upgraded 1080p remake of the classic game
Really? I love the ads they've been running for it. It looks like a first-gen PS2 game, at least in the TV ads. Brilliant marketing campaign, that - provide conclusive proof that if you don't have a $3000 HDTV, you shouldn't bother with the game.

And full backwards compatibility with the largest and greatest console library of games ever
NOT ANY MORE! Way to go, Sony! Not even with the old ones, if you're planning on using that $3000 HDTV!

Re:A Second Game! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015693)

Sigh, it is sad to know that there are just so many stupid people out there.

Playstation compatibility has been completely software based since about 3/4 through last gen. The PS3 has roughly 99.5 percent Playstation compatiblity with the exact same software emulation the PS2 has plus upscaling.

PS2 compatibility for the GS only PS3s is at 90 percent and rising rapidly. Go to any gaming forum and see the almost complete lack of Europeans complaining about PS2 games not working on their Euro PS3s.

You can stop posting in this story. You have nothing of any value to add.

Re:A Second Game! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015809)

I know that Sony claims 90% compatibility. I've heard it before. That number doesn't mean anything on its own. You're trying to imply it means that 90% of games are supported. Unfortunately that figure apparently means hardware compatibility.

In other words, the PS3 is not compatible with 90% of PS2 games, it only emulates 90% of the PS3 hardware. Who knows what effect that missing 10% of compatibility will have on the games you play. Apparently some large number of current PS2 titles are just not quite supported well enough to be playable on the PS3. Things like cutscenes not working in FFXII. Things like constant graphical corruption caused by the status overlay. Things that effectively make more than 10% of titles unplayable, despite the fact that 90% of the PS2 is emulated.

By the way, you seem to have completely glossed over the fact that PS3 games look like early PS2 games without HDTV. Unfortunately HDTV has a relatively small install base. Lord knows I'm not going to upgrade to an HDTV while my better-than-1080p monitor still costs less than a 1080i HDTV.

Re:A Second Game! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015947)

Honestly guy, just shut up.

First gen PS3s with EE+GS hardware have ~99.5 percent PS1 BC and ~99.5 percent PS2 BC.

Second gen PS3s with software EE+GS hardware have ~99.5 percent PS1 BC and ~90 percent(and rapidly rising) PS2 BC.

Sony has an extensive and complete website that details each and every game ever made in every region for both the PS1 and PS2 that any PS3 owner can go to and type in to verify that their games work. Sony has tested BC down to the point where they indicate issues as small as single pixels being slightly off.

Go away idiot, you're just making yourself look desperately lame.

Re:A Second Game! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20016483)

I remember an OS that was 90% compatible with Windows.

It died, because that turned out to mean that almost nothing useful ran with it.

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. That 90% figure covers all three.

I know you might not want to play the latest AAA PS2 titles on your PS3, but please stop pretending that most people won't.

Re:A Second Game! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20016597)

You got owned you dimwitted punk.

You are now Sony's bitch.

Come on dummy, let's hear about this 'AAA PS2' title that doesn't work on the PS3...come on you stupid fucking bitch.

Re:A Second Game! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20017013)

Oh, I know how this game works. I name a title with listed issues in the Sony database. You then respond with one or more of: it's not a AAA title, the issue doesn't make it unplayable, or the issue has been fixed but Sony left it in the database anyway. Repeat ad infinitum.

Or I can just point out that if you want a next gen console and to be able to play old PS1 and PS2 games, it's cheaper to buy a PS2 and an Xbox 360. 100% PS2 compatibility, and a larger next-gen library to boot.

Re:A Second Game! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20017035)

It's like watching an idiot too dumb to know how to hold a gun repeatedly shoot himself in the face...

Re:A Second Game! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20060173)

I've seen first gen ps2 games....they look nothing like ninja gaiden. Even on my old 1080i CRT TV, the game looks incredible. I doubt very seriously you've ever even seen a first gen ps2 title. Go pick up SSX1 or Red Faction. Those are first gen games. Even on 480p mode, NG still looks better than 4th and 5th gen ps2 games.
As for backwards compatability? even without the EE, its still in the high 80% range. Upgrade 2.0 should push that even higher. Considering there are something like 10,000 ps1 and ps2 games, i'm surprised the number that works is as high as it is. Upscaling doesn't look that bad, actualy running smoother than trying to play the games in their native 480p modes.

Re:A Second Game! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20021059)

Lemme know when Nintendo brings out a second game worth owning a Wii for.. Their lineup is worse than Sony's.

Amazing Game (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015123)

The graphics are jaw dropping and the combat system is very deep and satisfying. I've played it at least ten times through since last night when I downloaded it learning more and more about the counter system and the different stances.

This was a good thread to learn about the demo:

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17430 7 [neogaf.com]

The next few months are going to be absolutely insane for the PS3 with Lair, then Warhawk, Ratchet and Clank, Little Big Planet, Heavenly Sword just for the major first party titles.

I loved it. It was much better than 'Cats' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015651)

I loved it. It was much better than 'Cats'. I'm going to play it again and again.

Please don't post anonymously about how good the game is. You sound like a marketdroid.

On the plus side, you didn't use any talking points. Bad marketdroid! No cookie for you!

Re:I loved it. It was much better than 'Cats' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015739)

I love the fact that you're some worthless fanboy of either the idiotic GameCube/Waggle or the POS 360 and are bitter enough to sit around in Playstation stories getting angry that other people are loving PS3 games.

Pace yourself fanboy, the big Sony first party titles are just getting started and you're going to give yourself a heart attack before 2007 is over. And let's not even get into 2008 with MGS4,GT5, FFXXIII...

Re:I loved it. It was much better than 'Cats' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20017183)

And let's not even get into 2008 with MGS4,GT5, FFXXIII[sic]...
Yes, let's not, because with the exception of GT5, all of those are considering Xbox 360 releases.

Re:I loved it. It was much better than 'Cats' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20017687)

OMG! That is so fucking pathetic!

There are still Xbots think MGS and FF are going to be downported to their shitty console!

What a bunch of losers!

Re:I loved it. It was much better than 'Cats' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20018415)

Nowhere near as pathetic as the people who are convinced Sony is still relevent, let alone a player. The PS3 has lost, it's over, give it up.

Short Demo. (1)

Robber Tom (1116343) | more than 6 years ago | (#20015159)

Yeah it's out... all 2 seconds of it. Kinda disappointing.

Re:Short Demo. (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20020323)

It's a DEMO. :)

But seriously... I have gotten the overall impression of the game from the demo, in spite of its length, and it's a MUST-BUY. The cutscene at the beginning is the best lip-sync job I've seen in a video game in a LONG time.... well, ever, I think.

Yeah! This is not "Goddess of War".... and even if it was, it ROCKS... :)

Great demo (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20015219)

If you don't mind downloading a GB of data for ten minutes of gameplay, anyway. What did they waste all that space on, big fat titties and bloom effects?

Rob

Great Titties. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015345)

"What did they waste all that space on, big fat titties and bloom effects?"

Sounds like they hit their target audience.

Re:Great demo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015349)

I wouldn't call that first one a waste.

Re:Great demo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015351)

Well gee Rob, sorry to see you make an idiot out of yourself in the eyes of gamers who have been playing the Heavenly Sword demo non-stop since yesterday learning more and more about the amazing fighting system...

The different stances.
The blocking system.
The various special moves.
The aerial moves with the sixaxis. ...

Demo is AMAZING (2, Insightful)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20015263)

I pre-ordered the game about ten minutes after playing the demo. It's that good.

Re:Demo is AMAZING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20015383)

Holy Shit! You are the biggest Sony astroturfer ever. I mean, you don't even try to hide it at all. I've seen Saran wrap that's more opaque than you. Good, God!

Beautiful graphics, but I have some complaints... (2, Informative)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 6 years ago | (#20015307)

The game looks very, very good. The frame rate at the very start of the demo is a bit inconsistent with noticeable tearing, but through the rest of the demo the frame rate seemed rock solid. The combat has elements of button mashing, but I guess that happens with games of this nature until you get the combos down. My only other criticism is that I just couldn't get the motion controls down at all, so I turned them off. Again, that probably has more to do with my lack of mastery of the controls than anything else, but I would be curious to know if anyone else had the same problem.

The game feels very much like a ninja version of God of War, as they share many of the same elements: context sensitive mini games, vicious combat, finishing moves, swarming enemies and stunning locations. I wasn't all that excited for this game before the demo, but I am now. A definite release day purchase.

Heavenly Sword Irks me (5, Interesting)

PixelScuba (686633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20015437)

This game, beyond most, incredibly irks me. I put up with a lot of marginalizing and foolishness from video games and plots... but Heavenly Sword seems, to me, the pinnacle of what I hate about female protagonists in games. Here we have the finest example of hyper-sexualizing women in games. A woman, barely 100 pounds, swinging weapons of ungodly size and weight and crushing countless minions. Does she cover herself in protective armor to shield herself from the damaging blows of foes? Of course not, she's a woman... she wears a couple bands of fabric covering her nipples and her crotch. She's petite, nimble, sexy and a total badass too... not to mention she has the flamboyant red hair of many female video game leads.

I know this is an ongoing trend... Oni, Lara Croft, Alyx Vance, Chick from Sin Episodes, Chick from No One lives forever, Every DoA Chick and a dozen other games with female characters (Even Samus has fallen into this pit). They're all petite and totally badass. They're blatantly one dimensional... even Alyx from Half Life is pretty shallow and a generic hot chick. Heavenly Sword just gets to me, it seems like the worst of the bunch... "Let's take God of War and make it star a red haired bombshell who will kill you and fuck you before you hit the floor." How can we demand more realistic female characters in video games (male too... but that's for a different rant)? Are we doomed to play games with shallow female leads because that's what we "want"?

For the record, while writing this rant, I was contemplating genuine female leads. Many were from LucasArts adventure games (The Dig, Fate of Atlantis) and other adventure games as well. I also thought of the original Alone in the Dark... I was around 10/11 when it was released and I started thinking about what a unique character Emily Hartwood was... just the niece of a suicidal lunatic trying to find out what happened, she's obviously feminine but not sexualized .

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 6 years ago | (#20015605)

Not to defend the fantasy stereo type but remember there is more than 1 way to fight. Men are best suited to hitting people with things, where as women are generally more agile and are better suited to using lighter weapons and avoiding direct confrontation. Think of it like an Elf fighting an Orc, one is nimble and fast, the other is huge and a brute. If the elf can keep his balance and get in lots of short blows he will win, but if the orc hits him hard then he's pretty much screwed no matter how good his armour is.

So in some cases it is better to be wearing leather armour and as little as you need to stay warm and resist minor cuts and grazes. That way you enhance your mobility and can win with speed and not power.

So women in light armor isn't a bad thing. Women in light armour who use brute force is a bad thing.

developer laziness (1)

roesti (531884) | more than 6 years ago | (#20019047)

Not to defend the fantasy stereo type but remember there is more than 1 way to fight. Men are best suited to hitting people with things, where as women are generally more agile and are better suited to using lighter weapons and avoiding direct confrontation.

Even this is becoming less of a stereotype and more of a cliché. The one-on-one fighting game has suffered from this almost from day one: each game needs a female character, and oh, I know, let's make her physically weak but fast and nimble.

What I think a lot of game designers and game artists don't understand is that a woman doesn't have to be physically sexual to be a sex symbol. The first example that comes to my mind is Jo Dark, who was basically a James Bond (not surprisingly, considering Perfect Dark's roots) minus the need to chat up anything that moved. Jo was rarely visible on-screen, and wasn't disproportionately curvaceous or underdressed when she was, and yet, I consider her a sex symbol. She was crafty, intelligent and uncompromising, and she had a dry British wit. What's not to like?

Personally, I think it's more than just the domination of the game audience by young single males. It takes a certain amount of laziness on the part of the developers as well: it is a character, but it seldom has character. The only thing worse than that is the excuse that every developer makes for their female avatar: that girl gamers find it empowering that they can relate to her. Most of them have no idea whatsoever what women want from video games and never bothered to ask. This is the sort of denial that turns girls away from gaming, and gives us more Dead Or Alives and fewer Dead Or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyballs.

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20021539)

Men are best suited to hitting people with things, where as women are generally more agile and are better suited to using lighter weapons and avoiding direct confrontation

But the real-life differnce between the genders is clearly not as big as portrayed in games. I'm pretty big at 187 cm and around 80 kg, but even I know a few females who would probably put up a good fight against me on strength alone. In games like Street Fighter though, females are a lot weaker and faster than most males...

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 6 years ago | (#20015667)

Well, in defense of Konoko in Oni, her character is very highly based off Motoko Kusanagi [wikipedia.org] from Ghost In The Shell, whose body is entirely cyborg/cybernetic ("cyberized" as they put it)... So, it makes a little more sense in that situation that she can carry a rocket launcher with just one arm and kick the crap out of huge armored guards and stuff. BTW, see Oni's wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] for a bit more info on how closely Oni is based on and/or inspired by Ghost In The Shell. :)

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (3, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 6 years ago | (#20015719)

My favorite female video game protagonist? Jade from 'Beyond Good and Evil'.

That game desperately needs a sequel.

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20016117)

My favorite female video game protagonist? Jade from 'Beyond Good and Evil'.
Kate Archer, No One Lives Forever. Case closed. (though some sick bastard is gonna mention Mrs. Pac-Man.)

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 6 years ago | (#20016897)

I have never played NOLF, but it looked interesting. I've always wanted to check it out.

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20017945)

I have never played NOLF, but it looked interesting. I've always wanted to check it out.
I thought the first game was brilliant. The second one seemed to be hitting all the same notes but failed to be brilliant. I'd compare both games to Max Payne. Payne 1 was cheesy over-the-top film noir brilliance with the sequel being more meh.

What I thought made NOLF stand out against all the other shooters is how seriously the development team took the idea of telling a story. This isn't a matter of a cheesy intro and closing for a mission, everything flowed beautifully. The voice acting quality was excellent from start to finish. The jokes were also quite fresh and amusing and really did a proper send-up of the 60's day-glo spy film. I think my favorite part was sneaking up on the hechmen and listening to the crazy stuff they wee talking about. It almost made me feel bad to shoot them.

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#20016317)

I would totally agree with Jade, as I was just about to reply to GP with that. :) She's not overly-sexualized, her main weapon is her digital camera and a staff, and her best friend is a pig. But at the same time, she still has that latino/dark-European flair to her and can kick evil-government's butt just the same.

And yes, the game needs a sequel.

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 6 years ago | (#20021929)

That's funny because if you look in the early screens and graphics for that game that were put out in previews before its release, you will notice that after a certain point they started making her more "xtreme" [ign.com], they gave her green lipstick, made her slimmer, etc...

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 6 years ago | (#20015757)

As a developer, I have to agree with you, and hope your post gets modded up. (Surprised you forgot to mentions Baldur's Gate on the PS2!) The constant hyper-sexualizing and titillation is becoming more and more obnoxious and obscene. Sadly, far too many games (and other medium such as movies) glorify violence and sex. Its a product of the culture.

Unfortunately sex sells. I guess the real question is, Who is behind this constant juvenile behaviour? Is it the publishers? The developers (Design? Art?) It probably doesn't help that 99% of the people involved in the games industry are male, and less then 30.

I wouldn't say your post is a rant. It's a wake-up call that games are more then just eye-candy.

Unfortunately, it will probably fall on deaf ears...

Cheers

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#20015819)

We are not doomed to play games with shallow female leads, its worse, we are doomed to play shallow games. Male leads really aren't an inch better then the female ones, the bad guys aren't the deepest guys in the world either and the rest of the story often is just as forgettable. Its certainly nothing to be happy about, but thats just the way it currently is (yes, I miss those adventures of old days too...).

I doubt we will ever see genuine female leads in games which main purpose is to slash through hordes of thousands of bad guys, it just wouldn't fit very well. To fix that problem we would first need games that focus less on killing and more on things.

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 6 years ago | (#20015859)

The problem is that video games are action movies, and you will find the same complaints about women in action movies, sans the swinging big weapons part. We need to get some games out there that aren't just action movies, and you'll start to get more defined characters than Generic Angry Bald Man and Titty McBoob. (There are a few games out there that don't do this, but they are few and far between, say like Shadow of the Colossus, where you still rescue your "princess", but the story has depth and layers, even if there is little narration.)

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

art03 (1029872) | more than 6 years ago | (#20016277)

Why do you assume that Nariko would be shallow? To me the one that is shallow here is you, since you choose to focus so much on her outer appearance. I'm pretty sure you have not seen any Asian martial arts movie or comic before right? Go read a few of those and you will see that strength is not all about physical appearances. Being petite != weak. I can go on and on but obviously you still need to widen your perspective a bit further before you can throw down such judgement. Not saying what you say in general is incorrect but the state that things are just a reflection of society. This is a game and certain real world experiences should be thrown out the door. If everything sticks clearly to real world physics, then you would be playing a sim. BTW are you a Star Wars or Star Trek fan? You should know where that question is going to lead ...

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

dannycim (442761) | more than 6 years ago | (#20016527)

Sorry, but more than 90% of the people who play these games are horny male teenagers, and I for one would rather spend 30 hours staring at a nubile semi-dressed cutie rather than solid chain-mail. Heck, I'm re-playing FFXII and am keeping Fran as party leader just because I enjoy looking at her.

I'm male, I'm driven by million of years of evolution which included horniness as a good selection behaviour. Or, if you prefer the stupid argument, that's the way God made me. Sue me.

They should have an option reading "Sexy Armor yes / no"

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20016545)

know this is an ongoing trend... Oni, Lara Croft, Alyx Vance, Chick from Sin Episodes, Chick from No One lives forever, Every DoA Chick and a dozen other games with female characters (Even Samus has fallen into this pit). They're all petite and totally badass. They're blatantly one dimensional... even Alyx from Half Life is pretty shallow and a generic hot chick. Heavenly Sword just gets to me, it seems like the worst of the bunch... "Let's take God of War and make it star a red haired bombshell who will kill you and fuck you before you hit the floor." How can we demand more realistic female characters in video games (male too... but that's for a different rant)? Are we doomed to play games with shallow female leads because that's what we "want"?
I would agree with most of that rant except for No One Lives Forever. For starters, Archer is based off the Bond woman stereotype so of course she has to be in a catsuit. However, I thought the character was carried off with respect and intelligence. Sure, she could take more damage than a normal person but that's standard videogame logic. She didn't use brute strength in her fights, it was guns and stealth.

But it's not just the women who get the short end of the stick here. All across visual media, there's this total fixation on roiding up the heroes. I remember ten years back when Lucas came out with the new Star Wars figures to replace the old Kenner ones we had as kids, Luke was roided up like he was the incredible hulk. Any depiction of Batman in the past 20 years has him built like a brick shithouse with veins popping through the skin-tight suit. And it doesn't even make any sense in the context of the character. Batman is supposed to be tall and in perfect physical condition but he'd be muscled more like a Bruce Lee or any other kung-fu badass, compact muscles on someone who can move lightning fast.

It's just boring, low-expectation hackwork, nothing more.

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20017331)

This game, beyond most, incredibly irks me. I put up with a lot of marginalizing and foolishness from video games and plots... but Heavenly Sword seems, to me, the pinnacle of what I hate about female protagonists in games. Here we have the finest example of hyper-sexualizing women in games. A woman, barely 100 pounds, swinging weapons of ungodly size and weight and crushing countless minions. Does she cover herself in protective armor to shield herself from the damaging blows of foes? Of course not, she's a woman... she wears a couple bands of fabric covering her nipples and her crotch. She's petite, nimble, sexy and a total badass too... not to mention she has the flamboyant red hair of many female video game leads.

Well then again Male leads are similiarly shallow. See Dante from devil may cry who is pretty close to Leon in RE4 who resembles Raiden from MGS2 etc... Squall is like Cloud who resembles every strong but silent type. the protagonist from GOW resembels every barbarian roid monster in existance.

There are vanishingly little few arch types that appears in video games male or female. You minus well complaing about HP bars and the unquity of crates.

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

PixelScuba (686633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20023759)

Absolutely, I would echo the same sentiment I made about female leads to males. Hulking testosterone fueled behemoths that rip and tear shit left and right (Gears of War is quite possibly the Heavenly Sword of male leads). Just as the majority of female leads are terrible role models and shallow characters... so are most males. In my studies I came across a film called Tough Guise [youtube.com], a terrific film looking at male portrayals in media and their roles for young boys in society. It's certainly an interesting film and worth a viewing (I'm not sure if youtube has the entire film).

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

OK PC (857190) | more than 6 years ago | (#20017791)

I understand where you are coming from, but you have to admit it's a fantasy game.
It has license to do things like that.

More serious female characters will (should) come with more serious games.
Off top of my head, Rosa from Condemned strikes me as a non-typical and interesting female character

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#20017969)

For the record, while writing this rant, I was contemplating genuine female leads. Many were from LucasArts adventure games (The Dig, Fate of Atlantis) and other adventure games as well. I also thought of the original Alone in the Dark... I was around 10/11 when it was released and I started thinking about what a unique character Emily Hartwood was... just the niece of a suicidal lunatic trying to find out what happened, she's obviously feminine but not sexualized .

The two best examples IMO are the The Longest Journey series, and Beyond Good and Evil. The Fallout series also does an excellent job if you choose a female character.

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

dircha (893383) | more than 6 years ago | (#20018193)

"Heavenly Sword seems, to me, the pinnacle of what I hate about female protagonists in games."

"They're all petite and totally badass. They're blatantly one dimensional..."

Cry me a river. You realize the objective of this game amounts to: swing sword, kill monsters, watch pretty pictures on screen, don't you?

Were you expecting The Adventures of Linda the Large-Boned Soccer Mom? Or maybe Heavenly Sword: Intellectual Adventures in Feminism?

If you don't like it, don't play it.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret pal. This may shock and amaze you, but there are billion dollar media industries whose entired business models are based on the objectification of women.

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#20018343)

Of fer crying out loud ... Alyx? She's young, wears tight jeans, and appears to have a bit of an unspoken crush on Gordon. This is hardly bimbo material here. What got me was her particular backward walk, because Leanna in Dark Messiah (which is based on Source) does the *exact* same thing when you first meet her. It must be a routine in the engine.

Besides, the male characters in JRPG's are generally so bishy and androgynous, that the swords look just out of place with them too.

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

dracocat (554744) | more than 6 years ago | (#20020263)

I heard the first version was more realistic with a 100 pound female that got the crap beat our of her time and time again by hordes of enemies but that the games were even shorter than the demo.

I don't think that the game would have been more realistic had she weighed more and put on more armor.

All five minutes of this demo were great. Loved the epic feel of the cinematography and choreography. Loved it.

Re:Heavenly Sword Irks me (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 6 years ago | (#20020803)

Just because you haven't played them, doesn't mean they don't exist you insensitive clod! Just off the top of my head:

Eternal Darkness - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_Darkness:_San ity's_Requiem [wikipedia.org]

Indigo Prophecy - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit_(video_gam e) [wikipedia.org]

Still Life - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Still_Life_(video_gam e) [wikipedia.org]

Dreamfall - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamfall [wikipedia.org]

Beyond Good & Evil, Trace Memory... (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20021559)

For the record, while writing this rant, I was contemplating genuine female leads. Many were from LucasArts adventure games (The Dig, Fate of Atlantis) and other adventure games as well.

I think Beyond Good & Evil is another good example of a strong female lead that is not oversexed. And probably Trace Memory [wikipedia.org]. And I think Eternal Darkness had some strong female characters, but I can't really remember too much. Zelda is often pretty well-developed and multi-layered. You're right, these are mostly adventure-style games... It's a pity that there aren't more well-developed female leads.

On the other hand, some bad examples are Ico and P.N.03, I'd say.

HS impressions (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20015569)

I think the full Heavenly Sword has the potential to be great, but the demo is extremely disappointing. For a 1Gb download you get about 10 minutes of gameplay - the same 10 minutes that have appeared in footage at GDC & E3. While it lasts, it shows promise, but it is hardly rewarding or even indicative of the final title. With that in mind what the hell was the point of releasing this demo at all? They may as well have kept people in suspense because the demo is quite a let down.

I think the full game will actually be very engaging but you wouldn't know it from this demo. Contrast with the God of War II demo that sees you fighting the Colossus of Rhodes and coming away completely wowed. Or the Ninja Gaiden Sigma demo that features an entire level and some bonus levels. They could have done a lot more. To be honest it sucks.

I still have hopes but the demo has dampened them considerably.

And the Judge thought.... (1)

coldmist (154493) | more than 6 years ago | (#20016217)

By far the best aspect of the whole demo for me, the music was completely top notch. Very atmospheric and brilliantly arraigned.

Did the judge think so too? He must have had a good lawyer!

It's short...red light. (1, Troll)

kinglink (195330) | more than 6 years ago | (#20016985)

Anyone who played the demo will tell you it's short. Kotaku published an opinion of it in where he timed himself at 7 minutes. That's with a death.

Most people put it at 5 minutes time range. If anything that's a red light. Now length of a demo has no bearing on the worth of the demo but the fact that you have a game of X length, and the most you're willing to show is 5 minutes should set off the warnings of anyone but the most die hard fans. What aren't they showing? The fact that 90 percent of the battles are the same? The fact there's little variety in the environment? What isn't shown here should be attracting our attentions.

Contrary to popular beliefs Demos are demonstrations of the game. We should be making value judgments off of them. They should be telling us "This game is worth your 60 dollars". The fact that this game is so short doesn't mean we are getting a small "taste". A great example is Just cause. The demo came out, it was a 15 minute stale piece of gaming. The full game came out. It was a longer piece of boring crusted gaming. Yet people were shouting during the demo "it's just a taste, buy the game before you make a judgment" This is wrong obviously.

The problem that just keeps coming up is that any game can be good for 5 minutes. Yet the fact that's all they are willing to show us when almost every other game seems to push for 15 minutes in a demo means that there's is likely some flaw that they arn't willing to show us.

Personally I'll be holding off on the game. I've been fooled once before by a "fake taste" demo and personally there's more than enough games this fall that we don't have to grasp at straws just to look good. Unless you only have a PS3 and then you might have to (Ratchet and clank looks solid, however Lair has been getting mix reactions from previews, and the rest of the crew isn't impressing). Personally I think we should be outraged at Sony for hyping a 5 minute demo so much that even slashdot publishes an article about it.

Re:It's short...red light. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20020941)

Perhaps they'll release a larger demo later but then again I don't know when the full release is due.

Re:It's short...red light. (2, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20021525)

On top of the short demo, I didn't like it. I usually love hack n slash games, and God of War was a good game.

But this... The whole 'hit the button during the action scene' thing felt sloppy. In GoW, when you hit the button properly, you saw the effect immediately. This leaves you to wonder if it worked or not for a while, first. A failure to hit the button looked like success at first to me as well.

And then the fight... I could hardly tell what was going on. The camera was so far back that I couldn't tell if I was in the middle of a move or not, or what was happening. Pulling off a combo in the middle of that was nearly impossible while you can't see and enemies are constantly rushing you from the back. (I never DID find a way to stop that, as even if I turned and attacked them, I seemed to always miss, and if I moved, someone else did it again to me.)

All in all, this is -not- going to be a game I'll buy. Thanks for the demo, fools.

Re:It's short...red light. (1)

Nyall (646782) | more than 6 years ago | (#20029465)

>'hit the button during the action scene'

Is there a name for this yet? How about "cut scene wackamole"
You're right it was very sloppy. There was no challenge to it.

If you let her stand still she'll block automatically. Watch for a guy to go blue and hit [triangle] to counter. Then pick other buttons to continue as a combo. Starting combos with [square] (which doesn't counter) is more problematic, you'll need to make sure no else is within range, or that they dude you're going after isn't too close.
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