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Talking Point: What Does the Next Chapter Entail for Soul Sacrifice?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Death and demons

Sony learned a lesson or two from Demon’s Souls. The platform holder actually helped From Software construct the cult title, publishing the release as an exclusive in Japan. However, the company passed on a western version, a decision that Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida rues to this very day. Following a successful localisation from Atlus, third-party outfit Namco Bandai partnered with the title’s developer to create multiplatform successor Dark Souls, a title that has sold over 2 million copies to date.

The tough lesson has changed the way that the platform holder handles its Japanese developed games. Gravity Rush garnered an unusually large marketing push overseas, though sceptics may argue that this was partially propelled by the dearth of PlayStation Vita titles available at the time. Nevertheless, the company has also put a large emphasis on Japan Studio developed titles such as Rain and Puppeteer over the past couple of months, with both being announced in Germany at GamesCom. But the change in attitude can be best observed in its treatment of Soul Sacrifice.

Keiji Inafune’s dark fantasy adventure is an extremely niche product, but it’s secured a fair amount of western support over the past couple of months. Not only has the company managed to turn the localisation around in a fairly swift time, but it’s also given the title a decent push in channels such as the PlayStation Blog. It’s not going to be challenging for a spot atop the sales charts – we wouldn’t be surprised if it skipped out on next week’s UK top forty entirely – but it’s already building up a fanbase in hardcore circles such as on this very website.

And that’s good because there’s plenty of opportunity for the gloomy action adventure to grow. While the title was originally billed as the platform holder’s answer to Monster Hunter, it actually has a much more rounded personality of its own. The moral mechanic that underlines the experience raises some interesting quandaries, and while there’s certainly room for the ideas to be further fleshed out, the publisher has established a strong foundation to build on. As such, it’s going to be interesting to see which direction the company takes with the title’s inevitable sequel.

There’s already been plenty of speculation regarding a new instalment in the burgeoning series. Speaking with IGN last week, Inafune-san mentioned that he has some interesting ideas for a follow-up, and is in discussions with Sony to turn them into a reality. Shuhei Yoshida later retweeted the story on his account, implying that those discussions are going positively. Commercially, a new instalment would make sense – the game has had the desired effect in Japan, pushing the company’s struggling handheld above the 3DS for the first time during its week of release, and also growing some fairly long legs.

A sequel seems to be an inevitably, then, but it’s the direction of the said title that’s fascinating us. There are obvious improvements that could be made to the original – more enemy variety, improved visuals, perhaps even bigger parties – but we believe that there’s even greater room for expansion beyond that. Monster Hunter already has its own cross-platform console version, so why can’t Soul Sacrifice follow a similar path? The game’s never going to shed its handheld origins, of that we’re convinced, but a PlayStation 4 version with cross-save compatibility would certainly spread a smile across our souls.

The series’ grotesque art direction is already a highlight, but seeing it rendered in full 1080p on a widescreen television may be just what the franchise needs to further its chances in western regions, too. If the relatively impenetrable Demon’s Souls can spawn a blockbuster in the form of Dark Souls, then what’s stopping Soul Sacrifice from achieving a similar feat? Interoperability between the firm’s systems means that the series wouldn’t necessarily need to squander its origins on the handheld either. In fact, cross-platform compatibility could only serve to enhance the overall experience.

The possibilities are practically endless, but it depends on how Sony intends to nurture the franchise. Does it see a big future for the series globally, or does it want to continue to target its native market first and foster a niche audience in the west? The franchise’s lore is strong enough to provide the basis for a fully-fledged RPG or perhaps even an MMO, and though the suggestions seem unlikely, they at least offer an indication of the franchise’s impressive potential.

Whatever it decides to do, though, it’s just nice to see the company following through with some quality new Japanese properties. While the Vita may have struggled from a commercial stance, it’s become a real haven for new ideas. The likes of Gravity Rush and Soul Sacrifice already feel like pivotal parts of the PlayStation brand, and that’s a status that PSP analogues such as Patapon and Locoroco never came close to attaining. As such, we’re already anticipating the next chapter in each franchise.


What do you think is next for Soul Sacrifice? Would you like to see the series spread onto the PS4? Let us know in the comments section below.

What do you want out of a Soul Sacrifice sequel? (11 votes)

Focus on a bigger and better Vita game, please

55%

A cross-platform release on PS4 would be ace

45%

I actually think that the MMO idea sounds neat

  0%

Hmm, I don’t care because I don’t like the original

  0%

Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (19)

Sanquine

#1

Sanquine said:

Lol the poll answers are not my taste . This game is made for vita . Keep it that way. More open world and enemy diversity ! Please no ps4 version . Why would i even bother to play on vita. OMG Ps vita has no exclusives ! ( people always say that )

get2sammybAdmin

#2

get2sammyb said:

@Sanquine I think it would be great cross platform. I like how the original game has short and snappy missions for handheld play, but taking those big creatures on at home would be awesome, too.

Agree, though, a bigger world and more enemy variety on Vita would be ace.

Sanquine

#3

Sanquine said:

Reading the article makes me want to sell my vita . Nintendo gets it ! Exclusive titles for 3ds.

Sammy what is the point of having a vita ? Mh ultimate for me feels like a 3ds game . Should have stayed there . Sony need to convince people otherwise psp go all over again . Btw i pre ordered the ps4 but i have other idea s about that.

Sanquine

#4

Sanquine said:

What frustrates me the most is that sony has 12 studios . Non working on vita . Only media molecule and guerilla cambridge . Mm does it with 15 people why can Naughty dog or santa monica do this ?

BornOfEvil

#5

BornOfEvil said:

I would love a cross platform sequel. Most people would still buy it for Vita, so I don't see it hurting the Vitas sales much.

get2sammybAdmin

#6

get2sammyb said:

@Sanquine I totally get where you're coming from. Firstly, I should just add that this is merely speculation and ideas — for all we know, the series will probably stay exclusive to handhelds.

I do think that there's merit to the cross-platform approach, though, which is why I brought it up here. I like the idea of taking my progress on the go, and then continuing it on a bigger screen. It's cool that you feel so passionately about the system, though. And I agree — exclusive content is key.

However, some of those archfiends would look amazing on a widescreen TV! :P

LDXD

#7

LDXD said:

@Sanquine I agree that handhelds need their separate exclusives and like you say what's the point of owning a vita if you can play the same game for the ps3 or 4
So my vote is to make a bigger and better vita game please

Snorky

#10

Snorky said:

I really hope this stays on the Vita. It's got so much potential for greatness it would be a shame if the title went cross platform as it would get less attention. I really do hope that more devs get on board.

Kayoss

#11

Kayoss said:

Having SS or any game on another platform like the PS3 makes the PS vita obsolete. Why would someone buy the game for the Vita if its not exclusive? especially a potential system seller. For example. When SS was released in Japan, we all see a spike in Vita sales for two or more weeks. But imagine if SS was also released for the PS3 on the same day. Do you think we will see such a large spike in Vita sales? I highly doubt that. Everyone keep complaining that PS vita dont have enough games or exclusives. But if you want cross platform play, then you wont have PS vita exclusive games. Until PS Vita have a large enough user base and large enough support than having cross platform will be a good thing.

NathanUC

#12

NathanUC said:

Am I the only one around here who likes cross play... I would love for the sequel to be developed for both Vita and PS4! To my knowledge, porting a game from PS4 to Vita is supposed to be a lot easier than PS3 to Vita. I love the idea of playing on my fancy tv and sound system in the living room but also being able to play it on my portable in bed or on the road.

As much as I love Vita and Soul Sacrifice, I don't see it being a game that fits as a Vita exclusive. It doesn't really utilize many of the Vita features to begin with. More games need to take a Sly Cooper approach if you ask me. We can leave games that fully utilize Vita like Tear Away as the exclusives.

Sanquine

#13

Sanquine said:

@nathanuc1988 I think you do not see the point. IF the vita was selling like hotcakes i wouldn;t mind ( As like many others). But it is not! So, vita games need to stay exclusive.

NathanUC

#14

NathanUC said:

@Sanquine I'm looking at this from a gamer point of view, not a business practice. As a gamer, I want everything to play on my PS3 AND my Vita. If I had to make a choice between PS3 only or Vita only I'd go with Vita only. I could care less if Vita sells 2 units a year as long as games keep coming out (whether exclusive or cross platform). I know in theory exclusives help sell a platform, but exclusives are starting to be a thing of the past as for a business, it makes more money to be multiplatform.

From a business point of view, think about this. More people would be buying the games for PS3 likely. After a while, they'd notice a collection of PS3 and Vita games they own and potentially be more likely to buy a Vita.

Sanquine

#15

Sanquine said:

@nathanuc1988 I think other people would not agree with you. I have my ps3 and in the future ps4 for gems like uncharted and god of war. But some games should stay exclusive. If you can care less of sales of the vita be prepared for another PSP go ;)

NathanUC

#16

NathanUC said:

@Sanquine I do care about Vita, but in my opinion the steady stream of games released now is good.

I'm all for exclusives, but I think we need to move to brand exclusives and not platform ones. Series like Gran Turismo, God of War, and Ratchet and Clank should stay on Sony consoles, but play on both PS4 and Vita.

Speaking of, I still use my PSP Go! :P

LDXD

#17

LDXD said:

^^ yall both have good points and cross play actually sounds good I don't have a vita yet but I do plan on getting one soon based on 3 exclusive games that are out for it now and coming out this year but if those games were supposedly coming out for my ps3 also I wouldn't spend the cash just to play those same games on the go so I guess its a double edged sword in a way and Sony needs to think that through because cross play can actually do more hurt than good if not handled properly

charlesnarles

#18

charlesnarles said:

Maybe a MH will be on PS4, but SS a bit small in size alone for a console, says I. Maybe the sequel will be more of a spinoff rpg like you say. I'd play a weird diablo/mh Frankenstein

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