I'm still playing Covenant guys. I now have 20 hours on the clock, and am hopefully about done with Russia. I have not enjoyed the Russia part of this game nearly as much as the Europe part. Glancing at a walkthrough's table of contents shows that I'm smack dab halfway being done with the game.
I still enjoy Covenant, but if I were being honest, I'd say it hasn't been as good as the original Shadow Hearts up to this point.
Now that's not me saying Covenant isn't a good game. It is thus far. But what do I miss from the original Shadow Hearts? That'd be a more morose and serious atmosphere, actual horror themes and elements, and a Yuri that's not a melodramatic self doubting douche. I really haven't enjoyed Yuri's character much in this sequel. In the original, Yuri was a tough confidant ass-kicker. But in Covenant I suppose Nautilus tried to give him more "depth", and now he worries about things, doubts himself constantly, indulges in melodramatic fluff... typical JRPG protagonist shit that I hate. Not to mention the cutscenes in Shadow Hearts were always direct and to the point, never extending their welcome. Covenant has a LOT of cutscenes, and many of them just drag on and on, to the point that I'll roll my eyes and put the controller down. The OST still reuses too many tracks, despite reportedly having over sixty tracks, I'm always listening to the same three it seems like. Lastly up to this point, Covenant has been a complete cakewalk. I really hope this game becomes more challenging in its latter half.
All that said, there's still plenty to like about Covenant. It has a lot of environment variety, mostly interesting characters, some hot ladies, deeper gameplay systems, and occasionally legitimately funny stuff. Its graphics are really good for its time, good voice acting, and there are heart warming moments in the plot. I do find myself enjoying Covenant when I play it, but not to the point where I just can't wait to get back to the game. That's in stark contrast to Shadow Hearts, where the two times I beat that game, it was done via marathon sessions in sheer joy. But I'm not gonna judge a book half read, I still have a long way to go in Covenant, it still has at least twenty more hours to convince me it's better than its predecessor.
Also if we're all gonna keep doing these monthly get together community gaming things, I'm not gonna do any more RPGs for them. It takes me a long time to beat RPGs for various reasons, and feeling like I have to rush to beat one before an artificial deadline just doesn't jive well with me. I realize this instance is entirely of my own making, just saying I think I'll stick to other genres for this type of event.
Hmm, yeah I wonder what I'll make of it. We don't always align so who knows, heh. It being even further from the Koudelka mold could be bad or good I guess. Shadow Hearts was still pretty goofy in comparison but yeah, Yuri was awesome and stoic.
Don't let that artificial deadline make it worse though... seriously dude, no worries about this. Take your time and who cares if you don't finish it this month. That said, this month maybe proved that it's not the most friendly genre for these kind of group events, which is understandable. This team is very hardcore niche' but I still think we got a lot out of this thread and experiment.
That may be why I enjoyed it so much; I thought the tonal shifts from serious to silly were fun. I'm still going to play Shadow Hearts, no worries on that number. I've got to get through some other games first, though... it may get played next month to go with the usual horror suspects.
I'm very glad you guys gave Koudelka a chance. It's not perfect by any means, but it's such a unique and gratifying experience that it's still worth playing. If you have the patience for its combat system obviously.
That may be why I enjoyed it so much; I thought the tonal shifts from serious to silly were fun.
You tend to gravitate towards more lighthearted stuff in general, so that makes sense. We all have our tastes, I preferred Shadow Hearts' dark and serious edge over Covenant's flavor. A lot of my other favorite RPGs like SMT: Nocturne, King's Field III, Vagrant Story and the like are rather morose and adult oriented stuff. That's just more my orientation. I still think you'll enjoy Shadow HeartsSarge , but I'm not sure if its gonna resonate for you as well as its sequel.
Ex , yeah, I think I'll enjoy it. I mean, I enjoyed Koudelka a lot, and if Shadow Hearts maintains a similar tone, it'll be fine. I do enjoy super serious games from time to time.
I didn't get much gaming time at all this weekend; I spent a lot of time with various friends over the weekend. Needless to say, the weekend flew by. I slipped in some time on Octopath Traveler, which I won't go into. But I am trying to stay devoted in the face of so many other games vying for my time, since I fear if I leave it now, I won't come back. (Not a knock on its quality, either, just acknowledging a personal failing of mine when it comes to long RPGs.)
EDIT: Also, even though I like lighter games, I have my limits. I tend to not enjoy some of the insipid, anime-inspired drek out there, and if it goes full kawaii, all bets are off.
Yeah, well, I find any game in the Shadow Hearts series to be sillier and less engaging than its predecessor: Koudelka represents my gold standard and it goes south from there. I actually remember skipping most of the cutscenes during the first hours of Covenant as I found them to be overly long. While I didn't like it as much as the prequel,I still enjoyed Covenant a lot by virtue of the sheer amount of extra content and the fine-tuning they did with the combat system.