Heavenly Sword is the hype - Page 11 - AVS Forum
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post #301 of 323 Old 08-13-2007, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon37 View Post

Have fun missing out on a great game.

Then it's confirmed. I will. There's a lot more joyous things in my life than to have to worry about one stupid game. Looks like SCEA will be missing out on my cash.

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post #302 of 323 Old 08-13-2007, 08:27 PM
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please move on......

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post #303 of 323 Old 08-14-2007, 02:24 PM
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Some pretty slick info about the audio production. Seems like they are going all out on this game.
LINK

Quote:


Audio Team:
For Ninja Theory: Tom Colvin (lead audio); Nitin Sawhney (original music score); Dave Sullivan (senior sound designer); Play It By Ear (foley and cut scene sound design); Harvey Cotton (audio programming)
For SCEE Cambridge: Garry Taylor (audio management and cut scene mixing); Lee Banyard, Jeremy Taylor, Andrew Riley (additional sound design); Ed Colyer, Shepperton Studios (additional foley); Dan Bardino, John Broomhall, Kenneth Young, Dave Ranyard (additional audio production); Chip Bell (audio programming)

The Numbers:
10GB of sound FX, approximately three and a half hours of music, 4,500 lines of dialogue

With an epic story, epic game and an epic audio production, Heavenly Sword oozes high production values. Even before audio lead Tom Colvin's personal two and a half year labour of love began, a belief in the power of sound had already been demonstrated by the team's calling for potential signature sound designers to pitch - a practice more commonly associated with composers.
Colvin explains: Al Zaleski's demo work (at audio team Play It By Ear) stood head and shoulders above the others and his movie pedigree speaks for itself. To top that, he was great to work with. I'm really happy with the foley and combat sounds - all vitally important for a game so focused on graceful, agile, martial arts-style sword fighting.
For me, sound is very immediate' to the player. Music has a well-established cultural language; sound is much less clearly delineated - but you can get straight to someone's emotional responses with it - there's little time for the brain to analyse. Sound is key in making this awesome weapon - the Heavenly Sword - come to life so you can sense its brooding power and almost hear it feeding off each kill.
The game features a strong narrative exploring the interplay between heroine Nariko, her father, their clan subjugated by an evil king, and their guardianship of the Heavenly Sword, an historical weapon with the power to change their fate. Cut scenes play a vital role but with visual finessing continuing late into the project, the sheer scope of work was a challenge.
SCEE's Garry Taylor elaborates: There's an hour and a half's worth of cut scenes in eleven languages, so mixing alone was a massive undertaking. That's why we in-sourced' all the dialogue mixing to our colleagues in Foster City, USA whilst I focused on the music and effects mix at our new Cambridge-based recording studio. I kept a close eye on continuity issues to avoid any jarring between in-game and cut scene sound - whether ambiences or relative levels or even matching FMOD's surround positioning. Some cut scenes are very small segments replayed within complex branching structures so we ended up using three-frame audio overhangs at the top and tail to cross-fade on - it works a treat.
According to Colvin respected music artist Nitin Sawhney was a clear choice as composer: We wanted someone with a genuine grounding in Eastern culture who was equally at home with contemporary or classical forms, as well as being completely comfortable with the project's technological setting. With his eclectic talents, Nitin was perfect and enjoyed the opportunity to create for a wide-ranging and diverse set of requirements.
In-game, we work a lot with his mix stems (e.g. perc, strings, woodwind) bringing them together in response to game events and status. Several factors (e.g. threat level) are weighted and combined to determine the exact music replay - but it isn't just a universal cross-fade, catch-all' approach. We make the engine observe the music forms to allow (say) long emotionally-charged vocal phrases to play out properly, rather than being faded out just because the game state's changed. This allows the music flow to be maintained - it keeps the connection to the action, without compromising musical sense.
Taylor and Colvin undertook an overall mixing phase during the development's final stages, again deploying SCEE's studio as the objective listening environment and using Ninja's powerful run-time mixing tools. Explains Colvin: We have the virtual equivalent of a flying faders' film mixing console with extensive hierarchical grouping and scene snapshots. Live' editing of audio at this stage is absolutely essential - not just volumes, but proximities, frequency fall-off - even the listener position
Taylor continues: and also not being afraid to strip things back if necessary. Sometimes when you stand back and take in the overall sound picture, you think - does that really need to be there? Never distract the player's focus! The machine's so powerful now - capable of handling so much audio, which is great - but as we all know when you're mixing, sometimes less is more'.

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post #304 of 323 Old 08-14-2007, 02:41 PM
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^

The 11 languages/ high bit rate audio may explain why the file size is so large for audio. Nevertheless, I'm sure people in various countries can appreciate having the game's dialogue in their native languages.

It will be interesting to see if HS & Lair are widely accepted. It seems as though sony wants to make games that are more theatrical in nature.

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post #305 of 323 Old 08-14-2007, 03:21 PM
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Where can I get the final list of languages included in the US release?
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post #306 of 323 Old 08-14-2007, 05:03 PM
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Played through the demo again after playing a few hours of GOW. (Never played GOW before and I'm about half way through I think) I really enjoy GOW but on my 120" screen the graphics are a little marginal. After getting immersed in that game, went back and played HS again and I was REALLY impressed again with the demo. I don't want to get my hopes too high but I think I'm going to enjoy HS better than GOW! It really get's everything right - the combos are excellent, the graphics are top knotch, and the storyline appears to be very immersive as well. September can not get here soon enough!

I sure hope we don't have yet another delay on release for the PS3. I'll be sorely disappointed if this doesn't come out in September. Any rumors on how things are going?
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post #307 of 323 Old 08-15-2007, 07:11 AM
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Play magazine just gave Heavenly Sword a 10
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post #308 of 323 Old 08-15-2007, 08:04 AM
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I kinda expect a delay being that Lair comes out in September as well, but I hope not.

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post #309 of 323 Old 08-15-2007, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks DubBucket! Added to the first post (with credit).

I hope there is no delay. I watched the full second level videos and have played the demo to death (mastering the combos mostly). I'm ready for the final release.

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post #310 of 323 Old 08-20-2007, 02:39 PM
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HS part three for us non-GAPs that can't wait until Thursday:

Animated Series

Making of HS
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post #311 of 323 Old 08-20-2007, 07:30 PM
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when Heavenly Sword coming out, i plan on gettin this

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post #312 of 323 Old 08-20-2007, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I guess I should add the release date to the first post, shouldn't I?

US: September 12, 2007
EU: September 14, 2007

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post #313 of 323 Old 08-20-2007, 09:11 PM
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I noticed a issue with the demo. I downloaded the demo with my Euro account back when it was first released, and I always assumed that the missing sound effects (walking on the rope, the rope breaking sound, and the fighting music) was missing because it was a early build. After my friend told me he didn't have this problem, I downloaded the US demo, and what do you know....all the sound effects were in.

I'm looking forward to september though, I plan on making a preorder soon.

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post #314 of 323 Old 08-21-2007, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
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The developers say that we got an early demo build. All the issues are cleaned up now.

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post #315 of 323 Old 08-22-2007, 09:00 PM
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New GDC 2007 Trailer - http://www.gametrailers.com/player/23901.html

Can't Wait!!

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post #316 of 323 Old 08-22-2007, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stangs55 View Post

New GDC 2007 Trailer - http://www.gametrailers.com/player/23901.html

Can't Wait!!

Freaking sweet... Going to be a classic...
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post #317 of 323 Old 08-22-2007, 10:40 PM
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theres a video at gamerhyde of the level on the demo and it looks much smoother than the demo was.
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post #318 of 323 Old 08-23-2007, 09:37 AM
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post #319 of 323 Old 08-23-2007, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow, I guess he really didn't like it. The one thing I question is the complaint about doing the same thing everytime. That's true of all beat 'em ups including God of War. You move from one scene to the next beating bad guys up. It seems that Heavenly Sword mixes it up with other game types, but he doesn't like those either.

Thanks for the link, I'll add it to the HS review thread.

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post #320 of 323 Old 08-23-2007, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeelaPo View Post

IGN UK Review:

http://ps3.ign.com/articles/815/815031p2.html

I was kind of expecting that based on the last preview IGN UK did. They made it sound kind of shallow. Still I'm looking forward to playing HS and Lair too. Both games seem like solid first-year efforts with great production values.
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post #321 of 323 Old 08-23-2007, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeelaPo View Post

IGN UK Review:

http://ps3.ign.com/articles/815/815031p2.html

Not cool. I tried holding out hope for Lair but after it got continually pounded I finally canceled my pre-order and put it on "rental" status to see how it really is. I don't want to do it with HS as well.

IGN is the one site whose reviews I normally trust. Although I don't always agree with everything they say this disturbs me more than a little, and the "six to seven hours to beat" they mention is in tremendous disparity to what the Next Gen Ireland review talks about.

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post #322 of 323 Old 09-01-2007, 08:35 AM
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HS review from game revolution. A bit short but damn good. Grade: B+

http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/ps3/heavenly_sword

Quote:


And all should cry, Beware! Beware! Her flashing eyes, her floating hair!

Thus, while blitzed on opium, did the poet Coleridge describe Kubla Khan, who built his dream palace in Xanadu. And faced with Sony's new demigoddess, that line kept returning to me over and over. The developers at Ninja Theory decreed the construction their own dream in Heavenly Sword, and Nariko's eyes flash, and her hair floats, but does it measure up to a pleasure dome?

Devil May Cry first epitomized the experience of being one seriously unstoppable badass engine of destruction. Then Sony seized the throne from Konami with their God of War, becoming not just the king off asskicking, but the god.

Not content to rest upon their Grecian laurels, Sony is challenging their very own Kratos for the top title with Heavenly Sword. And while Kratos does wear a skirt (don't hurt me, Kratos, please) he's not exactly what you'd call feminine. That's fine with our heroine Nariko who has hotsexy enough for the both of them.

Unfortunately, Nariko's clan also possesses the Heavenly Sword which they guard through the generations as they wait for the return of the god who can wield it. Humans who use the sword gain immense power from it, but death and destruction follow in their wake, and eventually they are consumed by the sword itself. So nobody is allowed to use it.

Meanwhile, King Bohan has crushed all the other clans, one by one, bringing them into his empire, and Nariko's clan is next on his to-do list. He wants the Heavenly Sword as a museum piece, to add to his treasures and prove his dominance over all the clans. Nariko's choice is no easy one - to wield the sword is to break every taboo, to be shunned by the very people she wishes to save, and then to die.

The story, told through in-game cut scenes, is just one of the places that Heavenly Sword excels. In no small part this is due to the terrific voice acting and the incredible motion capture led by Andy Serkis, famous for his motion captured portrayal of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. Many of these scenes happen in a revolutionary picture-in-picture format, so you never leave gameplay at all. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of this in the future.

I can not remember the last time I cared so much about the characters in an action game, and not just the heroes, the villains as well. Like Gollum, even the bad guys have complex motivations. The facial expressions, body language, and the lip synch are so spot-on it's uncanny. I found myself actually excited for more story exposition, rather than disappointed I was dropping out of the action.

And that's surprising because the action is damn good as well. Nariko filps, spins and twirls with the deadly precision of Nadia Comaneci finding the Matrix. She has three important combat stances that allow her to spin her swords on long chains, go two-fisted with both blades, or combine the blades together into a longer single sword for slower, devastating attacks.

But it's really all about the counters. Well timed counter-attacks are cinematic, brutal, and charge up Nariko's power for some truly intense destruction. At times, you also play as Nariko's friend, the little insane girl Kai. Kai can't fight hand-to-hand but she's gracefully nimble and has a nasty repeating crossbow, made more effective by the best use of the sixaxis controller yet.

Any projectile in the game, from an arrow, to a cannonball, to a thrown turkey leg, can be steered by tilting the controller. Time slows down when you do this, making it a bit like bullet-time where you are the bullet.

And all this action can happen on battlefields where literally hundreds of soldiers are running around in real time, making the large battles in Genji and Samurai Warriors look like a joke. But even when the battles are smaller, the backdrops themselves are almost as beautiful as Nariko.

However, while Heavenly Sword has a lot of art, including tons of unlockable art and even animated cartoons, it's comes up a little thin in the game department. Nariko discovers lots of new combo moves, but has no control over her own destiny, unable to choose what skills to enhance, like Kratos can.

And Nariko hardly needs to enhance her skills, because she kicks so much ass, you'll unfortunately blast through the whole game in about 7 hours. There's still more art to unlock and a new Hell Mode difficulty, but boy that sure seems short for a $60 price tag.

On the other hand, this is one of the few games I've felt the urge to replay on a harder difficulty, just because those 7 hours were so sweet. Nariko's time on earth might be cut short prematurely, but she does offer a small taste of the milk of paradise.

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post #323 of 323 Old 09-25-2007, 12:08 AM
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I ran across a really nice, lenghty interview with Rhianna Pratchett. She's responsible for Heavenly Sword's amazing script.

Rhianna Pratchett talks Heavenly Sword, Sony, and Andy Serkis

Quote:


Kai's line about hitting an enemy soldier in his "weak point for MASSIVE DAMAGE" was a great touch. Were you scared that SCEA wouldn't have a sense of humor about that infamous quote? Did they groan when they first heard it?

We actually didn't think that line would make it in there, so I'm glad to know it has. It was just a bit of fun really... a kind of wink to the hardcore gamers.

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