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Review – Soul Blazer (SNES)

On a bit of a whim, I decided to pick up and play through Soul Blazer for the SNES. I know I have heard of this game previously ages ago, probably in Nintendo Power, I’m surprised I never tried it in the past honestly. Anyway, it turns out it’s a bit of a hidden gem of a game. It kind of feels like if Gauntlet and Zelda had a baby, though it’s better than Gauntlet, not as good as Zelda.

You play as this sort of spiritual angel entity, come to the world to save it from destruction, except the destruction has basically already happened. There are 7 stages, and each stage works the same basic way. You arrive into a barren area, then travel through one or more dungeon areas connected to the main hub. As you progress, you defeat enemy spawners by killing the enemies each one spawns, which allows you to free the souls of creatures, people, and related objects in each zone. Basically, once finished with an area, you’ll have constructed a little town.

This also occasionally means returning to the town to do little additional mini missions to unlock new abilities or weapons or armor in order to proceed. It’s a neat system. Sometimes you even have to return to previous areas to unlock new things. In fact it’s a bit required because you can’t complete the game without at least going back and unlocking the Phoenix spell.

An airship with an ignition, what will they think of next???

Along the way you also unlock more and more of the story. Most of the plot revolves around leader characters who knew of this character Dr. Leo, who was forced to develop a portal to the world of evil which is why the world has been wiped out. Or something along those lines. There are even a few twists along the way near the end that aren’t quite as expected.

New unlocks aren’t even necessarily straight upgrades either. Though they are an upgrade in base defense or offense, they often contain unique additional special abilities. Like wearing the bubble armor to navigate under water, or the Ice armor to navigate over certain hot spot floors (which even return in a later stage).

Finally, a shopkeeper in an RPG who APPRECIATES THE EFFORT.

Though this does lead to one of, if not my chief complaint on the game. You essentially have 4 equitable slots, sword, shield, magic and item. You can only have one active item at a time. This almost feels like a way for the designers to remove the ability to become a bit OP. Not all items are useful, but for example, you can carry one (freely replenished) medical herb, which will revive you upon death (once). Or a strange pot that lets you keep your magic points between deaths. Or other items like bracelets that let you take half damage or not spend magic, or do double damage. It kind of feels like, at the minimum, the herb and strange pot should just work automatically, since they are consumable items. The pots can’t even be obtained outside of regular game play, you just find them in chests.

I mean, I get that complaining about a 30 year old game is kind of pointless and all, but it’s worth mentioning. The game itself is still a lot of fun and it’s an interesting gameplay loop.

What I’ve Been Playing Recently

# What I’ve Been Playing Recently

I like the idea of this sort of regular, generic post, but I don’t really want to give it a schedule, so I’m just going to throw em out whenever, for now, I think.  Considering this si the “first” one, it’s also not clear what “Recently” should mean in this context.  It’s my post, my blog, my rules, so I’m thinking, whatever I want to mention really.


Roughly a year ago, I decided I wanted to give Fortnite a go.  It’s been popular for years, and i was looking for something relatively mindless to play as a filler game to fill the void left by Overwatch.  So I decided to try Fortnite.  I had no idea what I was doing, though I managed to win my first match, which felt really cool, until (much later) I learned that all the matches for the first ten levels or so are against Bots.  It was Christmas season, so I got a few free cosmetic items, and I even enjoyed it enough to buy a few skins.  i also opted to go for the Battle Pass, which I completed to level 200.

I’ve taken a few breaks, but I’m still playing a year later now.  Chapter 4 just started, which means a fresh new map to play on.  i am pretty sure the new map is a lot smaller than the last one.  Honestly, in general, it feels like Epic really wanted to try to break people out of the “Run around and hide” all match mindset.  Everything is righter and faster and you’re forced into more encounters.  I’m not sure I like it honestly.  I usually moved around the map a lot, but I also generally would avoid conflicts.  I’ve actually been playing a lot of Bot Matches just so the games are more chill and less stressful.

Something that’s a bit annoying, I actually kind of prefer playing random, NON Battle Royale maps and modes.  I played a TON of their Among Us Clone, in the Imposters Mode.  Though that got old because groups, completely break that mode.  Groups will just tattle on who the Imposter is to their friends.  I also do a lot of “Death-run” Obstacle course maps, though there are a lot of these that feel really uninspired these days.  Probably my favorite are the Musical Soundwave Series events.

Sky Children of the Light

This one is a super chill “Relaxing” movile game, though it recently came to Switch and Playstation.  It’s made by the same folks who made Journey and definitely FEELS a lot like Journey.  You float around this world collecting candle wax and meeting people and doing little Spirit Quests.  There is only one zone in the entire game where you can be harmed, outside of The End zone.  I have not been able to bring myself to attempt The End yet.  I hear it’s really hard, plus you lose everything, by default, and start over, after completing the game.

Currently they are having an event themed around the singer Aurora, which was part of why I started playing the game in the first place.

Retroid Pocket

I want to do a proper write up on my Retroid eventually, but I’ve been playing old games on this as well.  Nothing in particular yet, I’m still kind of in the “Mess around and see what it can do” phase.  Mostly I’ve been playing Genesis and PlayStation Titles, with a few PC Engine games thrown in.  I am trying REALLY hard not to fall into my usual Emulation Trap of just playing Zelda and Mario…. again… for the ten thousandth time.

Overwatch 2

File this one under what I’m NOT Playing.  I got so tired of Overwatch and it’s unbalanced mess.  I quit a year or so ago and every attempt to come back failed within days or hours of every reinstall.  I came back more hardcore for the end of Overwatch 1, hopeful that Overwatch 2 would be a fresh, new beginning.  I even bought the Battle Pass.  Oh boy I was disappointed.  I expected nothing and it was worse.  Every single match, almost without fail, is a complete steamroll win or loss, and neither is fun.  Experience is a slow pain int he ass as well, I gave up on the Battle Pass around level 50 I think.  I was not having fun and I didn’t want to grind out 30 more levels.  I don’t even care about winning, I just want the game to feel enjoyable  I never win in Fortnite and I always enjoy playing.  Overwatch should be like that.  

It should be fun!