Fighting in the Saint Seiya universe.
So far as Manga and Anime goes, Saint Seiya is getting on a bit now. The story of Seiya and the other knights that protect the goddess Athena may be old, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of fans still around to be interested in a new videogame. Bandai Namco’s latest, Saint Seiya: Soldiers’ Soul on PS4, brings together many of the main story arcs from the series into a fighting game that can be enjoyed by both fans of the series and fighting game fans.
I will admit to never being a fan of the series, which is possibly something that worked against my enjoyment of this title. The core campaign is very story heavy, with a multitude of cutscenes stringing together the battles that make up the gameplay. From what I can tell, the story is well constructed and manages to cover most of the main events from the series. The story also serves as quite a good introduction to the world of Saint Seiya for those, like me, who have never paid it much thought. Saint Seiya: Soldiers’ Soul is undoubtedly a game that has been made for the fans, and in that respect it seems quite complete. But, of course, it will be the actual gameplay that will need to attract the non-fans to download the game.
With 3D combat in an open arena, players will find themselves running around as they try to beat the hell out of the various adversaries they come up against. Combat itself is fairly simplistic, with the usual light and hard attacks joined by the likes of jump, block and dodge. There is a gauge that can be filled during combat to power certain attacks, and the visually impressive Big Bang Attacks will be what most players aim to unleash on their opponents.
There is a short tutorial which introduces the player to everything they need to know, but in reality there is not much to learn. The fighting is fast and frantic, especially with the ability to move around the arena at will, but simply lacks any real depth. Soldiers’ Soul is a fighting game that lends itself well to button mashing, which is perhaps a huge benefit for the younger players. But it doesn’t require much by way of skill, and seasoned fighters will be unimpressed with the combat unless they are big fans of the show.
Besides the story mode, which won’t be of interest to everyone, there is both online and local multiplayer to enjoy. While not offering anything particularly different, adding another player into the mix raises the fun factor and can be quite a blast.There are also some collectibles to unlock in the form of art, music and such, but again this is likely to be interest only to the fans.
Visually, Soldiers’ Soul is a good looking game, but it hardly breaks the boundaries of what the PS4 is capable of. With that said, the large variety of different characters all look bright and colourful, while remaining faithful to the source material. The environments also maintain that link to the series, but are dull and uninspiring. Still, the game runs smoothly at 60fps and 1080p.
For the Saint Seiya fans who are looking to do battle as their favorite characters in a 3D open arena, or relive the major events from the series, Saint Seiya: Soldiers’ Soul pretty much hits the mark. For those who haven’t followed the adventures of Saint Seiya though, it is a harder sell as the actual combat is merely passable. Saint Seiya: Soldiers’ Soul is one for the fans.