• 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
  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. 80
    Beneath the basic plot of guy saves his woman and the world; there are quite a few surprising twists in the story here.
  8. 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.
  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. Along with the excellent story, Shadow Hearts has an engaging battle system that focuses on timed button-presses. [Jan 2002, p.134]
  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. 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. 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.
  17. 70
    A predictable plot and linear gameplay are the minuses to this otherwise well-crafted dark RPG.
  18. The game's "Judgement Ring" is the best solution yet for adding timing to RPG battles. [Feb 2002, p.156]
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. DarienA.
    Dec 21, 2001
    A solid title with adult learnings and a twist on your standard turn based battle formula.
  2. Mar 11, 2013
    While beeing short the story really succeds beeing the best story of the entire SH Franchies having nice twists in it. The dark touch doesnt do the game bad either but the graphics could be better when you think about that this actually is a PS2 game. The SH Franchise has one of the best main protoganists ever. Full Review »
  3. Dec 13, 2012
    Truly a fantastic horror RPG. A jaw dropping intro (at least it was at the time,) unique and well design characters, beautiful visuals and truely an interesting idea for a combat system, which is a little frustrating at first, but once you get the hang of it, a sheer pleasure. Overall: One of the best RPGs on the PS2 that should be tried by everyone. Full Review »