Soul Sacrifice Delta is not the a sequel to last year’s Soul Sacrifice, but it isn’t simply a remake of the original either. Having added in a significant amount of post-story content and greatly expanded on the capabilities of the existing game, Delta acts more like Soul Sacrifice 1.5 than anything.
Players familiar with the the story surrounding SS know that it is about a man looking to free himself from from a sorcerer named Magusar. After waking up within a cage, he finds a magical book that tells him the story of another sorcerer, but as the story unfolds, decisions need to be made that will directly affect how chapters in the book will play out. The decisions are based around the idea of life or death, but more precisely what to do with someone’s soul after they die. As each time you kill a monster or person you are left with the option to sacrifice or save their soul, a decision that weighs in on how the rest of the game plays out.
Deciding what to do each time you kill a monster or human does have its benefits, as you can increase your health or magic depending on what you do. This is a great concept, but was also the source of a fundamental flaw within Delta, as having to choose to sacrifice to boost my magic ability almost felt like my hand was being forced, if I wanted to become more powerful. At the same time, having to play through a portion of each of the new factions also forced me to make one decision over the other, as they became quest requirements to proceed. But, besides those minor gripes, Delta does do a great job of meshing these new concepts together to give an experience perfect for the Vita.
One of the major issues that we have been seeing throughout the life of the Vita is that it is rare to find a game that felt as if it were made for the pick up and go lifestyle of a portable title, while still maintaining a high caliber of content and quality. This is where Delta really started to win me over completely, combining the arena only styled boss/minion fight mechanic and a deep hack and slash combat system into short bursts, is a great way to drop a few minutes without having to get overly wrapped up in questing.
This doesn’t mean that Delta is without flaws, as there are a number of issues that can be easily taken up with the game. The first being that bosses don’t have any health bars, but will instead start to glow different colors after an unknown amount of damage, so it is difficult to know if you should squeeze in an extra 5 minutes or if you are going to be stuck for another 10 to 20 for the bigger battles. The instructions for the game are almost non-existent, as there are numerous things to learn about the game, but very little time taken to explain things in full. The game suffers from the common issue of fighting a boss too big to fit on screen, where you will be attacked without any chance of warning as you have to slash at their ankle. But, thankfully almost none of the issues are things that are game breaking or will be enough to detour fans looking to take on some highly memorable foes.
Given that the majority of the game is based around doing little more than fighting, the primary objective for most matches is to simply take down a giant boss while fending off or dispatching the smaller minions that surround him. These giants will range significantly between matches, and even some will cause you to smirk as you take on the Three Little Pigs – which is a giant pig with a giant pig-shield and giant pig-mace. Sadly, the complexity of the bosses designs are only met with repetition that does start to wear down the game a bit more, especially as you progress further down the rabbit hole. Fighting a boss, only to have the same minions on repeat for hours on end only highlights the repetition of the whole game’s mechanic. Story, boss, fate, story, boss, fate, etc…
If plaything through the story mode alone with AI isn’t enough for you, completing the package is the option to play either online or Ad-Hoc with other people. This option works incredibly well as you are able to join, create and invite up to 4 players to take on a boss together. After playing a few matches, besides having a few people drop out in the middle of the fight, everything ran incredibly smooth and lag free. Making this one of the features that will surely keep players trying to get to that total level capacity of 100 and even give some a reason to upgrade from SS, since it does add in more character customization options.
Now many people will be wondering if they should pick up Delta if they already own SS, as it does do a great job of improving on an already solid Vita title. With the ability to also import your save data from the original, players will have the option to carry over their hard work so that their sorcerer can go through the new Phantom Quests and even create a more unique look. But, unless you are very big fan of the original and don’t mind paying full price to play through a few new levels or start all over again for a different playthrough, I’m not sure I could recommend picking this up just yet.
But, if you haven’t had a chance to experience what the Soul Sacrifice series has to offer, and are looking for an incredibly fun and robust game that is designed to be played in short bursts, then Delta is definitely the one that you should check out.
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