Soul Sacrifice Review

Soul Sacrifice Review

Conceived by the mind of Keiji Inafune, who created Mega Man, Soul Sacrifice is a new title that's exclusive to the PlayStation Vita. It looks to draw a new crowd to the console, those who enjoy arena fighting in the realm of the action RPG. Some might see this as a risky venture for a new IP, but with the backing of Sony, Inafune has shown that this is exactly what their handheld needs to compete.

Trapped in a cage, an unknown prisoner is doomed to have the life drained from their body by an evil sorcerer known as Magusar. The only chance for survival is a talking book named Librom who offers the experience of the stories told within his pages. Stories that follow many great sorcerers and their battles with both monsters and fellow sorcerers. In experiencing these battles, the reader would gain the abilities and powers of the writer, allowing him to escape his fate.

While the protagonist's story is not deep in any way, the true story and development is in the pages of Librom. These stories tell the lives of many great sorcerers who dealt with the decaying world around them. The pages talk of a world where sorcerers are enlisted by an organization called Avalon to kill monsters who are possessed creatures and humans. And as you go through the story, you will start to learn more about this world.

Most of the pages are voiced dialog only, however some feature wonderfully crafted visions of the events in play. At times the story seems to drag on with deep descriptions, but the overall arcs deal with some interesting and twisted events. It was difficult to foresee how such a minimalistic approach to storytelling could pay off, but this, combined with some of the in-game events, do draw upon emotions in a pertinent way.

When it comes to gameplay, Soul Sacrifice manages to set itself apart from the crowd of monster slaying titles. While it does have a mission by mission setup, co-op, and long boss fights; this is where the similarities end. Soul Sacrifice has so much more going for it that really shake things up. However, it also features quite the learning curve.

Your player can be equipped 2 sets of 3 abilities called Offerings. Offerings can do anything from summon a sword, shield, companion, heal, etc. Offerings have a limited amount of charges based on how well you have boosted it before combat. However, charges can be restored in combat by finding offerings on the field, or by sacrificing enemies.

Sacrifice enemies you ask? Yes, Soul Sacrifice features a "Save or Sacrifice" system. When you beat down an enemy, you can either save them or sacrifice them. Saving can cause humanoids to join you in later battles and also helps to restore some of your health. Sacrificing on the other hand kills the target and restores some of your Offering charges.

Don't go crazy on one or the other too soon though. You have an experience bar for both Life and Magic. Saving grants Life experience while Sacrificing gives Magic experience. Leveling one or the other increases health or magic damage respectively. But you're limited to only 100 total levels, so deciding your strength and weakness is a must. The type of weighting you apply here will also determine your statistics and how the different boosts will be triggered on your arm.


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