Blazing Souls Accelate is the newest SRPG by Aksys. You take on the role of Zelos, a mercenary who is self-righteous and doesn’t want anyone’s help. Despite being a pig-headed person, he soon realizes that he needs help to complete his adventure from those that offer it.
Anyone familiar with Aksys and their role-playing games will know what to expect: a unique gameplay experience that is different from other RPGs. Additionally, there is a learning curve that comes along with Blazing Souls Accelate. I spent a considerable amount of time roaming around the beginning of the game trying to find my way, but when I finally completed the first battle and the formal introductions were finished, I finally found new areas to explore.
Blazing Souls uses a move meter that can be found in the right-hand corner of the screen, and it keeps track of your movement. Once the meter reaches 100%, you will be thrown into an encounter. This means you have a limited amount of time to explore a new area and figure out what is needed to continue onward.
Some of the tactics and puzzles can be a little confusing at first. For example: in one of the very first locations, you need to figure out how to enter a certain location, but there is a door blocking your path. This can leave you in a certain area for a very long time until you figure things out. For instance: you cannot enter any doors while exploring a location, but if you destroy the door while in combat, the door becomes accessible. No indication is ever given that this must be done in order to continue.
Blazing Soul’s combat system is turn-based and very similar to other role-playing games released by Aksys, with a few minor differences. Despite having standard attacks, the combat system focuses very heavily on combos. The more combos you perform, the better your overall damage will be. To activate combos, you must use the charge ability in combat to chain abilities together to perform an overall combo. You have the choice to either unleash the charge early or end the character’s turn by charging.
By doing this, the combo system will allow you to chain combos with another character that is either charging or about to attack. The charging feature is fundamental for beginning new combo chains.
Eventually you will gain a skill called Capture. Capture, as the name implies, allows you to capture just about any creature your group comes in contact with and adds it to your party. While in combat, the captured creature can be summoned by selecting the summon option. You can also obtain monster eggs, but you can’t control the monster until the egg is hatched.
One feature gamers may not be familiar with (unless perhaps they have played Cross Edge), is the ability to search for new locations like dungeons and towns (that may not be visible) from the guild house in town. Before searching for new locations on the map, you will need WP (Work Points). Work Points are gained from encounters / battles; without Works Points the search feature cannot be used.
The success rate of your searches are based on the character’s searching level. Before performing a search, you must select three party members. Every character has a certain search level that is indicated in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. The higher the character’s search level, the more successful the search will be.
In addition to the guild, there is a blacksmith shop, alchemy shop, and a general store. The alchemy and blacksmith shops allow you to make new items and customize older gear. I have always found the crafting systems in Aksys‘ role-playing games to be easy to use. The crafting system doesn’t make you feel like the items you want are too far out of your reach like in some role-playing games. This gives you motivation to gather the materials necessary to craft the items needed for your party. I found myself spending hours crafting items for my characters, and didn’t realize that much time had passed.
Blazing Souls Accelate is a beautiful looking title. It can’t be stressed enough; Aksys produces some of the best-looking 2D graphics. From the backgrounds to the sprites, there is plenty of eye-candy during the entire adventure. The music is also the same high-quality you’d come to expect. Overall, Blazing Souls is a frustrating, but very addictive role-playing game that will demand quite a few hours of your time. Fans of JRPGs should check this one out, while newcomers should approach it with an open mind.
James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform: Sony PSP
Developer / Publisher: Aksys Games
|There is plenty of 2D eye-candy to feast your eyes on.|
|The music and sound effects are really good. Nothing ground-breaking, but they serve their purpose well.|
|While it can be frustrating at times, BSA is addicting. The crafting system is excellent.|
|Fans of JRPGs will really enjoy Blazing Soul Accelate.|