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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 12/07/14
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Soul Sacrifice for PS Vita: The Only Best Greatest TGS Preview

Posted on Saturday, September 22 @ 15:20:00 Eastern by Heath_Hindman


Sitting down to play Soul Sacrifice on Vita, I knew I was about the earn three big fans, thanks to my comic genius. Asked if I was familiar with tactical RPGs, I told the booth attendant, "Soul Sacrifice won't be a problem for me. I'm a SOUL MAN." She didn't really respond. Oh well.

The world story sounded amazing, as it was explained to us that the game is built around the balance between satisfying our own greed and giving things up for the sake of someone or something else, or to gain something greater, also known as, well, "sacrifice". During battle, it was said that using the most powerful magic too often would require a serious level of sacrifice, and that we could even sacrifice our own body parts somehow. The lady didn't tell us how to do that, and I didn't notice either guys losing limbs, so maybe that aspect wasn't included in the TGS demo? I can't be sure.

The booth woman told us that if we sacrifice our bodies too much, we can eventually lose our human form completely. Here was my opening: "I guess such a person would have really SOULed out!" Silence. Tough crowd, I guess.

My teammates were two other first-timers and the booth lady herself. This game's atmosphere is really dark and grotesque with plenty of blood spray, torn edges on most outfits, and grim-looking fields, so I spoke up to lighten the mood, "So by this time next year, how many copies of this does Mr. Inafune expect to have SOULed?" No one reacted, but deep down, but surely they had to have been thinking it was funny and that I am the funniest guy they've ever met.


The woman told us to be careful and watch our health, because the monsters in this game are ferocious and very aggressive; if she's to be believed, all three of her previous guests were wiped out before the demo's official conclusion. "I guess that makes you the SOUL survivor!?" I was batting a thousand. But they didn't see it that way. "See because," I continued, "'Sole' means only, or alone, or..." I could tell my excellent pun was missed, and the opportunity to strike comedic gold was gone forever.

The game had a heavy emphasis on magic, as everyone was equipped with a number of spells. Honestly, I can't even remember if I had a melee attack with my witch character. Whether this was by design or coincidence wasn't pointed out by our guide. My favorite attack was a long-distance fireball that had a grenade-type explosion effect when it connected. I apologized to the guy next to me for spamming it and swore an oath that it wouldn't SOUL-ly use that spell today. I laughed, but he didn't, even though I said "LOL" out loud at the end to clue him in that something was funny. It was like I was spoonfeeding him the funny and he was a stupid baby who refuses to eat.

There was a huge problem at this stupid booth: No one was laughing at my hilarious jokes.



Oh yeah, the game. It's obviously good for fans of things like Gods Eater and Phantasy Star Online, as the multiplayer action RPG elements found at the core of Soul Sacrifice are somewhat similar. They said the story will be quite intense, really diving deeply into the human survival instinct and just how much we'll sacrifice to get ahead. The dark themes and amount of gore make it intriguing in one way, and the interesting exploration of human values make it doubly so.

At the end of the demo, we put down our Vitas and introduced ourselves. Our hostess was of course Japanese, but one of the gentlemen had come all the way from Spain to cover TGS, so I said, "I guess you made no SmOUL SACRIFICE to get here today!" This had to be a home run, but all it got was a polite nod and "Yeah." I realize that it was a bit of a stretch on the "SmOUL", but to have it so perfectly with both words of the title outweighs that. I did not deserve the face the booth lady gave me after that one.  

The next man said, "Hello, I am Bae from Korea, so I feel like this game was made for me, LOL!" After her own burst of laughter, Booth Woman jumped in with "Yeah, it should be called SEOUL SACRIFICE for you, hahaha!"
I demanded that we not be so insensitive.

I left insulted and unappreciated, like I'd been... like I'd been treated poorly by people I trusted. Like they'd... I'm struggling to find the words... like my former allies traded me in and betrayed my trust. Yeah.

[Conclusion: Japan thinks Heath is a Claptrap. ~Ed. Nick]
Related Games:   Soul Sacrifice
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