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Shadow Hearts 2 at 70 per cent

RPG. Not the Disney one.

According to the latest issue of Famitsu, Aruze subsidiary Nautilus is working on a successor to Shadow Hearts, one of Eurogamer's favourite unsung PS2 RPGs. Nautilus' work on the PS2 follow-up is apparently 70 per cent complete, with Shadow Hearts 2's release date currently undecided.

The game looks to be set about half a year after the first one, beginning in the French village of Domremy (the birthplace of Joan of Arc) as World War I rages across the battlefields of Europe.

Players will be put in charge of two main characters, both of whom were sent to defeat the village's demons; Nichol, an exorcist sent by the Vatican, and Karen, a lieutenant in the German army and the only surviving member of her squad. Over the course of the game, Nichol and Karen will spend their time travelling across Europe and the Far East coming to terms with demons and identifying their true enemy.

At the heart of the game, Aruze is still pushing its Judgement Ring system, which demands measured reflexes in the otherwise fairly standard turn-based random battles. For those who missed it, the idea was and remains to stop a rotating cursor at the right point as it spins round the Judgement Ring - the more precise, the more effective the attack.

However the battle system has been slightly updated to allow for combination attacks between party members. Other changes include the obligatory improved visuals and a larger array of normal and magical attacks.