Soul Sacrifice Demo Review

  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Platform: Playstation Vita
  • Developer: Marvelous AQL
  • Publisher: Sony computer Entertainment
  • Release Date: December 20th, 2012

Soul Sacrifice is one of the most interesting 2013 Playstation Vita upcoming games. The mind behind it, Keiji Inafune, is not a newcomer, having fathered a long running series like Megaman, among other games, and it shows: the game can’t be currently likened to anything currently available, grabbing idea from many different genres. Given how few titles are currently coming on Sony’s new handheld, can Soul Sacrifice save the console from its current situation? We still have to wait a few months to know that, but we finally know more of the game itself thanks to the demo version released a few days ago on the japanese PSN.

A long time ago

The main character of Soul Sacrifice is a slave, serving a powerful wizard who will sacrifice him in the name of his own lust for power. Right before the sacrifice, a demon in the form of a book appears right before our slave: thanks to this magic book, he’ll be able to live events of the past, when the wizard fought and won against terrible monsters. The whole premise sounds incredibly interesting, even though the demo only scratches the surface of the narrative for obvious reasons. After some prologue sequences, players will be able to take on 4 more missions which give quite a good feel of the gameplay experience. Even though there’s not much plot in the demo’s 2 hours length, the game’s atmosphere is really great, immersing players in the locations also thanks to the great graphics, probably the best I’ve seen on PsVita and music.

A Wizard unlike any others

From the few trailers and screens released up until now, the game looked like a Monster Hunter game: is it the case? More no than yes. The only similarity is in the huge monsters characters will have to defeat: everything else is completely different. For istance, the game will probably move on rails: players will have to choose story nodes from the books and there won’t be much exploration. At the same time, the customization aspects of the game are mostly limited to spells and stats, rather than loot, equipment and weapons, like the Monster Hunter series. In honesty, customization seems a bit limited here but we must not forget that this is a demo version so it’s surely gonna be different in the full game. You’re able to customize two main stats: Defense/Health and Attack. the way they’re leveld up varies on how you deal with enemies: if you choose to save them you’ll get exp points for the defense/health stat, if you choose to sacrifice them you’ll get exp point for the attack stat. Choosing to increase experience for one of the two stats will make total experience for the other decrease and it’s still unknown if you’ll be able to level down in the full game: in the demo you can only loose experience but not the actual stat level.

To Battle!

Battle wise, I really enjoyed the combat: it looked kind of clunky in the trailers but it’s quite better than it looked like. You can lock on to enemies, for istance, and you even have a dodge button. The core of the battle system mechanics, however, are the sacrificial magics: these will be obtained after clearing stages, and possibly found during the stages themselves, and come in a variety of types. Offensive, defensive, supportive, healing and even more. Since you’ll find more than the same type of spell, you can improve it by combining them: so that you can get a +1,+2 spell and so on, mostly increasing the number of times the spell can be used. Don’t think about getting too much trigger happy with a single spell: if you go overboard you won’t be able to use it anymore during the stage and you’ll need to restore its powers with the book tears. There are also some areas during maps wich will allow you to restore the number of uses. Sacrificial magic management will add a deep layer of strategy in combat, making it more deep than it looks like. Customization doesn’t end here: in the demo you will be able to synthesize spells, customize your armor with seals and even obtain and equip special attacks.

Final Thoughts

If the demo gives us an indication, Soul Sacrifice is probably gonna be one of the best PsVita releases of 2013: the interesting narrative is actually made better by the presentation, while the gameplay aspects are really well crafted and flow really well together: nothing will probably feel out of place or just inserted in for the sake of it. If you have a PsVita, keep an eye on this game: it’s probably gonna end up being one of your next year’s purchases.

  • PROS

Great atmosphere
Interesting narrative
Great graphics and sound
Engaging combat
Many customization options

  • CONS

The demo is only in Japanese for now
Not much exploration


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