Customer Review

143 of 178 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely shameful cash-in, February 1, 2012
= 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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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 1, 2012 9:56:38 AM PST
what did you think of Viola?. other her and Z.W.E.I I didn't think any of the new characters did anything that interesting.

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 2:17:27 PM PST
Madadh says:
I couldn't agree more. I wrote a review during a study break after getting about 4 hours with the game on release day, and it took less than 15 minutes for Fanboys to assault me... I digress, I agree with everything you said, but you forgot to mention that the AI is significantly "cheaper" now than it has been in the past thanks in no small part to these "critical edge" moves, which are in and off themselves faulty because they are TOTALLY imbalanced. Some characters do half a life bar worth of damage, others... maybe a seventh.

Anyways, honest review, wish I'd read it before I bought the ****ing game.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2012 5:17:15 PM PST
don't worry about getting trolled. you wrote your review and gave your sincere opinion. if they don't like it then oh well. live goes on. don't take it personal

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 6:59:37 PM PST
Luffy says:
thanks for the review dude. made me decide to pass up on this one until price goes way down. I'm guessing it will go down in a few weeks the way it's getting bad reviews.

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 11:29:38 PM PST
Aurora. R says:
Normally I don't expect fighters to have a good story however you make an excellent point the new generation of fighters with decent story modes. Times change and the bar gets raised. Too back SC5 seems like a rushed game.

Posted on Feb 2, 2012 2:03:44 AM PST
Bera says:
Thank you for the honest review. When you mentioned it feeling like SFIV. That comment just made me want to pass up on the more so then anything else. because its now a SFIV clone as far as game play goes.

Posted on Feb 2, 2012 7:21:46 PM PST
AriesSiren says:
after my 3/5 review i went back to play it again, to see if i wasnt getting it, and i realized Ishould have been even more critical because i was right. its the biggest betrayal from a developer to a soul cal fan/customer. i grew to hate it even more. the whole dynamic has changed in the game without the guard impact. your punished for everything you do in the game. armor breaks, impacts reduce meter, combos have been heavily scaled back to just 2-5 hits unless you use the brave edge which SEVERLY has damage scale if used in a combo. use it alone, massive damage, use it in a combo, minimal damage. the game is so broken is so many ways you can tell it was rushed. its like hey lets try to make it more accessible but made just guard IMPOSSIBLE to pull off. i think they were high when they decided this. bottom line is your review is honest and true. i ended up selling the game already and highly advise longtime fans to rent first or just stay away. its that different and that broken

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 10:28:03 PM PST
D. Yang says:
About Guard Impact. It was also almost never used in high level play because of how unsafe it was and the fact that they can just impact back if you try to hit them after. It only helped to enforce the fact that the games were complete turtle fests and that playing in a very boring fashion is the best way. This made the game extremely boring and dull to watch.

This game is the most combo heavy SoulCalibur game in the series, if that says anything about your combo statement. Before, a combo that went on for 5 different moves was already rather long.

They added just guard into the game as a way to compensate for Guard Impacts costing meter and actually being more useful. It was never meant for low level play. Making a game more accessible doesn't mean everything in it has to be so that you can roll your face on a controller and do stuff.

This game was made to focus more of competitive players. Keep that in mind before you say stuff. Especially when it is wrong.

Posted on Feb 3, 2012 2:27:05 PM PST
Thanks man you just saved me $60

Posted on Feb 4, 2012 9:25:31 AM PST
I really wish I read this review before I shelled out the 60 bucks for it. I figured, hey, I played the others and dug'em, maybe this one will be as interesting. Boy, was I wrong! In my humble opinion, this series should have ended with the forth installment.
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