the new stage of history is hanging onto a 4 star. barely...
Soul Calibur 4...george lucas edition. Again we step onto the stage of history, a nonsensical phrasing that always appears to have been written by a 13yr old fresh from his AP english test, just to prove he can sound smarter than he is....and that, is exactly what i was expecting from SC4. and yet...
It's not bad, miraculously enough. The story is still as ridiculous as ever. In fact my largest gripe with the game is entailed here. Namco and lucas lied to us. Now george lucas being full of it is totally expected but Namco swore up and down they would make the star wars character additions "make sense" in the story. now lookout, -spoilers-, but apparently that meant "yoda feels a disturbance in the force...and then jumps thru it." ???
whu? really? really? ok, i need to find my calm. now to the guts... where to start? oh yeah the game is fun! lots of fun actually! so many of the created character balance issues from the last game have been solved. this was easy enough actually since, at least for now, your original fighters can only assign fight styles and moves from the existing fighter's roster. i.e.- feel free to make a taki who looks like a crocodile in a dress, but it's still taki fighting. however if you can look past the move set limitations, the create a character is robust. and yes, for all the pervos...yes you can change lady physique, i.e. creating a larger chest on your lady fighter. happy now? good, go away.
different armor and equipment and clothing will affect your stat output, plus skills to augment your fighting can be assigned. it's impressive. the fights are fast and furious, the balance is solid, and the action is satisfying. but then you go online, and big surprise? there-is-lag. but it's an online fighter. are you really surprised? if you adjust your timing for online fighting it's serviceable and still fun. matches take too long to start, and find for that matter, but the load times are quick and that's nice. there's three modes online to fight in, but i'm just thankful namco finally went online at all. ((oh and before i forget, the difficulty is balanced in story! no itagaki sadism here!))
finally, about points...they might come too fast. i put in six hours last night and acquired 20% of the game's total available points. that's all great but it calls into question how the game's longevity will play out. will the game just become a diversion? i think dlc will answer that question, but it's worrisome that 48hrs after launch i'm already waiting for it.
in conclusion soul calibur 4 is a blast to play, for how long though? you tell me.