Aruze pumping out new Shadow Hearts

Shadow Hearts: From the New World will arrive on Japanese PS2s this summer.

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According to the latest issue of Famitsu magazine, Aruze is making a new installment in its Shadow Hearts role-playing game series. Slated for release on the PlayStation 2 in Japan during summer 2005, the game will be titled Shadow Hearts: From the New World. As the title suggests, Shadow Hearts: From the New World will introduce a new storyline with new characters. Although the game doesn't appear to be a direct sequel to 2004's Shadow Hearts: Covenant, it's too early to tell if there is any kind of a connection.

Shadow Hearts: From the New World takes place in America 14 years after Shadow Hearts: Covenant and its World War I setting. The main character is a blond, short-haired 16-year-old boy named Johnny Garland, who lost his father and older sister in a car accident and suffers amnesia from the trauma. Johnny works as a young detective in New York, and his story begins after he witnesses a supernatural occurrence during his investigation to find an alleged criminal. Johnny will be accompanied on his adventure by a 21-year-old Native American named Shania, a shaman warrior of the Garvoy tribe. Together, Johnny and Shania travel around the continent, fighting monsters that suddenly appear from distortions that have been happening nationwide. You'll start out in New York City, including Brooklyn and Chelsea, and eventually make your way to other regions such as Chicago and the Grand Canyon. Game system details haven't been disclosed for Shadow Hearts: From the New World, but it's confirmed that the judgment ring system will be in the game.

The director's cut edition of Shadow Hearts: Covenant, which will hit Japan on March 10, will include a bonus trailer of Shadow Hearts: From the New World. The game is in development and is currently 60 percent complete.

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