Imagine you can decide one’s fate with your hands, that’s the main idea behind Soul Sacrifice, a Japanese-RPG game from Keiji Inafune.
Soul Sacrifice puts you as a fragile human which is about to get sacrificed for the benefit of a dark lord named Magusar. Moment before the sacrifice, you find a speaking book that allows you to relive the past as a sorcerer. If you managed to visit all the events from the past, you might have a chance to survive, and thus starts your mission.
The main story is focused on the sorcerers from the book, at first you don’t know a thing about him but while progressing the picture becomes clearer and clearer. This way, the plot always keeps some mysterious and horrifying details that will keep your interest through the whole play. I should note that the story is being told from a book (dubbed sentences), no cutscenes at all.
As for graphics Soul Sacrifice looks great on the 5″ OLED screen: colors come alive, animations looks stunning and textures are mostly smooth. The only problem I had is that the game not a sandbox. You can’t travel back and forth through the world, instead the game is split into areas (fighting zones) just like the recently released Ragnarok Odyssey.
While graphics and story are quite good, the gameplay is what makes Soul Sacrifice a must have game for every Vita owner. In start of each battle you will be asked to choose six skills to use at a specific stage. Those skills vary for one another as there are physical attacks, magic, guard, boosting and healing. When the stage is complete, the player will be rewarded with new skills to use, and if he already has them they can be used for fusions.
Each skill the player uses will cost him one cast that should be “refilled” with an offering from the monster you kill or from the stage itself. This offering is what makes Soul Sacrifice so unique, because you will have to make a decision between life and death. Choosing sacrifice will refill you skills casts, but choosing life will gain you some HP and DEF boost.
As you progress you can level up both evil and divine power that will shape your character stats. Divine (saving all monsters) decisions will boost the character DEF, while sacrifice (killing all monsters) gains you stronger attacks.
What’s more interesting in the gameplay is the fact that the story will be affected by your decisions. For example, if you spared a character you might meet it again.
Besides main story missions, there are also a dozens of side quest that can be played with up to four player, both online and ad-hoc. So even after completing the game there is still much more to do.