Review by Magnum_Dan

"Review of feature and comparison to previus games in the series"

For those still trying to decide whether or not to get SC5, here is a review outlining some differences between SC5 and previous games.

CHARACTERS

Yes, some are gone. I can only speak for Talim users since Talim has been my primary fighting style since SC2. If you like her fighting style, you may find that Viola's, even though completely different by nature is surprisingly easy to work with for Talim users and adjusting is very swift. If you like Talim's lovable personality, Pyrrha, apart from being on the opposite end of courage has allot of the same traits, so all is not lost on that one. I can't speak for Zasalamel or anyone else.

It seams to me as though most of the new characters carry a mixture of skills from characters they replaced. I get the impression they were intentionally rigged this way for transitional purposes, so people who lost their main character are not left with their pants down.

The new character personalities, as far as I can tell are undeveloped. This game gives you very little background on most of the new characters so you really don't know much about them. This is a double edged sword. While you don't really know anything about them to really like them for, you don't really know much to hate them for either. I myself cannot say they're any better or worse then the ones they replaced. At least not at this time anyway. Some look pretty promising though.

BATTLE SYSTEM

The bulk of this game's improvements as well as set backs can be found here. I DO agree that some of the special moves take way too much damage and are almost impossible to avoid. While I personally am not bothered by it that much, I can see where some people will have issues.

Another one is that, while the ability to destroy armor is carried over from SC4, the armor it's self never has any effect on your stats in any mode that I am aware of. Armor is entirely aesthetic. This, again comes with advantages and disadvantages. While it limits your ability to beef up your character stats, it also frees you from having to decide between making a character with the stats you want and a character with the appearance you want.

One other great advantage in the fighting system is the adjustable difficulty. If you, like myself like fighting games but are not particularly good at them, it's easy to run in to a brick wall playing these games where you simply lack the sheer talent at this type of gaming to go any further and that's when taking the game to gamestop might be your only option left. In this case, the difficulty is more like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, with the option to adjust it even in the middle of arcade or story mode. I don't know how hard it gets as I have yet to try the highest difficulty but the difficulty can be brought down enough that even the most unskilled player will be able to complete the missions. So basically, super hard difficulty is only an option with this game, as where it was something you were stuck with in Soul Calibur 3 and 4.

CREATE A SOUL

They really did improve create a soul over previous games but not as dramatically as you might expect. From what I can tell, the sheer volume of items you can use on your characters is roughly the same as in Soul Caliber: Broken Destiny. That is, a little more then Soul Calibur 4. However, the available items are a little different. Being that Talim, Amy and Zasalamel are gone among others, items relating to them are unavailable. But there are some new items that have not appeared in any of the previous Soul Calibur games.

Then there's tattoos and color patterns. Just like the items themselves, you start off with a reasonable variety and unlock more as you game on. The color patterns add new color to the game but I have found that the Tattoos are where you can really get creative and pull off some interesting things. For instance, I tried to give a character a mouse face. So to deal with the nose, I gave her a club tattoo, flipped it upside down, shrunk it, colored it dark brown and put it on the tip of her nose. This gave my character a "mini Mouse" sort of nose by using the tattoos in unintended ways. The same techniques can be used to give people facial hair of specific designs, corrosion to clothing, open wounds and even private parts if you're in to that.

Unlocking them is consistent with the game's versatile engine, not requiring you to clear challenging foes to get. In stead, this game has a leveling system, similar to that in Soul Calibur 3's Chronicles of the Sword. Like that, you gain exp. for every fight you finish, whether you win or loose, but gain allot more if you win. But unlike in Soul Calibur 3, leveling up is not limited to a single mode. It pertains to all modes. Even fighting online against your buddies gets you experience. Different items, patterns and tattoos are unlocked automatically when you reach certain levels. If your primary concern is just the items and not the tattoos and patterns, even the most unskilled player should be able to unlock all the items in several hours of gameplay, which is far less time then you can expect in previous Soul Caliber games.

VARIETY OF MODES

This is where I myself heard this game was going to excel but found it to be the biggest single let down. This game has a shallow story mode but beyond that, it's all the usual stuff (Arcade, quick battle etc. In a nutshell, the battle modes are VERY similar to Soul Calibur Broken Destiny. If you expect much more then that, you're in for a disappointment.

OVERALL ASSESSMENT

At first, this game feels like a disappointment and it really does seam foreign from Soul Calibur to us long-time fans of the series, but in general, it's a good game. Is it worth $59.99? Maybe, maybe not. You might wanna rent it first. Either way it's a good game.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 02/06/12

Game Release: SoulCalibur V (US, 01/31/12)


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