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Soul Sacrifice Review

Cart: Soul Sacrifice
Cab: PlayStation Vita
Coin: Marvelous ACQ

Soul Sacrifice may very well be Sony’s answer to the lack of Monster Hunter on Vita, but Monster Hunter hangs around the game’s neck with such a weight that it never manages to find the strength to stand on its own two feet.

Essentially, this is a clone of Monster Hunter with a different setting and a few new ideas thrown in, which would be no bad thing in itself, after all Monster Hunter is a fantastic game and I have never had a problem with clones, particularly when the host platform doesn’t have the game that is being cloned available for fans.

Soul Sacrifice starts well, with far friendlier movement and attack mechanics than Monster Hunter and a sheeny, shiny look that gives the games a distinct style, a style that is only made all the better by the excellent creature designs.

Doesn't make a blind bit of difference.

Doesn’t make a blind bit of difference.

There is online co-op, which is always welcome and the game is far better when played with friends. Unlike Monster Hunter, however, the single player element doesn’t feel like a cool, yet lonely quest, instead feeling far more like a trudge, even if you can recruit ¬†AI help intermittently. In MH, I always dip in and out of single and multiplayer, but here I avoided playing alone as much as possible.

There is a decent element of choice when defeating enemies, as you can choose to save or sacrifice them. Such a shame it is massively underplayed, as your decision just doesn’t have enough of an impact on the game. Save someone and you get a little bit of health and the bosses can also be summoned to help you out in future side missions; sacrificing them replenishes the amount of times you can cast a spell.

You end up just sacrificing all the smaller enemies and saving all the bosses, as the reward for doing the opposite in each situation just isn’t there. If the choice had a real, profound effect on the story and your progress, then this would have been a brilliant feature. A real missed opportunity, I feel.

Gorgeous, but they are all spam magnets

Gorgeous, but they are all spam magnets

There are plenty of levels, and they all look the part, but although there is a massive variation in look; they all actually play identically and lack the character of those found in MH. It doesn’t help that you can easily spam most of the enemies into submission from a distance, however pretty and clever they look.

It is a strange game to judge. On the one hand it lacks the depth, character, variety and customisation of Monster Hunter, but on the other it is actually far more accessible and friendlier for new players. Honestly, if you are a fan of Monster Hunter, then just bite the bullet and get a 3DS, but if you are one of the many players that could never get into Monster Hunter, despite really wanting to like it, then this could be the game for you.

Soul Sacrifice probably does just what it set out to do, but doesn’t go the extra mile, despite some nice ideas. Let’s hope it is successful enough to warrant a sequel, as that may well be the game to take on the old beast.

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Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.

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