Soulcalibur has been shrunken down with careful detail to recreate an equal representation of Soul Calibur IV, the highly acclaimed console release from last year. Exclusively on the Playstation Portable, Broken Destiny is more than a simple port. Broken Destiny adds its own twist to the Soulcalibur series with new characters, modes, and online gaming support. Fighting fans should check out this wonderful treatment from Namco Bandai.
The souls and swordplay fighter, Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny debuts on the Playstation Portable without any qualms about being as outstanding as last years console release, Soul Calibur IV. Project Souls in their wizards’ tower has done a great job by making the translation to the portable device without sacrificing the games flawless fighting mechanics, or its always impressive visuals.
Hey Good Looking
From a first glance, Broken Destiny is going to get a lot of comments about its looks, and it deserves all of them. Preserving the visuals is an important task of a fighter, you can even say more more than other genres in gaming. Fighters always look great and Broken Destiny continues the trend of great looking fighting games with its beautiful character models, lighting, and rock-solid framerate. The animation work in Soulcalibur is second two none, along with its character models. It might be all a little over the top, but it sure looks great. It's amazing that Broken Destiny holds up even as its being pushed by lower horsepower in the PSP, I think Project Soul has a little bit of the calibur magic themselves! Hands down this is one of the best looking PSP games ever pressed to a UMD which continues to prove the PSP's relevance in the hand-held market.
Loosen Up Those Buttons
The controls in Broken Destiny handle with the same ease and fluid motion as the on screen characters, lending itself as best as it could to the handheld's buttons. The movement is done with the D-Pad, or the analog stick, and the face buttons control your different strength attacks, and blocking. The two shoulder buttons are the big attacks which are like pressing two attacks buttons at once making it convent to throw out some nice combinations. Broken Destiny can get a little tiresome after a while if you keep at it, but this goes for all action oriented games on the PSP. Really, Project Soul couldn't have worked out the controls any better, Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny plays like a charm.
A Brief History of Soul
In the odd chance that you haven’t played a Soulcalibur game in the past. It’s a fantasy based fighter that lets the opponents fight with weapons along with normal hand-to-hand attacks (more like a lot of kicks). Soulcalibur original debuted as Soul Edge back in the mid 90s in the arcades and ported to the Playstation under the Soul Blade title. Then it was off to the arcades and the Dreamcast in the end of the 90s which pushed the franchise into the spotlight along with the other fighting games of the time like Virtua Fighter and Tekken. Soulcalibur continued to make games on a number of systems averaging one every two or three years. The last edition was a smashing hit as Soulcalibur IV and its partnership with LucasArts broke new ground on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Now a year later Broken Destiny has been released on the Playstation Portable, and like the rest of the pack, Broken Destiny is equally impressive.
New Modes, No Story
Oddly enough the patented Soulcalibur story mode has been thrown away in Broken Destiny. This means the tried-and-true formula of fighting your way through a number of challengers until the final boss is gone! In the place of the story mode they have added The Gauntlet. The Gauntlet puts you through a number of challenges against different opponents with small objectives you have accomplish. Matches in the Gauntlet are very short and for the most part run only a few seconds, yes... seconds. Frankly, it’s not too much fun and even although it provides a challenge, I can’t see too many gamers being pleased with this replacement. The Gauntlet doesn't not equal end cinematics and the feeling of fighting your way to a final boss. It is strange that Namco abandoned the story mode in Broken Destiny, maybe it was its destiny to be broken?
Without the story mode, the mode that will eat up most of your time is the Trials mode. In this mode you can test your skills in the "Trial of Attack" which gives you a rating on how many attacks you connect with in battle against an onslaught on challengers. There is also the "Trial of Defence" which is a higher difficulty trail that awards a high score by attacking right after you guard an attack. Finally there is the "Endless Trial" mode lets you go bananas in this never ending round of battles. After the trail mode you can do battle in the Quick battle, or two-player Ad-Hoc multiplayer.
The God of War
Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny adds two new characters to bring the total to over 30 fighters. The new inductees are Dampierre and limber carnival styled host who uses an awkward approach to fighting, and secondly we have Kratos from Sony's God of War franchise. Kratos needs no introduction and unlike Dark Vader and Yoda on the console version, Kratos seems like a perfect fit for the series.... now if they only had a story to go along with his presence. Kratos has never looked better and it’s a treat to use him in battle because he is a beast. Beyond the two new contestants you have the same freedom to customize the characters, or create new fighters. This works largely like the console game, however it doesn’t have the same amount of variety.
Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny is an outstanding technical achievement that feels like they have taken the console game and shrunk it down without sacrificing its quality. The only aspect where the PSP version is lacking is the story mode which is a major disappointment. The other modes can’t carry the game the same and even though Broken Destiny is a good game, it’s doesn’t feel as special as it should. This one is for the fighting die-hards who have already done the paces with Tekken: Dark Resurrection. Everyone else, as good as it is, I would wait for the price to drop.
Gameplay:7.0, Graphics:9.0, Sound:8.5, Innovation:6.0, Mojo:7.0 Final: 7.6 / 10
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 09.14.09