Game Review: Soul Calibur IV

Brian, Josh and Matt take a look at the latest installment of the venerable weapon-based fighter. With added character customization and online play, this has the potential of being the best version yet.

While the review team played the game exclusively for Playstation 3, the information contained in this article can also be applied to the XBox 360.

Find out what The Bastards think inside.

Matt Says – BUY IT

I’ve never been a big fan of fighting games. It’s not because I don’t enjoy them, it’s because… well… I’m not very good at them. That being said, every time a new fighter hits store shelves I find myself purchasing the game, mainly because I get to work out some frustration.

Visually this game is only marginally better than the last big console fighter, Virtua Fighter 5. The biggest problem with the graphical fidelity in SCIV is in the backgrounds. While they look amazing in the initial ‘camera pan’ during fight warm-ups, the backgrounds seem to be scaled down and static while you’re actually fighting. That being said, things look nice and the character models are beautiful, so I can’t complain.

The sound in SCIV is extraordinary. Waterfalls can be clearly heard in rear speakers, and you can hear the direction of attacks as well as deep thuds from impacts. I approve heartily.

Controls are somewhere between Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection and VF5 in complexity, offering plenty of depth without being overwhelming.

Story mode, online play (a little laggy), and arcade are exactly what you would expect. The real selling point for this game is the character creation system and the ability to level ‘character types’. There are enough options early on to create some unique and interesting fighters, with more options unlocking almost every round. As you play a fighting style more often, that style levels up, making every character based on that style more powerful.

Soul Calibur IV has definitely supplanted Virtua Fighter 5 as my fighter of choice on consoles.

Josh Says – BUY IT

In comparison to the SCIII this has its ups and its downs.

I loved SCIII because of the story mode and how you leveled up weapons and your character.  This game does it completely different, but it works.

The Character Creator, like Matt said, is awesome.  So many choice’s in how you dress, and the color options are just huge.

The only problem I have with SCIV is the training. Unfortunately all it does is toss you in a match with a opponent that doesn’t do anything but stand there.  You can access the move list, but all that does is show you how to do it. DOA still has it the best when it shows you the move, then you have to preform that move to move on.

I haven’t played the online at all but the reason for that is I when I play a fighter I prefer to play it alone, I really don’t like playing against other people.

Brian Says – BUY IT

Being a huge fighting game fan since the original Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, I was quite excited when Soul Calibur was announced. I began playing SC back on the Dreamcast and really enjoyed the series. Soul Calibur IV is no exception.

Instead of rehashing the previous entries in the series, they actually added more meat to the game which includes an online mode. The visuals have improved and there is some nice little details added but you won’t notice while playing. Instead you are so focused on the actual game and keeping yourself alive as the pace is pretty fast, perhaps not as fast as Tekken or Mortal Kombat but definitely not slow and methodical like Virtua Fighter. One example is when you slam an opponent to the ground on a level where the ground is made of wood, it crunches and the damage to the ground stays present during the match.

The addition of special “guest” characters, Darth Vader (PS3 Version) and Yoda (Xbox 360) and the Dark Apprentice from the Star Wars universe has left me with mixed feeling. I am a huge Star Wars fan so it is cool but it isn’t too good of a fit. I honestly would have preferred someone like Kratos who would fit better into the world.  All and all, character creation mode is money and I see hours of replay with your friends or anyone online for that matter.


1 Comment

  1. Nice reviews. Sounds like we all agree on this one.

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