• Salt and Sanctuary has been out for nearly a year since it launched on the PC and PS4 in May, and Mac and Linux in June. But people were wondering when the Vita version of the game would launch. Some feared the port was canceled like some planned PS Vita ports, but thankfully this game made it. What follows is a competent port of the game, although this review is also a review of the PS4 version as well, thanks to it’s cross-buy status. But the game is every bit as competent as it’s big brother.

    The setup for the plot of the game is that your chosen character is traveling on a ship until it is raided by bandits and monsters, which the result is that the you are shipwrecked on the island you were going to. So you obviously resume your mission to rescue the princess you were sent to retrieve. Your chosen character can be one of several classes, but all that your class determines is how your initial skill set starts out. This is because when you level up, you have access to the entire skill tree, and can make your way to the other skills from where the other classes start out. To level your character, you gain salt, which is dropped by enemies instead of experience. But if you die somewhere, the enemy that killed you will take your salt, and you’ll have to get back there without dying, otherwise that salt will be lost. Sounds a lot like Dark Souls, since it is, and you need to find a sanctuary to level up and learn new skills. There are smaller sanctuaries that only let you save, and usually are placed near the boss of an area.

    As for combat, it’s an 2D action RPG which is very dark and somber, and combat also resembles Souls in the way that all actions use stamina, including magic. Magic in the game is pretty powerful, so to counter balance it, each time you use magic, it reduces your total stamina. The only way to renew it is to go to a sanctuary, which is also the place to replenish your health potions. The darkness in the game is good at hiding enemies, so approaching this game with caution is the way to go. This especially holds true in the boss fights you might want to use just your two handed weapon so you can block some attacks, although I find it’s easier to roll out of the way. You can also keep your distance by using throwable items or a crossbow. The only issue with things like the crossbow or magic is that aiming isn’t easy when shooting at an angle. It definitely takes some getting used, but I had hoped the time since it’s initial launch would improve it a little bit.

    Salt and Sanctuary is a fun game, but it might have been improved in a few ways that I haven’t already mentioned. There’s no working map of the areas you’ll be traveling through, which makes it hard to get a handle on where you are. There’s also no cross-saving in the game, which is a shame on the PS versions. In fact even the trophy lists are separate. At least the glitches that existed on the other versions like item duping are still there, making one wonder if not fixing them were intentional on the developers side. But lack of cross-saving aside, the Vita version runs at a solid 30 frames as opposed to the other versions running in 60 frames. The lack of frames doesn’t deter from the experience to much, and because of the size of the Vita’s screen, text is easier to read since your face is much closer to the action. All in all, this game is a fun action RPG with only a small number of flaws, and it plays just fine on the Vita. If you like action RPGs like Dark Souls, there is a lot to like here. A great recommend.

    Salt and Sanctuary - Review
    A fun 2D action RPG that feels just a bit like Dark Souls with it's mechanics and setting from SKA Studios.
    Our Score8
    • The game is cross-buy on the PlayStation platforms.
    • Can still abuse glitches like item duping.
    • There is no cross-saving.
    8Overall Score
    Reader Rating: (2 Votes)

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