Game: Saint Seiya: Soldiers’ Soul
Consoles: PS4 (reviewed), PS3, PC
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Bandai Namco is known for bringing several classic anime/manga series to life in video game form. American, Japanese and especially Mexican followers of the Saint Seiya saga were treated to a fighter back on the PS3. While that installment did an admirable job of showcasing the Gold Saints and their many struggles over the series’ span, it was rough in some areas and definitely in need of improvement. Developer DIMPS has reached into own cosmic powers to produce a respectable sequel in Saint Seiya: Soldier’s Soul.
Off gate, you’ll surely be pleased with the visuals. Saint Seiya has been around for a very long time and it has the history to show for it. This one-on-one arena battler takes note of all that and showcases it beautifully. Everything from the mode select screen right on down to the gallery filled with nods to every bit of important Saint Seiya history looks the part. Each stage lifts the most recognizable elements from the anime/manga and the brief cutscenes that play out during each story arc are a treat for hardcore fans. The visuals truly shine during the flashy ultimate attacks and special ring knockouts.
Once you finally step onto the battlefield, you’ll notice just how similar the mechanics are to its PS3 predecessor. But after zipping around the air and pulling off double-digit combos, it’s easy to tell that things has been refined for the better. Each character no longer feels stiff during combat. Battles move at a much quicker pace and there’s several options at your disposal. Characters can dish out double digit combos, elemental special moves, cinematic super moves, air dashes etc. With so many modes (the main story campaign, tournaments, survival mode, battles against gold armored bosses etc.) at your disposal, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to better your Saints.
It’s great to see such a varied gathering of playable characters to try out. But after spending time with each and every Saint hero and villain, it’s pretty evident that some fighters are far better than others. In local and online matches, only a select few characters from the game’s huge roster are viable. A few too many additional characters are much too underpowered to be serious contenders. It’s easy to see that the AI has mastered every fighter there is, though. The AI can prove to be a bit too difficult to deal with in every mode. The challenge level is high here (the computer loves to spam special moves), which may push newcomers away after one too many losses to the slightly overpowered AI.
Saint Seiya: Soldiers’ Soul is a solid anime fighter that’s truly a love letter to the armor warrior filled manga/anime. The graphics themselves look as genuine as actual episodes of the series, the Japanese voice actors brings each crucial cutscene to life and the fights are a pleasure to play/watch. There’s so much to see, do and unlock as you unravel the tales of the Saints. The computer AI can be much too difficult of a problem to deal with at times, plus some of the characters are far too overpowered. Nevertheless, this fighter does a respectable job of bringing this anime/manga to life.
- The anime inspired visuals look all the more better with the move to PS4 and PC
- There’s a daunting yet obtainable amount of unlockables to earn
- The battles feel a lot smoother and faster, plus there are tons of modes here for you to sharpen your skills in
- The AI can be a bit overpowered and tougher to overcome than before
- Some characters are clearly better than others, which leads to roster balancing issues
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