You know me, I like my beer cold, my TV loud and my video games harder than a priest in a playground, I loved the Dark Souls games, and I adored the lovecraftian horror that was Bloodborne. However it would seem that that love was completely one sided as each of these games beat my ass, and like the degenerate I am, I came crawling back for more.
(Thank you sir, may I have another!)
Salt and Sanctuary is a 2D action role-playing game, but I would liken it more to a chibi version of metroidvania meets Dark Souls, and while that may not sound like something you would enjoy, believe me it is the best of both those worlds.
The game begins with the main character on a ship that is under attack by bandits, a classic start to any RPG, while the other seamen (heh…..seamen) fight off the bandits you make your way to the deck, where a large monster is waiting for you. You can try to beat this monster if you like, but honestly, fuck that noise! Win or lose you end up meeting a sketchy old man who may or may not have raped you and you must choose your creed (a special type of blessing) and then you’re off to see the wizard…or save a princess. But let’s be honest folks, you’re not here for plot, you’re here for stabby death, murder!
What I liked
It’s a long list, so let’s get started, the first thing I want to mention is the actual game mechanics, it’s hard enough to get the mechanics for a 2D platformer right, but then to throw in an RPG style battle system is just plain insane, but Ska Studios blended them together beautifully. They took the combat (and the difficulty) from Dark Souls and added metroidvania styled exploring and platforming and made the best of both worlds.
One of my favourite things about Salt and Sanctuary was the fact there was couch co-op. Okay, it’s a pain that both players have to own the game and have access to PlayStation plus, but I happily parted with my doubloons for this game. Playing this game on the couch with a friend invoked a sense of retro gaming nostalgia, whether it’s screaming in frustration because one of you is an idiot and doesn’t know how to block, dodge or parry correctly (very sorry Decky) or kicking a difficult boss’s ass after the third fucking time and shouting in celebration, it was just plain fun.
(Dodge, just….dodge, fuck sakes dodge you bastard!)
Finally the art design, I loved how this game looked, it had 2D hand drawn visuals that looked amazing, each enemy type was unique and visually interesting from the small no nothing guys to the “oh fuck, look at that bastard!” guys. Even the different sets of armour looked distinct (there is also a set of armour that makes you look like the predator, thank me later!).
What I didn’t like
It’s tempting to say nothing and knock off early for ice cream and a crafty one, but I’ll be buggered by Satan himself if I can’t find something to complain about, and I have. This one niggle fucked me off to no end, the heavier your armour is the slower you move, by itself not an issue, but remember this is a 2D platformer as well……………..that I happen to play co-op……………..with a guy who rolled a rogue, bastard. It was a bollocks to have to jump to the next ledge and hang there like a bogie, while lightning mcfuckstick ran on ahead and let me fall to my death. But I must stress this was only a minor issue and in some cases added to the fun, (once, it was funny once).
(Oh fuck you!)
Salt and Sanctuary is one of the best games I have ever played, for the reasons I have listed and more, in fact I will be picking it up a 2nd time when it is released on the PSVita, to play it on the go. I can’t recommend it enough, if you enjoyed Dark Souls or classic metroidvania styled games then check this one out.