#9239180, By uiruki Soul Sacrifice

  • uiruki 20 Dec 2012 10:12:29 4,476 posts
    Seen 7 minutes ago
    Registered 15 years ago
    The demo for this is out on PSN in Japan. Since the rain and wind woke me up at about 5, I've had time to give it a bash. I've certainly criticised Inafune in the past for letting his mouth run but he's been very quiet of late working on this - and it shows. It is identifiably an Inafune game in that the game system is designed around one big idea, in this case the choice of saving or sacrificing your friends and enemies, and this time around it looks like a great match with the style of game.

    Combat is fast and responsive. As a lightly armoured mage you dive and dash around at high speed, only slowing down when you are using your magic based attacks. It is a nice feeling to get into just the right position to line up a fully charged heavy attack and it is clear that there is a big emphasis on landing those slower heavy attacks, both in terms of effect and spectacle. Animation really helps seal the deal in a different way to MH; weapons grow, contort and sprout now parts as you charge them up. Overall, I get the impression they were aiming at allowing you to carry out those satisfying, heavy attacks from the big weapons in Monster Hunter without crippling the player's movement in other areas; I think they've done a great job of it.

    Progression is also heavily tied in with the save-sacrifice idea. Each enemy when saved or sacrificed contributes light or dark experience. Light and dark levels then improve defence and attack power respectively. There's no equipment as such, but you bring a loadout of 6 spells into each mission, and you get further spells as rewards. You use duplicates to upgrade those spells, so there's always value in completing missions. There's possibly more too, but I haven't uncovered the last two areas of the character sheet.

    I'm rather pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable this game has been. It isn't as excessively gory as the artwork suggested, though it still has a very bleak and grotesque visual design with twisted animals replacing the fantasy standards (the melted, vomiting cat "orc" is particularly nasty). The music is another highlight, being a good match for the visual design and composed by Yasunori Mitsuda and the RE5 composer. As a game it feels far friendlier to the lone player because of the immediacy of the controls and the more involved storyline, though they definitely haven't wimped out on the difficult level. The fact you get graded after each mission is a nice motivator to do well, not forgetting the improved rewards with higher grades.
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