Counters are a gameplay mechanic featured in Heavenly Sword.
Counters are moves executed by Nariko during combat when using either the Longsword or Heavenly Sword. These moves effectively render an enemies attack useless and also enable Nariko to almost instantly kill the combatant with whom she is engaged. To effectively block, press the button as an enemy attacks. This will then display a cutscene depicting Nariko instantly killig the enemy.