Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny – hands-on

Broken Destiny also introduces the finely mustachioed Dampierre to the fray, a hero-turned-villain/jokester with a variety of moves that will elicit a giggle the first time you see them and most likely drive you crazy once he’s done them to you a billion times. You can opt to create a character using the same customization options we loved in SC IV, or you can unlock a variety of new costumes and accessories by playing through the various game modes.

Broken Destiny includes an Arcade-style mode, an Endurance mode, a Quick Play mode, and a non-canon Story mode that tasks you with completing specific challenges within a regular match, a la Soulcalibur II. In essence, everything you can do in Broken Destiny boils down to the same ol’ one-on-one fighting system the series has always used. And we’re fine with that, really.

And yet, the biggest potential problem with Broken Destiny isn’t what is already present. It’s what’s missing: online multiplayer. Yes, Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny is technically multiplayer via ad hoc, if you can find someone nearby who has the game too, but without online play, chances are very good that you’ll mostly play this PSP installment against the computer by yourself. And considering that the play modes listed above don’t radically change how the game is played, we’re a little concerned about the game’s staying power.

Now, Namco appears to have gone through a lot of trouble crafting unique patterns of artificial intelligence for its fighters so that they resemble human players: they’ve even created imaginary profiles (complete with win/loss records and “personality traits”) that you can fight against in Quick Play mode. In playing against them, we were impressed to see that the behavior descriptors accurately depicted each opponent’s skill, technical ability, and proclivity towards throws, ring out attempts, parries, etc.

Impressive or not, our fondest memories of Soulcalibur involve staying up with a buddy all night playing Kilik vs. Kilik and seeing who could ring out the other first - memories we'll likely never duplicate in this single player-focused experience. We're willing to temper our expectations a little bit, but this could be a warning flag that, with no online multiplayer, there might not be a reason to stick around after the initial 'wow' factor of the graphics wears off.

Jul 27, 2009

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  • Linestar777 - August 24, 2009 3:25 a.m.

    Portable Soul Calibur with Kratos. I will be getting it, no doubt. Online multiplayer isn't that big of a deal for me with SC but when it comes to other fighters, it's a bit more welcomed.
  • husk94 - July 29, 2009 4:58 p.m.

    im getting this, ive been waiting for a good psp game for a while now..........
  • liuya1217 - July 28, 2009 8:57 a.m.

    Prob cuz the game was also on the 360, and sony couldn't stand to have their poster child or man or god on a it.
  • Fancy Rat - July 28, 2009 3:42 a.m.

    Why hasn't Kratos been in SC until now? It seems so obvious in hindsight...
  • Cyberninja - July 28, 2009 11:19 a.m.

    i will get this game because i always wanted to take soul on the go and the last i played soul it was a kilik vs kilik match
  • Schnipke - July 28, 2009 3:40 a.m.

    First! Crap I barely play online on my games anyway, I'd probably go against the computer anyways.