The last of Clover Studios’ games to release, God Hand is quite simply the best beat ’em up I’ve played in a long time, second only to Streets of Rage on the Sega Genesis. One of the larger gaming Web sites completely missed the point of the game and gave it a 3 of 10. So, DailyGame readers, I’m here to tell you whether it’s really worth that score — and your money.
If you grew up wanting more of the Final Fights and the Double Dragons, I’m pleased to announce your game is finally here. This doesn’t mean God Hand is for everyone, because you definitely have to look past a few issues. But, if you can do that, you will pleasantly rewarded with one hell of fun time.
God Hand never takes itself too seriously; it’s so over the top with its tongue planted so firmly in cheek that it threatens to punch a hole through the skin. What else can you say about a beat ’em up that has your character starting off with a KICK ME sign planted on his back? The story (such as it is) goes like this: you find yourself imbued with the power of the God Hand, which you must in turn use to save a girl. Pretty stereotypical, no? Well, pretty much every stereotype you can think of has been thrown into the mix that is God Hand, and there’s a reason the game is rated M. Expect mature one-liners and banter to abound, and certain names to come across as crude.
Players have a number of initial moves to assign to slots, and as you gain cash you can acquire more moves and more slots in which to place them. In a normal game in this genre, players have a simple punch, kick and a super move, and if you’re lucky, maybe a jump button as well. God Hand changes this by allowing a kick, a combo group and two super moves, one of which is charge-based, the other being more limited and item-based (you can only use it if you have an icon for it). This icon is the God Reel, which gives some of the best super moves in the game. The God Hand itself just powers up your strength for a set time, then reverts to normal — but what sort of title would “God Reel” have been? The coolest factor of it all is the combo, which you can program yourself by choosing from more than 100 moves and piecing together your own combo. FINALLY! One of the more humorous moves you’ll unlock is Home Run God, which will leave you in stitches.
Although it doesn’t venture far from the standard fare, there’s still a good bit to unlock (outfits, moves, etc.), and there are multiple modes to keep you entertained. The graphics are adequate, and when you approach a building and the camera clips through it, just realize that this was done on purpose to show you what lies in wait.
In the end, God Hand is a real “love it” or “hate it” type of game, and I wouldn’t recommend it to casual gamers or to serious gamers whose interest in beat ’em up games is merely passing. God Hand is designed for the hardcore fan, as the enemies ramp up in difficulty quite quickly if you start getting good, and the AI will keep you from blowing through the game regardless of the level you start on. Once you get knocked down the levels and AI go back to normal, but it’s something you want to keep an eye on if you’re going to fight a boss in the next few stages. I found this to be inventive and a great spin on the genre, but others will find it cheap. Normally I would spike the controller with a game that pulled some of these tricks (I’m looking at you, Otogi), but with this I found myself laughing rather than raging. If you don’t get frustrated easily, I strongly urge you to check out God Hand.
- Overall: 7
- A fitting end to Clover Studios. Vaya Con Dios, lads; you will be missed.
— Phillip Vollmer