The Soul Calibur series has been a major success on home consoles. Namco-Bandai is now taking the fight on the go via the PlayStation Portable. Available on UMD at retail level and digital download via the PlayStation Store, Soul Calibur hopes to give the PSP that extra “kick” players have been looking for. Does “the soul still burn” on the PSP, or does it fizzle out to nothing more than ashes? Find out in our Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny review.
Soul Calibur is known for its near flawless fighting mechanics, and thankfully that series mainstay has survived the transition to the PSP from its console brethren. The controls are sharp, fluid, and responsive. The move list for each character is extremely robust, and ranges from simple button press combos to complex multi-button press and analog stick combinations. Mastering these more complex moves will give players an edge, but is not necessary to win. Instead, difficult to master moves will be used to jazz up matches, leaving enemies in awe. The only issues with Broken Destiny’s gameplay are that side-stepping can be clunky, and throws are harder to pull off than in the PS3 iteration. Still, everything else players expect from Soul Calibur is here, and is done with finesse.
The roster is packed with long-time Soul Calibur fan-favorites such as Voldo the sadist and Ivy, the ample bossomed whip wielder are back, along with some fresh faces. One such face is a highly recognizable spartan warrior: God of War’s Kratos. As great as battling with the normal Soul Calibur combatants can be, nothing is as satisfying as wreaking havoc on an opponent using Kratos’ Blades of Athena. With his godly blades on chains and over the top special moves, Kratos is a perfect fit for the famed fighting franchise.
Including Kratos, there is a roster of 28 skilled combatants to choose from. The game also features an excellent create-a-character mode. Fighting styles are permanently attached to the weapons the regular roster characters use, but created characters’ appearances have near endless customizations, mainly due to the ability to swap color palettes of an extensive list of pants, boots, armor, helmets, etc. Players can even snap a shot of a created character’s pose to create the character select screen icon. Up to 16 characters can be created.
Along with the fighting genre staple, the Vs. mode, Soul Calibur offers a variety of single player modes. The Gauntlet mode is the main “story” mode, and even though it serves its purpose, it’s very lame. Most players don’t need a tutorial to learn how to hold down and attack. The mode does get more challenging and intense for players who can make it past the “duh” parts without going back to Vs. mode. The game does feature multiplayer via ad-hoc, but both players must own the game.
The game is absolutely gorgeous, and is one of the slickest looking, smoothly animated PSP games to date. Character models are extremely detailed, and some arenas have breathtaking backdrops. The Gothic styled music is the norm for the series, and adds an epic feel to battles. It certainly does justice to the beauty Soul Calibur is known for.
Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny is a near perfect fighting experience, exactly what players have come to expect from the franchise. Those who are new to the series will love the varied character roster and robust move sets. The game certainly doesn’t have any groundbreaking features, but it’s fantastic nonetheless. This is a must-buy for fighting fans, as it holds its own with the very best fighting games the PSP has to offer. The soul still burns.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Simply gorgeous visuals
Deep, fluid fighting mechanics