Top 10 Hidden PS2 Gems

4. Shadow Hearts: Covenant

Honestly, the entirety of the Shadow Hearts series is worth looking into (and all three titles are confined to the PlayStation 2), but the second entry to the series, Shadow Hearts: Covenant best combines its pseudo-early 20th century world with crazy plots of demon and magic, and has good gameplay mechanics to boot.

Picking up a bit after the first Shadow Hearts (which, having multiple endings, actually takes the bad ending as canon), Shadow Hearts: Covenant revolves around a German officer that goes to assist a Vatican member in exorcising a demon in a small village. However, things go awry as the Vatican member turns out to be part of an evil organization, and the demon is in fact the transforming main character from the first title. Everything is pretty much the standard RPG plot from there: The party goes on a quest to defeat this evil group and the fierce magic they hold.

Despite this rather heavy plot, though, Covenant knows how to have a sense of humor. There are plenty of moments to laugh at and enjoy, and really helps to lighten up the general mood of darkness and death during World War I. On the flip side, though, Covenant is not a joke title, either; it can take itself seriously when the time is right, lending additional gravity to intense situations. While the original Shadow Hearts errs a bit too much on the serious side, and From the New World quite a bit too much on the humorous side, Covenant manages to strike a very good balance between the two.

Finally, the battle system also allows for a bit of player interaction, as the Judgment Ring requires precise button presses in order to get the most damage out of attacks. It's also much improved from the original title, making battles far more fun and less tedious than in the original title.