Published on July 3rd, 2014 | by JC Richardson0
Kemco’s Soul Historica Review
Kemco, if you happen to live in a cave, specializes in stylish Japanese role playing games set in Final Fantasy-esque worlds filled with magic and high technology. You explore a big map, have turn-based battles, recruit a colourful team, and frankly if you’ve enjoyed any of the others then Soul Historica will prove just as fulfilling.
The rather familiar style won’t give you any new thrills, and the dialogue translation is just as ropey, but I have to admit there’s a certain craziness to this title that makes it stand out from the others. The plot, even by Kemco standards, is so utterly bizarre that it actually has me hooked. I genuinely don’t know what the next weird plot twist is going to bring, and I’ve been playing these crazy-ass Jrpg’s since ‘Y’s: The Last Man’ on the Master System.
Here’s what the first 45 minutes of play gives you for starters: you’re a knight in a sacred order which protects your town from soul-stealing monsters – they can’t steal your soul because you have a ‘Soul Cage’. Your boss, named Nemesis, sends you on a mission to take down a monster captain in order to send the rest of the monsters into disarray. Without telling you, he plans for the fleeing monster horde to escape into your home town, which he’s rigged with fricking dynamite in order to blow them up once and for all. Bafflingly, he doesn’t bother to evacuate the remaining citizens, including your girlfriend. To add a cherry to the top of this massive pile of ‘screw you’, he fires you from the force because you have the balls to question the sheer lunacy of this plan. And so, a man named Nemesis turns out to be your, well, actual nemesis. Three years and much alcohol later, you’re accosted by a masked man who tells you that not only is your blown-up girlfriend alive, but she’s a captive of the very knights you once worked for…
To reiterate, this is just the first 45 minutes of the game. Believe me, it gets weirder.
If the Kemco style isn’t to your taste then Soul Historica won’t make you a convert, but fans will absolutely lap this up, and no doubt forgive the inclusion of IAPs in an already not-cheap game: you can pay extra to unlock ‘bonus dungeons’, or buy powerful buffs for your player if you can’t be bothered to level grind. Not cool, Kemco. Not cool at all.
Summary: It's the usual Kemco template, but with a plot that sets it apart from the rest. Rewarding and baffling in equal measure.