Time to update this again, can't have the farewell to Tri up forever now can I? Anyhow, whats new?
I have picked up Soul Sacrifice, a new Vita game with elements of the hunting genre. Similar in to Monster Hunter in that it has a group of players teaming up to fight large monsters with breakable parts. But all comparisons end there. Soul Sacrifice uses a magic system for combat, with "offerings" being your inventory/attacks. Offerings are acquired by quest rewards and breaking parts off large monsters. These range from generating a sword, healing, distance weapons, even summoning golems. There is a vast variety of spells to find and use. Spells have limits to how much they can be used per quest. If you over use a spell, it will break and will be unusable until you have it fixed. Lending a bit more strategy to combat, as button mashing will quickly see you out of ways to attack. Spells can also be combined to give you more uses, and if enough are melded together then it will upgrade into a stronger version with even more uses. Many spells can also be fused together to create whole new spells as well. Forbidden spells are possible by sacrificing a body part. However they come at a physical cost (such as losing an eye for Gorgon, or your spine for Excalibur) as well as another cost to undo them. One of the game's main mechanics is Save or Sacrifice. When a monster is defeated you can decide their fate by Saving or Sacrificing them. Saving increases your defense while sacrificing increases your attack strength. When saving a large monster, you unlock them as an AI partner. Should you go back to their chapter and sacrifice them, they will be lost until you save them again.
The game has a story mode centering around two main characters. Yourself and the villain, I don't want to give anything away other than it ties into the rich lore VERY well. Speaking of, every monster (as well as location) has it's own origin as to how it became the creature you see now, these stories range from tales greed to tragedy, here is many of the lore entries [link] be sure to give them a look. If there is one thing I'm at odds with on this game, its the decision to change some of the character names for the localization. The main villain should be Merlin (Magusar), another should be Morgan La Fey (Illicebra), Lancelot (Militar) and such like that. It was an odd choice to change them as there are still plenty of non changed names with connections to the King Arthur legend. Just kind of strange. Regardless the game is still awesome and I am glad I pre-ordered it. If all the reasons to love this game weren't enough, the game is getting 10 free DLC monsters! The game will be updated over the next few months to include new monsters, spells, sigils, maps and the like. With sometime in Fall or Winter full paid DLC chapters will be available. Which is a very fair balance considering the majority of stuff will be free. So if you ever manage to pick up a Vita, be sure to download the demo (which includes the first chapter of the game, this will also allow you to transfer all your progress to the full game) and give it a shot!
In other news I have started a side project blog: [link] If by chance you are interested in (mostly) miniature plastic dinosaurs, give it a look! I'm trying to make sure I update it weekly.
I suppose I'll leave off with the awesome new MH4 trailer: [link]