Spectral Souls (PSP)

By Moe Rantala

Published on Thursday, November 30, 2006

Graphics: 8.00
Sound: 8.00
Gameplay: 7.00
Replays: 9.00
Gamelength: 10.00

Spectral Souls is NIS America’s latest tactical RPG for the PSP. Do the souls cross the spectrum with flying colors?

In general, Spectral Souls is a good game. The story is extensive and the plot is progressed with precision and style, but the game has one real flaw. The loading times are insane. Most PSP games, when coming back from the PSP’s standby mode, don’t need to load for 14 seconds before coming back to functionality, however Spectral Souls does. Also, whenever using a character’s attacks, progressing the dialogue, and all classic loading situations as well, the game must load the data which can interrupt the flow of the player’s concentration at times, which can seriously mess you up, should you happen to forget your plan. Seeing the words “Disc Access” nearly every time you confirm something also gets annoying fairly quickly, but if you can get past this, Spectral Souls is a great game.

The graphics are standard PSP graphics, they’re crisp, neat, and effectively displayed. The sound, on the other hand, is pretty amazing. The background music and sound effects fit together quite nicely, and the sound effects for the special attacks are also pretty sweet as well. There is little to no lag when it comes to graphics and sounds working together, and in all they’re both used very effectively.

The gameplay is standard tactical rpg, with a few twists. Moving around the landscape, magic, items, attacking, it’s all there, but the cool thing is the fact that your team mates can team up with you to chain attacks by using the “hold” command. Additionally, if you happen to choose two complimentary skills, a special combo attack will be used instead, which is normally much more powerful than the strength of the two combined. The “hold” command is used for more than just this, though, as you can chain your own attacks together, unleashing potentially more attacks as the combination of certain solo attacks produce special solo attacks which are, as with the special combo attacks, more powerful. As you win more and more battles, your characters get stronger and stronger, just like in any RPG. As you play through the game, you soon come to realize that once you complete certain events, those events no longer happen on additional playthroughs as different armies, because those events already happened. This alone gives Spectral Souls some awesome replay value.

Spectral Souls is good. The story is good, the sound and graphics are good, the gameplay is good. The loading times are awful, but if you can get past that, it’s a good play.

Overall Rating: 8.40

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