Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I Want Soul Sacrifice 2

I am almost 'finished' with Soul Sacrifice in that I only have the end-all be-all fight with Magusaur left to carry out as far as the Story portion of the game goes.  That isn't spoiling anything, of course - the game explicitly tells you in the opening that you are the prisoner of Magusaur and the entire mechanic of reliving memories through your strange journal to gain the ability to wield a Sorcerer's power is so you can take the fight to him, not only for your life, but for the world.  It lends that one fight a...mystique, if you will, an indelible amount of power and significance, that will ultimately create a finality to the game itself.  It's a simple setup, really, but it's executed flawlessly.

It is one of the main reasons why I think doing a sequel will be difficult.  You cannot just re-use that set-up.  You cannot switch out everything but that "End Boss is always available" fight and have it be the same, have that fight have the same sheen to it.  That whole layout, that idea, is ineffably Soul Sacrifice 1 now and simply repeating that will not be anywhere near enough.  Luckily, I'm not in a position where I have to create a sequel to this game, one that will satisfy new-comers and veterans alike.  I can just sit here and demand a sequel and not produce anything constructive to the process.  Not divulge any thought into just how something could be established.  Just clamor from the highest rooftop that I want it and take to any announcement the fact that it's not Soul Sacrifice 2, which is definitely a thing that's going to happen regardless.

But I think we know that's not my style.

The wondrous thing of Soul Sacrifice is that it has so much lore established in just the confines of what it has.  It has created a world, a fleshed out one, even if you don't get to traverse it as some thought you might be able to.  There are any number of places and ways you could actually set another game in the world, and it's not even all that difficult to throw a dart at one to pick if you were so inclined.  If the actual world traversal were a bit more robust in the sequel, that would lend itself all the more towards making just about anything possible.  Not that I'm saying I need that, because I don't - I'd be fine with another Arena game - but I do think it could be seen as the 'evolution' from one game to the next, and it would certainly draw in a few more purchases from folks who found themselves turned off to the 'constrained' (to them) nature of the game.

The most basic setup I could think of would be that you're just a Sorcerer entering Avalon (the ruling body of Sorcerers) to become a full-fledged member.  It's an underwhelming concept, sure, when faced with the one that came before it, but it could be a game based more around the subtleties rather than the direct notion of the world-ending monster that is Magusaur.  Play up the partner aspect just as this first game did, and run far with that angle, or even do something a little different with it.  Perhaps an asychronous mutliplayer system like Dragon's Dogma's Pawn system that lets you pick one of your friends characters to be your friend.  Set your appearance, two or three sets of Offering load-outs and synch it with the network so that it transfers over to whomever is deciding to use your character in their game.  Of course, this will be set aside to the story-important partner as well.

Something that would be, perhaps, a little more dynamic would be to use one of the origin stories for an Archfiend, a new breed, to set things off.  Your character is just someone who happens to get in the crossfire, or is the target of the new fiend, yet survives.  Set it up as a personal last boss, rather than a superbly dangerous and immaculate one, really.  And from that sort of set-up you could go any number of places with it.  Perhaps the character simply seeks tutelage from Avalon to hone a Sorcerer's talent in vengeance on the beast.  Perhaps the town plays host to one of the Anti-Avalon groups and have their own brands of Sorcerers.  Or any of several other possibilities.  Hell, give us the options and let you build your character through that.  Soul Sacrifice 1 played at letting you be an existing Sorcerer molded to your vision.  Let Soul Sacrifice 2 allow you to make your Sorcerer.

There is a literal world of possibilities left open for a sequel thanks to Soul Sacrifice's basis.  That speaks as a strength not only to the game itself, but its potential as one of the Vita's big series that pushes the system itself.  There is a -lot- that can yet be done with the franchise and I'm personally invested in seeing it through, that's for sure.  Not only because Soul Sacrifice is really, really damn good in the story department, but because it's just so damn -fun- as I've stated in the past.  There's a grind to be had, for sure, but it's one that I don't mind because every battle I fight is one for supremacy and it's enjoyable because of that.  Even if I face something that seems insurmountable, well, that's just the next short-term goal on the road to taking down Magusaur for good.  And that victory will be the sweetest of them all.

seriously, I don't know how many times I need to say BUY SOUL SACRIFICE

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