Another quality putting Shadow Hearts in a class of its own is how many little bonus things there are to occupy your time. Play the lottery, track your battle steps with a pedometer, trade snapshots of monsters, and catch supernatural creatures in a magical jar. Each character has a strange collection mechanic that lasts throughout the game; you can choose to ignore them, but the game is better for including them.
From The New World hasn't upgraded the series' graphics all that much. The game looks a little rough at times, but it's still overall pleasing to the eye. The CG cutscenes are especially nice, and of course character design is top notch. Environments are attractive but linear - though the fact that goodies are scattered around makes up for that fact.
The music is quirky and fits the early 20th Century vibe. Voiceovers only show up in cutscenes, but are well done. The wittiness of the writing makes up for the silence of the many random characters you'll meet, and you'll get a kick out of all the odd names - like "Out for a Stroll Edmond" or "Nina, Intoxicated With Herself."