What would you be willing to give up if you could gain ultimate power? Who would you be willing to give up if you could gain ultimate power? Those are the questions players are asked in Soul Sacrifice Delta, the PS Vita exclusive action RPG. Developed by Keji Inafune’s Comcept (Recore, Mighty Number 9), Soul Sacrifice Delta is the ultimate upgrade of the original SOul Sacrifice, adding on hours of new content including new bosses, areas, and characters. It even includes more storyline details that flesh out things that were hinted at in the original Soul Sacrifice. Regardless of whether or not you own the original game, you’ll definently want to add this title to your collection if you own a Vita.
You play as a nameless schmuck who has been tossed in a jail cell, intended to be the next sacrifice for an evil magician known as Magusar. However, in your cell is a book detailing the exploits of a former partner and friend of Magusar’s. This isn’t any ordinary book either, it’s a book made out of human flesh that talks to you, and when you read its pages, you relive the exploits of the former partner. Hopefully within these pages lies the secret to Magusar’s power and a way to escape.
Magic isn’t done here like in other RPGS. everything you do, from attacks to healing is a magic spell which requires an offering to use. You gain these offerings throughout the game’s stages and equip them before heading into battle. You can enhance them as needed, but they all have limited uses. Once they’re gone, you can use a substance known as Lacrima to restore them. During each area, you have the option of either saving or sacrificing defeated enemies, including bosses. Depending on what faction you are currently a part of (more on that in a bit), one action will restore your health while increasing defense, and another will restore offerings while increasing your attack. This gives gamers a freeform way of developing their character’s stats, as one could either opt for high defense with low attack, high offense but low defense, or keep things balanced. You can adjust your arm tattoo to further customize your stats and abilities. You can chance anything at anytime via Lacrima, so nothing has to be permanent. Delta adds the third option of leaving the defeated to fate, which grants you a luck enhancement. When things get really hairy, you can use what’s known as a black rite to even the score. These abilities cost players a part of their body for a one-time mega attack. Ripping out one’s eye allows them to use a powerful eye beam, sacrificing one’s skin can allow players to use a powerful fire attack, and sacrificing one’s brain can cause players to unleash a vortex which pulls in enemies. Of course these can be retconned via, you guessed it, Lacrima.
The game’s monsters and bosses are different from traditional fantasy and mythology lore. They are all mutated via sorcery. For instance, goblins aren’t those funny looking green dudes, they are sentient hive minds of rats who consume the skin of dead sorcerers. Orcs aren’t those dumb big green guys you fight in Warcraft and Warhammer. They’re horribly mutated cats who consume their human owners. Ghouls? They aren’t undead anything. They’re mutated crows who have a society similar to humans. The game’s bosses have their own backstories as well which brings a moral element into the game. These are all men and women who made use of a forbidden chalice and sacrificed something of themselves to fulfill the fondest wish or desire. Or maybe they used the chalice’s power to escape the situation they were in. After they’re defeated, you have the same choice to save or sacrifice them as with the other creatures. Now of course you won’t give two shits about sacrificing the Harpy (a woman so jealous over a baker’s marriage she consumes him, his wife, and his belongings) or the Dwarves (men who drank all day and kidnap others to harness their own sweat for more beers), but what about the Minotaur (a bastard child who was locked away for being the result of an affair between the Duke and one of his maids), or the Pied Piper of Hamelin, who grew up as a bullied child. Of course if you save too many, then Avalon will send an assassin on your tail. Of course if you do save a monster, you have the option of having them partner up with you as an NPC.
Soul Sacrifice contains tons of backstory, and that’s the biggest asset of this game. You can read it from the menu, and there is a lot of interesting stuff. Delta adds even more backstory and content, such as new monsters (inspired by Mother Goose and Grimm fairy tells), the ability to switch between the game’s 3 factions (Avalon, Sanctuarium, and Grimm), along with new storyline elements, and a new ending.
Although Soul Sacrifice isn’t quite a killer app for the Vita, it’s still a must-buy for anyone who owns the system. Regardless of whether or not you played the original game, you’ll want to pick up Delta, as it is teh most complete version of the game.