Few games wear their inspirations quite so openly as Salt and Sanctuary, Ska Studios punishing 2D action RPG which proclaims proudly that it is a loving tribute to From Software's 'Souls series. Even fewer games can reproduce those influences almost mechanic-for-mechanic and still come out with their own identity intact. The husband and wife team at Ska Studios somehow managed it with Salt and Sanctuary and that's one reason why it's release on PlayStation 4 almost exactly one year ago was met with high praise from critics and fans. Now, one year on, the team are finally ready to deliver on a promise they made early on in their marketing, bringing the game to PlayStation Vita.
The port will be available from March 28th and, as a bonus to current owners, the game will feature cross-buy between PS4 and PS Vita - so if you already own the game on PS4 you'll get your Vita version for nothing. The technical aspects of bringing the game to the handheld console have been handled by Sickhead Games, who recently handled the console ports of Darkest Dungeon and Stardew Valley. Creators James and Michelle Silva were full of praise for Sickhead Games and keen to downplay their own role in the port, saying
We had a small hand in the PS Vita version: nudging some HUD elements here, tightening up the camera there, tweaking an effect or two when we needed to, but our contribution on the project was pretty minimal. The fantastic, talented folks at Sickhead Games were the ones behind all of the low-level, nightmare-inducing logic that will make games like Salt and Sanctuary on PS Vita even possible.
For those who aren't familiar with the game, Salt and Sanctuary is a 2D action RPG featuring some incredibly tough combat. It notably uses the block & parry and stamina systems found in From Software's games, along with a few other similar systems, and successfully translates this to a side-scrolling viewpoint. With plenty of verticality in the levels, branching pathways, endless character customization, and some truly insane boss fights, the game is definitely worth a look for fans of Miyazaki's work or those with a slight masochistic streak.
Are you a salt-crusted veteran of Ska Studios RPG? A trembling neophyte? Does the cross buy option tempt you to jump into Salt and Sanctuary if you're yet to try it? Give us your thoughts on the game, the port, or just tell us how excited you are to start a new character on your Vita, down in the comments!