Review by Myrdraal8

"Same Game, Still Loads of Fun!"

Concept: Soul Calibur has returned for the next generation councils in all its' weapon based fighting glory.

Graphics: Brilliant. Particle effects create the feel of weather in the fighting arenas and the characters are detailed to the last hair. Cinema scenes are still the same quality we saw from Soul Blade – great ten years ago, but average now.

Sound: Great. Same old soundtrack from the previous installments. Good enough to download to your music collection. Generic voice acting and guttural fighting sound effects.

Control: Tight and responsive. What you would want in a fighting game. Same control scheme as previous installments.

This latest installment of Soul Calibur is indeed a great game for playing with your friends. Just as you remember or if you're going to jump into the Soul Calibur for the first time Soul Calibur IV delivers an intense weapon based fighter that is a beautiful to watch and a blast to compete in. For myself, my college room mates and girl friends would pass around the controllers while playing for hours on end. It is really good times, and even those of us who are not playing just enjoyed soaking in the action. Overall the control and technique for combat is simple for anyone to jump into the game while being complex and deep enough to reward and satisfy a serious player.

It preserves the weapon fighting feel of the previous games while adding a few new twists. The biggest change to the combat is a system designed to undermine ‘turtle' strategy. As one character keeps attacking a blocking character, they will eventually be given an opportunity to perform an unblockable sudden death attack after a limit of blocks in a given time period. This is a welcome relief that keeps the action flowing.

The character creation scheme is deep enough where one can make nearly anyone they can imagine, and the new characters are interesting and welcome. My personal favorite new comer is Hilde. The addition of Star Wars characters is fun, even if lightsabers and the force do not fully integrate with the time period and medieval weaponry. Every character is preserved for all the fans, so no need to worry that your favorite character has suddenly become weak and sorry to disappoint if that broken character is still the same. This is Soul Calibur, the same great fighting game we have been enjoying for years.

My real disappointment with Soul Calibur IV comes from Namco refusing to button up the stories of the characters into a comprehensive saga that can be followed from each of the games' installments. The story mode for each character is great for quick plays but leaves one lost. Even with a comprehensive map showing the relationships between the characters it is too confusing to make out this games story, let alone what happened in the previous Soul Caliburs and Soul Blade.

Lastly, Namco and Microsoft charge any player for extra costumes and the ability to play as Darth Vader. Thus if you want to have fun making a great looking custom character and want to play as the Dark Lord of the Sith be prepared to put up more money.

Recommendation: Own it for multiplayer fun.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 10/15/09

Game Release: SoulCalibur IV (US, 07/29/08)

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