I beat Shadow Hearts 2 last night.

It’s okay, but I liked the first Shadow Hearts a lot better.

The gameplay was still the same, but just added in a lot of unnecesary elements, like combos and shit. You can beat the game just fine without using them, thankfully.

The graphics are better in a lot of ways, but I prefer Shadow Hearts’ graphical style better, since it just looked smoother. The atmosphere is a lot different, too; Shadow Hearts 2 reminds you something of Batman, where everything is nighttime or dusk-ish. Shadow Hearts 1 is just downright scary.

The music is a lot better than the first game, overall. A lot more participation from Yasunori Mitsuda and Kenji Ito. That’s not to say that the main composer, Yoshitaka Hirota, is a bad composer at all; he still did most of the music. I just think that overall, the non-battle themes of Shadow Hearts 2 outclassed the first game’s music.

The story is flat out, the worst, worst part of this game.

Bad point 1: The characters are funny and interesting, but very static. The only really, really interesting character is Yuri, and that is mostly thanks to the depth he gains from having been the main character in the first Shadow Hearts. There’s also a very, very, very scarce amount of character interaction for the first 2/3 of the game. It’s like they felt like they had to wait until you got every last character to start doing any fun dialogue between characters.

Bad point 2: One very, very weird plot device: The main villain of the first half of the game turns out to be none other than Grigori Rasputin, as in, the guy from Russia, with the Romanov Dynasty. Yes, the exact same Rasputin. You even get Anastasia as a party member. Most people are one one side of the fence or the other on this issue. I thought it was really, really stupid. Thank god the whole the was resolved within a few hours after you discovered it.

Bad point 3: Not a lot of motivation for the characters. Namely, Joachim and Lucia seemed to just be along for the ride. Anastasia, as much as I hate to say it, had some purpose at first, but it seemed a little silly for her to come along after you killed Rasputin.

Bad point 4: End of the first half. This is a kind of minor compared to the rest, but the whole conclusion with Nicolai releasing all the malice onto the earth was really random, and you never saw the effects of it afterwards.

Bad point 5: The frickin’ ending. The whole thing about Karin actually being Anne, Yuri’s mother, is fine, other than sloppy execution, for example, Why does Karin assume the role of a Russian (Remember, Yuri’s mother is supposed to be Russian)? She couldn’t have lost her memory, and there’s no tension between Germany and Japan at this time, as it’s way before the first Great War (World War 1) even started, and Japan wasn’t even actually in the first Great War anyways, even though they almost got involved in it in this game. What really got me was [SPOILER]just how awful the differences between the good and bad ending were (Karin being Anne happens in both endings. First of all, while the bad ending is more feasible, the chances of it happening are very unfeasible, because to get the bad ending, you have to make the choice that happiness to you (Yuri) is ‘living peacefully’, when Yuri never even talks about that; he always says that living his own way was the most important thing. So, it’s hard to believe the bad ending even happened. Now, with the good endings, there are four possible explanations:

  1. Yuri is dead, and he is reliving his experience in heaven.

  2. Yuri is dead, and his soul is getting on a train to ride with Alice forever (in SH2, Alice’s soul lives within Yuri, and you meet her in the train where she finally dies; it would be sort of symbolic to have Yuri live on eternally in the train where they met).

  3. Yuri goes back in time to the point where he meets Alice, with the intention of trying to save her.

  4. Yuri has chosen to relive his life from the point where he meets Alice, with the intention of trying to save her.

Now, personally, I think that 1 is just too simple and not a very good ending. 2 doesn’t make sense, just because of how excited he is, and I wouldn’t believe it by the music that plays, since it’s tense (it’s actually the music that plays at the same part in the original Shadow Hearts). 3 is just fucking retarded, cos then there’d be two Yuris.

So, the only feasible interpretation I can take from the ending is interpretation 4, but it’s a huge plothole! What happens after the events of Shadow Hearts 1? Karin will either never meet Yuri or never get close to Yuri. What would Yuri do the second time around when he had to choose what world to pray for? What would happen if Alice came with the gang? It just doesn’t work.

Also, I think the game implies that Gepetto goes back to a time when Cornelia was still alive; if that’s the case, that’s kind of strange, cos he’d have to be around Cornelia and his younger self. I don’t buy it.[/SPOILER]

Just too many things…augh. The characters were funny, I can’t lie. The dialogue that was there was really good, and it’s why I kept playing. I know it’s kinda funny to say that I enjoyed the game with this huge flaw, but it was at the very least, an entertaining game. Still, Shadow Hearts 1 fucking pwns Shadow Hearts 2. Better graphics, better style, better gameplay, better characters, better story, and it manages to do it in some 10-20 hours less than SH2. I say, buy it for 20 dollars.

…I’m confused. First I hear all these people parading about how great Shadow Hearts 2 is, then somoene says it’s bad, then I don’t know whether I should waste the one or two games I’m going to be able to buy on buying Shadow Hearts 2.

Shadow Hearts was just mediocore anyway, and was filled with it’s own flaws. Saying the sequel is worse than it…kind of unnerves me towards the series. Heck, I wouldn’t have bought Shadow Hearts anyway. It just interested me long enough to compel me to beat it.

Thanks for posting this though. It makes it easier for me to accept that when I had the chance, I picked Shin Megami Tensei: DDS over SH2 a few months ago.

Well here are my 2 cents about the ending:

In my opinion I don’t really think that if Alice was alive it would have changed much of the story,why?because they would still be going to meet Alice’s aunt,they find Gepetto(and discover that her aunt passed away,at least they make you believe that),they travel together and settle down on the small village,germans invade the town twice Yuri repels them,he later get’s cursed,Karin and the Gund… I mean Blanca tag along,theres a possible love trinagle,continues the game normally ends up the same way (possibly,could end up that he dies and Alice ends up alone)but instead the travel to a time they could be happy together.

But that’s just what I think as for Yuri’s ending:

I think that he goes back so he can try to have that happy ending were Alice lives in SH1,if he fails he will try over and over again.

Whew that’s the biggest spoiler tag I have used so far.

I dunno, I can see a how most people would like SH2 a LOT more than Shadow Hearts, but I think that Shadow Hearts is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than damn near everything I’ve played on the PS2. My taste seems to be universally different than most people I come into contact with, so eh. SH2 is only like 20 bucks, give it a whirl. The story is more conventional, there’s a lot more humour, and the combat can be more engaging if you like complex stuff. I don’t think it’s a terrible game, so much as I thought it was a terrible sequel.

  1. There would be no love triangle between the three, cos it’s clear how much Yuri loves Alice. Yuri wouldn’t have even considered it. That’s why I think that it would have been different. Karin probably wouldn’t have considered Yuri, thus making it pretty much inconceivable that she’d become Yuri’s mother. Also, if Alice tagged along, she’d wind up dying too. That’s the whole reason I say that this idea just would be unfeasible.

  2. I think that is what’s implied, but that’s why it’s a huge plothole! If that happens, then the events of SH2 would have turned out way too differently, much like I just stated. I don’t buy it.

I really do not get where the plothole is,I mean:

When he went back in time he also forgot all the events of what’s going to happen,the only part of him that could probably remember anything is his subconsious(sp?),basically he is stuck in a time loop.

I must’ve gotten a different ending. Dont remember what happned, but the ending really fucking sucked. I thought the inclusion of rasputin and anastasia was really interesting, considering the time and place of the story.

Of course, we all know this, so it should go without saying, but the single greatest character of the game was the spirit of the judgement ring.

EDIT: Hey, how about spoiler tags next time? :confused: Thanks. - SG.


  1. If he ‘went back in time’, there would be two Yuris. What the fuck.

  2. If he lost his memory, he wouldn’t know how to save Alice anyways, making it completely useless.

  3. If he was simply reliving his life from the beginning of SH1 (as in, not going back in time physically, but going back to his former self with obtained knowledge), then he might save Alice, and then, as I mentioned in all my posts, it would completely alter the story of Shadow Hearts 2 to the point where it might not even happen (Most importantly, Karin might never wind up being Yuri’s mother).