Title: Soul Calibur Broken Destiny
Developer: Project Soul
Game Type: PlayStation Portable
Download: 358 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download
EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes
Fighting Games has always been a huge hobby of mine since starting this review site. Before the PS Vita generation, I never spent a whole lot of time with fighters. I played a few on my own, like BlazBlue Calamity Trigger Portable, but I never really got into a fighting game until the Dissidia series, which is arguably more RPG than fighter. The PS Vita generation changed all of that.
Since I began reviews, I’ve been constantly looking for more fighting games to play and do coverage for. From Vita games like Injustice and Mortal Kombat to PSP games like Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy, I’ve been all over the genre. Today, I bring you back to that genre in the form of my newest Retro Review. Here is my official review of Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny!
The story of Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny is much different from that of its console counterpart, Soul Calibur IV. In Broken Destiny, you play a role of a warrior coming down from the hillside and ends up on a various numbers of tournaments and quests involving other characters of the Soul Calibur universe, such as Cassandra and Hilde, aiding them on their own personal quest. The dialogue is all from other characters, since the story is the same no matter what character you use.
The story, itself, is much more light-hearted and comedy-heavy than the series is known for. Even at the beginning of the game, you’re shown and told that this is not canon with the rest of the games and the personalities of the characters have been altered to be funnier. The story, itself, is nothing all that interesting. Shown in small text-based scenes, they are more small random scenes to throw you into the fights of Story Mode than anything else. If you play Soul Calibur for story, this isn’t one to impress. The way Story Mode plays out feels more repetitive on gameplay and light on story.
Like the past games of the series, Broken Destiny is a fighting game with 3D visuals but a 2.5D perspective, showcasing 3D-rendered arenas and the ability to side-step around your opponent, providing a 3D feel to the gameplay. It is identical to the gameplay found in Soul Calibur IV.
On the topic of Soul Calibur IV, Broken Destiny has every playable character from the game intact. However, the Star Wars characters have been replaced in this game by Kratos from the God of War series and Dampierre, a new character that would go on to also be featured in Soul Calibur V. Along with this Soul Calibur IV’s Character Creation Mode is also featured in this game, allowing you to create a custom character with base combat styles from any other playable character.
Aside from Character Creation, Broken Destiny features five gameplay modes: Quick Battle, Gauntlet, Trials, Versus, and Training. Quick Battle is where you can make your own custom battle against the AI. Gauntlet is this game’s Story Mode. Versus is where you can battle with friends over an Ad Hoc Connection. Finally, Training is where you can attack a dummy to practice combos.
Gauntlet and Trials are the most robust of these modes. Gauntlet allows you to traverse through a 34-chapter story mode that acts as an extensive in-game tutorial to teach you how to play Soul Calibur. Each section is based on specific moves and actions, such as guards, combos, counterattacks, throws, the list goes on. Trials is where you can test your skills in various types of Trial Modes, from Attack Battles, Defense Battles, and the Survival-like Endless Trial.
Combat in Broken Destiny plays similar to games like Dead or Alive or Dragon Ball Z Budokai. You are in a 2D-oriented arena and you are to attack your opponent until someone’s HP drops to zero. You have different types of attacks and combos you can do, from punches and kicks as well as throws and guard-counters. Each character has their own playstyle, so it will take some time to learn how best to use them. One unique feature of Soul Calibur is the Ring-Out feature, where you can use attacks or throws to launch an enemy out of the arena for a win.
All in all, Soul Calibur Broken Destiny isn’t an incredibly long fighter. Each chapter of the Gauntlet should take you roughly 5-8 minutes to play through, making the entire trek around 3-5 hours. With no online multiplayer at your disposal, the game’s value will be whether or not you have local friends to play with or you really get into the style of the game.
The controls are pretty easy to get used to in Broken Destiny. Since this is a PSP game, you don’t need to worry about touch controls. It’s also worth noting that this is compatible with the PlayStation TV. As such, the L and R functions are extended to the L2 and R2 buttons when you’re playing on the micro-console.
Moving is done with the Analog Stick and the D-Pad is used to recover from stuns. The X button is used to guard and the other three face buttons are used for specific types of attacks. The L and R triggers are used for combination attacks like Weak + Strong attack at the same time. However, all of these controls are customizable, so you can set the scheme however you want.
The visual presentation of Broken Destiny was a big deal on the PSP. Most fighters on Sony’s original handheld didn’t have a huge amount of detail around this time. This game, however, has a really nice amount of detail for a PSP title. When the camera zooms in on the character models, some of them look better than the detail in some Vita fighters, like Injustice. There are mores jaggies around the models in gameplay, but this still looks nice for a PSP title.
The way the game plays also performs well. No load time ever goes past 3-5 seconds, which is surprising, considering the visual level of the game. Gameplay itself also never lags or slows down. The development teams did a nice job at toning down the Soul Calibur IV engine, making it very doable and very comfortable for handheld gamers.
Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny is one fighter showing that the PSP could handle console experiences. On the downside, the story mode is nothing special, there is no online multiplayer, and there are some more jagged edges on the Vita and PSTV. Outside of this is a competent fighter for the handheld gamer who wants a Soul Calibur experience on the go.