Soulcalibur Broken Destinyreview
Multiplayer editor Russ Frushtick likes to rag on me about how much time I spend playing Capcom's 'Monster Hunter Freedom Unite' on my PSP (the UMD has barely left the system since I reviewed the game back in July), but with 'SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny,' I've found something that could take the place of 'Monster Hunter' for the foreseeable future.
Much like its recent Playstation 3 counterpart, 'SoulCalibur IV,' 'Broken Destiny' offers an experience well beyond the standard fighting game that's both original and compelling instead of feeling like a last-minute addition.
Along with five different gameplay modes that actually feel like different modes (rather than just slight variations on the same basic theme), 'Broken Destiny' also sets itself apart by offering one of the most robust character creation modes I've seen since, well... 'SoulCalibur IV.'
Each of the gameplay modes in 'Broken Destiny' are not only fun, but also offer a distinctly different 'reward' for play. Some result in 'titles' you can use in human-vs-human matches and some advance a story, but collectively they all unlock 'honors' (a sort of in-game trophy system) and pieces of equipment that can be used in character creation. Heck, the emphasis put on achievements is more significant in 'Broken Destiny' than a lot of games for home consoles—and goes a long way toward encouraging long-term play.
THE VERY GOOD:
Have I mentioned the character creation yet? Yes? Well, it's so impressive it's worth mentioning again. 'SoulCalibur IV' offered an impressively deep system for character creation, and little has been lost in the PSP translation. It took me a pretty significant chunk of time to cycle through all of the costume and body options available for custom characters at the start of the game, and with all of the new equipment and other options unlocked as I've progressed through the game, I'm afraid of how much time I'll lose when I decide to modify my current custom character.
In the story modes of the game, the English translation leaves a bit to be desired, and at times it takes you out of the developing arc. Also, the arrangement of buttons makes it a bit difficult to pull off quick counter-attacks—but that's more of a PSP issue than anything related to the game itself.
Finally, the new cameo character, Kratos from the 'God of War' series, is a bit too powerful to have trouble with any of his opponents—but I'm not sure that's actually a negative for anyone, unless you have to fight against him. But that's all I got.
I wasn't able to try out the Vs. mode due to the lack of players around this early in the game's release—but if the Vs. battles are as good as the rest of the game (and I suspect they are), 'Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny' is darn near perfect. It's not leaving my PSP any time soon, that's for sure.