God Hand - PS2

Remember those days when the good old 2D beat-em-up was king? When Final Fight, Double Dragon and Streets of Rage took up all our console gaming time as we kicked millions of arses over and over and over…

Well we’ve been lacking some decent fighting action since those heady 2D only days – the less said about the recent PS2 Final Fight update the better. You’d get more enjoyment taking Jodie Marsh out for a fish supper.

Yet our hopes are high for this one, the final game from Clover Studios – the minds behind the likes of Okami and Viewtiful Joe – before they closed their doors. So do they go out with a bang?

Let’s get right to it. God Hand has no ideas above its station. This is pure hardcore beat-em-up action and that’s all folks. The story comes with a mere hint of plot so your mind is completely 100% focused on the task at hand (pun most certainly intended).

In a nutshell, your character, Gene, has masses of power in his possessed right hand and quite a few beasties want to nab this muscle for their own demonic devices. So Gene has to kick ass. Pretty much your standard 80s Schwarzenegger flick then.

With not much story to write home about it’s handy that the action itself is tip top. You’re looking at mashing a few buttons to throw kicks and punches around by the proverbial bucket load.

It’s no surprise that the enemies come on thick and fast. Think of rolling out of a pub with a load of knuckle dusting binge drinkers and you’re just about there. There’s some pretty odd characters here – dominatrix anyone? – so maybe the pub is full of Goths. Mmmm … pink leather recliners.

This title’s no easy make. Most of the time you’ll simply be overawed by the huge mass of enemies attempting to pummel you all at once. Expect to be beaten to a bloody pulp more than a few times before you reach the last bout.

Looks wise, God Hand is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, enemies do manage to show off some wince inducing contortions of anguish, something very rarely seen in a mere PS2 title. Other than that bit of detail however, there’s no comparison between this and the likes of Okami. Its typical boring backdrops that lack any decent colour and fail to excite one little bit.

Verdict

All in all, God Hand is a difficult one to either recommend or dissuade you from nabbing. If you like your action old school, difficult, but lacking in any real major quality, then go for it. If you’d prefer something a little more refined, there’s a few recommendations below.