Monday, April 22, 2013

Soul Sacrifice - Demo of the Year of All Years

In what continues to be a rather pleasing trend, I have picked up yet another something and found little to be disappointed with it.  Because of my whole snafu with the sickness thing, I didn't really get to put any time into Soul Sacrifice (given that afterward, I wanted to enjoy something light-hearted, which I did in Dragon Fantasy Book I as mentioned) and, in truth, I sort of forgot about it.  Earlier, I plugged in yet more time into Disgaea 3:  Absence of Detention, plodding Dinah closer and closer to Level 9999 (which it seems I might just have to achieve to grant her victory over a surprisingly difficult foe) and it was only after a random flip through my pages that I caught glimpse of the icon for the demo again.  And after some outside prodding, I decided to throw my hand back into it - after all, the only time I spent playing it was half-asleep and that's hardly fair to the game itself.

So I played the demo some more tonight....and I played and I played and suddenly an hour had gone by.  Let it be known that I was thoroughly entertained by this point, if that much was not already decidedly obvious.  Let it also be known that I had not a single clue of what the hell.

I don't mean that in a bad way, and it's understandable as I'm still a little hazy and sick because of sinus and allergy issues, but I can't effectively quantify what I experienced in the half a dozen missions I slammed through to draw closer and closer to a conclusion of the Ordeal.  It was intense, it was fast, it was chaotic, but most important of all, it was fun.  It was absolutely enjoyable and I have no earthly idea what ideas and executions are responsible for this, but I also don't really care.  To be honest, I feel an itching to jump right back into it now, but I will abstain for several reasons, most of which are completely responsible.  Totally.  Super responsible.  Unfortunately.

The basic gist, I have down and it's actually quite a bit refreshing in that it damn near reminds me of Phantasy Star Online which is a surprise that I never would have expected.  Not in so many ways, but in the particular binding of spells or offerings to the Square, Triangle and Circle buttons, where X is your dash and R switches to a separate palate of the same three buttons with different spells.  That's....where the similarities end, of course, but that momentary familiarity brought me immense pleasure and brought a level of comfort into the experience that I might not have had otherwise.  From there it gets more complicated, depending on the spell you're actually using of course.  Some spells require a charging time, others some aiming and then firing, while still others alter your attack pattern entirely for a duration, such as making a sword out of ice that you can either chain attacks with or hold for a long combo attack.

Perhaps because of the inclusion of "Soul" in the title and the tonal similarities with concept art and such, I think there were a lot of misconceptions about the game early on, thinking it would be a sort of "Souls" game (Demon's or Dark) in that it would be at least semi-open world.  In fact, it could not be more opposite, given that it seems every mission is an arena battle, basically, which is kind of a hard sell I should think.  Though, knowing that it was going to be that type of game also put illusions into some people's heads that it would be Monster Hunter + Grimdark which it decidedly is not either.  It is -far- too fast-paced and, er, responsive to be a Monster Hunter clone, of which I am quite thankful.

Regardless of what its intention was, what Soul Sacrifice ended as was an enjoyable thing to be sure.  The demo is something that I'm going to hop into several times between now and my purchase of the game, and I look for more entertaining fights the caliber of which I saw tonight.  For instance, one battle ended when a Ghoul (basically a large, undead bird) was zooming down towards me and I threw down the Stone Clod offering which brought a giant Stone Fist up through the ground.  The fist uppercut the Ghoul straight out of the air and killed it.  If that is not satisfying, friends, then I cannot tell you what is.

I seriously laughed so much....and then I made a "Flipping the Bird" pun which didn't end well

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