Interested in Soul Sacrifice Delta but don’t want to jump to a Japanese account to take a look? Let me convince you.
This morning (my time) when the store updated in Japan I deactivated my Vita, pulled my sixteen gigabyte memory card out and replaced it with a 4GB card (they have a use!) – proceeding to format and sign into my Japanese PSN account. Apparently, it’s been a while (I think the last time I logged in was the limited time Project Diva f 2nd demo), because I couldn’t quite remember my password. No worries, a quick account creation and I was back at it – downloading the slightly large (1678 MB) demo of Soul Sacrifice Delta onto my Vita.
A few minutes of waiting (luckily I have a 75MBit down speed) and I fired up the game, a smile curling at the corners of my lips almost immediately. Even from the main menu, you can tell they’ve upgraded the textures quite a bit, the blocky-ness of even the post-graphical update seemingly removed. The native resolution solves a lot of the little nagging issues I had with the look of the first title, the most immediately noticeable change being in the hands of the caged book owner – which no longer appear jagged or low resolution. Looking around the cage, it looks like an entirely different place – and even the updated maps included from the first iteration look much better. This level of graphical upgrade seems to extend to all textures in the game and you can expect a much better looking title over all, especially compared to how Soul Sacrifice looked on initial release.
I’d also like to note that if you wanted some bigger arenas, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. One of the maps that was pulled from the first game (the sanctuary) is actually combined with another (the courtyard) in Delta; a wall breaking out between them to allow you more room for your epic boss battles. Another issue I had with the first game minimized, thank you Japan Studio.
The sound in the title is just as good as in the first – and in areas just as bad. The Japanese voice over sounds just as good as the first and all the audio is very crisp and clear; but the sound effects can be repetitive if you’re spamming a spell for any reason (even two or three variations would sound less cheesy), and the menu interaction sound is a bit grating after hearing it so much in the past. The game could’ve done with a little freshening up, but in the end there’s nothing really “wrong” here – just nothing to rave about either.
The controls should be familiar to you if you’ve played the first game, but if not they’re simple to pick up. You move with the analog sticks, initiate offerings with the shape buttons (other than x which is dodge), and target using the left trigger. The right trigger switches back and forth between offering menus (two menus with three offerings each) and the down button on the d-pad switches you to an alternate sight mode in which important objects/enemies are highlighted based on their usage/health. It’s a very good set up for this type of game and I think it works perfectly and has no need to be changed – so I’m glad they kept it the same.
Multiplayer works exactly like the first title, jumping into “rooms” of four in either ad-hoc or infrastructure mode to go co-op against bosses or complete other types of levels. There’s not much new in the online front it seems, but then again it’s just the demo.
Playing this demo felt very much like the first game, only with new weapons and a sexy new coat of paint – which I really can’t complain about. Delta has taken most of the nagging issues people had with the first Soul Sacrifice and minimized them, my only remaining qualm being with the lack of diversity in the sound effects. I think the fact that I have to bring that up as the only “issue” is a testament to just how good Soul Sacrifice is and why you should play this one – even if you’ve played the first.
I’d also like to note that the demo is capped at a combined level of thirty (like the first game) and you start at 10/10, so there’s only so much you can level up – though it’s fun to level up and mess with the new offerings (though offerings can’t be upgraded). Also the demo only includes three levels to choose from – a minion fighting level and two boss battles, so unfortunately it’s not near as plentiful as the demo for the original. That said, it’s a good indication of what you’ll be getting with Delta and anyone who’s interested should give it a try – either now or when the English demo hits some time in the future.
Here’s some screens to help you decide (or check out a ton more on my photobucket account);
Are you excited yet, or what? 😉