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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After 4 months of play review. Fabulous Game!!!
At first,... I thought, great graphics, and all kinds of stuff. But the truth is, I preferred Soul Calibur 3. I just couldn't jump into this one as easily. The fights felt hard and impossible. The moves were impossible. Then I went online and got my butt kicked (by awesome looking characters thought).

NOW,... 4 months later, somewhere along the line, I got...
Published 15 months ago by Stephen

versus
119 of 123 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solitary Gamers, beware!
I have been a long-time fan of the Soul Calibur series. You can look up my reviews over the years here on Amazon to see my previous comments on the earlier games in the series. I would also like to say beforehand, that I do not play games
online. I am a solitary gamer. I enjoy playing against the CPU. And, I also really enjoy creating my own unique characters...
Published on February 8, 2012 by citan-uzuki


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119 of 123 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solitary Gamers, beware!, February 8, 2012
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Soul Calibur V - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
I have been a long-time fan of the Soul Calibur series. You can look up my reviews over the years here on Amazon to see my previous comments on the earlier games in the series. I would also like to say beforehand, that I do not play games
online. I am a solitary gamer. I enjoy playing against the CPU. And, I also really enjoy creating my own unique characters. Before you read my review, please know that I am biased towards offline, or solitary gaming.

This latest edition of my favorite fighting game franchise was a bit of a let-down for me. There are very few activities for the solitary gamer. It seems just about all of the features of the game are geared towards the online gamer. Character Creation is very well done, though. You have many options to shape the character's physical build, voice, and costume. The additional equipment that you can purchase and download is a nice addition to your wardrobe. This is the best Character Creation out of all the SC games. But the Story Mode is not much to speak of. Unlike previous editions of SC, here you do not get to play the story from each individual character. You only get to play Story Mode as Patroklos and Phyrra. But, what if you do not like their fighting style? What if you don't like Patroklos as a character? Well, you are $h!t out of luck.

I would like to have seen something along the lines of Weapon Master Mode. Another strategy rpg mode, like Chronicles of the Sword, would have been welcomed. Unfortunately, there are none of those. This edition of SC really forgot about the solitary gamer. In short, if you are a solitary gamer, this game is not worth the full price. You will get very little out of it. Wait until the price comes down and then make your purchase.

The graphics are terrific. The battles are faster and more frenetic. The CPU enemies are tougher in comparison to previous editions of the game. All hallmarks of the Soul Calibur franchise. This game really takes advantage of the awesome processing power of the PS3. The graphics, motion, environment, and effects all look better here than they did on Soul Calibur 4.

I am hoping that the lack of offline gameplay can be remedied through downloadable content. Maybe it will be possible to release additional play modes via download. If so, that will solve the biggest problem with Soul Calibur 5.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Soul Still Has a Faint Glow, January 31, 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Soul Calibur V - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
The Good:

+A diverse cast of fighters
+Small tweaks to the gameplay really add something to the battle
+Customizable characters
+Gorgeous game and a great soundtrack
+Intense, fast paced gameplay is the best you're going to find in the series yet

The Bad:

-The story mode is forgettable
-The new characters are fun to play as, but no individual stories or relationships are explored
-It is actually a shame that Soul Calibur V offers the fewest amount of gameplay modes out of any game in the main series. The gameplay is immensely fun but previous games in the series have offered a much more robust single player experience

Soul Calibur has been a modern staple in the fighting game genre since the first game hit the arcade in the late 90's. Showing us interesting characters and creating an exciting fighting system that few games can imitate to this day. The games have always been fun to play because the gameplay has always been expanding. As the fighting genre evolves, however, Soul Calibur can't seem to keep up. Not because it offers something so similar with each new installment, but because it seems to offer less. Soul Calibur V is a good game, but only the die hard Soul Calibur fan is likely to appreciate it for what it is. If you're looking for great gameplay and a lot of fun, Soul Calibur V delivers. But it comes up short in other areas.

In terms of story, Soul Calibur V offers to take its story a bit more seriously than the fourth installment. Unfortunately, much of the story isn't a lot of fun. You'll be controlling Sophithia's son Patroklos. If you opt to play through the story, you're going to have to take time to get acquainted with him because you'll be playing as him a lot. In other instances you'll play as his sister Pyrrha instead. Since it's primarily Patroklos's story it makes sense to play as him, but if you're not experienced with fighting as him (or don't prefer him) the story mode is likely to feel like a chore. That doesn't matter anyway because the story isn't all that exciting. There are set piece battles that have you fighting various characters throughout, but the intermissions in between aren't quite as well presented. There aren't a lot of cutscenes but rather a lot of hand drawn storyboards to present the story... but they're not very detailed. The pacing is even worse as the story moves slightly too fast at parts, with sudden turns and changes without the proper set up or backdrop. You're simply going to find yourself in a lot of instances in which you simply don't care what's going on. It's just all around bad.

The story in Soul Calibur has rarely been as interesting as the relationships between characters, though. Unfortunately Soul Calibur V doesn't always play up to that, either. Most of the characters you remember don't return. Rather characters that were either trained by them... or descendents are here instead. And while some of them are fun to play as, Soul Calibur V does almost nothing to really introduce you to these characters or get you to understand them. The lack of individual stories ends up taking away from a lot of the new characters. They control well in combat, but it's hard not to miss some of the other characters that we've grown familiar with over the years and actually invested in. Here are there are virtually no individual stories to explore.

In this day and age, offering a good single player experience in a fighter is quite important. Soul Calibur V offers the story mode and an Arcade mode, but not much more beyond that. There's a Legendary Souls mode, which unlocks after completing the story where you'll fight some really tough opponents, but it's not very long. It's hard to admit that one might be craving more. This is especially strange because previous Soul Calibur outings have offered up a pretty delightful single player experience. Soul Calibur II had a very expansive (and very fun) weapons master mode. Soul Calibur III had a story mode and chronicles of the sword mode. Soul Calibur IV even had the Tower of Souls, which was more or less a challenge mode in and of itself. It's a shame, then, that Soul Calibur V offers up much less. The Arcade Mode has also been downgraded. There are now only six battles instead of eight. You can, however, choose different paths for a very different experience.

The single player experience isn't much in Soul Calibur V but the strength in the game definitely exists within it's multiplayer. The actual play style has changed up slightly, but it's going to be extremely familiar to fans of the series. There is now a critical meter to pull off critical strikes. It's not likely to be necessary, but it makes for a much better implementation than Soul Calibur IV's Critical Finishes. They can also drastically turn the tide of battle. Battling is more fast paced here than ever before. It's also accessible to newcomers and series veterans alike. Many of the moves can be simple to pull off, but dig deep enough and there's some actual depth here. The only thing that really keeps it down, is that sometimes button mashing will help almost anyone finish a battle. Likewise, in some matches against AI controlled characters you can get them into an endless loop of grabs and throws. Don't think this will take away from the experience. Every character's move list is incredibly diverse. There are simple moves, sure, but every character also has a good set of moves that require a lot of skill and precision to pull off. Especially against other players. It's not just important to know your own movesets, but your opponents as well. Soul Calibur V is incredibly simple to play, but it will take a lot of time and patience to truly master it. Indeed, the story has little to offer, but the gameplay remains a fantastic staple. Enough to keep you coming back over and over again. It's fast paced, has a lot of variety... and at the end of the day it's just fun.

There are around 28 fighters to play as this time around. This is a slightly smaller roster than Soul Calibur IV, but it does cut down on the number of clones you'll find. There are also custom characters that you can create. The customization is quite in-depth because there's a lot you can do to create some very unique characters with various types of armor and clothing. It isn't quite as robust as Soul Calibur IV, however. In Soul Calibur IV the equipment actually impacted stats. It isn't quite the same here. Everything here is an aesthetic choice. And while it robs the game of some strategy, it does mean that you can create some pretty unique (and laughable) creations to battle with.

As mentioned earlier, Soul Calibur V does not bring back several characters. Quite a few series favorites such as Ivy, Siegfriend, Nightmare and Cervantes return (and they're instantly familiar) but even the new characters are likely to feel familiar since they are descendants (or students) of previous characters in the series. Leixia, for instance, is more or less Xianghua and plays very similar to her. Natsu replaces Taki... so on and so forth.

Ever since Soul Calibur II, we've seen cameo appearances in Soul Calibur. Soul Calibur II gave you a different character based on the console you chose (either Heihachi, Link or Spawn) while Soul Calibur IV offered up Darth Vader, Yoda and the Apprentice. Broken Destiny offered PSP players the chance to play as Kratos while Lloyd Irving from Tales of Symphonia popped up in Soul Calibur Legends. The guest character here is Ezio. Of all the characters to make an appearance in Soul Calibur, Ezio is probably the best of the lot. His move set is well defined and he just meshes with the nature of the game in and of itself.

If there's one thing we can be certain about with Soul Calibur it is that the games will ALWAYS look beautiful. Soul Calibur V is no exception. The animations are amazing and fast, the levels are gorgeous with astonishing detail. There isn't a lot that keeps it down. The music is also a lot of fun to listen to and the sound effects are amazing. What is a downer is some of the voice acting. The chit-chat before and after each fight has always been something forgettable in Soul Calibur, and those familiar with the series aren't likely to pay much attention, but rather jump into the fighting.

The good news is that the gameplay alone saves Soul Calibur V. When you battle with friends, especially, the game is immensely fun. From a multiplayer standpoint, Soul Calibur V certainly shines as the brightest out of the entire series. With the diverse set of moves that any character can pull off as well as the slight addition of Critical Edge strikes, Soul Calibur V can easily keep you entertained when you have someone to play with. Thanks to the fast pacing of the matches and the intensity of the battles you can happily enjoy Soul Calibur V in spite of the fact that the story in and of itself is completely forgettable and that there aren't nearly as many gameplay modes as previous entries in the series. Given the depth of the gameplay you're still likely to have a lot of fun with it. If you're a fan of Soul Calibur you'll find that in terms of gameplay the soul still burns.
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141 of 176 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely shameful cash-in, February 1, 2012
By 
M. Kaplan (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Soul Calibur V - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
I could probably spend all day writing an article about why this game is a complete waste of time for fans of the series, but instead I'll opt to list my biggest problems:

1. As everyone else, from gaming site reviewers to customers here, has already noted, the story mode is a joke. Literally. You will laugh at the unintentionally awful "dramatic" lines. It takes about 90 minutes to complete, there's ONE ending, none of it is interesting or challenging, and you only get to play three characters (with some minor move variations). Why is this so bad? Might have something to do with the fact that the devs OUTSOURCED the story mode to another company, one that decided to craft what is arguably the first coherent story found in a Soul Calibur game but one that also lacks any semblance of joy. It is filled with anime cliches, an unlikable hero, terrible writing, mostly static cutscenes, and three of the less fun-to-play characters (although that's obviously a matter of opinion). On the other hand, you can rack up some quick and dirty trophies. What I wouldn't give for a return to challenge modes of Soul Calibur or SCIV instead of this crapola. Or, heck, Tekken 6's story mode was terrible but at least it was substantial and let you unlock each character's CG ending.

2. The arcade mode is now a time trial mode and nothing else. That's right, gone is the 15-year legacy of fun little stories for each character, the in-engine endings of Soul Blade and Soul Calibur IV, or even the lame written endings of Soul Calibur 1 and 2. You get six stages, timed, and that's it. Only one path is ranked and you can change the difficulty from a lamentably easy "normal" to a ball-burstingly frustrating "hard."

Look, it's not like the Soul Calibur series was ever known for its narrative or incredible variety of modes, but there's something to be said for game developers who don't just phone it in while ignoring fans of single-player modes. The complete lack of attention paid to single player was excusable for Broken Destiny on the PSP because it was a portable version (and quite frankly, it was amazing that they could port SC4 to the PSP, so we were thankful and overlooked the blemishes), but in the era of Mortal Kombat's lengthy story mode, KOF XIII, or the Blazblue games, this is completely inexcusable. There's essentially only half of a great game in your $60 disc.

3. The new characters are terrible additions. Ezio is passable, and Z.W.E.I. is... well... interesting (he summons some kind of bizarre wolf-orb-thing). The rest are padding. Most are copies or riffs of older characters who have been excised from the fifth entry.

4. This one is perhaps the most subjective problem listed here, but I can't stand the Street Fighter-izing of this game. Soul Calibur's new interpretation of SFIV's "ultras" feel way too easy and cheap and they give the game a "LEARN TO PUT THESE INTO YOUR COMBOS OR ELSE!!!" tourney vibe that's somehow out of character with what you'd expect of a Soul Calibur game. Some may dig this, some will just think it's a new layer of nuance added to the versus matches, but I didn't appreciate what felt like an egregious ripoff of a game that's practically in a different fighting sub-genre.

Positives? It's marginally better-looking than SC4, there are difficult challenges available (mainly through difficulty choices and the unlockable Legendary Soul mode) that may keep you interested, the music is nice, and at its core, it's still Soul Calibur. Oh, and the character creation is a little more usable this time.

Only buy this if you a.) have too much money sitting around and absolutely MUST have every triple-A release before it gets discounted, or b.) are such a diehard player of Soul Calibur's versus mode that you just can't stand to pass up the latest entry for fear that your friends will make fun of you. Otherwise, in no way is this blatant cash-in and middle finger to fans of the series worth $60.

If you're like me, you'll want to "critical edge" Namco right in the jaw after playing this game.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Preying on innocent unsuspecting wallets, April 16, 2012
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Soul Calibur V - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
I bought the game a week ago and think it's horrible. After playing a number of fighting games since around 1990, this ranks up there as one of the worst experiences I've had from the genre. I honestly believe they should feel ashamed to release this game just to prey on fans for a quick buck. Given my love for the franchise and after seeing this abomination I have to use a wall of words to express my hate for it.

The game does have outstanding graphics, music, online matches, and a good create a character mode... and that's about the only good parts I took away from it.

The fighting engine isn't terrible, but it's most definitely not good either. I'm okay with them removing a bunch of moves since it makes it easier to balance around as well as easier to pick up and play, no real issues there. The use of a super meter was okay since it fills pretty slowly so character's aren't throwing out dozens of supers in a match like some other games and it's much more practical than those critical finish things. The problem I have with it is change to a more offensive game play the way they did it. When a enemy can do a unblockable combo that takes half (or more) of your life if you do not defend or dodge the first attack, and in a little longer than the time it takes to sneeze is not good game play to me. With seemingly less health (since it's not rare to lose 20% from a single attack) and attacks being dealt even faster, the change to guard impacts just makes it even more annoying. I'm sure there are those who like their matches to be nothing but offense and, win or lose, over with in 15 seconds but not me. So all in all, the fighting engine is passable, but not anything for them to really brag about in my opinion.

So good eye candy and okay fighting engine aside, what else was there to this game I just paid $60 for? Absolutely nothing else essentially, and that's what urks me to no end.

- The intro cut scene wasn't impressive at all. Just Siggy and Nightmare... again. The PS1 intro from Soul Edge was by far more entertaining.
- They say the game is 17 years later and a bunch of character's have moved on, which is all fine and well, but they do not respectively cover any of this. Thankfully I bought the Collectors Edition so I at least got some character snippets from the art book about this new cast, but it's awful to not even include anything in the printed instruction manual about these new people. So without even having the game on for 30 minutes my expectations already had lowered. It's had a few moment like, "Oh hey! Lizard Man has wings now and Taki is... hey... where is Taki? Who are all these people!?"
- Arcade mode should have been called Time Attack since that's all it is. I know they were under constraints, but not having even a still image with text at any point specific to that character as a reward is just sad. Even TMNT Tournament Fighters in like 1994 on NES with less than 200KB file size managed to give some kind of ending. Some may believe you don't buy a fighting game for the stories, but I feel that if I spend $60 for a game of any genre I should get my money's worth. So if they aren't going to include stories or any kind of point for these people being here, they might as well just name them "Sword Guy, Sword and Shield Girl, Hammer Dude, Really Big Sword Guy, etc". I'm sure there's a number of artists on the web who would have done the scenes for free if they knew this was going to happen.
- The little tale told in story mode was okay considering it's a fighting game, but considering all the other character's who are left out of it given all the apparent stuff that's happened in 17 years is still inadequate.
- The quick battle thing is just kinda there, nothing impressive really.
- The lack of all the other modes that had become known over the years. Given inflation and all to, receive less product for the equivalent amount of cash is dirty.
- Even though I haven't bothered to price it out, I'm fairly sure there's already over $20 in DLC for this, which considering they've already omitted so much on initial release is a double slap in the face.

So ultimately I can't fathom how they can stick a $60 price tag on this unfinished... thing, maybe $30 or even $40, but definitely not $60. There's just no justifying it to me, even for a fighting game enthusiast. I'm much more happy with Skullgirls in virtually every aspect for a quarter of the price of this (and the full game isn't even unlocked yet).

I could (and want) to rant a good chunk more because of how I hated what they did to one of my favorite series after buying and playing this, but I think the wall of words up there is pretty good.

--- Edit ---
Actually, to just go ahead and complete the wall of words...
- In actual combat, you have slightly better odds of using a Just Guard than being struck by lightning. Seems like they were aiming for something more 'skillful' by requiring god like timing, but considering if you try it and fail and they open up a combo on you for your mistake it's very likely to cost you the match. From what I can see, it's just not worth the risk to even bother attempting this unless you do have said god like timing which I'm sure the vast majority out there don't. Which then raises the question of why even bother adding it to the game if you might pull it off once in a 100 matches.
- The presentation of the menus are bare bones. It's like a throwback in time to the PS1 age all over again with just basic little doodles on the character select screen and text on bars. It just adds to the overall rush job sensation they did on it.
- Though they have toned down the amount of cheese moves you run into, they still got some in there.
- The outright deletion of several fighting styles like Talim and Zas I'm sure has burnt a few people out there.
- For the multi player versus modes, there's just nothing beyond basic straight forward one on one combat. Nothing to add some spice to the mix like tag team or team battles.

Overall it's just very disappointing to see this game released like this. The game's not bad for a one on one match here and there, but not any moreso than a match in BlazBlue or Street Fighter. It's just if you take a okay game engine and strip everything else but the one on one combat out of it and release it for $60, it's just simply not good.

I'm sure the new director for the series did the best with the time and money that was allotted to the project. I have no doubt that given the proper time and resources they would have made a outstanding game that would have addressed like 99% of peoples complaints you see in these reviews. I imagine that this sad rush job release is thanks to some corporate decision to hurry the project along and get the game out before a competitor's or to try and have it at a competition somewhere. Unfortunately by doing so they released a unpolished game that is only decent in the most basic function of a fighting game. When there are several other fighting games out there with good one on one fighting but also have more, including it's predecessor, it just doesn't warrant getting this. The only two things stopping me from trading it in are that I think it looks good on my shelf with the other games from the series and I have a glimmer of hope that they'll release a "FREE" update to add the other $30 of expected content I feel I paid for.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less of the Same, February 2, 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Soul Calibur V - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
Usually when a sequel comes out in a long-lasting series like Soul Calibur, you expect MORE of the same. Soul Calibur V apparently decided LESS = MORE ! They were wrong.

Packaging:
Firstly, let's start with the packaging - I was excited to get the game (collectors edition). The box it came in is actually pretty cool (looks like a book) with a secret stash in the middle where the game, cd, and art book lies. A+ for packaging.

Story Mode:
- Cut Scenes - I saw someone else comment about how terrible the cut scenes are because they are storyboard style. I scoffed to myself and thought "it's probably just a style thing, I'm sure I'll be fine with it". Upon seeing the cut scenes, I decided no..... it's not just a style, it's pure laziness. I am near positive they just took the actual story boards, put them onto a parchment texture, and then added voice overs. There's no way they did much more than that. There was so little effort put into the cut scenes that it almost offended me. D- for cut-scenes

- Story - The story overall is pretty simple. The characters don't really "grow" much throughout the short-lived storyline and you don't get to play a lot of them (3 overall). The story itself is about a young man who is looking for his sister who was lost/kidnapped by the same one who killed his mother. I liked the idea of fighting 'diseased' type people, but they didn't flush it out enough and the battles are 1v3, but one-at-a-time. If it was a 1v3 battle, I think it would be both more challenging and more entertaining. As it was, the battles were simple, straightforward, and not too thrilling. At best it gets you used to a few of the new characters (even though they're quite similar to previous ones) and at worst it's just a 2 hr trophy grab session. B- for story

Online Mode:
Ranked - The locations let you choose between Asia, North and South America, Europe, and Other. I sat trying to do each one for 10 min before I gave up on this. I'll try again on the weekend, but I've found Street Fighter matched at 3 am easier than I found a ranked match at 8 pm day after launch. That's not a great sign. Also, while I understand this is a personal thing, I hate when games have online wins as a trophy... If no one is online to play with you, you don't even have the OPTION of getting that trophy :( - No rating for ranked... can't join one yet

Lobbies - There's an arena/lobby setup where you can chat / challenge / tourney / or random match someone. If the interface and chat functions were more intuitive and open, I think it could be good, but as it is, it's not very user friendly and is just an easier way to find an actual game to play - B- for lobbies

Character Creation:
Overall the options have grown, but customization is purely in the add-ons now (IMO). The body types don't change much, the facial structures are very similar, the hairs are the same as previous versions, and the details are not as focused on. I think the focus was ridiculous costumes more for entertainment than for making legitimately bad4ss looking characters. I haven't noticed a need to unlock a whole of them, so I'm not sure if they're going to just do a massive DLC option later, but as it is I feel it's a small selection with limited actual character customization. C- for character creation

Music:
So far the music has been great. It's kind of your normal Soul Calibur flare but seems like they put more time into the composition of it. Reminds me of if like Hanszimmer did a soundtrack for a medieval movie. B+ for music

Extras:
There's not a whole lot outside of the few modes (Story, online, arcade) that seem to offer a very extended play. I don't need the ridiculously challenging street fighter 4 style extras, but at least include something more than the standard 3 modes. D for extras

Overall:
I'd give the game a C+ overall, it does provide some new characters and better online interaction, but the weak story and gameplay drag it down quite a bit. It's also terrible when you keep some of the lesser cared about characters (lizard for example) but get rid of someone like Taki for 'age'? and yet Ivy is there and looks the same? sighhhh, lots of bad decisions ruined what could've been a strong game in a long line of good Soul games.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What Happened?, February 17, 2012
By 
Lee B. (United States) - See all my reviews
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Soul Calibur V - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
Coworker in Electronics tried to warn me about this one. "SC IV is better!", he said. "Dude, I don't care!", I said. He was right, and as always, I never listen. I was so desperate for a new SC, I figured, even if it was "more of the same", it would just be MORE of the same great stuff. It's not. "The old" is dead, and "the new" never shows its face. This is the most bare-bones release of a fighting game ever put to Blu-ray Disc. It's like an Oreo without the cream. It has the skeletal build of a demo, which leaves you thinking, "Great, I can't wait for the finished version!" No, what you see is what you get. Don't go thinking you'll just unlock the rest. As for the cast's new editions, their near-total exclusion from Story Mode/lack of an arcade ending/any lasting significance to the plot line whatsoever, makes it impossible to develop any sort of affinity for them, making the absence of old fan-favorites seem all the more disappointing. The character roster's been halved, 80% of Modes have been cut, weapons/costumes are missing, the story is TOTAL, rage-inducing nonsense, and the game just feels anemic. We had it better in '99. 7 hours with this game, and I went back to the original SC on DREAMCAST, just to remind myself of what once was. As an online-capable/2P fighting game, it functions. Merely FUNCTIONS. However, this is Soul Calibur, which prides itself on raising the standard. How could this even happen?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Tremendous Disappointment All Around., May 15, 2012
By 
Michael Pappalardo (Ronkonkoma, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Soul Calibur V - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
Hard to beleive we've hit the number Five when it comes to the Soul Calibur series...though technically it is the 6th game in the series. Funny how it clearly shows that not everything will age gracefully...Soul Calibur 5 is easily one of the most dreadfully disappointing releases in years.

I have fond, wonderful memories of firing up Soul Blade (or Soul Edge) on my Playstation back in 1996. It immediately impressed me with its stunning visuals, epic weapon-based combat and interesting characters...and on top of it all, it had individual story modes for each character where you could collect weapons for use in all game modes. How cool was that? It was a model that very few fighting games would ever adopt. When Soul Calibur was released a few years later in arcades, it would become one of the greatest home console releases ever with a quality of animation and gameplay that still has yet to be replicated...and on the ill-fated Dreamcast to boot (a system way ahead of its time). Sadly, the deterioration of quality rings true for the series' own offspring as the years go by.

I grimaced when later incarnations of the series introduced out-of-place, super-exaggerated anime style characters (Tira). I cringed when Lucas got his Star Wars in my Soul Calibur. But Soul Calibur 5 proves to be the ultimate disappointment...a crowning failure for the series as a whole.

Story:
...or lack thereof. Soul Calibur features a Story Mode, a method of gameplay that builds up a character or two, defining their reason for fighting and taking the player through a journey that spans Europe and Asia. You follow irritating and reprehensible Patrokolos, son of Sophitia who is the new "chosen one" to wield Soul Calibur. He seeks to find his sister, Pyrrha, who evidently was kidnapped 17 years earlier...?

The story makes little sense, and to make matters worse...it is told through frame-by-frame concept art drawings with atrocious dialog. Sure, there's some nicely animated cut scenes, but the majority of the story is represented by sepia colored rough drawings. Ultimately...very lazy. Especially when other releases such as Mortal Kombat redefined story telling in the fighter genre with it's amazing 2011 reboot.

Ultimately you mix up play between Patrokolos and Pyrrha. Both characters remain largely unlikeable throughout the majority of the game as you are forced to play them.

Gameplay:

Little has changed. Only a few of the classic characters return, and those that do not are, again, represented by younger "apprentice" types who are for the most part unlikeable. However, their reasons for being in the game are completely unexplained, as are the reasons for the returning characters since there is NO STORY for them! Arcade mode consists of 6 battles that reveal no story or cutscenes...they're simply "beat your best time" battle treadmills.

Notable changes include the revamping of Critical Edge - no longer a Death Move or "Fatality" for characters, they exist now as super moves which can considerably deplete an opponent's lifebar (sometimes by up to 40%).

AI seems completely dumbed down...for years Soul Calibur has been accused of being a mindless button masher by its critics, and I feel that it now lives up to that previously unfair assessment. AI characters will repeat the same moves over and over, "cheaply" abusing moves that can exploit non-stop juggles. The only modicum of intelligence I've seen from the AI thus far is the fact that it makes a conscious effort to steer clear of a ring out loss, and on the flip side, tries desperately to "ring out" the player at all times. I've even seen the AI miraculously change the direction of its fall as it went over the side, landing back ontot he arena floor. Hmmm...

Modes:

Be warned - this is NOT meant to be a Single Player game at all. Where previous iterations of Soul Calibur always included extensive gameplay modes to keep players enticed, Namco appears to have adopted the Electronic Arts mantra of "Multiplayer Gaming is the Only Way of Gaming" and completely eliminated all regular Single Player modes in favor of emphasizing online play. Aside from Story Mode, Single Player modes only include Arcade, a harder version of Arcade, and Vs. mode where you can fight against various created characters designed by players around the world. Admittedly, that's the most intriguing aspect. Otherwise, the game isn't much of a gameplay experience unless you prefer online fighting.

I don't much care for competetive online play, but from what I've seen of SCV's online, it's pretty much the same as in previous iterations. Expect considerable latency for even the slightest dip in your signal. Otherwise, that's it.

Bells and Whistles:

Nothing to write home about. The soundtrack to the Soul Calibur series has not been impressive since the first Soul Calibur. Character voices are typical anime style exaggerations...either sickeningly irritating or over-the-top macho. The only VA I liked was Siegfried and Nightmare.

Extras:

As always, Character Creation is intriguing, and in the case of SCV, probably the ONLY feature worth keeping the game for. The character creation mode is pretty in-depth but you are still subject to severe limitations (especially when designing new looks for existing characters). You also have virtually nothing to work with, forcing you to play through the lacking single player modes, or online modes to "level up" your player profile which may unlock more items.

OVerall:

A tremendous disappointment. Soul Calibur was once my favorite fighting game series, but it has fallen to the wayside since Soul Calibur 2, and even with new features being released with each new game, Soul Calibur continues to dig it's own grave. Sadly, Soul Calibur V represents the coffin of that dug grave.

Pros:

- Robust Character Creation mode
- Gorgeous Visuals

Cons:
- Abysmal, lazy story mode with annoying, unlikeable characters
- Lack of any sort of story beyond Story Mode - no endings or background for ANY character...who the hell are these guys?
- Simplistic, almost dumb AI that repeatedly abuses the same moves
- Lack of gameplay modes
- Forgettable and bland soundtrack
- Atrocious voice acting
- Clearly not meant for a single player experience

Lifespan/Replay Value: Lowest possible
Single Player: 3 - 8 hours
Multiplayer: 1 - 2 weeks.
Most Valuable Mode: Character Creation

In the end, Soul Calibur V is an example of a series that has run its course. It either needs to be put to rest forever, or rebooted in such a way that it warrants a release of another game bearing that title. I've personally never been so turned off by a Soul Calibur game, but this is one of the most disappointing releases in years.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun game if you want to play online..., February 2, 2012
By 
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Soul Calibur V - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
I must say that I am shocked to see so many 1 star reviews of this game. Yes the story mode is way too short, but let's get past that for a second shall we? This is a fun game! Don't get me wrong...it's no Mortal Kombat. There are no concept art unlockables, no crazy combat modes, no cinematic driven story, but it does manage to get a few things right.

1. The fighting is smooth and fluid.
2. Online play is fun and the lobby is great! You can watch matches prior to fighting opponents.
3. The creation mode is very deep and you can create virtually anything you can imagine.
4. Some interesting new characters.

However, there are also things that the game doesn't get right.

1. Virtually no meaningful unlockable content.
2. Story mode is way too short and overall pretty boring. In the 1 1/2 hrs. of play time, they used about 10 minutes of cinematics tops.
3. Lack of variety of offline modes.
4. Game gets very boring if you just play offline against A.I.

Overall, if you want to play this game online against real players around the world, it is a good purchase. However, if you are looking for something to play around the house offline, and don't plan on playing against friends, etc. I would not recommend buying this game. Quite a disappointing offering from Namco overall, but they were just jumping on the bandwagon after the success that Capcom had with SFIV.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars severely lacking, February 8, 2012
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Soul Calibur V - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
As other reviews have stated, this game is severely lacking in the offline department. There is nothing aside from 3 characters that explains why any of the other characters exist, what their motivations are, etc. Its just a bare bones fighting game, that's all it is now. Sadly it does not continue the what made previous entries so special. Move along casual gamers, nothing to see here.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth the Money..., December 10, 2013
This review is from: Soul Calibur V - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
I have been playing the Soul Calibur games for awhile now. I got this game for Christmas and was expecting it to be great, much like the previous ones. I am not sure who was put on the game production, but they did a horrible job. I am a solo player that likes to play CPU's, so my review will be biased in light of that. I'll start on the positives though

PROS
1) The graphics are great!
2) There are new characters
3) The customization of characters has been improved
4) Online play is heavily emphasized(if you're into that)

CONS
1) The main story line is laughable and the main character is not likeable, even more so than any prior SC game.

2) The ability to play through the main story line with all the characters is no longer available.

3) There are only about half of the veterans returning.
Non-returning characters include: Talim, Xianghua, Yun-Seong, Amy, Cassandra, Sophitia, Setsuka, and several others

4) There is not an arcade mode(unless you can unlock it via downloadable content)

5) To play anything but the main story line, or 2player fights continuously, you have to play online. So for those of you who like to fight against CPUs, you can't unless it's in story mode.

6) The new characters have the same fighting styles as the non-returning characters, for the most part, and they try to connect them to those characters rather unsuccessfully. The only exception is Pyrrha and Patroklos who are Sophitia's children and Cassandra is their aunt.

7) Lastly, once again it may be able to be unlocked through downloadable content, but there is no gallery about the characters to see how they all fit together. For instance, who are Leixia and Xiba in relation to Kilik and Xianghua? It's a little thing, but I like seeing how characters are related to one another and knowing what side they are on in the SC battle.
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Soul Calibur V - Playstation 3
Soul Calibur V - Playstation 3 by Namco (PlayStation 3)
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