One problem that's dogged brawlers since the move to 3D has been how to deal with the camera. God Hand solves this problem by sticking it to your back Resident Evil 4-style and simply removing any walls or obstacles that would be drawn in your way. At times this may make the game look like it suffers from massive clipping issues, but it's intentional and guarantees you and your target are always visible. The system isn't without its faults, however, as it makes movement outside of combat extremely awkward and limits your peripheral vision some. Thankfully the latter is mostly corrected with the use of radar, but you'll still find yourself getting blindsided from time to time.
On the presentation side of things, God Hand falls far short of modern expectations, yet keeps in line with genre standards. Yes, there are a lot of repeated textures and environments. Yes, you fight the same guy five times in one battle, but the same is true of every great brawler. Developing anything would just take valuable time away from gameplay design and for a title like this it just isn't necessary. Aurally the game is far more solid, with surfing guitar riffs offsetting the cries of your fallen foes.
God Hand isn't a game that takes itself seriously and it's clear the designers used this to their full advantage when they were crafting key plot points. From Luchador Gorillas to Super Sentai Midgets, the plot is a constant barrage of “WTFs?”, to the point that the sight of extremely effeminate transvestites seems almost familiar. Then again if you're a fan of Final Fight and Bare Knuckle 3 they very well may be. It's ridiculous, it's implausible, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
As I stated at the start of this review when I picked up God Hand I was bored. When I walked away a full 16 hours later, I was left with a sense of awe. It's a rare example of a game being distilled to near perfection, ignoring any superficial elements would detract from gameplay. For the purposes of this review I completed the main story on normal and had my ass royally kicked by the first two enemies when I tried it on hard. Seriously, it's a bitch. Though I'm sad that this was the last title Clover produced, they couldn't have gone out on a higher note. Maybe we'll be lucky and some day Capcom will revive the series. Until then I'm going back to play some more God Hand.