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Beginning on the first day with Sony’s press conference, I’ve been left in awe by the sheer amount of titles for the PS3 and PSP being displayed across the show floor. With 35 PS3 exclusives expected by the end of the year and a total of 364 games gracing Sony platforms – many of which highly-anticipated – some may claim that the “Best of E3 Award” deservingly belongs to them. And I couldn’t agree more, particularly after demoing the new PSP fighter, Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny.

My initial thoughts about a PSP Soul Calibur came with mixed feelings. I wasn’t entirely sure that Namco Bandai could replicate the same magic, on a portable screen, that always pulled me to each and every installment, beginning way back with a little PlayStation title called Soul Blade. Yet, as soon as I got my grubby little hands on the demo, I realized I was being silly; Team Soul wouldn’t “drop the ball” on a game of this “caliber”.

Booting up the demo, I was greeted with a very, very pleasant surprise; Kratos from the God of War series is Broken Destiny’s guest character, taking up the role held previously by such stars as Yoda, Link, and Spawn. However, to my dismay, he was unplayable, as was the brand new dagger-punching Dampierre. The playable cast at the Sony exhibit on the E3 show floor consisted of Mitsurugi, Hilde, Nightmare, Astaroth, Siegfried, Raphael, Cassandra and Maxi, all sporting brand new second costumes. Interested in how the PSP would handle the superb graphic ability that Soul Calibur is so well known for, I began my match using two of the more visually detailed combatants, Nightmare and Astaroth.

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As I chose one of the five playable stages, I was instantly taken-aback by the sheer beauty of how the game looked. Stages reminiscent of past titles were both instantly recognizable and visual appealing. The match started, and once again I was awestruck by how fluid the characters moved while keeping true to Soul Calibur‘s slick graphical style, rivaling its PS2 predecessor, Soul Calibur III.

Fighting as Nightmare, I found, at first, that the controls were slightly awkward when using the analog nub, as I didn’t feel I had 100% complete control over my move sets. Yet, switching to the d-pad, my comfort level returned, and the game moved as smoothly as one would hope any Soul Calibur moved. The face buttons, like always, performed your vertical and horizontal slashes, kicking, and blocking. A welcomed addition saw the left and right triggers performing as if you pressed two and three face buttons simultaneously, respectively. The responsiveness of the controls mirrored the best in the Soul Calibur series, and proved just as much fun.

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I couldn’t be anymore impressed and ecstatic with how Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny has shaped up, and am eagerly awaiting its September 30th release date. If you own a PSP, or plan on getting the highly anticipated PSP Go!, then I highly suggest this be one of your future purchases. You will not be disappointed.

If you’re interested in reading about more games that we played at E3, have a little snoop around Gamer Limit… we were lucky to check out rather a lot. Register here.

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