god hand

a review of God Hand
a videogame developed by clover studio
and published by capcom
for playstation2 and playstation3 playstation network
text by tim rogers

4 stars

Bottom line: God Hand is “like writing a friendly letter by hand while wearing brass knuckles.”



Many games feel like work, God Hand among them. However, God Hand also feels like the Best Job Ever. God Hand is usually like being a professional chainsaw-wielding glacier demolisher at a party where the penguins are going to need a lot of ice cubes. Sometimes, however, God Hand is like a phone call from a hallucinating Mike Tyson moments before you’re supposed to kiss the bride.

The goal of God Hand is to extinct the tar out of any moving human body, be it male, female, transvestite, or wearing a gorilla costume. God Hand is a videogame based both on the film “Frailty” (in which the “god’s hand” killer intones, “I don’t kill people; I destroy demons“) and the idea of throwing bucketsful of baseballs, one at a time, hard as you can, at a barn-side-sized cube of maple-syrup-sticky Styrofoam. God Hand is alternatingly the friction of repeatedly dropping a bowling ball into a massive cardboard box full of delicious bubble wrap, its sweet vinyl scent like Jesus’s kid sister, and the frustration of bending at the knees to pick that bowling ball up again, thirsting only for the next sticky drop. God Hand is the friction of an electric knife through a frozen ham. God Hand is the friction of a baseball bat against an oncoming Toyota Prius. God Hand is the friction of a cricket bat against an oncoming Harley Davidson. God Hand is, occasionally, a NASCAR broadsiding a freight train. God Hand is a stick of butter so hard it will break your teeth if you think it’s a candy bar. God Hand is the Pringles of videogames. Though God Hand is usually like poking holes in a watermelon with a chopstick for the best reason (“no good reason”), God Hand is sometimes like using a pizza cutter to eat ice cream. At its best, God Hand allows you to indulge in your curiosity re: how hard you would have to flex to break a Canada goose’s neck.

God Hand is the dankest videogame in existence. God Hand is a game-bong: you pass it around. God Hand is a glimpse into the lifestyle of a mythical class of human whose diet consists entirely of disused vintage electric guitars. Most of the time, God Hand is actually more fun than taking a dump. The first time you play God Hand, it makes about as much sense as the first time you wear ice skates. Eventually, God Hand is as easy as breathing — on a planet where the atmosphere is entirely cotton candy. Soon enough, God Hand is the first time you wear a pair of shoes that cost more than $20. Sometimes, God Hand feels like writing a friendly letter by hand while wearing brass knuckles; at other times, God Hand feels like asking a brick wall a rhetorical question and getting an answer that requires you to sit down for literally six weeks. At some points, God Hand feels like you’ve just hired an auctioneer to narrate your fluctuating torrent download speeds; at other points, God Hand feels like you’ve just hired a UFC ringside announcer to shout “Oh!” or “Ow!” or “That’s Gotta Hurt!” in time with your every footstep or operation of a hole puncher, stapler, or copy machine. Configuring your special attacks in God Hand is as easy as hiring George Foreman to beat the tar out of your mechanic. Chaining together combos in God Hand is as psychically instant and desolate as praying to God for a new Ferrari and simultaneously knowing you won’t get it. Every stage in God Hand is the tip of a new, identically delicious iceburger. Moments in God Hand reflect the feeling of catching a bully’s punch, effortlessly uncurling his fist, and snatching out a fifty-dollar bill. In God Hand, you will immediately confront every idle enemy grunt like a pit bull confronts a stray bath towel. Sometimes, you see, God Hand is the catharsis of using a jackhammer to cut your birthday cake.

God Hand looks like the only parts you remember about your cooler big brother’s comic book collection. God Hand sounds like the only parts you remember about your much cooler, dead best friend’s record collection. God Hand‘s story is that fat kid in high school who even the other nerds hated so much he got pushed down the stairs at least once every day before lunch; at the ten-year reunion, they hold a memorial service for him: you ask a dude how he died, and he’s like, “Oh yeah, after school, he got ripped, joined the CIA, boned a bunch of supermodels, et cetera, et cetera — he died last year, crashing a dirtbike into a helicopter so as to kill the terrorist warlord who was trying to escape”, and you make that face that Neo made in “The Matrix” when he realized he knew kung-fu, like, “Whoa!”

–tim rogers


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