God Hand is hard - really, really hard - but fair. It's also pretty much the best game Shinji Mikami ever made, in spite of things that would detract from a review score. It's a game that's about punching people in the face, and that's all it is, and that is what makes it so wonderful. God Hand's design is such that the brave and the bold are msot rewarded, and the difficulty is dynamically adjusted to match the player's own skill level, with rewards being increased as the difficulty does. It creates a perfect economy of skill and difficulty that makes it immensely satisfying to improve one's combat skills.
More, the game plays perfectly. Controls are tight and rock solid, and the best of the best can get through the entire game without taking a hit. Almost no one will do that, and most will die horribly all the time. God Hand does not play around. That is part of what makes it so satisfying when you kick people into space, or in the crotch, or punch them so hard that it kills the guy behind them. It's lightning fast, frenetic, juvenile, ugly, and has a bitching soundtrack. It's pretty much the bestest action game ever made.
And yeah, it's brutal and unforgiving for people who suck, but I'm not one of them, so HA.