Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny review

  • Slick combat
  • Lengthy tutorials and minigames
  • Kratos!
  • Nothing really new
  • No top-notch modes
  • Focuses on newbies rather than hardcore

Success in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny requires a sharp mind and a sharp weapon. Combat is brutal, quick and handled using the bare minimum of complex thumb acrobatics – just as it is in SC IV. Instead of a focus on impossible combos and complex throws, the fighting here is about reacting to opponents’ moves with swift counters or carefully selected flurries of attacks. It’s tactical it’s as much an intellectual battle of wills as it is a slugfest, and this plays to the PSP’s strengths.

That Calibur’s fighting system has altered little since the Soul series began 13-years ago is testament to just how good it is. That it’s been transferred so successfully to the PSP is impressive. Die-hard fans hoping for something new will inevitably be disappointed, but even they can’t fail to be impressed at just how complete and convincing a handheld title this is.

Thankfully, it’s newcomers to the series that are being targeted. The addition of a new Gauntlet mode is testament to that. It’s basically a rigorous training session that reduces the ins and outs of the combat to an increasingly repetitive series of two-second minigames. The non-canon plot, too, seems to be aimed directly at people who don’t take the series too seriously. It’s entertainingly worded, even going so far as to drop the odd double entendre. However, this easy entry into the world of Soul Calibur comes at a price. There are no mission modes to match the adventure or weapon master sections that have appeared in earlier iterations, and you never feel as if there’s anything to really get your teeth into.

Happily when it comes to the intricacies of gameplay, little introduced in Soulcalibur IV is lost, from the crowd pleasing critical finishers to the colourful visuals. The create mode is particularly impressive and the ability to unlock new items and equipment will ensure you keep coming back to fine tune your fighter. Rarely are one-on-one fighters (with the exception perhaps of realistic fight-sims such as Fight Night or UFC) quite as customisable as this.

Inevitably such care and attention to detail results in a fighter that is less throwaway than the genre’s arcade roots suggest. Broken Destiny is ideal for quick bouts against friends thanks to the brilliant ad-hoc versus mode, but it’s the more involving challenges (such as create mode) that provide the real longevity. The focus on new players might give fans the cold shoulder but it doesn’t detract from the intensity of the fighting.

Sep 1, 2009

More Info

Release date: Sep 01 2009 - PSP (US)
Sep 04 2009 - PSP (UK)
Available Platforms: PSP
Genre: Fighting
Published by: Namco Bandai
Developed by: Project Soul
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes, Violence, Mild Language
PEGI Rating:


  • zayleffein - September 2, 2009 11:33 p.m.

    I have a strong desire to buy a PSP but on the other end of this... they are going to phase out UMD in favor of the GO eventually so I am still on the fence about getting one... But more games like this come out and I might have to get one...
  • garnsr - September 2, 2009 10:16 p.m.

    I thought I saw Kratos there.
  • Tomsta666 - September 2, 2009 8:38 p.m.

    Aww man, now i'm gonna have to buy a PSP
  • manaconda - September 2, 2009 6:16 p.m.

    soul calibur is pretty much the only fighting game i like, ill make sure to purchase this once i have some monies
  • drprofessor - September 2, 2009 5:20 p.m.

    Guess Tekken can come out of my PSP now.
  • willis73 - September 2, 2009 5:05 p.m.

    I'll be picking this one up...when I get paid!
  • cabri117 - September 4, 2009 3:13 a.m.

    muy bueno debe ser el juego por kratos, the is very good because of kratos
  • Amnesiac - September 2, 2009 10:10 p.m.

    Y'know, I didn't even realize this game had come out. I walked into a GameStop this past weekend and there it was, sitting on the shelf. Looks pretty good, but I think I might wait a while before I get it.

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