The defunct Clover Studio has gone down in history primarily as the creator of the exquisite Okami game. But academic art can tire even the executive Japanese.
And as an emotional release, instead of mocking the Capcom director's dummy standing in the corner, the developers made God Hand. The eccentric plot is ripping right off the bat. Our hero, a shirt-guy named Gene, together with his girlfriend finds himself in some provincial town. Gloomy types with obviously ill intentions are being pulled up to the couple from all sides. They do not yet know that their adversary is a skilled fighter possessing a rare artifact, the very Hand of God, which he received in return for his own real one, mercilessly chopped off in one of the battles with bandits.
A few minutes later we learn about the existence of four supernatural "villains" who call themselves the Four Devas: a cliched vampire in the best Transylvanian traditions, a stocky Mexican with a cigar, a capricious "demoness" with funny twisted horns and an arrogant young man in black glasses and stylish hair. They have been looking for that very Hand for a long time and now, at last, they attacked its trail. Conflict of interest is evident - Gene does not want to part with the aforementioned limb. Fighting for his life, he famously gives out cuffs to the left and right.
The first surprise when you get to know the game will probably be its high complexity. It is unpleasant to surprise, even some ordinary opponents are capable of, let alone bosses. Lack of health will be another persistent problem. The fact is that bonuses that restore strength are very rare, finding them is a great success. Often, first-aid kits need to be literally knocked out of rivals in the literal sense of the word. And if the "healthbar" is almost empty, defeating the enemy, as you know, is very difficult. So you will probably have to start the levels from the very beginning more than once. Fortunately, their sizes are small, and after several restarts we, already knowing where the opponents are hiding, act much more confidently.
When it gets tough, let's launch a kind of super hits roulette. For a limited time, it is necessary to choose the most suitable combination from the list of attacks, in our opinion. If the choice turns out to be correct, one spectacular trick can kill a whole crowd of attackers.
Don't forget about weapons. A strong wooden bar, a heavy hammer or, say, a piece of a water pipe will greatly cool the ardor of the impudent people who are pressing from all sides. A well-tossed barrel filled with something very explosive can wipe out the losers in your way in one second.
Well, our main trump card is the very Hand of God. With its help, you can give out an amazing series of slaps, which no opponent is able to resist. True, to activate the avenging right hand, you will have to first put a lot of enemies, filling a special energy scale. Therefore, we recommend not to wave your Hand in vain, but to save it for special moments.
In some situations, it is allowed to use, say, special techniques. For example, bending like a "wrestler" to throw your opponent over yourself. Or several times to press his head with a heavy boot to the ground. Or smash that clumsy fat man between his legs. Or to spank presumptuous "gothic" girls on their buttocks tightly covered with latex ... The developers' rich imagination never ceases to amaze throughout the game.
In the intervals between the levels, it is allowed to save and visit the store, where new ulars are purchased for the money found / knocked out and some characteristics of the character are improved. If there is not enough cash, it is suggested to visit the casino and try your luck at poker, blackjack or one-armed bandits (sorry for the pun).
One of the key features of the game is the ability to independently compose a "combo" of all available combat techniques, as well as distribute various hits to buttons and their combinations. When creating your own unique and devastating attack, do not forget about the balance between speed and impact force. Otherwise, the main character will not even have time to swing, and he will already be put on both shoulder blades. To test the acquired skills, there is a special fighting ring, also located between the levels, and victories on it can bring pleasant bonuses.
But the graphics of God Hand looks mediocre even by the standards of the rapidly aging "current-gen". The only thing worth mentioning is the decent animation of the main character and some special effects. Otherwise, nothing outstanding. The character models are rude, the geometry of the levels is primitive, the environment is sparse, there is a minimum of any decorations. Although the good news is that a certain part of the environment is destructible. During the brawls, it breaks with a bang, ringing and crashing, beats and shatters into pieces, pretty much adding entertainment to the game.
The camera works like Resident Evil 4. But this, given the high dynamics of God Hand, is not the best solution. The camera turns too slowly, which makes it very difficult to keep track of rapidly moving opponents. Save your nerves and use the life-saving "L1" (instant character turn by 180 °). And the camera constantly strives to climb into the walls, which, instead of becoming translucent, simply disappear. It looks ridiculous.
However, despite these shortcomings, we can say with confidence that the game was a success. This is a good version of the beat'em up genre with groovy music and a lot of ironic (sometimes even absurd) episodes. Don't rush to complain about the complexity and visual flaws. Get comfortable with the controls, get involved in the crazy rhythm of God Hand - and you will have a fun night, madly pressing the buttons of the "gamepad" and sincerely rejoicing at every victory won. Just like the good old days.