SoulCalibur has been a long running franchise of NAMCO and by far the game has traversed many changes. With the sixth installment, does the game have what it takes to entice its enthusiasts or will the tale finally reach its conclusion?
SoulCalibur V has been one of those titles that one should get if you have either an Xbox360 or a Playstation 3. The game has been running for a long time now and the previous story-line wherein Siegfried, wielder of the Soul Calibur finally ends the battle between him and the Azure Knight, Nightmare who wields the Soul Edge. 17 years has passed and the two swords along with the turmoil has begun to weave the threads of fate once again. The game introduces the players to the a new roster of characters. Along with the introduction of the new blood came with the extinction of the old ones such as Setsuka, Natsu and even Cassandra. To much of everyone’s demise, one popular character named “Amy Sorell” is no longer available and was perhaps replaced by “Viola” who shares the same voice actress as of Amy. The rest of the roster includes Dampierre as a DLC while the others are just plain empty souls who can take up random skill set at every round. The rest of the new blood are also disciples or daughter/son of the previous characters that are no longer in the roster. Its good to see such improvement but seeing the old ones would still be nice.
The story-line is both amazing and disappointing as well. On the early part of the story we have the character Patroklos who is just too full of himself that becomes a somewhat pacifist and aimed to redeem himself as his sister Pirrah goes on a killing spree wherein she insists she is just protecting herself. Its hard to imagine though that he’d be quick enough to turn around and repent for the sins he cause but for some awkward reason he did. The story animation could have also been better instead of watching artworks and hearing voices in the background. They got some animation scenes along the way which as impressive but you are still left with artwork most of the time.
With the introduction of the new roster came a re-balance of the fighting stance, the battle system and even better chaining of attacks. The OTG effect was also corrected for back in SoulCalibur 4, one can actually dribble someone to almost 50% of their life bar which is a huge nuisance and annoyance to majority of its fans. The Critical Finish was changed to a much better extent but requires users to do more button and directional key movement before one can accomplish it. Its a pain but the reward for the flashy effects once the skill is timed right is redeeming.
The character customization though is rather tough with as you start out with a small set of clothing where you can’t even do a good mix. This then requires the players to explore the game with its Quick Matches, Arcade Match to name a few. The game is interesting though after a few hours one may simply just change the disc and play another title. Countless hours of matches though are pretty rewarding as one may even bring out a character straight out from an anime series.
The network gameplay is amazing! The introduction of better game and room lobby is remarkable as they even allow players to view ongoing matches as they await their turn. Unlike the previous title, the online matches are easier to find and matches begin almost instantly but that is if you have a fast connection and also installed the game inside your console. Installing the game help decrease the loading time greatly! Fans of the game would notice long delays after selecting the desired match which can bring down the adrenaline rush that one might feel after a match. Combo that with a slow connection then you’d have yourself a good tea time before you can start one match.
The most amazing thing for this installment would be the addition of replay data recording for online matches. This is very important to gamers and fans alike. A record of a match and they can show their skill through the whole world after uploading it to their desired video streaming site. The video render is not that impressive but its better than having nothing at all.
Overall, SoulCalibur V is refreshing with a few irks on the side. If you plan to wait up for the upcoming titles and wish not to participate in the RPG genre, you might as well pick this up and start racking up some titles and achievements as you wait for high octane games this March.
Gameplay : 4/5