Only for the cosmos expanding fans.
Up until a year ago when Jae reviewed the Saint Seiya game for the PS3, I had never even heard of the anime or the manga. I didn’t even know it existed. So when I jumped into Saint Seiya: Soldier’s Soul on the PS4, I really had no idea as to what I was getting myself into. Luckily, I had played other anime arena fighters in my day like Naruto and Dragon Ball Z. This helped out a bit because Saint Seiya plays a lot like those games. Now I’m in a bit of familiar territory.
Much like other arena fighters, Saint Seiya has players fighting one on one in a set arena with the ability to jump, attack, and fire energy shots with the face buttons. Then, with a combination of the bumpers and triggers, alter their button presses with special attacks and dashes. Square and Triangle are the characters’ light and heavy attacks. These can be combined for string attacks. Circle fires the energy blast, and X jumps or dashes depending on if the player is holding the guard bumper. It’s simplistic in nature, but complex when executing.
Platforms: PS4, PS3, PC
Price I’d pay: $20
7th Sense?! Impossible!
On top of that, there are two gauges that fill up over time. One super meter that is used for special attacks and quick dodges and dashes, and a meter used for activating 7th Sense where characters deal a bit more damage and can use their Big Bang Attack for an ultimate move. When looking at it all it is simple, but when figuring out combos for certain strings and knowing when to use special attacks, it can get rather complex. Knowing when to dash in, when to block, and when to attack in an opening can be crucial for success.
The game boasts four separate story arcs that I’m guessing are from the anime, each one with multiple battles and cutscenes to take in. This is best left to the fans of the source material, as I had no solid idea as to what was going on. Warriors in Greek mythology are trying to save Athena, who was shot with a golden arrow and gold cloth saints are trying to stop them. Why? I couldn’t figure that out. Oh, and this was just the first chapter of the story mode, which lasted well over three hours. There’s three more to go through.
Unlocking all the things.
Aside from the story mode, there are also standard battle modes where players can fight with a different rule set, a collection area where players can view the character models and listen to the soundtrack of the game, and a place where players can use in game currency earned from battles to purchase both cosmetic things as well as equippable enchantments known as assist phrases that can boost the stats of the character.
The visuals are rather nice. I still think the Naruto Ninja Storm series looks better, but the flashy attacks and special abilities do pop off the screen nicely. A high note is the soundtrack and sound effects. The soundtrack has multiple catchy tunes, both in battle and even in the menus, and the sound effects really do sound like something I would hear from a mid-80’s anime. It is well done.
The AI in the story mode and even in some battles outside of story mode is hit or miss. Sometimes they are dumb as bricks, while other times I feel like a three year old going up against a top Marvel Vs. Capcom player.
Hitchy and laggy.
The online play is a nice addition, and even has lobbies and a spectator mode while waiting for the next match. I did run into a good bit of lag in many matches, and some matches were almost unplayable, but then there were matches that played with zero lag. It may have been the people I was paired up with, but even then it lagged more than it didn’t.
In the end, Saint Seiya: Soldier’s Soul is really for the fans of the series. Fighting game players may get some out of it, but only if these arena-based games are your forte. I know a lot of people love them, and I have seen many great fights that take a lot of skill to pull off. There is some strategy involved. There are tons to unlock and a decent amount of story to go through, but really this caters more to the hardcore fan base and even then, while it is enjoyable in some aspects, there are some rough things in it. The AI is bad at times, and the online can be laggy.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.