First Impression: Soma Bringer

March 3, 2008 at 10:13 am | Posted in Import Gems | 1 Comment

This is going up a little later than I expected, mainly due to the fact that I hosted a party this weekend and the preparations that go in hand with that.

Alright so let’s just jump right in.

I am completely in love with this game. This is might be because I have been craving this type of game for a while now and this one delivers where it’s important. However, I would like to believe it is just a result of the game being amazing.

The story so far has been fairly predictable but some of the dialog is at least interesting. I really don’t care for most of the characters so far either, although I am just on Act 3(out of 6). I am hoping that both of these will change by the end. So far it just hasn’t added anymore enjoyment to the game for me. I sometimes feel the urge to just skip scenes and hit stuff but then Mitsuda’s amazing tracks keep me watching.

Well now that I have mentioned it I will go into a little more detail about the music in the game. I have been playing with headphones and for the most part the music is beautiful. The boss tracks have an epic feel and add even more tension to some epic boss battles. I have also enjoyed all of the field music too. It has a great mood to it and I sometimes feel it zone me even more into the exploring and combat. Another plus is the fact that the headphone mix is amazing even on a technical level. This is by far the best sounding DS game I have played. No disappointments at all in this area.

The graphics are great and so far the backgrounds and areas have had a good amount of variety. It can get tiring to feel like you are running over the same place copied and pasted over and over with color swaps being about the most variety you see(looking at you Children of Mana). Luckily this game doesn’t fall into that trap and there are obstacles and little additions that help to make the fields more interesting to traverse. The character models are great looking, and even hold up when you zoom all the way in. The attack animations are a pleasure to watch and I am really liking the variety. The backgrounds do get pixelated and blurry the more you zoom in, but that is just to be expected really.

So now on to the meat of the game, the combat and gameplay. This is what will have me coming back to this game for a while. The first word that pops up into my mind when thinking about the combat in Soma Bringer is “satisfying”. Especially once you get into more difficult battles, you understand that the game isn’t just pressing a button over and over with no real strategy. It is important to save certain moves for certain situations and the correct timing can go a long way to turn the battle in your favor. The Break system is a really great idea and helps to add variety to battles. It basically amounts to subsequent attacks ‘breaking’ an enemy’s guard and opening them up to combos and knockback/juggle moves. I would really put it up as one of the deeper action RPGs I have ever played, especially considering that enemies can also do Breaks on you which will put you in a world of hurt. Backing up just long enough from a tough enemy to avoid his punch and a crippling Break really helps to add tension to the battles. It just gets even better when you then follow up that dodge with a Break of your own to juggle the enemy to death.

My next little tangent has to do with the knockback and juggle properties that are so important in Soma Bringer. Just like the Break system this was a great idea for an Action RPG. The biggest plus for me is it helps to give the feeling of weight to the enemies. Usually in Action RPGs it just feels as if you are slashing through endless colored pixels that move and hit you, but this added weight to the combo system really helps to bring the enemies and combat to life. I just can’t desrcribe how cool it is to juggle a tank 2-3 times before sending it flying off the screen with your best knockback attack.

The last thing I want to touch on is the multiplayer. I started a fresh character a few days ago and went through the first half dozen or so quests with my friend. I am really liking this game even more in multiplayer and it just makes the lack of wi-fi hurt even more. The setup is very simple and allows plenty of freedom. You are allowed to run anywhere that you have unlocked without having to worry about what your friend is doing. Also important is that even when you join their game/world you are still limited to the warp points and such that you have unlocked yourself. The only restriction I saw was that to activate an event you both need to be in the area. There is a trading system which is simple and is a nice addition where you basically load things into a box and then both of you okay it. I unloaded a bunch of blue and yellow swords off on my friends lvl 1 character before we started.

The combat feels even better in multiplayer just because you can actually organize your attacks. We were just plowing through enemies without any problems because of this. The AI in the singleplayer is good enough but it is just so much nicer to have another person throw in his own style to the combat. This especially shines in the numerous boss battles because of their length. We had several cool moments where he told me to save my magic for one second so he could perform a Break on the boss and send him in the air with a juggle and make him an easy target for my spell. Overall it just makes an addictive game even more addicting.

I can’t wait to play some more when I get home tonight, and every night thereafter 😀


1 Comment »

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  1. Haha it seemed like you lashed out at Children of Mana a few times here but Soma Bringer appears to handle some things differently. Maybe I can import this when I get my money right.

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