Shadow Hearts is the game Koudelka should have been—an earnest and intriguing RPG that mixes a historical setting with an occult influence in much the same way the Persona/Megami Tensei games have been doing for years. The end result is one of the darkest and most interesting console RPGs to come along in recent memory (the only other games that really compare are Atlus Persona titles). Sacnoth clearly learned from their errors with Koudelka, and its because of this that Shadow Hearts is so good,
According to the ESRB, this game contains: Blood and Gore, Violence
As a gamer, do you ever notice that some development studios tend to turn out the same substandard kind of product without ever stepping back to evaluate their handiwork before churning out a sequel? Im not talking about the debugging process or other technical things like that, but rather, game design and philosophy in general.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Animated Blood & Gore, Animated Violence
Koudelka first gained media attention at the 1999 E3 show. Anyone who saw its looping demos admitted that the game showed promise. It sported impressive CG graphics, rich prerendered backgrounds and was made by a collection of developers who once worked at Squaresoft—all the things needed to garner some attention and positive early reviews.
What makes survival horror games so annoying is how exploring and finding items in the prerendered backgrounds almost always proves to be a rigid and awkward experience. Koudelka makes this quality about a thousand times worse by adding random attacks—more typically found in RPGs—to the mix.