Is Slashy Souls an actual game or just one glorified advertisement?
With the release date of Bandai Namco’s and Fromsoftware’s next chapter of the Dark Souls saga, Dark Souls 3, we’ve started seeing some interesting advertisement and promotions for the game. There’s the recent Dark Souls 3 trailer, that has me drooling all over it (Sorry keyboard), there’s the Dark Souls 3 guide from Prima Games, that comes with a replica Etus Flask and Wolf Knight Greatsword replica, all of which look incredibly cool. And then there’s the Gamestop and Bandai Namco offering, Slashy Souls, that was released today for iOS and Android devices and serves to be nothing more than an advertisement to purchase Dark Souls 3 from Gamestop. Cool, right? Well, no… not actually.
Game Name: Slashy Souls
Platform(s): iOS & Android
Publisher(s): Bandai Namco
Developer(s): Bandai Namco
Release Date: 2.18.2016
I’m not sure who thought that Slashy Souls was a good idea, however as a fan of the entire Souls series, having this game even remotely attached to that, even in name, really rubs me the wrong way. But, let me back up here and explain why I’m a tad upset over the title. Slashy Souls is a free to play game from Bandai Namco, its only purpose is to get you to pre-order acopy of Dark Souls 3 from Gamestop. As if it wasn’t apparent enough when you start the game, Gamestop’s name is plastered all over the front of the opening screen and forever as long as you sit at the start menu. Not that tehy had to tell me to do that, since I have the PC version and the PlayStation 4 Collectors Edition already pre-ordered.
Upon starting the game, you have several options to choose from, starting the game, settings, leader boards, badges and share. I’m not even sure why there is even a settings option as all you can do is lower and raise the sound, the other two abilities in that section is legal and support, which aren’t even options. The leader boards are stand stuff, where you can see where you rank among the rest of the souls who are playing this game right now, the badges section lets you see what badges you earned and allows you to share them via Instagram, Facebook and Google+, which is the same thing that the sharing section lets you do, so yes it is a bit redundant.
However, there was no mention of how to play the game. No explanation of the controls, no explanation on how to play, just nothing. You’re just expected to pick up the game and know what to do, so only trial and error will allow you to discover how to play. However, to be fair, that’s how Dark Souls is as well.
Thankfully, I’ve put myself through the pain and figured out the controls. Swiping your finger upwards on the screen will enable you to jump, tapping the screen will attack oncoming enemies, while tapping and holding on the screen will stop you dead in your tracks and cause you to block, while swiping backwards or left, will let you do a clumsy backwards roll.
The game plays like a 2d endless runner, where you simply progress onward to attack and defend yourself from ongoing enemies, while also picking up weapons that randomly appear to boost your attack, souls which help accumulate your score and other items that give you buffs, similar to how resins work in Dark Souls and spells. There’s also no life bar and the only way to tell how much health you have or how close you are to death is the amount of blood that’s splattered across the screen. So you better pay attention to that or its lights out.
Any long the way, you’ll encounter familiar foes from the Dark Souls universe, including bosses that at one time posed as massive pains in the butt in Dark Souls, only to be reduced to cannon fodder in Slashy Souls. That’s pretty much all there is to the game.
For a mobile game, it doesn’t look to bad, though I’m sure the design of the game wasn’t meant to be that serious and it has that retro 16-bit, pixelated look to it. The music however is a different story as it’s completely bland and repetitious and doesn’t really suit the game, especially if you’re used to the themes of the Dark Souls games. And why the concept of a 2d Dark Souls game is still something I’d love to see implemented correctly, Slashy Souls isn’t it. Despite playing it over and over, I didn’t get any sensation of fun while playing Slashy Souls and quickly went back to playing the real deal to get this game out of my mind.
The controls were cumbersome and sluggish, especially when you’re expect to jump over spiked traps or onto higher platforms to gain access to items that are on a higher level than you. The back roll animation is very clumsy, though useful if you need a second to think about your current situation. The combat isn’t even fun, despite moving down enemy after enemy and even the bosses are lackluster, as you just tap, tap, tap them down and into defeat. Though I’ll be the last person to tell someone to simply avoid a game, despite how I feel about it, and of course you are free to draw your own conclusions. Just be sure to have plentiful of Estus Flasks ready to go.
Still if the idea of a 2d game that is similar to Dark Souls excites you, then you may want to go take a glance at Death’s Gambit, which is still in development for PlayStation 4 and PC.
Slashy Souls? I can think of another title for it.
Slashy Souls? I can think of another title for it.
To get straight to the point, Slashy Souls is nothing more than a free to play advertisement for the upcoming Dark Souls 3 game, thought up by both Bandai Namco and Gamestop. An average looking game, that lacks any fun and ends up being nothing more than a glorified advertisement. I tried to like it, I really did and despite enjoying other games similar to this, I couldn't and that's hard, especially for someone like me who adores everything there is to the Souls universe (Demon Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne). A mild distraction that only serves to make you hungry for the main course, which doesn't release until April 12, 2016.
At least it was free, right?