I've had a bit of an aversion to portable brawler games as of late, fearing that the genre has become homogenized by Monster Hunter influences creeping into each game. I'm not knocking Monster Hunter when I say this. I think the team at Capcom has a winning formula in those games. When Sony commissioned Comcept to produce the first Soul Sacrifice, I greeted it with a yawn and dismissal. With Soul Sacrifice Delta, I find myself a bit more engaged, thanks to a few additions that really helped flesh out the game. It still has some of the things I'm not too keen on, such as repetitive mission structure and what feels like a slow crawl in progression. But now, with some seemingly superfluous additions and a major addition in the form of a new faction, I'm more engaged in the story that Librom has to share.
Soul Sacrifice Delta doesn't do much to shake up the story, but instead it adds a new faction, Grim, to the game. This new faction favors neutrality, allowing fate to decide whether someone should be saved or sacrificed. This includes some new story elements to add to the overall playtime, and gives you a few new companions for your quests. This option also allows for a more balanced rate of growth, which means you don't have to worry about losing experience invested in health or magic strength. Beyond that, the game's tale remains largely unchanged. Librom is still a fun companion when you decide to close him for a moment and ponder whether you're ready to take on Magusar. The amount of quests out there is staggering, and thankfully they all run rather short, giving you plenty of opportunity to farm offerings and just get tiny chunks of action whenever you desire. The game is also absurdly long, but you can also make a quick rush to the "end," but I think you'd be missing out on a lot of what this game has to offer by challenging Magusar early on.
In addition to this new faction, there are a lot more options to make your character unique with Carnatux's Bazaar, a new shop that allows you to trade in offerings for new clothing items and accessories. In addition to this is the Palm Reader, Vidiara, who will give you Rumors and quest-altering items in exchange for the souls that you collect. Aurex, meanwhile, will hand over Rumors in exchange for offerings that you pick up. Cassus the Flunky deals in a few of the online options, allowing you to leave gifts for people who have Near turned on, or post your game stats to Twitter (which will eventually net you something). There is also the Faction Power Balance, which allows players to ally themselves with a faction and post their Slayer points to that faction. After weekly tallies, prizes are doled out. It's an interesting mechanic to get people to keep playing, but the only way you're going to be at the top of the leaderboards is if you are playing this game nonstop.
With the amount of content added to Soul Sacrifie Delta it's really easy to play for longer periods of time than the original. The addition of Alice's Eternal Maze gives you the option to go after Archfiends in a true test of endurance. The longer you last, the better the payout. And if you feel like being a masochist, you can create your own set of dungeons with the Blank Pages that are contained within Librom in exchange for some Lacrima and offerings. This is in addition to the full campaign added to Librom by the Grim faction. Granted, a lot of these new stages are still the same combat-oriented brawls that the original game was known for, so if you weren't all that impressed by the first release of Soul Sacrifice you might not find Delta to be worth the bother.
Soul Sacrifice Delta's solution for some of the first game's shortcomings is to cram it full of even more content. This doesn't exactly fix the game's repetitive nature, but the new faction and character-building options help fill in the spaces when you're not experiencing the enjoyable combat. I'm glad I waited to play this edition of the game, but if you were a fan of the original, know that your data can carry over to the newer version and give you a proper leg up on Magusar. If you took a pass on the first game, or only gave the demo a shot, it's worth looking into Soul Sacrifice Delta. Even though I made those initial comparisons to Monster Hunter, I found that Soul Sacrifice Delta stands perfectly well on its own, and really is a can't-miss Vita title.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
I recently cleared the 10 year club with Gaming Nexus. Kind of surprised I've been a mainstay here for a little over a decade now.
In a past life I worked with Interplay, EA, Harmonix, Konami, and a number of other developers and have recently returned from a job in Texas doing production work for a company that did cell phone games. Now I'm working for a record label, along with Gaming Nexus, and anywhere else that sees fit to employ me.