Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Tale of Souls Eternally Retold.

Soul Calibur 4 is finally upon us. It's a exciting thing considering we don't get much quality fighters anymore. Soul Calibur 4 is probably one of the best fighters this generation and easily the best in the series. However that doesn't mean its perfect in fact it is far from such.

First off the game is gorgeous easily one of the best looking fighters out there. Environments are indeed destructible however you may not really notice as you wont see it all that often. Armor and equipment can be destroyed this time around which is nice. Some Environments are beautiful and really show off what the engine can do however the vast majority of the areas are dark dank cave or castle like areas that don't really show off much. The fighting animation is also top notch.

Now when it comes to balance well.... Soul Calibur has never been a series to concerned with balance. Yoda on the Xbox 360 version of the game proves this. Yoda is straight up broken. Far to many attacks miss him because of his height and he seems to be immune to throws. Vader is better balanced however if someone can learn how to use his force powers well enough he too is broken. Many of the characters have a few attacks that can be spammed over and over to win with very few chances to stop the chain and mount a counter attack. However the AI in the game doesn't do this and you will only have to worry about friends and people online doing this.

Which brings me to the online mode. Soul Calibur online is a very mixed bag. Often there are mass amounts of lag that will screw with your timing preventing you from playing properly. When the lag isn't there you will most likely be facing off against one of the aforementioned spammers which will quickly become annoying. However when these problems don't appear playing online is incredibly fun. It's great fun to show off characters you have made against others online and it's always entertaining to see what others have made and their reactions to your creations. Which brings me to the best thing about Soul Calibur 4.

Create a Soul mode. This is a mode that allows you to create a character which considering how many characters are already in the game is impressive. You start off with a decent amount of gear and will gain more by unlocking Honors(PS3) or Achievements(360) or by earning the gear piece by piece in the tower of souls. The sad thing is that the Create a soul mode could be alot deeper and I'm sure it will be as more and more DLC becomes available but it's sad it wasn't there from the very start. Also something to note that I found a little odd is that Male characters are far more customizable then female characters. Male characters have more gear to choose from as well as more faces which I found a bit odd. That being said Create a soul mode is still the best thing Soul Calibur 4 has going for it.

I'll Also give a quick mention of the guest characters. You all already know about Vader and Yoda. However there are a few characters designed by famous manga artists in the game as well. They look great and each of them has a good back story. What is sad though is that they are all just pallet swaps of other characters already in the game for example Shura = Cervantes. It's sad because when Namco made their own character they made a new fighting style I'm of course speaking of Hilde who is the only new character that has her own new style of fighting. It's disappointing yet they are still welcome additions to the game.

So all in all Soul Calibur 4 is either a love it or hate it affair. I would suggest giving the game a rent to see how you like it and if you do buy all means buy it. I'm sure the game will receive plenty of DLC in the future. The question of if that content will be worth paying for is debatable.

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