Shadow Hearts License Holder Making Games Again

By Spencer . April 5, 2010 . 9:32am

image After Shadow Hearts: From the New World, Nautilus dissolved and Aruze took a step back from making video games. This year, Aruze is getting back into the business, but not with a Shadow Hearts game.


The pachinko powerhouse announced Aoi Don: Hanabi no Kiwami & Hanabi no Takumi, a Nintendo DS pachislot game. We know your heart skipped a beat in excitement. Relax. It’s just pachislot with their mascot Don-chan.


We’re more curious what else Aruze’s media division is working on. In addition to Shadow Hearts, Aruze’s parent company has a library of 1980s arcade properties they could draw from.

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  • Ereek

    Oh my!

    I know it’s a bit too much to hope for for another game in the series, but this is something I wasn’t expecting.
    . . .Maybe they’ll release Koudelka on PSN? My Koudelka disk is scratched.

    • malek86

      Whenever someone says “Koudelka”, I always think “shortest skirt ever”.

    • T_T the game i never owned but played it 3 times , and dintwant to return it to its owner XD !I lovedit so much i even recorded on VCR XD!
      So i like on Psn pls XD! Koudelka ftw!
      errr patchinko ??? was SH3 that bad??’ o.o i havent played it yet ««

    • jj984jj

      Aruze doesn’t have it. Koudelka is a SNK IP.

  • MrRobbyM

    Speaking of Shadow Hearts games, I was recently looking through some old PS2 games online and was thinking about purchasing a SH game. To any that have played all 3 or at least two of them, which one should I get? I’ve been hearing that the second is the best but I;d like some more opinions. Thanks! I would play all 3 but I already have a huge backlog of games.

    • Ereek

      There are actually 4! Koudelka is the first game in the series and everything that happens in Koudelka is basically the reason for all of the events 2 and 3 (Shadow Hearts and Shadow Hearts: Covenant, respectively).

      Many would argue Shadow Hearts: Covenant is the best game in the series. I don’t particularly agree with that, but I respect their opinion. You really won’t get as much out of Shadow Hearts: Covenant if you haven’t played the first Shadow Hearts. They are directly linked and the main character’s inner conflicts and motivations won’t make a lot of sense if you haven’t played Shadow Hearts. Another example is the final villain, whose motivations revolve around an important character in Shadow Hearts that you never actually see in Covenant.

      Unfortunately, you’ll miss a lot of backstory if you don’t play Koudelka before Shadow Hearts. However, unlike Shadow Hearts: Covenant, Shadow Hearts is a bit more stand-alone, though there are direct references and characters from Koudelka mentioned in every scene at around the halfway point of the game. One playable character is even the son of the heroine of Koudelka.

      From the New World is stand-alone. There are references, but they are far less and you don’t need to have played the other games to understand it. Certainly, it helps, but it’s not imperative. Fortunately, this title also has the best battle system of the bunch. From the New World also focuses the most on humor and is less dark.

      A few notes to make this easier for you.
      The timeline is as follows:
      Koudelka -> Shadow Hearts -> SH: Covenant -> From the New World

      Also of interest is that the atmosphere of each progressive game gets “lighter.” Koudelka is pretty much a pure Survival Horror-RPG. The closest you can get, since it was originally developed as a Survival Horror game. On the other hand, From the New World is a light and amusing game, it just has some more twisted theme and monster designs.

      The “bad ending” of Shadow Hearts is canon. I’d suggest not reading up on it unless you plan on never playing the game, since it really is bad.

      • Good post! I mostly played SH:C but never beat it. Don’t think I even unwrapped FTNW…

      • MrRobbyM

        Woah. Thanks for letting me know! I think I might go with FtNW first and then go play the other three some other time. Lots of internet points for you :)

        • Aoshi00

          I have never played Koudelka. But you should start by playing the first game even though the graphics would feel quite dated right now (early Playstation 2), but it has some nice pre-rendered background. The direct sequel Covenant has the same main character and sports 3D environment, but the story not as dark as the first Shadow Hearts (it really creeped me out back then, the WWI-era setting in Asia w/ supernatural elements thrown in). I love games that have “alternate” history. From the New World has a new main character and not a direct sequel to the first two games (that’s why it isn’t really considered Shadow Hearts 3). Instead of Asia and Europe, the game took place in North and South America. So I would recommend playing Shadow Hearts (if you could get past the graphics) and Covenant.

      • Someone knows their Shadow Hearts =D I’ve talked to so many people who know their games, and yet they still go, “What’s Shadow Hearts?” Makes me sad =(

        I’ve played all the games except Koudelka, admittedly, although I do own it. I personally found the story for SH1 and 2 (not including Koudelka) about equally as good, although the battle system was polished more in 2. However, 1 has the benefit of being the first game chronologically, and, as you stated, so much of 2 depends on the events and characters of 1.

        It may even be appropriate to think of 1 and 2 as one game — the two are practically joined at the hip — while 3 is another…

        I noticed the atmosphere change too. While SH1 and 2 were frivolous at parts (I found Yuri inordinately hilarious at some points in time…), they still had an extremely strong undercurrent of seriousness? While SH3 was more … silly for the sake of silly at times.

        • Ereek

          I agree about SH and SH:C being thought of as a single game. I’m of mind that you really shouldn’t play Covenant without having played the first SH simply because you’ll be missing about half of the story. It’s like playing FFX-2 and never having played FFX. You can certainly understand everything, but that doesn’t mean you’ll catch a lot of the smaller details that make the story so meaningful.

          I liked From the New World, but at the same time it just didn’t feel the same series. It was too “light.” I loved seeing historic icons in game form, like Lovecraft, the Mafia, and Al Capone. Alcatraz was fun to see as well. Actually, I’d say the city sections were the high points of the game when the “outdoor” sections (Grand Canyon and whatnot) were what brought the game down.

          On the other hand, I love Koudelka’s atmosphere. It’s a completely different game from Shadow Hearts, I’d actually say it’s more of a SRPG battle-wise, but it’s also unique in that it is so dark.

    • This Shadow Hearts talk does bring back really good memories. I was scared of Shadow Hearts 1 because it really has that scary atmosphere, and never managed to finish it (was at the last dungeon).
      On the other hand, SH:C was epic. It really lived up to its name as SH’s sequel. Everything was improved and Yuri looks more bad ass :D
      SH:FtNW wasn’t really dissapointing but it lost some of SH:C’s touch.
      If you’re concerned about timelines go with Ereek’s recommendation.
      I didn’t managed to play Koudelka because it was fairly rare and I’m scared of horror games :P
      You won’t regret playing SH

      • MrRobbyM

        Oh, you guys T_T. You all convinced me. I’m going to have to go get SH and SH:C now. At this rate I’ll be playing video games even after death.

        • That’s the way it must be! =D

  • jj984jj

    I wish Aruze would sell Shadow Hearts to someone who would get the team at feel+ to make another game.

  • Aoshi00

    I thought Lost Odyssey kind of retained the humor and the ring timer thing from Shadow Hearts. Can Feel Plus do anything about that?

  • I would kill for a PS3 Shadow Hearts title. I remember when I first met my bass player, he and I somehow got into a conversation about videogames and the fact that he had played Koudelka and the Shadow Hearts games immediately convinced me that I wanted to work with this guy.

    And I second the thought that Koudelka should be released as a PS1 classic, but mostly because my apartment got robbed years and years ago, and they stole the final disc of it.

  • My boyfriend jams the fuck out on shadowhearts

    -Bella :)

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