Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. It’s hard to find fault with a game that does so many things so well.
  2. Without a doubt, one of the best RPGs to hit the PS2. It's quirky, hilarious, loaded with enjoyable side quests and manages to tug the heartstrings just enough to round out the whole experience.
  3. Shadow Hearts has proven itself to be one of the most rewarding and polished series of RPGs in years, if not ever. In this vein, From the New World continues this tradition, with entertaining characters, a lengthy quest, a healthy does of character-specific side-missions, wonderful dialog, and more than a few chuckles along the way.
  4. Any role playing game fan should love this game. What’s more impressive is that even non-RPG fans can find many aspects enticing.
  5. 90
    A really decent RPG. This is the game you were looking for, I promise. It's lengthy, but not 80-hours-lengthy. It's hard, but not impossible. It's engrossing, but not so much that it will ruin your life (unlike "World of Warcraft.")
  6. Thankfully, you'll spend a majority of your time immersed in the stellar combat or drinking in the often surreal moments that define Shadow Hearts: From The New World as one of the most inventive and entertaining RPG's in years. [Mar 2006, p.106]
  7. It has beautiful graphics, great sound, a fun combat system, and long-lasting gameplay that can easily entertain any RPG fan.
  8. While it may not be neck and neck with the big boys yet, the series has however now become a legit contender in the RPG genre.
  9. 85
    The latest installment in the Shadow Hearts series will have fans of the first two clamoring for more. Those just joining the series, prepare for a RPG unlike anything you have ever played before.
  10. The story in, From the New World, may be completely whacked but it keeps things interesting while adding a lot of unexpected elements to the gameplay.
  11. This one adds a little more spice to the mix and delivers a really fun game to play.
  12. It’s also lacking the presence of Yuri, who was one of the coolest RPG protagonists in recent memory. But if you let yourself free of any previous conceptions - and can forgive some uneven storytelling - you’ll find From the New World to be one of the most unique, engrossing, and well designed RPGs of this generation.
  13. From the New World keeps the series' bizarre flavor alive and well, matching it with a great battle system and a myriad of side quests to explore.
  14. The game does have a few issues, the first being with the story (putting aside its bizarre nature). The game is in love with side quests, many of which do not really seem to tie in too much with the main storyline. The continuity of the narrative suffers as a result of your constant sidetracking followed by trying to remember where you were in the goofy main storyline.
  15. Thanks to the always-entertaining battle system, Shadow Hearts: From the New World manages to be a good, enjoyable game, but one that definitely has lost potential. The plot is intriguing at its core but it doesn't develop very well – there's no urgency compared to Covenant.
  16. If the thought of playing as a goofy rip-off of Ninja Gaiden star Ryu Hyabusa named Frank, who always refers to himself in the third person, doesn't have you running for the hills, then by all means pick up Shadow Hearts: From The New World. You definitely won't find yourself bored.
  17. Looks outdated, but is challenging, cheeky and charming. The combat and sidequests will keep you entertained for ages. [June 2007, p.86]
  18. The return of SH's trademark humor is accompanied by the return of the excellent Judgement Ring battle system as well, and for those who thought "Covenant" was too easy, don't mistake FTNW as from the same school of pushovers: boss fights can be grueling, and if you're not prepared, they can go on for a long time. [Apr 2006, p.76]
  19. It flounders with its winning premise for most of the late goings, but the fact that it took the chances it did in the early going is a huge advantage for the game.
  20. 80
    Its strange cast and inventive battle system make it a great title for fans of the RPG genre and those not so well versed in it as well.
  21. It won't wow you, but the unique combat and lively characters make it a worthy RPG. [June 2007, p.68]
  22. 80
    Weird, wacky, and engaging, the game can go head to head with any of Square’s best—as long as you have a healthy sense of humor.
  23. 80
    While I enjoyed the game very much, it's best suited for role-playing game enthusiasts who have a sense of humor and don't mind a bit of a mish-mash when it comes to their epic world-saving storylines.
  24. From The New World will have to fight for attention in a time when we're spoiled with quality RPGs, but that doesn't detract from how fun it is. Good stuff. [June 2006, p.50]
  25. 78
    If you don't have any expectations, then Shadow Hearts: From the New World will probably surprise you with its trademark weirdness and entertaining battle system.
  26. The story itself is enjoyable when it exists, the characters are fun but feel all too similar, and the dungeons range from awe-inspiring to incredibly dull. [JPN Import]
  27. Relatively short for an RPG - just around 25 hours - but the sheer character and locale variety make up for it. [Apr 2006, p.102]
  28. But with a core battle system that keeps you involved every step of the way and a suitably compelling narrative, there can be little doubt that Shadow Hearts: From The New World is a unique and compelling RPG.
  29. Best known for the revolutionary judgment ring combat system, this game continues with a well-paced story for a refreshingly different RPG.
  30. A splendid adventure, but it's also one that never steps out of the comfort zone. [Aug 2007, p.112]
  31. 70
    From the New World is filled with hilarious moments and memorable characters. Series fans will forgive the rough spots, even as newcomers mourn what might've been.
  32. After low sales killed Midway's interest in the series, it was unknown if "Shadow Hearts" would continue in the U.S.--but Xseed has picked up the torch, and, on balance, it's clear that the company has made a good move. [Mar 2006, p.88]
  33. While it doesn't take the series into any new frontiers, either in terms of naughty content or gameplay, it's still one of the most unusual and entertaining RPGs on the PS2 market. It's not a whole new world, but it is a fairly cool one.
  34. The battle system is entertaining, and the emphasis on the Judgment Ring ensures that things never get too monotonous. But despite being filled with loads of quirky characters and scenarios, the overall plot doesn't come together like one would hope, and the frustrations of a high encounter rate and unclear design don’t help to rectify the situation.
  35. Our eyes have been spoiled by the Playstation 3 and recent Playstation 2 games so there was just no way we could put up with the tiny screens and horrible visuals. [Issue#153, p.83]
  36. 65
    Whether it's the story or the gameplay that carries you through the third Shadow Hearts, you won't be wowed by the presentation.
  37. You’d need to have a cold heart indeed not to enjoy a game where you get to see a giant cat using Drunken Master kung fu to break Al Capone out of Alcatraz. [June 2007, p.91]
  38. The failure to pen an emotional and captivating storyline, alongside some bizarre character designs, have alienated what made Shadow Hearts such a joy to play.
  39. Even though you might feel short-changed by this visually basic follow-up, charm and adventurous character design count for more than you might think. [June 2006, p.128]
  40. I'm very sad to see that the developers have lost the magic that the first Shadow Hearts had. It's clear that they've nailed the technical half of the formula (and have had it down for a while now), but half a game is still half a game— I would have preferred that they spend less time tweaking something that wasn't broken and instead focus on the intellectual side.
  41. Instead, it's a competent but ultimately trivial experience that's only memorable as the weird RPG with Al Capone in it. [Jun 2006, p.92]
  42. No matter how engaging the last several hours are, there's still a ridiculous giant cat and a host of other obnoxious characters that ruin it.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Mar 11, 2013
    The story is not as good as its predecessors but it is still better than the average JRPGs stories. The graphics and the battle system are improved and while the characters are not as memorable as the characters from covenant they still can convince you. Full Review »
  2. Dec 13, 2012
    While it is my least favorite of the series (aside from Koudelka) it is in no way bad. It is almost as good as its predecessors in almost every aspect. But what bothered me the most was how far it had stayed from the tone of the first 2 games. It is more lighthearted and colorful, which is nice, but what set Shadow Hearts 1 apart was its dark nature, SH: FTNW seems to have drifted into generic RPG territory. But on its own, set aprt from the other 2 games, it's still a really great game with a great story combat, visuals and interesting characters. Overall: It could have been better, but I still thought it was great. Full Review »
  3. Feb 14, 2012
    Even to this day, from the new world still remains an outstanding role playing game.
    It is a traditional role playing game with a modern
    twist. The game really doesn't tries to be fancy or over ambitious, but still it does pack alot to make any hard core rgp fan happy.
    One fact i do love about this game is the complete uniqueness of every single character. They are so unique that a player has a hard time deciding who stays in the party and who doesn't.
    To be honest, not the strongest story i've seen, but it is indeed an emotional one (and i do love an emotional story). But aside from the story being a bit weak, the game does makes up for it with everything else. There by warranting the big fat score.
    Full Review »