SOUTH OF HEAVEN
[Once again thank you to JayJay Davis of J(ust)RPG Gaming]
Key of heaven is a psp rpg set in what seems to be a of set of feudal China in the land of ouka you play the roll of a outcast swordsman a former seiryu clan member you must travel across the lands to hone your skills and rebuild your clan with twits and turns at every moment it's a fascinating game that I don't think got the recognition it deserved
As the game opens up it doesn't look to bad at all. By no means the best but still very nice to look at you see a man training with a sword on a hill side before moving on with his journey talking to him self about how he should take a rest after his escort when suddenly a girl been chased by 3 men appears noticing she's of the seiryu clan you end up protecting the young lady from been cut down this is your first fight
The battle system is annoying simply because it just chucks you in and you have to guess what to do, unless you read the instruction manual.
At this point you can't do a lot circle does a basic slash and triangle uses a item later you'll realise square uses chi arts holding it charges your chi finally X will hurl the sword into a foe and stun them in place before coming back to you after a few second
Battles them selves are not random but enemy's come at you as you progress each map area and you simply cut them down watching the little bar above there head diminish bit by bit this does not last and foes become much more powerful this battle ends before you even get to finish anyone of and they flee .
Shortly after that the girl introduces herself as Sui Lin and she's heading to chikuan witch just happens to be were your off to witch just happens to be your home town and after a short Burst of insults about a shinbu she also happens to be looking for you so what the hey let's go with her.
You'll now have control of the character and be on the map field of a Village you'll find moving about easy and will notice the shops scattered about selling items weapons and accessories improving your stats when equipped and obviously your to broke to afford anything were is the pay for that last escort mission he mentioned hummm even a little ??.
As well as this you'll notice everything from boxes to urns that you can punch through and acquire money and items ext so go get them there free.
Moving on once you arrive at the school you'll discover the reason the girls hear is due to her clan been wiped out and as the only one left she is to become clan lord a job she doesn't want so .... She tells you it's up to you this guy really has no luck does the poor guy.
At this point I have to point out the god awful voice acting it's Not so bad in itself but when it speeds up skips and slows down you sound like anything between a chipmunk and a ventriloquist.
On the plus side you get a new sword which allows the use of chi arts the new moon sword a jet black blade however the sword has a sister the new moon sword a transparent blade.
Another side note if you stand around for a little while you will pull out the sword and seemingly begin to play it like a keyboard weird I know but at least my reviews are thorough.
Anyway i shall continue though you agree to help the young lady your adamant will not to be clan lord comes through instead vowing to master the sword in the steps of your farther the game then begins to give you some information on the world your in and chi stating how the eastern seiryu can uses blue wood style chi the southern sezaku using red fire the Central Kirin using yellow earth the western byakko uses white metal and the northern genbu uses black water.
It then begins to explain how one is superior to another blue to yellow yellow to black black to red red to white and white to blue Or Wood to earth earth to water water to fire fire to metal and metal to wood.
This affects everything in game from damage to resistance to your skills this means that as a powerful wood chi user the metal chi will obliterate us however the central forces and they yellow chi are no issue
This however does not mean we face certain death no as with all ninja/samurai/shinobi/konowichi though you have a natural affinity you can in fact learn to use other chi and arts
To do this you need to gain the chi from each lands monument and the scroll and forms needed to produce there chi art and there fighting styles
You will master more fighting styles as you progress and you can use them to create more powerful attacks and combos This requires use of the kenpu been arranged onto bugei scrolls.
Then there's a special type of bugei style scroll called a freestyle which allows you to chain any type of kenpu from any clan together chaining one from each clan in a set order can unlock tremendous power ;) (however getting all these freestyle scrolls was incredibly annoying. It difficult at all just having to talk to each person untill you find each of the brothers is time consuming).
About the Bugei
The voice acting makes talking about swordsmanship raver worth a little snigger at times
And it really doesn't help with lines like
"Your bugei needs work"
"And I'm still to master the bugei"
Between levelling up your player each chi skill and gaining scrolls and forms to improve your swordsmanship and also buying equipment and upgrading your weapon this game will keep you quite busy and entertained .
Ultimately the game comes down to exploiting the use of each type of chi to win and chi arts to even stand a chance against most foes as the lv system is poor 10 of the 20 hours in I was only at level 10 and 3/4 of the map down without the use of any defensive abilities as there are non available your hp will be constantly in need of a top up with a single enemy strike dealing 1-200 damage at points fight a horde and don't use all the skills and positioning correctly you will perish .
It's not all good and all bad as you can see as is the case with most games despite its small shortcomings I rather enjoyed this one simply due to the story and the fact you can't just bash buttons to get you start to end.