Shadow Hearts PlayStation 2

  • Publisher: Midway
  • Release Date: Dec 11, 2001

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
Buy On
  1. Shadow Hearts is in turn tragic and comic, deeply philosophical and completely fluffy, and overall a great gaming experience that I was sorry to see come to an end.
  2. If you’re a turn-based or real-time RPG or action-adventure fan and don’t mind dark themes, or if you’re looking for an RPG with a twist to the average gameplay mechanics, I’d highly recommend this game.
  3. 86
    This game is well worth its 40 hours, and there are plenty of laughs to go along.
  4. It's like going through "Silent Hill" as an RPG or playing through a Clive Barker or Ann Rice novel.
  5. It's got an engaging storyline, interesting characters, lots of plot twists, and a host of nifty options and gameplay features.
  6. Shadow Hearts’ enthralling plot and superb combat system make this one a keeper. Did I mention the micro-skirted heroine?
  7. The game is nothing if not involving. A story with real depth, actual humor and pathos, and some dramatic and frightening moments is something you don't see everyday - and even more rare in RPG's.
  8. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Along with the excellent story, Shadow Hearts has an engaging battle system that focuses on timed button-presses. [Jan 2002, p.134]
  9. Add a spooky atmosphere set at the start of the twentieth century and little reluctance to tackle adult subject matter like sex and violence, and we finally have an RPG that appeals strictly for adult gamers without pushing into the realm of the ludicrous or indecent.
  10. netjak
    Beneath the basic plot of guy saves his woman and the world; there are quite a few surprising twists in the story here.
  11. Despite its considerable depth, Shadow Hearts is easy to get into and yet maintains a satisfying level of challenge.
  12. If only the battle system, so integral to the enjoyment of a game, wasn't so blasé, Shadow Hearts could have easily jumped up into one of the best surprise games of the year.
  13. Game Informer
    At times, Shadow Hearts drudges along with some mind-numbingly stupid puzzles, but the story and the unique battle system always kept me coming back for more. [Jan 2002, p.82]
  14. One of the coolest and most interesting storyline and opening movie (I’ll get into the visuals part later) I’ve ever seen in a game to date.
  15. Shadow Hearts has some intriguing elements, but disappoints with its battle dynamics and some terrible scripts.
  16. 70
    A predictable plot and linear gameplay are the minuses to this otherwise well-crafted dark RPG.
  17. Shadow Hearts has its share of flaws, no doubt. The graphics are weak and the battle system grows monotonous quickly. Fortunately, the unique setting and above-average storyline makes this one worth checking out.
  18. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    The game's "Judgement Ring" is the best solution yet for adding timing to RPG battles. [Feb 2002, p.156]
  19. This game grabbed me from its opening scenes and didn't let go of me DESPITE its average graphics, quirky golf-like control scheme and plain-vanilla soundtrack.
  20. Translation wise, the game seems geared toward the Dragon Ball crowd, with brash conversations and lots of street corner language, which doesn't quite fit the mood or visual atmosphere of the game.
  21. Kudos to Midway for taking a risk and translating a more mature RPG in such excellent form, and a small, quiet "boo" to Sacnoth for providing great material for translation and little in the way of engaging gameplay.
  22. 55
    This story and this world deserved to be supported by better graphics and game design.
  23. 50
    The product as a whole just feels recycled and re-hashed from other, more superior products.
  24. Just not very exciting. The combat can't find a comfortable medium between action and strategy.

Awards & Rankings

#30 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2001
#30 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2001
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. DarienA.
    Dec 21, 2001
    A solid title with adult learnings and a twist on your standard turn based battle formula.
  2. Dec 28, 2016
    By far one of the best games I've ever played. The characters are compelling, the story amazing and it pushes the envelope on so many otherBy far one of the best games I've ever played. The characters are compelling, the story amazing and it pushes the envelope on so many other things. It's fun, interesting, the world intriguing, the monsters downright terrifying and it explores several different ways of telling a story. I loved all the characters and to this day it is the one game I have played over and over and over again. Full Review »
  3. Mar 30, 2016
    This game is very good, with great writing, cool characters and quite decent fights due to the judgment ring mechanics. The fact that you canThis game is very good, with great writing, cool characters and quite decent fights due to the judgment ring mechanics. The fact that you can take risks when attacking to deal more damage or much less or actually no damage at all is very cool, it gives the turn-based system of its battles something many games lack, it's original. The game is short and its graphics are not the best, but that's not too important, the most important thing is that it's very enjoyable. Full Review »