Swords, scythes, daggers, and assassin knives make up new fighter game
The battle between the two legendary swords is back with Namco’s newest installment of the critically acclaimed fighting series, “Soul Calibur V.”
This version of the classic weapons based fighting game has a few new things to offer players, but mostly, it has kept the formula that has brought it success in the past.
Anyone who has played any of the Soul Calibur games knows the routine: really big swords, lots of people, and lots of fighting.
Story: In the past, Soul Calibur has not paid attention to its story line.
It involves the two legendary swords, Soul Edge and Soul Calibur, and how these two need to compete for control by choosing wielders to beat the crap out of each other. This happened back in the original Soul Calibur, and every game after that is some sort of new spin on this theme.
The story line in Soul Calibur V, however, is fairly refreshing to the series.
You follow the character Patroklos Alexander as he tries to locate his long lost sister Pyrrha, and eventually the two end up wielding the legendary swords. You fight a very specific cast of characters along the way, seeing as it only revolves around one fourth of the character roster.
One much appreciated change to the story is the way it’s told.
In “Soul Calibur IV,” the story for each individual character was sprawled out in text on the screen in-between fighting sequences.
This made skipping the story very easy, and much of the detail went to waste.
Now, the story is conveyed in the occasional cut scene along with fancy charcoal drawings and a bit of voice acting thrown in.
The story mode itself can be completed in a VERY short amount of time.
So short that it can be done in about two to three hours, but the quality of the story is good compared to the past four games.
Game Specs: The fifth game offers very little in terms of anything terribly new.
The graphics have gotten little to no upgrade at all, and the sound and the music seems repetitive of the previous game.
The fighting itself has gotten a new Soul Gauge enhancement that replaces the hard to pull off Soul Crush.
It allows players to expend half of a gauge to overpower a normal attack, or a full gauge on an over the top Critical Finish.
This does bring some new elements to fighting, and allows players to pull off special moves when they are in a pinch.
The controls are exactly the same, which isn’t a bad thing.
It allows dedicated players to learn combos and techniques, while still letting button mashing new comers occasionally get a win.
The money system has also been completely removed from the equation, as well as stat boosting or reducing items, which is a welcome change.
Instead, you can earn Player Points by playing through the Story, Arcade, or Legendary Souls modes.
The more you play, the more Player Points level you up.
Upon obtaining a level up you can unlock titles for your player license, Character Creation accessories, and other goodies.
Armor and the corresponding Armor Gauge are also missing in action.
Armor is still a crucial aspect, seeing as though if you K.O. your opponents in a certain spot in one of the early matches, you can break off their armor, giving you an advantage.
Game Modes: If you think there would be major differences here, think again.
The game modes in Soul Calibur V are EXACTLY the same as IV, except for the Legendary Souls mode, which is just a challenging arcade mode.
The only noteworthy change to the lineup is the improved Character Creation.
If you liked creating your own characters in the last Soul Calibur, you will love making them in V.
With this mode, you can make fifty original characters from scratch or from templates of existing characters. The more you unlock (and there is A LOT to unlock), the more possibilities there are. Other than these, the online mode has been slightly improved, but nothing to make a fuss about.
Final Say: The Soul Calibur series is fun, and has earned its niche in the fighting game genre.
This brand new title sticks to its roots, but a little too much.
It would have been nice to see some kind of new game mode that would be more than an extra hard Arcade route.
The small changes are appreciated, but besides that, there isn’t much to the game.
Overall, the game is good and will keep you and your friends entertained with its high replay value, but if you’re looking for something innovative or new, you might want to look elsewhere.
It is a good game to rent, not buy.
Eric Jedd can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org