Before the review starts I would just like to say that this game has Japanese Audio with English Subtitles, so may not be suited for all.
Saint Seiya - Sanctuary Battle is a game in the same kind of style to the Dynasty Warriors games, it is one person against many in a hack and slash action based map except when fighting a boss where the game is one on one. The game has many characters from the Saint Seiya series, though its focus is on the Sanctuary Saga as the title implies, so it has the 5 Bronze Saints and 11 of the Gold Saints as well as two female Silver Saints. The only Gold Saint not in the game is the Libra Gold Saint Dohko, but he can be downloaded via the PSN store to complete your Gold Saint line up. All characters in the game can get to level 99, and there are a lot of skills to purchase as well so you can really make each character your own.
As stated above, gameplay wise, the game shows signs of being like a Dynasty Warriors game. Your basic combos are made up of different combinations of the square and triangle buttons. However unlike the Dynasty Warriors series you have two or three special attacks to use, depending of the character used. These special attacks are used as such: circle uses special attack one, R1 uses special attack two, and pressing R1 and circle together will use special attack three if the character has one. Each special attack uses up some of the "cosmo gauge" which will gradually fill up while fighting and can also be used to go into a mode known as "7th Sense". In this mode time will slow down for a brief amount and allow you to catch enemies off guard with your attacks. The 7th Sense mode is also very handy in the boss battles as it can extend the moment of weakness the bosses have during their attacks allowing you to damage them much easier. In the boss battles you can also sometimes use a very powerful attack called a Big Bang Attack, to use this the icon to the left of your health and cosmo bar must be glowing and then you attack the boss with a special attack but also hold down R2 when inputting the attack. If the attack hits it will show a small cut scene of the character using a more powerful version of the attack used causing major damage to the boss.
The story of the game is done very well, with your main objective being to get to the temple of the Grand Pope in order to save the reborn Athena, Saori Kido, from dying. This involves going through each of the 12 Gold Saints temples, and of course having to battle them in order to progress. In between each temple battle there are pathways battles, which is where the game becomes like a Dynasty Warriors game as your objective here is to defeat all the enemy soldiers on your way towards the next temple. In the main story mode you will use the 5 Bronze Saints of the series (Pegasus Seiya, Dragon Shiryu, Cygnus Hyoga, Andromeda Shun and Phoenix Ikki) The one you use will be pre determined for the stage you are about to do. Also upon finishing the normal story mode you unlock either 4 or 5 smaller stories, which unlock a couple more characters for use. I should also add that, while the story has 4 difficulty options to pick from at the start it also has a further 4 to unlock as well making the game have a lot of replay value and challenge.
So other than the story mode there is also Mission mode which has three options available for you and also lets you use any character you have unlocked (unless stated otherwise on the mission). The first is a single player option that lets you pick one of several stage sets which will consist of various path and temple battles, and have varying difficulty as well. The second choice is Tag Matches where you and a friend (or AI) battle against a Gold Saint Boss as well as some general enemies. The last of the three is Survival mode, where as the name implies, your job is just to survive as long as possible. Each of these three can also been doing in an Online Ranking option where you can try to beat the times and scores of others around the world.
The game also has a large gallery selection that lets you view the in game character models of character, view cut scenes of the game, listen to the music of the game (unlocked after finishing story mode) and also a large gallery of Bandai's various figure collection of the Saint Seiya franchise. And on a last note I would like to add that the game has 4 DLC characters and a set of new costumes for the 5 Bronze Saints out at the time of writing this, with a further 2 characters still to come out.
I would very highly recommend this title to all Saint Seiya fans, as well as fans of the Dynasty Warriors series or even just someone who is looking for a fun game to pass time with some hack and slash fun! Hopefully this review has been helpful to you in deciding whether or not to purchase this game as it has been my first review posted here on Amazon.