Review by BlueEyes15243
"Today: Soul Calibur IV review"
So today I finally get around to reviewing Soul Calibur IV, or SCIV hence-forth. This'll be my second review, to this day I've played SCII and SCIII and enjoyed both, III more then II though. I must say I love the additions but the only thing I hate is the fact they took out Chronicles of the Sword. I mean I didn't see anything wrong with it, it took our attention away from the lack-luster story III brought and added to the experience. Also the fact you could make up the characters instead of using the half idiotic characters the developers made up made it that much more fun. Being able to make a female Peter Pan, a Hobo Chuck Norris and Alice from Bloody Roar was one of my favorite features and the fact they could be placed in their own story world made them much more worth something then what SCIV brought. The point I'm trying to get to is SCIV not having something like CotS kills the single player after you've beaten the game and unlocked everything. Sure Tower of Lost Souls is great but it lacking story and not being as long as CotS means your probably going to be running towards the Online play not long after completing it. If your wondering why I don't like Online is because I don't have it and I don't really like it.
The story, if you can call it that, takes place almost exactly after SCIII. Some how Siegfried and Nightmare both have Soul Calibur and Soul Edge and Sophitia is now working for Soul Edge because Tira kidnapped one of her children. It goes blank there because we don't freakin' know what ending is canon or not until SCV comes out. So naturally story gets a 5 and if there is no next game then a 3 for making us pick which one because they are all equally bad, save for Amy's. I really don't understand game developers on this, I mean, how hard is it to give a fighting game a story? Fighting games these days is sometimes a few words before you fight then a few words after the final boss and you never know what ending actually happened until the next game. I know every game company loves doing this but maybe they should actually stop and think "How more outrageous can we make this?" I mean first we had a flaming pile of rock, then a mutant skeleton and Godzilla with wings and now we have a dude who can wield both swords at once. What comes next? A flaming pile of rock with wings who wields both swords with a light saber coming out of his but?
Freakin' wow. One pretty game, great stage design, great character models; love the fact they made some female characters boobs normal sized for once, even the created characters look nice no matter how modern or clown-looking they are. The fact there is a stage with a bunch of ducks running around not giving a damn about Astaroth and Zasalamel raging war against each other right in the middle of their nest. I like how much detail went into making the character designs though, almost all the characters look nice but I wanna know what they did to Ivy? Did they walk into a sporting goods store thinking "Lets find the biggest ball and make her boobs the size of it, oh and let's make sure she's not wearing anything more then a string and have more under boob that Tira had in the last game. No that bowling ball is too small, what about that basket ball, yeah that looks about right." Everything else looks really nice, although the bonus characters look almost outright out of place and the Star Wars characters are outright out of place, I like what they did and the fact you can just edit the characters, save for the bonus and Star Wars character, is another upside.
Basically, you have two different versions of Arcade Mode, one with a "Story" pasted over the "Arcade" and one Arcade Mode. Story is 5 stages of nothing but fighting, sometimes 2 on 1, 3 on 1 and 3 on 2 with the last battle being 1 on 1, 2 on 1 for some rare cases. Also only two difficulty levels, normal or hard, but it really doesn't matter because you have an unlimited amount of retries. Arcade, on the other hand, is 8 stages long and has a much bigger difficulty level considering you don't actually pick the difficulty, <Joke removed because of unfunny-ness. After Story and Arcade the only single player option left is to get Online and play other people. No Seriously, Tower of Lost Souls sucks, it's basically what World of Warcraft would be if it was a fighting game. This is one thing I really don't understand. It's ok to have an unbelievable amount of content in a none online game yet it's ok to have less then half that amount in an online game. I don't mind if they spend more attention on one thing more then another but to down right ignore it is something worse then whoever came up with the idea of basket ball boob jobs. This is why I believe CotS to be the best thing between II, III and IV and a little polish would have made it in this game real perfection. Without CotS it makes creating characters about worthless, it's only point is if you don't like the character but love their move setup. Perhaps get rid of the level up system, which is probably why some of you hated it and after the first mission condemned it to the darkest pits of hell.
While I'm on the subject of Create a Character, it has been upgraded and is pretty much the only reason I still play this game today. Now all pieces of clothing add/subtracts a set amount of Attack/Defense/HP and also the skills depend on what you put your created character in. So if you want a certain skill you have to make your character look like complete crap before you can give them the good skills. Arcade Mode doesn't allow for upgraded/Downgraded created characters, its only in story and TolS that it does matter. This is another reason TolS sucks and Create a Character is a little pointless; you can't actually create anyone you like and use them in Tower of lost Souls or Story mode because chances are that Bikini babe you just made only has about 50% health and no attack/defense. Not to mention all the cool clothes/armor/hats/shoes/socks/glasses/skirts/loincloth doesn't give the skill points needed to give your character the really good skills and your left with with stats below that of the regular characters and no skills to back it up. I liked it better when it was just the weapons giving the skills and the way they made it you practically can't get any good skills/stats on that female peter pan I made :/
Guest Characters: 7
The Guest Characters: Yoda, Darth Mader, and Donald Trump... I'm sorry, The Apprentice. I always loved Guest characters, but why on earth did they pick Yoda? So many other Jedi out there and they pick Yoda? On second thought I would have rather had him then someone like Dante or Master Chief/Kratos. No seriously, if they had picked those I probably wouldn't have bought the premium edition. Yoda plays like any jumpy midget would play as, he jumps all over the place like a jumpy midget and can't be grabbed. That's right, he can't be grabbed, even Yoda can't grab Yoda. Let's rewind to last generation for a second; the game for Star Wars: Episode III. In Yoda's little mini-stage, he could be grabbed by those stupid duel bladed troopers, which were extremely annoying at times when they kept doing it. Don't tell me those second rate fighters can grab him when someone like The Apprentice can't, it's like saying "I want crap with my soup"... Moving on.
Next we have The Apprentice, this game proves one thing; He is easily one of the coolest Sith in all of Star Wars. He's one of those badass characters that comes along every ten years, spits in someones face then someone kills him to avenge the person he spat on. I was skeptical about the character and thought he'd just be a Darth Vader clone to make the Xbox fanboys happy and then I saw how he plays. I also like how before the game came out everyone complained about Yoda and now that Yoda has fallen through even PS3 fanboys can't make a complaint about Yoda being broken when the Apprentice is far better on either side. On a side note, he's bulkier in this game then he is in The Force Unleashed.
Finally, we have Darth Vader, and thats it, I don't have the PS3 version, or a PS3 for that matter, so I can't really judge his moves, just the character, and since this isn't "Bash Vader because Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith shows him to be a very poor person" and, is instead, a review for "Soul Calibur: Episode IV When Crap Flies High" I won't delve into Vader other then he'll be DLC for the Xbox version later as will Yoda for the PS3 version.
UPDATE: Downloaded Vader, played as him, kinda liked him. liked his punching move.
Bonus Characters: 2
Ok so we have a bunch of Anime characters and Shura running around. I can safely say they raped this idea. Shura being the only interesting character and the rest being very stupid, and even Shura came out bad in the end. The fact they don't even have their own movesets and are just cheap copies of normal characters is even more of a ripoff. At least the III set of bonus characters had their own movesets, or at least didn't have the same setups as the normal characters. I don't mind the idea of Bonus characters but let's keep them as far away from the regular characters moves as possible.
Game Play: 9
I love the Soul Calibur series, never played 1 or Edge so I can't say the entire series. This game on the other hand was a nice addition. New thing's include Critical Finishers which are a pain to pull off because no one blocks long enough to actually pull them off, being able to rip off the opponents cloths off, A La WWE style bra and panties matches only the men and whatever the heck Voldo is gets in on the action as well and you don't lose if you lose all your cloths. OK, so it's not clothing, it just shows damaged clothing and sometimes the only thing removed is a hat or shoes or your shirt gets ripped off or, in Yoda's case, nothing happens at all. Created Characters also get their cloths ripped off. You might be thinking this is a useless feature but actually, if you do rip something off the opponent they'll take 10% more damage in that area, ok so it is pointless if your created character doesn't have any clothing on, but it's still a nice addition.
Wrapping up: 8
8 is the final score and for all my nitpicking I still love this game, although I hate what they did to Tira's voice. I love the guest characters, the bonus characters, save for Shura, can **** right off. The Arcade mode is OK while Story Mode leaves you alone in the dark better then the last game of the same name. The Graphics are nicer then I imagined. Create a soul is nice but the lack of CotS will leave you with a lot of created characters and not much use for them outside of the multi-player experience. The downing points for this are the fact they took out CotS and replaced it with trash, it would have got a perfect 10 if it had a polished/upgraded version of CotS. Without CotS they shortened the single player experience and made Online the main focus, but in doing so, also shortened the other Single Player Modes. For example, they made it so much easier to get every weapon for every character, all you have to do is just beat story mode with said character and boom, all weapons for that character are unlocked. I'm sorry, but last game, it actually took effort to get all weapons for every character, hell I don't even HAVE all the weapons for all characters in SCIII, in SCIV I have a perfect set of all weapons for all characters because of how painstakingly easy it was to unlock and it hasn't even been a week since the game came out. I love the game play because I love Soul Calibur games, and I don't mind polishing characters for next gen and making the game more balanced for multi-player and I'll keep playing even with the severe lack of single player modes, at least multiplayer mode allows human vs computer.
It's a very pretty game but overall it just seems like the single player experience is just setting up the multi-player experience. meaning for those of us that don't have Xbox Live or laystation Network are gonna be out on our buns and probably looking for something to play in about another week or so. A month from now I'll probably have moved on to something else were as a month from SCIII's release I was still playing it. If you love fighting games then by all means check this one out, if you love SC games then you've probably already bought this game. It's definitely better then anything DOA has considering only one character has outrageous boobs and NamcoBANDAI hasn't made a Soul Calibur: Xtreme Beach Volley Ball game yet. Although that's probably when they decide to fling the series off the same cliff Tecmo threw DOA off of.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/05/08, Updated 02/02/09
Game Release: SoulCalibur IV (Limited Edition) (US, 07/29/08)
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