Xbox 360 version cover art
Blazing Souls (ブレイジングソウルズ?) is a tactical role-playing game developed by Idea Factory and released for the PlayStation 2 in 2006. It was ported to the Xbox 360 in 2007 as Absolute: Blazing Infinity (アブソリュート ブレイジング インフィニティ?) and to the PlayStation Portable in 2009 as Blazing Souls Accelate (ブレイジングソウルズ アクセレイト?). The latter version was published in North America by Aksys Games in 2010 and 2012 in Europe by Rising Star Games.
The gameplay is non-linear, allowing the player to progress through the game and the story in whatever order they wish. In addition, instead of having separate screens or maps for exploration and battle, the game features a seamless transition between the two gameplay types.
Actions such as Chain, Charge, Hold, Original Skill, Chain Skill, Special Chain Skill, Break, Break Arts, and Overkill are available during battle. The player can position forces on the battlefield and wait for the right moment to string together the combo attacks using multiple party members, both in melee and at range. Blazing Souls allows the player to create over 200 different items and skills as well as the ability to capture monsters and have them placed within the party.
Set nearly two decades following the end of the Seven Years' War chronicled in Spectral Souls 2's True Ending (modified Rozess Army route) the story follows the somewhat random misadventures of a freelance Contractor named Zelos and crew, who by various circumstances, is at the center of a conflict involving Elemental Cores which both beings called Human Genomes and a group known as the Original Saints are also searching for as these Elemental Cores are both the key to healing the war ravaged world of Neverland and the trigger for enthroning the intended successors of the current humanity, the Hunan Genome as the new dominant race. Along the way various subplots involving the cast flesh out this 'war behind the scenes".
He is the main protagonist and generally known as a heartless, nihilistic and brutally efficient killing machine who works as a freelance contractor said to have a 100% success rate and will do just about any job as long as the price is right or due to a whim of his. Having lost his memories and being raised in rather hellish "survival of the fittest" circumstances it's no wonder Zelos sees life and death as having no real value...to live means killing and killing means you don't die and can live one more day, rinse and repeat... everything else in between supports living and avoids dying. Rather than "living", Zelos merely "exists"... that is, until he takes on one seemingly normal monster subjugation job however which quickly, and somewhat randomly, turns into a journey across Neverland in pursuit of the mysterious Elemental Cores and the conflicts over them between his group, the Original Saints and the remaining True Human Genomes.
The only clue to Zelos' past and identity lie in his artificial arms, though due to his lack of interest in living beyond survival and general disdain for the world and people in it. Zelos hasn't bothered to search or even care about his unknown past and lives firmly from moment to moment valuing nothing in particular. This begins to change after meeting Adelle, rescuing Aria and somehow or another recruiting his ragtag bunch of sidekicks who for one reason or another follow him to the ends of hell and back. As the story progresses and through various subplots Zelos' nature begins to subtly thaw and change and he shows a rather noble and heroic side underneath the grumpy, tactless and somewhat trigger happy exterior...even questioning how he's lived up to that point. Various opinions ingame about Zelos include:
Little Snow comparing Zelos to Jadore and often teasing him about it, Adelle acting as a foil to his rather cynical worldview, among others. In short, Zelos is at the center of many of the narratives in the game. Surprisingly, as the game goes on Zelos displays a soft spot for women and children as well as a genuine desire to help and protect his companions. He is also quite popular with children as seen with Noel and Al, and while he's not very good with dealing with women in general Zelos has won the affections (to one degree or another) of Adelle, Aria, Bridgette, Sciorra and Fairuza. Others grow to trust him and/or watch over his growth... though Zelos remains an arrogant jerk despite his clear growth, much to their resigned exasperation.
Ganeplaywise, Zelos excels at being a close to mid range tank who xan equip guns by default but can be modded using Elemental Cores to change his skill and equip slots making him fairly versatile, even being able to use swords. His talent in magic is still poor though regardless.
One of the first people Zelos teams up with early in the game and is ostensibly one of the group's core members, foil to Zelos and acts as the voice of justice to Zelos' cynicism and shoot first ask never approach. She excels at using the sword and is a student of the famous Varanoir Academy.
Orphaned at a young age, Adelle has grown up to be willful, strong minded, opinionated and independent both as a person and in ability. Despite her skill and reputation Adelle is surprisingly girly and a caring person with a strong, almost naive, sense of justice causing her to be very close with Aria whom she helped rescue and always at odds with Zelos due to his lack of humanity or care in others... though her issues with him are far more personal.
In truth, Adelle left Varanoir before graduating to track down her parents' killer and get her revenge... needless to say, Zelos was that killer. She'd joined up with him biding her time until she could get her revenge... but, even after that failed she stayed by his side and realized she didn't want to kill him anymore. Her feelings have grown into a complicated affection for him in spite of her past and connection to him as evidenced by conversations with Lydia and her reactions at the end of the game.
- Wesley Yin-Poole, Blazing Souls Accelate release date announced - Eurogamer, 13 April 2012
- Ichi Nen Kan, JAPANDEMONIUM, RPGamer, November 8, 2005
- Blazing Souls Accelate - official website for mobile version Android/iOS
- Official site (Japanese)
- Blazing Souls Accelate official website (Japanese)
- Blazing Souls Accelate official website
- Release and gameplay article
- Release article
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