3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2008
I'm well aware that hardcore Soul Calibur fans will read my title and say, "Huh? Nothing really compares to the original Soul Calibur!" But in all honesty, I feel the gameplay is smooth and balanced, easy for both advanced players and novices alike to enjoy.
What will hit your eyes first are the excellent graphics and breathtaking detail. Character models are upgraded to add more facial expressions, a very welcome addition, considering how Soul Calibur III had almost none. There is a much higher level of detail in the characters' outfits, which are all quite good. You can actually see scars on Mitsurugi's skin. Of course, depending on your preferences, you may or may not appreciate the general increase in bust size and scanty clothing amongst the female characters.
Each character has his/her own story, and you can play as them in the Story Mode, which starts off with a few paragraphs of that character's story before pitting you against five levels of fighting foes. There's a difficulty setting for this mode, so you can choose either "Normal" or "Hard." In both cases, each progressive level is increasingly hard, and at the end, there is a short ending scene. Here, the graphics are absolutely stunning. The only thing that could have been improved was the lip movement. It looks like the makers didn't feel like fitting the English words to the mouths, which were originally designed for Japanese words. The voice acting is so-so and can be switched to Japanese if you find English too painful to listen to. Yet compared to Soul Calibur III, the ending scenes have improved by far, although their is no "interaction" or opportunity for an alternate ending. However, the mode has become shorter since the last game, maybe a little too short.
The next single-player mode is Tower of Lost Souls. You "ascend" the tower, fighting batches of levels at a time. You'll fight any number of levels in a batch (it varies), and while you're in that same "batch," you have to make sure you don't lose too much health, since it won't be replenished between levels. You get to choose a team of characters to use (the number of characters varies), or just one character, depending on the level. As you ascend the tower, the levels will get harder. You will also have the opportunity to unlock items for the Character Creation Mode. Tower of Lost Souls feels like a substitute for the traditional Survival Mode, which is no longer in the game. For some, that can be a sad thing, but I personally don't feel like it's much of a loss. Your own preferences decide whether or not it's bad, so I'll let you decide if it's a plus or minus.
Now, one of the most interesting modes in the game is the Character Creation Mode. You can use the fighting style of any main Soul Calibur character, and once again, the level of detail is extremely impressive. You can change the character's physique (muscularity and size). You can't make any characters that are very fat. They're all pretty fit, no matter what size or muscularity level you choose. There are several voice options, and you can change the pitch to whichever way you see fit. The color options are very extensive as well (a full palette with nine degrees of brightness). With this mode, you can also create new outfits for the main characters (but that is all you can do.. no physique, skin, or eye color changes). There are fifty slots total for all creations, including those custom outfits for the main characters.
There are also several extra features that give more depth to the gameplay. Different pieces of clothing on a created character or edited main character will change "attack," "defense," or "health" stats of that character. Skills can be attached to different weapons, depending on the amount of skill points a character has received (and that is done by playing more with that character's style). The Soul Gauge is also new. If you block your opponent too much and attack too little, the gauge will decrease until your health bar flashes red, giving your opponent a chance to perform a Critical Finish, which is a special, fancy attack that instantly ends the match. It doesn't happen too frequently while playing against friends or in single-player modes (besides training), so luckily, no one can abuse it.
Another fun feature: your armor breaks! If you get hit enough (Hi, Mid, or Low), then pieces of your outfit will break off, making you more vulnerable to damage. It's fun to watch it happen. The only danger is that your created characters' pieces will be destroyed entirely. So, for example, if you have a character wearing pants, instead of simply ripping, the entire pair of pants will come off, leaving that character in just underwear (I guess that's not a danger for some).
If the game falls anywhere, it's online play. There's some lag, so quick moves like guard impacts are more of a liability than an asset. And the downloadable content is just a way to squeeze more money out of your pockets. Get it if you like, but Namco Bandai could have easily spared you the trouble by leaving it on the game disk for free.
Oh yeah.. and there are bonus characters. Darth Vader and the Apprentice are entertaining additions to the game. There's even a battle stage styled after Star Wars. I found the imbalance between the two characters shocking. The Apprentice is fast, has killer combos, and is quite.. cheap. Vader is slow, but powerful and more balanced. You can't give either of their weapons to created characters or change their outfits, so they remain as unique bonuses. The other bonus characters aren't worth mentioning. They're a useless addition.
And lastly, the music is amazing. It's dramatic, well-suited to each battle stage, and gets you in the mood to fight.
Just for the sake of it, here are my stats:
Sound: 8/10 (This includes voice acting)
Gameplay: 10/10 (Everybody's balanced)
Fun: 10/10 (Versus mode with friends and character creation are so good)
Replay Value: 9/10
If you're a hardcore Soul Calibur fan, you absolutely must buy this. If you skeptical about it because it may not satisfy you as much as the first Soul Calibur, rent it. Either way, this game deserves a look. I can't find many bad things to say about it. Any criticism is pretty small, and there are no ridiculously bad flaws.
I have to say, in my own personal opinion, that this is the best fighting game I have ever played.
on August 27, 2008
It has been a couple of weeks since the release of soul calibur iv. Fans of the series and noobs to the series have come in line to pick up this amazing fighter by Namco. This franchise has been successful in its previous installments especially Soul Calibur II.
Basically, those of you who are into fighting games should know that this is a 3D-weapon based fighting game. They have everything from Tonfas, Daggers, Samurai swords, Axes, spears, extra large two-handed swords and much more.
This latest installment of the series is delivers high and intense action that will have you play hours and hours with your friends or take it online for more challenges, where people can challenge anyone around the world, and you never know; you just might fight one of the developers and end up beating them.
There are a few modes; story mode, arcade, verses, training, character creation and tower of lost souls.
story mode takes you through the story of the character picked with only one major cut-scene that deals with the character and his/her story. There is arcade mode that features 8 continuous matches against opponents. verses is a one on one with a friend and there are two types of verses mode regular and special. special is with the created characters that have been customized and made in character creation mode. training mode allows you practice and tone your skills in soul calibur iv.
character creation is used for of course as the name implies to create a character with the standard character's fighting styles, each equipment has status effects to it, such as healing, immune to ring outs, speed up character, strength and defense enhancements and much more. Finally, the tower of lost souls makes you ascend or descend and each floor has special requirements that need to be met to clear the floor.
The music in the game fits everything perfectly with the extra starwars character (the starwars battle stage) added to the game, for the PS3 Darth Vader and the Apprentice, and the XBOX 360 gets Yoda and the Apprentice.
To bring everything to a conclusion, soul calibur iv is an amazing game, awesome selection of characters with different fighting styles and different speeds and strengths. If you are a fighting game fan then this is a fighting game that you must pick up. So let the SOUL KEEP BURNING AND FIGHT ON SOUL FANS.
on September 4, 2008
WOW! I'm so glad they did a good job on this game, because I love the series and was waiting for it to come to the Playstation 3 console.
The graphics and sound are beautifully rendered. Everything comes together wonderfully to create the story.. the only thing I don't care for is that 'narrator bit' at the beginning of every match.. that gets old..
The controls are great. Responsive, and with practice the combos are great. Though it takes some work in this series to mesh the right moves together. It's not as easy to button mash in Soul Calibar as in other games, because not ending the right combos together leaves a pause where you are open to attack.
Fighting games are notorious for short play, but with all the extra features in this game you should still have plenty to do. Their real value is in multi-player so if you are a loner it *may not* (Unless you play online!) be the best choice for you. But if you have room mates .. buy extra controllers. : )
People who don't have all day to play games will enjoy it, because rounds are short and can be played in the 5 minutes or so before you run out the door to a meeting, dinner, ect.
The character creator is rich, and full of posibilites. If you don't think so.. try looking around the internet. There are some contests going on with people making some awesome characters! The only stellar improvement to this feature would be to let people download each other's fighters over the network.
There's plenty of costumes, characters, images, ect. to unlock in story mode too, and the guest character is awesome by the way! ; )