Slashy Souls Review – Dark Holes

A gutter trash advertisement wearing the clothes of Dark Souls like flayed, dripping skin.

04

Developer: Bandai Namco
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Format: Android, iOS (reviewed)
Released: February 28, 2016
Copy is free on iOS, and is still too expensive

It may be harsh to trash a game that’s quite literally free, but sometimes an experience is so utterly contemptible that not even the lack of an entry fee can justify its existence. This is the case with Slashy Souls, a collaboration between GameStop and Namco designed to encourage Dark Souls III preorders.

It’s complete and total shit.

Make no mistake – though this is ostensibly “free,” it still costs an investment of time – time that we as mere mortals only have a finite amount of on this planet. To waste a single minute of that precious currency called life on Slashy Souls is a losing gamble of downright tragic proportions.

Even worse, the existence of this poorly constructed interactive commercial is an absolute stain on the respectable work of From Software, not to mention the good name of the Souls series itself.

A basic runner game, Slashy Souls is all about a pixellated warrior automatically sprinting across the screen while players control jumping, blocking, and slashing. Various traps and enemies stand in the way, while pickups can be found to replenish health, cast spells such as fireballs, and equip more powerful melee weapons.

01

I like a good runner game, and the idea of one inspired by Dark Souls is fantastic in theory. Sadly, no effort was made whatsoever to infuse Slashy Souls with even a smidgen of the quality found in From’s work. At best it’s a wholly unimaginative endless runner that pays only scant tribute to the source material. At worst it’s an amateur, broken mess.

For a start, the game’s obstacles are randomized with no thought given to balance, spacing, or common bloody sense. Enemies and traps are often bunched together so closely they’re impossible to avoid. While blocking would fool players into thinking there might be some tactical depth, the shield barely works and it’s more reliable to just brainless stab the air and hope things die.

The protagonist is uncomfortable to control, with a stodgy little double jump that barely clears anything and attacks that carry no sense of power or basic connection with the monsters they’re hitting.

Slashy Souls is ugly, using a murkily colored bare-bones “retro” art style that could belong to any number of barrel-scraping indie platformers. Character models appear to have been drawn by pigs.

A series of high-pitched digitized squeals masquerade as a soundtrack, threatening to pierce one’s eardrums and skewer the brain with merciless sonic talons.

03

As if this wasn’t bad enough, this unambitious, sloppily designed, thoroughly basic runner game is somehow littered with game-breaking bugs – perhaps the biggest clue Namco Bandai was involved.

In attempting to play the game just today, I had it refuse to start over and over again, barely loading a new run before abandoning it and booting me to the Game Over screen. At other times, the game was running but the screen was pure black, with only stylized bloodshot damage indicators creeping in as I was attacked.

Currently, my copy of Slashy Souls is stuck reading “YOU DIED,” unable to even load the Game Over screen or main menu. Theoretically, I could forcibly close down the app and start it up again, but you know what? I don’t think I’ll bother.

I’ll follow in the footsteps of the miscreants responsible for this abomination’s creation.

I won’t fucking bother.

02

Slashy Souls looks like a joke game, and I’m not just trying to be insulting. I mean, I am, but I’m also quite sincere.

It literally looks like something somebody would make for a bad gag.

It’s certainly nothing professional, and it absolutely does not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as a real Dark Souls game. That anybody thought this monstrous garbage was a good way to promote an upcoming game speaks volumes about the disconnect from reality videogame executives suffer from.

I know, I know, it’s free and all that bollocks.

Sometimes you just have to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially when the mouth is full of wet hot trash and the horse is a sex offender in a pony costume.

1/10
Accursed

Gentleman Bork
Guest

What a bucket of old spunk

Yaro
Guest
Yaro

I wonder who was the final guy who said: “Cool, release this game.”

Anton
Guest
Anton

This is just sad. It actually makes me want to buy Dark Souls 3 less. Well done, Gamespot/Namco.

Robert Cisneros
Guest
Robert Cisneros

So while not the appropriate place to ask, you don’t really do a questions segment n I don’t no where to ask questions for podquisiton cause I hate Twitter so I have a question. With bravely second getting dozens of edits even to the outcome of branching paths sidequests, or the edits to the art book, do you think Nintendo or whoever is doing the editing is finally going to far?

Nitrium
Guest
Nitrium

In your “Format” category you have just iOS listed. Unfortunately, it’s also available on Android.
Also one little typo: ” just brainless stab” – brainlessly.

Gervasius
Guest
Gervasius

Meanwhile, Wayward Souls is a pretty good top-down dungeon crawler with simplistic but good combat. Worth a look.
I think that would have been a better approach. But then again, even a “city building” (airquotes) game might have been better than this, given the reviews.

Powermad80
Guest
Powermad80

That final line may be my new favorite sentence.

Fred B
Guest
Fred B

Thank you, Jim. The things you said in the third paragraph are simply the best words to describe what I feel about so many games (especially on mobile platforms) coming out lately. After having thought about your sentence for quite a time, I’ve come to the conclusion that this statement can simply be adapted to fit about all parts of life. Sometimes I just need a reminder about which things are really important. To accommodate this need, I created a wallpaper for my desktop and hope that it’ll remind me now and then, that some things in life just aren’t… Read more »

Max Whiteley
Guest
Max Whiteley

Ha ha another games company pulling the “let’s do what they did, but with out the effort” trick.
I believe video games can sell themselves, I put it to any AAA publisher, if you are selling a numbered sequal to a game and you have an advertising budget of £0, your game will still sell well.

Nope that ain’t ever going to happen, because they love nothing more than annoying the shit out of us until we buy the game!

Aristatide
Guest
Aristatide

Further proof that they didn’t take any time to really think about this: there’s a non-trivial portion of the internet population that doesn’t immediately go to “swords” when they hear the word “slashy”.

Well, they do.

But not the kind of swords Bandai Namco want them to go to. Probably.

Zanda
Guest
Zanda

I can see it now….Miyazaki gripping his IOS device with the purist form of rage, and then spitting on it profusely.

carg0
Guest
carg0

is it better than ‘Bear Simulator’?

Lance Snead
Guest
Lance Snead

Wow! That seems so terrible that I’m tempted to try it, just to bare witness to the tragedy. LOL

JonnyDoLake
Guest
JonnyDoLake

It’s sad when someone else’s pixel fan art looks far better than the official thing…

Andy24
Guest
Andy24

I think its name is really cute, though. Slashy souls, so adorable. A pity the game sucks so much

goodbyejojo
Guest
goodbyejojo

what were they thinking!?

BAH!
Guest
BAH!

With a title like “Slashy Souls”, I can’t even begin to imagine that it was meant as anything more than a quick ‘n’ dirty advertising ploy.

Next up: Flappy Souls

BruhDragoon
Guest
BruhDragoon

How is this OFFICIAL? This looks like something a scammer would put up!

Even Luck
Guest
Even Luck

Oh dear…….oh dear……..
This honestly looks like something some shady third party asshat would sell on the mobile store and then try to get onto Steam Greenlight.
But this had the backing of Namco Bandai.
The OFFICIAL backing of Namco Bandai.
Wow.

able_to_think
Guest
able_to_think

This review doesn’t do justice to how horrible this feculent pool of slime is. You need to play it to understand how truly God awful it is. You probably will play it too, since it’s free and it’s human nature to be curious about something we hear is terrible. Fuck this stupid thing.

ImaLemming
Guest
ImaLemming

I take it we already have a contender for the ten shittiest games of 2016?

Xoxarle
Guest
Xoxarle

You know nothing, this game is the canon!!!

Gondab
Guest
Gondab

These nightmarish creatures can be felled, they can be beaten!

Ollie King
Guest
Ollie King

Oh Smough, what have they done to you?

Lewis Cowen
Guest
Lewis Cowen

Is this the first 1/10 on this site? First I can remember at least.
Jim, can we have a page that collects all of the scores for the reviews on the site? Just think that might be helpful.