Dubbed as a Monster Hunter clone and a game that’s supposedly going to ‘significantly’ boost sales not just in its native Japan, but worldwide, Souls Sacrifice is Marvelous AQL’s first offering. Yes, it has huge monsters. Yes, it has gathering missions. But what sets it apart from the rest of the bunch?
You’re a captive. Next on hyper evil sorcerer Magusar’s sacrificial list. However luck is on your side buddy! All in the form of Librom, a supernatural book made from human flesh with a slightly disfigured face. He explains that if you read the tales within him, you will gain experience from the battles of the past and be ready to take on your abductor in the final showdown.
And this my friends can be done at any time. Yep, if you want to take on big, bad Magusar straight away, you can. You won’t win, but you can indeed try. Each mission takes around 10 minutes, perfect for that commute, and has you hunting down and vanquishing either a pack of smaller creatures or one big badass. Upon defeating each enemy you can run over their now lifeless corpse and suddenly you’re prompted to SAVE or SACRIFICE. Essentially this how you level up. Saving a foe boosts your health points. Sacrificing increases your magic power.
Upon completion of mission, you are rewarded on how well you perform with plethora of spells. These are then equipped to you character and can be used a certain amount of times before they expire. They can be recharged at certain points scattered around each level and include everything from fireballs and healing spells to rock shields and gigantic fists made of ice. While not on a quest, you can combine spells to create even more powerful ways of destroying all those who oppose you.
Visually the game is one of the weaker titles on Vita, but this makes for a smooth experience with no lag or frame rate problems what so ever. The environments range from vibrant forests to dark gothic dungeons, and fit the feel of the game very well. It can get confusing sometimes as to where your objectives are, but using the mind’s eye view clearly shows you what you have to do, as well as point out where hidden items, spells and recharge station are.
The multiplayer is where this game will appeal to Monster Hunter fans and works fantastically well. Over the PSN or adhoc, you team with up to 3 other adventurers to take on the largest beasts the game has to offer. Combining moves such as one person freezing a mob and the other smashing them with an enormous stone sword, you can easily eliminate the toughest of foes that you would normally struggle with by yourself. And once you’re done, you can say your goodbyes and everybody collects their respective rewards, nice!
It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s best slice of action RPG you’re going to get on the Vita anytime soon. The gameplay’s broken up well so that you can run a quick mission whether you’re on your lunch break or the bus. It’s interesting and has a strange but fascinating story that should keep you entertained at least for a good 40 hours or so. Oh and it comes with a free month of PS+. Since non indie Vita titles are few and far between at the moment, I’d say pick it up.
Game purchased by reviewer