As any fool knows, the greatest third person fighting game of all time is Shinji Mikami's Capcom and Clover Studio swansong: God Hand. The game was released in Japan in late 2006 (it would take another six months or so to get to Europe) but, for whatever reason, was not a sales success: early reviews slated it, the rough quality of certain visual elements was a tough sell, and it has a sense of humour that probably doesn't work for everyone. Take it from me though: if you have any love at all for beat-em-ups, this is one of the best games ever made.
God Hand's lack of sales, as well as the fact that almost the whole of Clover Studios subsequently left to form PlatinumGames, means that a sequel is never gonna happen: the closest thing we've had is probably Platinum's underrated Max Anarchy (also an excellent game that was a commercial failure) or Asura's Wrath (not my cup of tea, but it was very God Hand-inflected). The one hope is that Capcom will keep the game alive on later hardware, which it did with a downloadable PS3 re-release in 2011. That was great but, needless to say, my hopes are firmly fixed on one thing: a PC version.
I have various alerts set up on my PC, and one of them is for God Hand news. Suffice to say it's quiet these days, even if hope springs eternal. Then the other day I could barely believe my beady little eyes: God Hand on Steam! Finally, this benighted Earth delivers! Give me Gene in 4K and Brexit and Trump are forgiven, or at least forgotten about.
Quick as my hopes rose, they were dashed. God Hand on Steam is some nonsense HTC Vive tower defence game that has simply purloined the name of Capcom's finest. Developer 3D Factory's other high-quality titles include the likes of Necro Defense and Rapid Fire, so I'm not imagining that this is the studio to live up to Clover's legacy. Feeling like a hollow shell of a man, I watched the trailer and felt the will to live being sapped from my tired limbs. This is how the universe torments excellent taste in beat-em-ups.
There's only one thing for it: the internet petition starts here! The real God Hand should be on Steam, and no less a figure than Shinji Mikami says so. As he told PC Gamer two years ago, it's a game he'd "love to do again and bring it to Steam [though] unfortunately you'd have to ask Capcom or Sony about all of my old games." Hello is that Capcom? Kotaku UK here, when's God Hand coming to Steam?
I got over my disappointment by watching the God Hand credits sequence, wishing it was in higher resolution.
13 years later there's still nothing like God Hand: it's a completely different path from the DMC / Bayonetta lineage of beat-em-ups, and deserved so much better. And it certainly deserves more than having its name used in vain by some dodgy VR developer.