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Posted 5:00pm

Soul Sacrifice: Inafune’s thoughts on launch

It’s been a little over a week since Soul Sacrifice graced PS Vita, so we tracked down celebrated creator Keiji Inafune to get his thoughts on the game’s launch – and how PS Vita players are adapting to the game’s morally murky gameplay choices.

Have you been watching how players interact with Soul Sacrifice now that it’s in the wild? Are they playing it the way you expected?

Keiji Inafune: I see users are playing the game the way I wanted them to, so I’m pleased. Users are enjoying the decision-making process of sacrificing and the consequences associated with it, which is what I intended and for that I’m grateful.

Are you hearing feedback about a particular moment or boss battle in the game?

KI: There are various things users are talking about, and many users seem to be talking about multiplayer. But I also hear users are complementing the storyline and that it unfolds in unexpected ways and that came as a surprise. They’re saying the story is in-depth and touching – that feedback is something I was hoping to hear, so I’m happy!

The game features some spectacularly grotesque monster designs — is there one you’re particularly proud of?

KI: We tried to have each monster make a big impression and I feel our designers did fantastic jobs. If I was asked what my favorite monster would be, I wouldn’t be able to pick one because I’m proud of all of them. However, I have a special place in my heart for Librom, the book character who is strongly tied to the storyline. I specifically like its personality and the design, so when I give autographs to fans I tend to draw Librom next to my autographs. I think Librom represents Soul Sacrifice very well.

Where did the idea for the Black Rites come from? Do you have a favorite?

KI: I learned that in life, you must sacrifice something big in order to gain a bigger outcome. If you want to become rich, you need to work hard; when you’re gambling, you may win big only if you bet big and risk losing a lot of money. So the idea of sacrificing and the consequence associated with it came to me first.

The biggest sacrifice, I thought, would be the limbs of your body. Or your own life or even your friends’ lives. This is how I came up with the idea of Black Rites. They are very powerful, but the cost is huge. For example, one of the Black Rites called “Gorgon” requires you to take your eyeballs out, which makes your vision very narrow afterwards. Using “Infernus” will cut your defence in half, but it’s an easy one to use because it can attack enemies without you targeting them precisely.

Mass Effect 3 and Telltale’s The Walking Dead have elevated impossible choices into a near-art form. Why do players seem to enjoy making excruciating decisions?

KI: Those types of choices heavily involve emotional aspects and the decision making process isn’t automatic. In the old days, the decision making process for players was a reflex: stepping right or left in order to avoid a bullet. That doesn’t involve your emotions. But let’s say you have two choices and either decision will cause a different character to die. Then you would have to question yourself and also consider the consequences you will live with. This has a stronger tie to your emotions.

I’ve been in the game industry for a long time and gaming in general seems to be headed towards emotion. I think we’re in the era of incorporating feelings and emotions in video games and it’s about how to design these. Soul Sacrifice, for example, asks you who to sacrifice be it yourself or your friends. You could make a decision not to sacrifice anything and let it be, too. You can’t make these decisions without being emotionally involved. I think future games need to incorporate emotional elements.

You’ve had a long history in game development – where do you see games going next?

KI: If I was asked what trend would come next in gaming, I wouldn’t be able to put a finger on it to be honest. But I believe console games will evolve dramatically. I think social aspects will be incorporated in its best way with console games. When I say “social”, I don’t mean the social element in social games these days. I think the true social aspects, not just connecting via online, will be implemented to console games in the best way ever.

The cycle of console games up until now was to buy a game and play it for several hours and then buy a new game. I think the cycle will change and something other than this cycle will become the next trend. A new console such as PS4 needs to incorporate this aspect well to maximise its potential.

 

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Comments

30 Comments 0 Author replies
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DoninYair 10 May, 2013 @ 5:07 pm   1

Great interview!
Are we going to also the get codes for the game like the U.S. got?

DKShadow 10 May, 2013 @ 5:19 pm   2

Yes, codes for Europe too, please! :D

Artemisthemp 10 May, 2013 @ 5:22 pm   3

#1 I hope so, since I really like to have more offerings

Luis_FFgamer 10 May, 2013 @ 5:23 pm   4

Yeah code for us europeans as well too.

Loving the game so far, almost have 20 hours already clocked in.
Can’t wait for what Inafune-san is going to do in Soul Sacrifice 2.

Tenechan 10 May, 2013 @ 5:24 pm   5

Will we also get the offerings that was sent out by mail to peoples in the US as well? Or will Europe still be ignored in this aspect as well? Plus the offerings mentioned on the US blog right now?

ofcours we dont get the codes like the us where just europe the biggest market for sony

KylieDog 10 May, 2013 @ 7:29 pm   7

Dear PS blog team – You really should not have bothered posting this without the offerings the US got.

ayrikvadi 10 May, 2013 @ 7:46 pm   8

vıta granturismo go

JayJ-1974 10 May, 2013 @ 8:16 pm   9

Honestly no codes, are we not good enough to warrant the free they got in the US???

dark_angel69 10 May, 2013 @ 9:37 pm   10

Why did we not get any codes? Typical

Wow, all comments about this code, ha ha.
As much as I hope we get it, I’m not that desperate.

As for Soul Sacrifice, I feel its perhaps the best original game for vita so far. I still havent managed to beat magusar yet though, ha ha, I must keep at it and get stronger!
I loved the lores in this game too, in fact, the first thing I did was read the lores when I got the game, found them very cool to read.

LordBeloved 10 May, 2013 @ 10:55 pm   12

First, the US got the pre-order DLC for free when buying the game on PSN (after the release).
Then, they got an email with a free offering and promoting the upcoming 3 free DLC packs (the offering was the Spirits Falcon Feather).
And now, they also get 4 more offerings!

That makes a total of 9 (!) free offerings the rest of the world hasn’t gotten. Which begs the question: Why the discrimination?

benjamean 10 May, 2013 @ 11:08 pm   13

So EU doesn’t get any codes now and I also no email codes and I didn’t even get any Pre-order codes from Tesco, guess thats the last time I pre-order a game for the vita.

cowbanana 10 May, 2013 @ 11:10 pm   14

I love the game so far! 20+ hours spent at the moment and it is just getting more and more fun to play. An awesome original Vita title.

SCEE, on the other hand, is completely useless. Where’s the codes for extra offerings? Sony as a whole needs to get the regional differences sorted. Sometimes it’s laughable how ridiculously bad things handled in different territories. Why keep the utterly stupid segregation? This isn’t 1995 anymore…

Spiroth 10 May, 2013 @ 11:44 pm   15

What, are we less of fans than USA people?

Give us:

-Spirits Falcon Feather DLC
-Spirits’ Storm Pinion DLC
-Spirits’ Viviblossom DLC
-Spirits’ Blazestone DLC
-Spirits’ Frostblade DLC

supersmith2500 11 May, 2013 @ 12:09 am   16

Another US only offer. Yeah right give us free DLC for it already. I hate when Europe gets nothing. It totally ruins my royalty.

dark_angel69 11 May, 2013 @ 12:27 am   17

@benjamean
I’m the same as you. Never got my pre-order bonus either. Saying every pre-order gets the bonus only to find out too late that Tescos wasn’t doing it was very misleading. A heads up informing us which retailers WAS doing them and which retailers WASN’T doing them would have been important information

supersmith2500 11 May, 2013 @ 12:28 am   18

So the US gets more offerings while us Europeans gets nothing? Totally not fair. I would go and claim the codes but it would be region-locked anyways. Can’t you give us the offerings too Sony?

supersmith2500 11 May, 2013 @ 12:52 am   19

Forget it, let the US enjoy their goodies while we don’t. SCEE please don’t pull this stunt again just like when you didn’t hand out free PSN vouchers to spend. All you give us is competitions I don’t enter and barely win. I wish you guys at SCEE would have some respect to your users because seriously I think no offerings for EU is downright unfair and plain disrespectful. But oh well there is free DLC on the way hopefully for Europe. Respect your European users and don’t treat us like second-class users. Even Librom disapproves it.

monoliet 11 May, 2013 @ 3:00 am   20

best game on vita ,

i not want ps4 from start if sony continu to give other contry better service
i tink i gone stay lots longer on ps3 untile ps 4 get % drop + games already cheaper .

charmoyl 11 May, 2013 @ 9:55 am   21

Awesome! I’m really enjoying the game. The story is (unexpectedly)really good. When will be able to buy the Japanese language pack though? Can’t see it on the store. Hope it wsn’t only a pre-order exclusive.

LordBeloved 11 May, 2013 @ 11:03 am   22

Despite my rather accusational post above (#12), we do have to realise that we get way better PS Plus offers, compared to the US.

So it’s not all bad and we have to relativize things.

bLaiSe_HUN 11 May, 2013 @ 11:24 am   23

Guys, you don’t really need those offerings anyway so don’t be upset. The pre-order stuff is kinda useful in the beggining but after you get some L items there is really no point in using them.
And as LordBeloved said before me we do get better stuff on PS plus (for both PS3 and Vita) so please don’t criticize the EU team, they do a great job.

supersmith2500 11 May, 2013 @ 11:57 am   24

And heck, not just Plus content, they even send you an e-mail for free exclusive XMB theme based on the highlighted game. As Plus members we got Okami HD and Hitman themes so that’s good.

Still though, free offerings for SS would be really nice unless you don’t care and want to create stronger spells though so what’s better. Our own custom spells or the DLC they offer for the US?

JayJ-1974 11 May, 2013 @ 2:30 pm   25

Guys, what use are great Plus offers when not all subscribe? I don’t own a PS3, only the Vita so I personally don’t think it’s value for money. If Sony offered a reduced rate for single console owners then maybe I’d consider it.
Besides the offering the US got are not available any other way, these are special items only available via the codes and while I’m enjoying SS, I can’t help feel a little miffed that we missed out on these codes and currency wise we actually pay more than the US for our games…

Lord_Gremlin 11 May, 2013 @ 7:53 pm   26

So far I’ve spent more than 90 hours in Soul Sacrifice (got platinum around 60 hours mark), completed every single pact and mission and currently farming rare offerings like Wyrm tails (which are Chaos and Divine elements, sort of secret ones, and are fused from gold level rare boss drops from highest quests).
My biggest, huge issue with the game – I hope Inafune hears of this and I’m not alone – is that making a proper Dark Arm character (and divine one too) removes all customization. I’m not against character transforming, neat idea, but it’s the same clone model that is not dependent on you character initial looks and costume. As a result all those costumes and DLC are useless. Patch something in. Either different transformed looks or allow using costumes for such builds.
Also, while US exclusive offer for first party game is a huge PR disaster all those offering and preorder bonus (which I have) are 100% useless. Those are variants of existing spells, only worse in every possible way.

cowbanana 12 May, 2013 @ 11:32 am   27

Soul Sacrifice is a great game, but this blog entry is a prime example of PR backfiring when a company is stupidly inconsistent in how it treats customers in different regions.

This isn’t 1995 anymore. Everyone is connected across borders and everyone expects to be treated the same by the global companies they deal with.

Sony is a bumbling dinosaur when it comes to their regional segregation and all the stupidity that follows. I bet they’ll continue down this path for the PS4, utterly clueless as usual. Pah.

Sutorcen 13 May, 2013 @ 10:45 am   28

“Mass Effect 3 has elevated impossible choices into a near-art form.”

Seriously? If there are games where your choices have absolutely no consequences, these are Bioware games. Played and seen SW:KoTOR, DA and ME 1 and 2 more than 3 times and besides some dialogue changes and character replacements (who do more or less the same thing) everything led to the same path, till the endgame where there are one or two choices that have consequences for the sake of multiple endings. Choices with consequences means that based on your choice, you go down a totally different path, through the whole game and not the last hour or so.

i VERY much doubt we are getting the codes by the looks of things, they were posted with this interview in the states, and why would sony spoil the habbit of a lifetime and actually start giving two (CENSORED) about us in the EU region?

Shadesofneutral 13 May, 2013 @ 11:43 am   30

I would also like my codes for the game that I purchased. I payed just as much, if not more for my purchase & I expect to be treated equally to someone in the US market or anyone else for that matter.