Tech News on G4
Soul Sacrifice dispels boredom
Jun 18, 2013
By Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada
As ‘Soul Sacrifice’ begins; you are an unlucky individual who has been enslaved by a sorcerer drunk with power. Your captor – Magusar - preys off of human sacrifices. During your imprisonment, you stumble upon an eccentric talking book, Librom. Through it, you will relive the trials and tribulations of a past sorcerer. His memories are now your memories and what you learn prepares you for the inevitable confrontation with your newly acquainted adversary. Flip open the worn pages and strap yourself in for one of the Vita’s most anticipated titles to date.
‘Soul Sacrifice’ tells a grim dark fantasy tale. The way the game goes about presenting its narrative is by having each quest preluded by pages of narrated text. While flipping through Librom via the Vita’s touch screen, you will learn more about Magusar and his rise to power. There is interesting lore to be found within ‘Soul Sacrifice’ but the way its put forth can sometimes feel like a roadblock in-between quests. On occasion, I found myself slogging through pages of writing just to get to the next combat sequence. The story can sometimes get nonsensical but it never has a tacked-on feel. For those who wish to get lost in the pages of Librom, the option is there but most likely the majority of gamers will do away with anything story related and focus on the quests.
Speaking of quests, the game offers them in spades. I have put a total of twenty two hours in and still have heaps more missions to complete, stuff to unlock, and abilities to level up. It’s no understatement to say that the folks at Marvelous AQL and SCE Japan have packed their game to the brim with content.
RPG fans who enjoy grinding, will find much to love in as it requires quite a bit of it - especially if you wish to see everything through. Some gamers, on the other hand, might grow tired from completing near identical quests over and over again just to level up and gain experience. Level grinding comes with the territory of most combat centric RPGs but in ‘Soul Sacrifice’ the asking price can sometimes be a little too high. While I did enjoy seeing my custom sorcerer grow and get stronger, tedium set in rather quickly as I replayed battles over again, just so I had enough experience to progress. This is where the game fumbles. To add insult to injury, the variety of enemies is very limited. Repetitive quests coupled with fighting the same enemy type is a recipe for boredom.
Thankfully, the game wins points back when it comes to its unique Save or Sacrifice mechanic. After every adversary you defeat, you are given the chance to either Sacrifice or Save. Sacrificing will grant you stronger attack damage, while saving will provide stronger defense. This elegantly added feature is refreshing and makes this action RPG stand apart from the pack.
When it comes to combat, Soul Sacrifice handles your gear in the form of offerings. Offerings are spells you equip your character with before the start of each quest. Different offerings grant different abilities. One can allow you to turn into a ten foot boulder and pummel your foes, while another can grant a deadly ice sword for up to thirty seconds. Only one offering can be selected at a time and each has a finite amount of uses. Playing tactically is rewarded with success and keeping a close eye on when offerings are about to run out can determine the outcome of each battle. Taking on quests with up to four friends also adds to the fun. As in most games, playing with friends is a great time, and SCE Japan’s latest is no exception.
All in all, I enjoyed the time I spent with ‘Soul Sacrifice’. It’s not without its drawbacks but the good really outweighs the bad. This dark fantasy tale might not have been the Vita’s saving grace some had hoped, but if you are looking for something to sink your teeth into on the handheld, ‘Soul Sacrifice’ is the perfect choice.
Rating: 7.5 / 10
About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.