Many years ago, the Demon King Angra sought to conquer the world, gathering to him a massive army of demons. But then a hero emerged, possessing the power of God in his arms, and wiped the army out before facing and overthrowing Angra himself. The people named him the God Hand, and when he finally died, one clan devoted itself to watching over the God Hands, and the power within them. Those with that power can be either god or demon......and yes, by "watch over the God Hands", we mean watch over the man's severed arms.It's that sort of game.God Hand, a Playstation 2Beat 'em Up developed by Clover Studios and released by Capcom, centers around a 23-year-old drifter named Gene. While wandering one day, he finds a young woman named Olivia being attacked by two punks, after the long package in her arms. He tries to fight them off and gets his right arm cut off (with a razor boomerang) for his troubles.As thanks for saving her, however, Olivia attaches the package - the right God Hand - to his stump and explains the situation: a group of demons are trying to resurrect the Demon King Angra. Only the one with the power of the God Hand can stop him, and unfortunately for Gene, he just got drafted.note Or would that be "grafted"?Despite his complaints, Gene could use a good fight, and so he sets out to stop Angra's resurrection. To do so, he must defeat the Four Devas: Elvis, a fat, obnoxious, cigar-smoking pseudo-Latino pervert; Shannon, a succubus in all but name who lives to sate her desires; Azel, possessor of the left God Hand (or "Devil Hand" as he calls it), Gene's Evil Counterpart and Olivia's ex-fiance (he killed the rest of their clan); and Belze, their leader with very poor taste in suits.Despite the above summary, this game has a very goofy sense of humor, which is what sets it apart. Your enemies include a gorilla in a wrestling mask luchador, many, many midgets, a battery-powered giant robot, and a Giant Enemy Crab. The Groin Attack is common, and female enemies are frequently dispatched via spankings. Heck, the mooks are often found dancing.Be warned, though - this game's Nintendo Hard. Expect to die. Often.The Spiritual SuccessorMadWorld was released for the Nintendo Wii in 2009.The game was among the first released under the PlayStation 2 classics section of the PSN, on October 4th, 2011.Has nothing to do with the Five-Bad Band from Berserk, or with the legendary soccer move. Trope Namer to the trope Power of the God Hand.
After the End: Subverted, the world is set up like a post-apocalyptic western desert ala Fist of the North Star and Gene makes mention of a war, but after the first two worlds you wind up at the green and vivid carnival, and then go to a beautiful Venice-esque city on the water that seems fairly inhabited by humans (even if they're abused by demons constantly).
Ain't Too Proud to Beg: The Grovel special attack has Gene begging for mercy. Because the game is that hard. This resets the difficulty gauge to level 1 and earns a jeering crowd for the player. Naturally, the special attack has no effect on the game's highest difficulty setting, since it constantly keeps you on Level Die.
And Your Reward Is Clothes: Beating the game gets you three special outfits for Gene: Azel's clothes (called "Devil Hand"), a karate gi like Ryu's, and an outfit like Mr. Gold and Mr. Silver wear (called "Carnivale").
Antepiece: In spite of the fact that we know the game for being oh-so-very-harsh, the devs do actually offer you a subtle helping hand with the last "Elvis" boss battle. The boss battle in question can be viewed here  - this is the LARGEST enemy in the game, a very unusual hitbox with new strategic considerations, e.g. sidedodging won't help you avoid its attacks. The devs decided they'd get you used to the idea of fighting something so wide by making you punch a large metal ball up a hill just prior to the fight.
Awesome, but Impractical: God Hand is actually more realistic than most games in this sense. Try doing any of the high-flying spinny moves without knowing what you're doing and prepare yourself for the bracing sting of a fist in your face.
Awesomeness Meter: The level up gauge determines how powerful enemies are, as well as the amount of cash gained from random drops, and is increased by performing well in combat.
Gene: "I think he picked the wrong game to appear in."
Bilingual Bonus: Gene's bonus Karate gi outfit has 神拳 (Shin Ken, literally "God Fist") written on the back.
Blessed with Suck: Having the God Hand makes you a target and obliges you to kill Angra. And if Gene refuses to play along, Olivia threatens to take back the God Hand. With a hatchet.
Bonus Boss: The casino bouncer is a completely optional fight. He has a boatload of HP and attacks that do a lot of damage, but there's little penalty for losing to him, except for being thrown out of the casino with one hitpoint left. Unfortunately, there's also nothing to gain from beating him aside from the satisfaction of a job well done.
A better example would be the final arena challenge, which is Gene with both God Hands. Prepare to get reamed.
Boss in Mook Clothing: Normal demons are bad enough. The four-armed trident-wielding ones are these. Also, Samurai Jones.
Bowdlerise: In true Capcom fashion, any character making a reference to Satan or being the fallen angel himself will get its name changed when brought overseas; Demon King Angra in this case is SATAN (in all caps) in Japan.
Boxing Battler: Since you can customize Gene's combos, it's quite easy to turn him into one of these. That said, his default combo and footwork/dodging moves indicate it's his default style.
Bullet Time: Experienced when choosing a move from the God Reel/Roulette/Wheel.
Button Mashing: Each of the reaction attacks require the player to mash circle (although any of the 4 face buttons work as well) as fast as they can to inflict maximum damage.
However, waggling the left analog stick is also vital in many situations (for example, it saves you from some very painful enemy "grab attacks") - and to add to the already insane difficulty of Lv3 and LvDie, you have to waggle the analog stick incredibly fast to avoid being seriously hurt.
Cherry Tapping: "Poke of God", which can only be used against the demon enemies when they would go down from the next attack, regardless how weak. As can largely be expected, it consists of Gene leaning forward, poking the hellspawn with his index finger, the enemy disintegrating as they normally do when they die, capping it off with a Laugh Track while Gene showboats.
Confusion Fu: "My style is impetuous!". Despite the credit's claims though, while Gene has a wide variety of strange moves open to him, God Hand is one of the most methodical beat-em-ups, with most of the crazy moves being Awesome, but Impractical or having specific places to be used.
Counter Attack: Aside from the Action Commands, you'll also hear a breaking glass sound upon landing an attack on someone mid-strike. Very satisfying.
Essentially most of what you'll be doing, by dodging and punching appropriately.
Dodge Canceling moves in a nutshell basically. It takes practice to get the dexterity needed for it, but you can do some surprisingly flashy stuff with the relatively boring or impractical moves (like canceling sidekicks near a wall to recreate Chun Li's Hoyokusen, or abusing the Yes Man Kablaam's meter gain to quickly fill your meter in a few seconds).
Dual Boss: The Three Evil Stooges the second time, as well as in the fighting ring if you trigger more than one of the icons.
Dungeon Bypass: It is often possible to simply run past enemies and to the "next area" gate. While it hurts your end of level score (you killed less mooks), it's often well worth the saved resources, especially when dealing with a Boss In Mooks Clothing, who still counts as one kill at the end.
Dynamic Difficulty: Fight well, and the difficulty goes up. Get beaten up and it goes down. More enemies beaten at high difficulties mean more money at level's end. 50,000 if you never die.
Easy-Mode Mockery: If you select the Easy difficulty, Gene will mock you by saying, "What, you want me to hold your hand or something?"
Eleventh Hour Superpower: You get both God Hands for the final battle: this allows you to use Double Shaolin Palm and lets you kill the demons the final boss summons in 1-3 hits.
Elite Mook: The demons that randomly spawn from the bodies of defeated mooks are much stronger and faster than the average mook, tend to evade you if they start taking a beating (leading to him taking longer to defeat), and sometimes they simply disappear once you trigger the God Hand's powers, just to come back again right in front of you after you get back to normal.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As surprising as it sounds, the demons seem to be very close. After Elvis' death, Shannon (who gave him more shit than anyone) is visibly grief-stricken for a split second before pretending she doesn't really care, and Belze chews out Azel after the latter makes a comment about Elvis being too weak, saying "You do not speak ill of a fallen member of this group!". Maybe it's just because Elvis is such a nice guy.
Everything's Better with Monkeys: Pro-wrestling monkeys, at that. There's actually a zipper on the back. Really it's just a demon disguised as a human disguised as an ape disguised as a luchador (which makes about as much sense as anything else in this game).
Evil Hand: Sort of. Azel was pretty evil to start with, but the Devil Hand gave him superpowers to be evil with.
Excuse Plot: Even the characters joke about how ridiculous it is.
Expy: Some of the enemy grunts resemble the Mad Gear Gang from Final Fight.
The standard thugs are dressed like Bred/Dug.
The skinny knife throwers fight just like El Gado/Hollywood (right down to their sliding kick).
The first fat enemy encountered looks like a small version of Mr Heart. Also, all the fat enemies have a charge attack like Bill Bull/Wong Who/G. Oriber.
All the wrestler enemies use the Double Lariat (a.k.a. the Spinning Clothesline), a move popularized by Haggar and Zangief.
Failed Attempt at Drama: As Kung-Fu Jesus put it in his LP, any enemy who attempts to do something dramatic (pose, entrance, stunt, etc.) before a fight either falls over or is unbalanced. It's as if they didn't practice their routine beforehand.
Fake Difficulty: Most glaringly the special techniques won as prizes in the casino; IF you are lucky enough to win a prize ticket, there is a chance you will get a 'joke' box with nothing. You're not allowed to leave the casino with tickets in hand to save, either. Additionally, the random factor involved from enemy drops and demon appearances is a noted polarizer for those who love and those who hate the game.
Fanservice: Olivia is unashamedly provocative, and as you play the game you unlock various pictures of her doing random, mundane things on the status menu. Also, Shannon. She does a poledance the first time Gene meets her. You also get to spank every female enemy in the game.
The Sixth Ranger - Dr. Ion. The name of his stage is even "The Fifth Deva?! Dr. Ion"
Friendly Enemy: Gene and Elvis have some great interactions, even if they are fighting to kill each other. When Elvis dies, Gene (a jerkass) is actually quite sad that he's not going to be around anymore. Gene also gets quite upset with Shannon when she speaks poorly of Elvis after his death.
Hellish Pupils: Belze, the leader of the Four Devas, has freakishly silvery-white eyes.
Hoist by His Own Petard: The tall mooks will try to grab and suplex Gene, but countering it allows Gene to counter-suplex them for pain. The gorilla luchador can slam Gene into the ground before attempting to jump on him. Dodging this part will hurt the gorilla.
I Need No Ladders: A definite example in that Gene never climbs ladders: He simply jumps up and lands at the top of the ladder.
Intimate Healing: Subverted: When saving a civilian in stage 4, she kisses Gene, but it refills his God Hand meter instead of his life bar. On a related note, Gene appears to recover his God Hand meter anytime women are involved, from the bikini-picture pick-up to Elvis's girlie magazine.
Gives the term 'Tension Meter' a whole new meaning.
Gene: Man, you're a little big to be the sensitive type.
Just Hit Him: You can invoke or defy this by customising Gene's moveset appropriately, and both have their uses.
Kick Me Prank: Gene starts with a "Kick Me" sign that falls off when he uses his god powers for the first time. Keeping it on for the entire game is a common Self-Imposed Challenge and a requirement for unlocking some of the songs for the music player.
Kick the Dog: Shannon literally does this if she connects with one of her spells that turn you into a puppy.
Lethal Joke Move: The Yes Man Kablaam. It does so-so damage, has a bit of wind-up, and a very long and showy cooldown animation. It also increases your Tension by a lot, and you can cancel out of the cooldown by duck-dodging, turning it from a novelty move into another way to squeeze tension out of stunned enemies.
Also, Vash12349's Let's Play can be ranked in with the hilarity.
Limit Break: The God Hand power upgrade and the God Reels special attacks. Unleashing the power of the God Hand makes all your attacks unblockable and undodgeable, makes all of your attacks come out at super speed, gives you a fairly large damage bonus... and makes you absolutely invulnerable, to the point that even the Bonus Boss can't hurt you. The God Roulette/Reels give you special moves ranging from a Groin Attack to the Hundred Crack Fist. Which you are also invulnerable while performing.
Little People Are Surreal: Midget enemies are scattered throughout the game. The Mad Midget Five, in particular, leave Gene speechless.
Ravel and Debussy, the rock duo from hell, are possibly named after composers Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy. Being impressionists, their styles were radical for their time, though nowhere near as radical as God Hand's musicians.
Belze, his name is much like Beelzebub, and he turns into a giant demon bug.
Mirror Boss: Azel. The 51st battle in the fighting ring is Gene with both God Hands.
Monster Arena: An arena which contains optional fights for one-time rewards.
Mook Chivalry: Enemies are less aggressive when they're offscreen, but this becomes less true the better you fight.
This is completely played straight whenever a demon appears, where most enemies stay out of the way while you're fighting it.
Musical Spoiler: The dissonant musical themes that play every time you encounter a demon.
Neck Snap: Subverted, as Cobra Twist looks like this but needs multiple tugs and isn't even a One-Hit Kill.
Nintendo Hard: You have unlimited continues. You're going to need every last one of them, because when you fight well the enemies level up instead of you. The enemies. Level. Up.
After beating the game on easy/normal mode, which is already ball-bustlingly hard, you unlock hard mode. Yes, hard mode on a Nintendo Hard game. And you don't start on a NG+ either, oh no...you lose everything you had on the other difficulty, and have to start from the absolute beginning. Yes, that means using those terrible early-game techniques and roulette moves you get given until you reach later stages.
Hard mode is simply the same game except stuck the highest difficulty, Level Die - ever wondered why it was given that name? Well, try getting past the first two mooks you see in Stage 1-1. Remember these guys? They did this...several million times. And so did everyone else.
One-Winged Angel: Every enemy has a chance of doing this, in that since they are all actually demons, it stands to reason that some of them will return to their true form upon the defeat of their human one, which is bad. Also, all of the Devas except for Azel, who has a Limit Break to make up for it.
Puzzle Boss: The Gorilla has all the strength you would expect from a gorilla even though there is a zipper on his back... and will quickly kill Gene with grapples that can't be interrupted by action commands until major damage is already done, but he will quickly lose his stamina or fall down if he attempts to chase Gene, easily being punished.
Let's not forget the club that the back-tattoo-sporting enemies use, which is used by tons of Mooks in Fist of the North Star. The first Fat Bastard enemies you fight also greatly resemble Mr. Heart.
When Elvis transforms in your final fight with him, he shouts "Viewtiful Elvis, HENSHIN!", a reference to — what else? — Viewtiful Joe.
Oh, and there's even a reference in one of the boss fights - Ravel and Debussy. Ravel himself sounds a great deal like Steven Tyler.
The Chihuahua race gambling mini-game is filled with these. Each of the dogs has some sort of referential name, from "37 in a Row" to "Chuck's Beard".
In keeping with self-references to Capcom, one of the random chihuahua names will be "Amaterasu".
Conchita, Bruce, and Felix are a Shout-Out to Time Bokan's Skull Trio.
As in Devil May Cry, Gene takes a page out of Ryu's book and can do a Shoryuken as a juggle move. The Typhoon Kick is a Vacuum Hurricane Kick as available in both series. The Tower of Angra also greatly resembles Ten-Men-Ni-Gru from Devil May Cry 3. Heck, one of the tracks is called "Devil May Sly".
God Wheel power can be references too. The Shaolin Blast acts just like the powerful palm strike from Kung Fu Hustle. The One-Inch Punch was made popular by Bruce Lee. Face Runner resembles the flying multi- instep-kick Neo uses in The Matrix.
A lot of the taunts that come out of the average mook's mouth are lifted from this Mike Tyson interview (specifically "I'm Brutal and Ruthless!", "I'm Alexander the Great!", "You're not Alexander!", "My style is impetuous!" and "My defenses are impregnable!")
When far away, the fat mooks from world 1 can use a flying headbutt just like E-Honda/
Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Subverted; if Elvis had more health he'd be much harder than Shannon or Belze, who have slower, more predictable patterns. Belze has an escapeable grab attack that does no initial damage and might as well be called "Here, let me help you kill me", and most of his moves also hit high, meaning that you can spam sweeps at him all day. Several sub-bosses are also harder than the end bosses.
Although Angra does manage to uphold the "Final boss is the most dangerous" rule. Dear Lord.
Training Dummy: The practice ring where you can try out new moves has this.
Turns Red: Just about every enemy can turn red if hit hard enough or taunted. It makes them hit harder, too, but makes them more aggressive and predictable. It's also a great way to single out enemies and take them out one by one instead of drawing the attention of an entire group of enemies at once by moving too close to them.
A Twinkle in the Sky: Gene's more powerful God Roulettes usually ends with the enemy being launched into orbit.
Dragon Kick your ass into the Milky Way!
Unstable Equilibrium: Doing well, though it gives you harder enemies, also gives more cash from defeating more of said harder enemies, which in turn allows you to buy more items and techniques.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Gold and Silver. If dying about twenty times in the first stage didn't pound it into your head by this point, these guys will make damn sure that you know you're playing a Nintendo Hard game. And they can use the Groin Attack too. Silver is, in addition, immune to groin attacks (trying them gives a dull "thunk"0; after the fight, examining him reveals, as Gene puts it, "He must've lost his balls in the war".)
Weak, but Skilled: You as Gene. The ~80% of the time when God Hand Unleash and Reel/Roulette moves aren't available, even simple mooks can kick your ass very fast. This is no place for horsing around. Of course, the tables are turned when his powers are available.
Wrestler in All of Us: Gene busts out a suplex or two here and there, though considering the ridiculous breadth of fighting styles (drunken boxing!) and special moves (celestial baseball bat!) available to him, it's not that out of place.
He can also perform a cobra twist (a submission move) on tall mooks, while treating fat mooks to a brainbuster.
The mooks have this in spades; suplexes, backbreakers, bearhugs and even piledrivers. You can pretty much tell the developers are huge fans of the sport.