Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny
For all intents and purposes, Broken Destiny’s gameplay is a one-to-one PSP port of last year’s excellent Soulcalibur IV. Namco once again delivers rock-solid framerates and reflex-testing action with this release. Though the fighting is indistinguishable from the series’ console flagship and the roster would be impressive on a home console, two problems prevent this from living up to the high standard set by SC IV.
The single-player content in Broken Destiny is a huge step backward from the surprisingly deep offering in SC IV. The Gauntlet tells an insipid story in between mostly 2- to 10-second challenges, and is useless outside of teaching new players about Soulcalibur’s A/B/K paradigm and series-specific concepts like Guard Impacts. Beyond this, you’re stuck with standard modes like Arcade and Training.
The second issue with this title is that multiplayer is ad-hoc only. That means you can only play versus another human if you both have PSPs and are in the same room – and let’s be honest, who plays Soulcalibur like that? If you have a buddy and a couch, get SC IV and do it right. If you don’t, you’re stuck with Broken Destiny’s unremarkable single player.
As for the two new characters, Kratos and DamPierre, they’re as polished as anyone on the roster. Kratos is a slow, juggle-based warrior who has gaping holes in his attacks to make up for his silly combos. Think of him like Ivy, with better range and much less versatility. DamPierre is most reminiscent of Voldo in that he relies primarily on deception and often puts himself in a backwards or prone stance – either of which he can explode out of with punishing assaults.
The way you prefer to play your fighting games indicates whether Broken Destiny is for you. If Arcade mode versus a CPU opponent is all you need, this port’s remarkable gameplay will be a great fit. More social players who don’t have regular access to fellow PSP owners will be disappointed despite this title’s technically sound execution. Either way, this is undeniably Soulcalibur despite its smaller package.