*ATTENTION, THIS POST IS BROKEN-AS-FUCK ON ACCOUNT OF YOUTUBE SUCKING BALLS. IT WILL BE FIXED ASAP.*
I treasure every moment I was able to spend with God Hand.
Even though the game was control-smashingly difficult, and cursed with a poor camera system and even worse controls; God Hand served as a magnificent throwback to the beat ’em ups of yore.
In fact, it’s one of those games that I honestly would love to see a sequel to, however; due to the dissolution of Clover Studio shortly after it’s release, as well as it’s sub-par review scores, I doubt that will ever happen.
Oh well, one can only hope that Capcom will resurrect it someday…
Anyway, God Hand is, as I mentioned previously; a non-traditional beat ’em up for the PS2.
I say “non-traditional” because the game made use of an over-the-shoulder camera system akin to Capcom’s own Resident Evil 4 from a year or 2 before, a feature that is scarcely seen in traditional beat ’em ups.
The main appeal of the game lay in it’s clever use of context sensitive button functions and utterly ridiculous (and unapologetically Japanese) dialogue and character designs.
Seriously, this game is balls out INSANE from end to end, but in the best possible way.
Can you think of any other games that feature giant Mexicans named Elvis, gorillas in Lucha Libre garb, and a fighting force of formidable midget Power Rangers?
Oh yeah, and don’t forget the spanking.
Yeah, I can’t think of any other games like that either.
While I won’t attempt to explain the details of the storyline of God Hand, I will offer you this simple summary:
The player character, Gene; loses an arm to some demons one day, only to wake up in a hotel room with a hottie named Olivia, and his arm restored in the form of the legendary, and outrageously powerful God Hand.
From that point on, the pair set out into the world to battle the demons and their generals, the 4 Devas; in an attempt to prevent the resurrection of the demon lord, Angra.
Much Japanese kitsch and comic violence ensues, and eventually the whole thing comes to a head as the hero is forced to battle Angra while making use of both of the God Hands.
All that nonsense aside, a major part of God Hand that really made it fun for me, was of course it’s battle system.
The game made use of all 4 of the PS2’s face buttons for various attacks, however every single button could have it’s functioned assigned by the player to their liking.
Throughout the game, the player could acquire various fighting moves, with variable damage and speed statistics, eventually resulting in the player gaining a vast arsenal of unique and drastically different maneuvers they could implement depending on the situation.
Best of all, like most beat ’em ups, mashing the square button 5 times would result in an “auto combo,” however; thanks to the games’ robust customization system, each individual strike in this combo could be arranged to the players preference.
In addition to this, the game also featured a robust dodging system using the right analog stick, which allowed the player to juke, duck and sway to avoid attacks, as well as do evasive handsprings.
Aside from the basic attacks, the player was also afforded the powers of the God Hand of the game’s title.
Basically, the God Hand is, quite literally, one of the hands of God, of which there are 2, the other of which is of course possessed by a boss you end up fighting later in the game.
The God Hand had 2 functions in the game:
To provide the player limited bursts of super-powered invincibility, and to activate the games’ roulette wheel mechanic.
While the invincibility is self-explanatory, the roulette wheel was a interesting, if somewhat awkward element that succeeded in the keeping the player on their toes, even while executing some of the games’ most powerful attacks.
Basically, the roulette wheel was a customized set of a handful of super attacks and mauveurs that the player would have to quickly sort through during a brief period of slow motion.
Upon making their selection, the player character, Gene; would carry out the selected maneuver, usually resulting in mass pwnage.
It’s interesting to note that 2 selections on the roulette wheel were a constant:
One that would cause Gene to kowtow before his opponent in shame, and one that would cause a pan to fall from the sky and onto his head.
The first of these would cause the player’s style meter to lower, (a feature that served to increase the player’s after level ranking, as well as adjust the game’s difficulty level in-game) while the second served as a minor health penalty, as well as a exploitable glitch that allowed the player to avoid enemy attacks for a moment.
Yeah, I played God Hand A LOT.
Anyway, enough bullshitting, let’s get down to the Best Boss music selection from God Hand:
The title of this is track is, of course; a clever play on the title of Capcom’s own Devil May Cry.
Devil May Sly plays during the player’s first battle with the owner of the other God Hand, a man named Azel.
While the energy level of the music may seem a little excessive to some, I assure you, the battle that it accompanies is most certainly worthy of such energy.
While this is a poor example of the gameplay, as the player is far too good to make the game seem fun, take a look at this clip:
The fun part of the battle with Azel, is that the programmers were able to effectively endow him with the same abilities and attacks of the player, while making the battle play out very smoothly.
Essentially, what I mean to say is that, while there are of course Resident Evil 4-like context sensitive button mashing sessions during the fight, one still feels like they are indeed playing the game as opposed to an interactive cutscene or minigame.
The first time I beat Azel (I did in fact lose once or twice) was a helluva’ a good time.
I feel it’s also worth mentioning that Azel’s second appearance in the game, also deserves some kudos.
This battle happened to be a little more frustrating, and less rewarding than the first, but I really liked the music so I figured I’d throw it up here for yah’.
In keeping with the more serious tone of the battle, the music is appropriately darker and heavier.
While I really like Duel Storm, I feel that Devil May Sly is, musically; just a little bit more enjoyable.
With that, I leave you with this delightful, and not at all strange TV spot for God Hand: