Heavenly Swordby Ninja Theory (2007) - PlayStation 3
Exclusives are hard to come by for the 'main' consoles these days but one such release that had PS3 owners warbling excitedly a good few years back now was Heavenly Sword. Unsurprisingly I've only just gotten around to sampling it myself and was far from shocked to find that it's a hack 'n' slasher through which the player controls Nariko, a red-headed young lady who also happens to be a big-boobed hottie wearing a typically skimpy outfit. In between jiggling around and flashing her legs, much of her time is spent fighting the forces of King Bohan, a tyrannical ruler bent on subjugating the various tribes that inhabit the mystical world in which the game takes place.
There's quite a detailed back-story actually, much of which has to do with the sword of the title which Nariko carries, but the first thing that really struck me about the game is what I've since discovered it was most highly praised for on its release - the presentation and graphics which really are quite remarkable and arguably the finest in any game I've played to date. There are many cut-scenes and some QTE sections in addition to the more common all-out combat, but the production values are fantastic during all of them - there's some decent voice acting and even an orchestral score which adds a lot to the already-atmospheric nature of the game as you might expect.
Something else that earned much praise here is the combat system, and happily even my primitive, easily-confused mind could cope with it! There are a mere two attack buttons plus two 'stances' that can be adopted which allow you to either perform longer range or more powerful attacks, and it works really well. The only thing I didn't really like about Heavenly Sword is that it gets a bit repetitive, moving from one enormous battle to the next, each requiring near-endless button-mashing until the next section is unlocked and the process repeats. I think I'd personally prefer a bit more adventuring and a bit less fighting but it's not a major problem and the amazing quality of the game definitely makes it one to play through at least once.