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Spectral Souls review

Is this an RPG or a waiting simulator?


  • Cool battle system
  • Decent tunes
  • Time-altering wars


  • Unforgivable loading
  • Lots of talking
  • How cool this could have been

The idea of waging war on humans and demons alike sounds very promising to us. Uppity monsters think they can rule the human race forever, so we revolt and smash their oppressive ways. Then they fight back, and now we've got major problems, with splintering factions all vying for their own ends. Throw in an arsenal of weapons, monsters and battlegrounds and you've got the recipe for a handheld war we could get behind.

Until we have to wait 10-20 seconds for a new area to load. Or small bits of loading for every. Single. Action. You. Take. Imagine the most crushingly monotonous amount of waiting possible, then multiply it by a factor of ridiculous. We even charted one loading period to 38 seconds. What PSP-breaking scenario required such a tremendous effort of disc access? Entering a new chapter of the story - that's it. Once there, it's more waiting for little anime people to talk, talk talk until you can finally fight. Where you'll just wait some more, killing any sense of momentum that you thought was there.

But, to be fair, Spectral Souls is a totally decent game. As with any grid-and-turn-based RPG, it's the battle system that makes or breaks the fun (atrocious loading notwithstanding), and what's here could hold together any other title. All the moves in Souls require Action Points, with powerful techniques sucking up more points than others. The more points you have left over at the end of a character's turn, the faster his turn comes the next time around.

More info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionA pretty solid strategy RPG with an excellent battle system, completely destroyed by monstrous loading times.
US censor rating"Teen"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)