Heroine

Nariko (not pictured: Heavenly Sword)

There’s just something about losing yourself in a work of art or activity – whether it’s drawing, reading a book on vacation, or playing football with a bunch of friends, it just seems like humans derive ultimate pleasure out of forgetting the world around them and focusing on just the few, tiny, immediate details right before their eyes. For me this weekend, those details were the gorgeous, violent scenes of Heavenly Sword for PlayStation 3.

Cassie’s away in San Francisco, running a half-marathon (I, on the other hand, still haven’t ever run more than 3.25 miles at any time in my life), so I had the place to myself (ok, there was a small creature I shared the place with). I did a whole list of other, productive things, but one of the most enjoyable was playing through and beating Heavenly Sword. This was a game that was released around the time the PS3 was, itself (yep, that means that I’m finally playing modern games!)

Many passed it off as a God of War clone and, while the similarities are there, this game really is it’s own, unique beast. First of all, you’re rewarded for timing your attacks after immediately blocking an opponent’s, and penalized for just button-mashing. A game of skill and finesse? My kind of good time!

Next, the cast of voice actors is superb – easily outclassing any other game I’ve played (yes, even the Metal Gear Solid games) and many movies, as well. This was probably the closest thing to an interactive movie that I’ve played and the acting really gave the game a realism that is sorely lacking from a lot of entertainment out there. Playing as a bad-ass woman was pretty refreshing, too.

Finally, I must applaud something that many video game critics panned: the length. Clocking at around 6 hours of gameplay, many scoffed at the full price players had to shell out for such “little” amount of game. But for this busy gamer who pines for the days he’d be home at 4pm after school with no responsibilities? Perfect!

I doubt anyone here will pick it up, but I really can’t say enough good things about Heavenly Sword. And at just 6 hours, there’s very little excuse to not try it.

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