Rich Lanci | Staff Writer
While Soul Calibur may not be the most popular fighting game, it’s still always considered great for its consistency. The fourth Soul Calibur, while still considered fun, felt a little lacking compared to the others. Has the Fifth game fixed the wrongs of the previous game? Overall, I’d say yes. However, it has sadly fallen back in some areas.
First are the plot and the story mode. The game takes place 17 years after the events of Soul Calibur IV. The two main characters are Patroklos and Pyrrha, the children of one of the main characters from previous games, Sophitia. Patroklos fights to search for his sister, guided by his mother and Siegfried. The story is far more explained, detailed, and immersive than Soul Calibur IV’s. There are also more detailed cut scenes and dialogue. However, and here’s the problem, there are only three characters to play out of twenty-five.
The game tried to do what the new Mortal Kombat game’s story mode did, however there was far more to play in that game. You may not know what your favorite character’s story is besides a little cut scene in story mode. To make matters worse, there are no endings for the character in arcade mode, which usually explain their back-story and/or conclusion.
As for the gameplay, it is definitely better than Soul Calibur IV’s. The game has been sped up a bit, which was a problem with the fourth game. There are also more new battle mechanics that make fights more dynamic. There is the Brave Edges technique, which adds stronger attacks to a regular attack. If you are familiar with Street Fighter games or the new Mortal Kombat, think of it as the game’s EX attack or Enhanced move. There is also the Critical Edge, which is a super move. It can be compared to Street Fighter’s super or even Mortal Kombat’s X-ray.
These moves do a lot of damage, but can be tough to land on an opponent. There is also the quick step, which is a faster sidestep that can be used for evading attacks more effectively. You can tell you performed this if your character has gusts of wind coming from them when they sidestep. The just guard is a new way of guarding where you can guard an attack without stumbling at all. Not the most useful addition, but still nice.
The only two things I can think of that are a step back, gameplay wise, from Soul Calibur IV is that moves like the Brave Edge and Critical Edge take bars from a meter at the top of the screen. While that’s completely understandable, Guard Impacts also take bars, and they’ve been part of the series for a long time. This makes them far harder to pull off and less useful. The other fault is that there may be fewer moves for characters to use. However, there are still plenty, so it’s not much of a loss.
As for the roster, this is probably the most subjective part of the game. It’s about the same if not better than Soul Calibur IV’s. Younger counterparts have replaced some characters, like Taki, the ninja, is replaced by her apprentice Natsu for example. Some new characters like ZWEI and Viola, and some new styles like Aeon’s are likable. The only two things that can be bothersome about the roster is that there are not one but three mimic characters (characters that switch between character’s fighting styles), and the fact that one popular character, Zasalamel, is no longer present; nor is his fighting style, which is disappointing. The guest character for the game is Ezio from Assassin’s Creed.
Other modes are Legendary Souls, Quick Battle, character creation, and of course, online mode. Character creation has only been improved, with more options overall. There is very little lag as far as online matches. It’s also fairly easy to find opponents.
Soul Calibur V is generally just a great fighting game, but it has somewhat lost huge amounts of content that the series is known for. While the extra modes are nice, they’re not as in depth or as interesting as some of the past game’s secondary modes. It’s an unfortunate trend in fighting games lately, since the addition of online gameplay. Final Score: 8.5/10