Soul Sacrifice is arguably one of the biggest games to release for the PlayStation Vita in months. With Soul Sacrifice, Sony Japan has attempted to make their own Monster Hunter-style of game, and tried to feed off the success that this franchise has had on the PSP in Japan. Unfortunately whilst Soul Sacrifice sold relatively well in Japan, it was nowhere near how much a Monster Hunter game sells. With the legendary Onimusha and Megaman creator Keiji Inafune at the helm, surely it's got to be good?
If you've had a chance to play the Soul Sacrifice demo that was released on the PlayStation Network a couple of weeks ago, you will already know how this game starts. That's mainly because the demo is in fact the first section of the game, which explains the back story of the main antagonist, Magusar. The entire game is played through Librom, a talking journal of Magusar's life, though the main character is in fact in a jail cell. What this essentially means is that you are playing through Magusar's life, in order to free yourself from his prison and inevitable death.
Once you select a mission, a voiceover will explain the story for that as the level loads. You can play the game online with friends, or select a few CPU allies to help you out in the missions. Once you defeat a monster in a level, you are given the choice to either "Save" or "Sacrifice" that monster. Saving a monster will give you a blue soul, and sacrificing will give you a red soul. You need to collect a variety of both in order for your character to be able to use certain sigils, but more on these later.
One of the best things about the Soul Sacrifice demo was that it promised you that you would be able to transfer your save from the demo directly to the full game. The reason for this was that the demo was in fact the first few chapters of the full game, and therefore allowing you to continue on just made sense. This is possibly one of the best ways to get people hooked on your game that I’ve seen and more games need to do this. However, once you load up your full version of Soul Sacrifice, you won’t get an option to transfer the save straight away.
In order to transfer the save correctly, be sure to keep the demo on your Vita, and once in the full game, select “New Game”, and it will give you the option to copy the save over. You can then delete the demo on your PlayStation Vita. Unfortunately, not everything will be transferred. The side missions that you are able to do later on in the game don’t appear to copy over, and this includes any “generic” sorcerers that you’ve saved after defeating their monster counterparts. The experience that you gained, and the items you collected however, will carry over, and most importantly, you will receive a very strong bonus ability, and it is well worth simply downloading the demo just to get this bonus.
Soul Sacrifice is mission-based, which is good and bad for various reasons. The benefit of this mission system is that because you are playing the game on a handheld, you can jump in and quickly do a mission and the jump out of the game when you want to. However, this game would have been far better if it was more open world, and allowed you to do several missions in smaller hub worlds. Instead, every mission is selected through Librom, the talking journal. Once you select a mission, you are transported into that mission, with a quick back story that is narrated by the evil sorcerer Magusar.