Saint Seiya: Soldiers’ Soul – Review
Follow Genre: Fighter
Developer: Dimps
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.
Platform: PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4
Tested on: Playstation 4

Saint Seiya: Soldiers’ Soul – Review

Site Score
Good: Very fun online mode
Bad: Massive amounts of fanservice make this a game mainly enjoyable for true Saint Seiya fans
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Saint Seiya: Soldiers’ Soul is just one of the many branches of the popular Saint Seiya franchise, which also includes animated movies, novels, mobile apps, and even musicals. Soldiers’ Soul is the newest addition to the Saint Seiya brand, and was meant to be an upgraded version of its PS3 prequel Brave Soldiers which received mediocre ratings. Graphic and texture enhancements, as well as improved gameplay mechanisms and added content, were all meant to help Soldiers’ Soul become the success its predecessor was not and to keep the 30 year old franchise up and running.

Saint Seiya-Logo


Saint Seiya: Soldiers’ Soul wastes no time on introductions, and drops the player right in the middle of things. Players unfamiliar with the series will have a hard time figuring out who the Saints are and why they protect Greek Goddess Athena, making this game really only ideal for fans of the franchise. Set to take place in four different arcs, players make their way through various “episodes” as they try to accomplish that arcs’ goals. Looking up more information on the manga does help, as the game does give some clues. The first arc for example shows the Goddess Athena in her dying moments, a death that can only be prevented if her Saints manage to get the right healer to her in time. The Saints then have to make it through various battles in order to accomplish this goal. The game primarily tells the story of the original manga (from the Twelve Zodiac Temples to Hades’ Dark Kingdom), so fans of the manga probably won’t struggle as much to understand what’s going on, but for newcomers the lack of contextual cues may be very confusing.

Soldiers’ Soul offers more than a story mode though, as players can also use the game’s online mode to fight other players. This is a great addition to the game as the lack of clarity in the story mode (and the game’s basic AI) can be bothersome for gamers who are not familiar with the source material.

Saint Seiya - Graphics


Developer Dimps is no stranger to producing games based on popular manga or anime, such as Inuyasha and Dragon Ball Z. Knowing very well they would not be able to compete with current gen graphical beasts such as The Witcher 3 or Far Cry 4, Dimps again chose for an approach more true to the original manga rather than opting for a photorealistic style. This approach gives a bit more leeway, and allowed Dimps to use anime-like graphics in combination with static backgrounds.

Backgrounds are definitely of subpar quality, but this isn’t a massive issue as they never really take center stage. Characters however, are stylised in a way that is true to the source material and generally look very nice. Animations can feel a bit silly at times due to the typical “overacting” anime trope, but overall the game’s characters look solid, and the game runs very smoothly on PS4. Soldiers’ Soul definitely portrays that 80’s manga vibe, and therefore we can forgive the otherwise relatively simple graphics.

Saint Seiya - Sound


Soldiers’ Soul is one of the games that uses the PS4 controller to its full potential, and it does so in a very nifty way. Upon losing a battle, the Goddess Athena will speak to the players and encourage them to get up and keep fighting. This interaction between the Goddess and her Saints becomes more intimate as her voice is heard through the PS4 controller instead of the TV or sound system. (Though we must admit that after a couple of times, this interlude becomes tedious more than anything else, especially as it cannot be skipped.)

Voice acting in the game is decent, but the frequent overacting does make some scenes a lot funnier than they’re supposed to be. Combined with mediocre translations (e.g. “I will do the battle”, “Feel my body’s strength with your full body”, …) this provides some hilarious situations that unfortunately don’t do the game any justice.

The game’s soundtrack suits Soldiers’ Soul’s general feel, but is never extremely impressive or original (one of the battle themes rips off ABBA’s Lay All Your Love On Me in a very obvious way, providing yet another hilarious situation).

Saint Seiya - online gameplay


Soldiers’ Soul is a fighter/brawler game. The fact that developer Dimps gives little to no context as to who the Saints are and what their purpose truly is, could exclude newcomers from the series and prevent them from picking up Soldiers’ Soul at its current price. However, good gameplay mechanics could potentially draw them back in and seeing as Soldiers’ Soul is a typical brawler there is plenty of room for intricate and fun battle mechanisms. Unfortunately, offline gameplay is really quite simple and controls can feel clunky at times. Combat is fun at first, but quickly becomes boring as the game introduces little variety, which is ironic considering the amount of characters you can play as.

The game does have a fun combo system, but players who do not necessarily want that A ranking will find button mashing an acceptable strategy as the game is never really challenging enough to require players’ full attention or focused effort (unless you use the more difficult gold battle mode, but the game never gives any incentive to do so). Because of this, slightly younger or inexperienced gamers might find Soldiers’ Soul a nice way to start playing fighting games.

The online player versus player mode is very fun, and has a very good match making system. The online battle mode has no need for contextual story cues, and bypasses the game’s sometimes bothersome AI. The great lobby system makes sure that players end up in relatively evenly matched battles. This mode is especially recommended for newcomers to the Saints.

Fans of the series will enjoy taking control of the Saints and seeing their various attacks executed in true anime style. The special attacks, such as the Big Bang Attacks, are fun to use and temporarily help the game overcome its issue of simplicity. The amount of unlockable characters and appearances is spectacular, and great fanservice.

Saint Seiya - Conclusion


Saint Seiya: Soldiers’ Soul was meant to be the upgraded version of prequel Brave Soldiers. While there is a lot to do in this game, developer Dimps unfortunately did not focus enough on quality for the game to fully succeed where its predecessor failed.

Overall, Soldiers’ Soul isn’t a bad fighter game experience (especially since its online mode is very fun), but there are so many much more fun alternatives out there. It is an accessible alternative to many of the more complex fighters, but mainly so for younger or more inexperienced gamers. Fans of the series will probably enjoy this one, but if you’re new to Saint Seiya you might want to wait until Soldiers’ Soul drops in price.

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I'm a 24 year old gamer with a passion for RPG's, and the gaming community as a whole. When I'm not gaming, I can be found cooking, reading, or with my partner and pets. Currently on: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, PC and 3DS.

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