bombermankiiier's Soul Calibur IV (PlayStation 3) review

Limitless replayability with decent community of players

"Online play has never been this frustrating..."

Story: 4/10
Story mode became pretty shallow when put into comparison with the games predessor. Soul Calibur IV's Story Mode offers the player a total of 5 stages, where each stage often features multiple enemies to fight. New to Soul Calibur is the addition of the AMB (Active Matching Battle) system. What this does is throw a new character into the match immediately after one has been defeated. So if you KO an opponent, the next will appear right away. This also applies to when you get KO'd (your partner will appear). Other than the obvious short length of the Story Mode, the endings are also quite shallow. Some just seem to be very overdramatic, while others are sadistic or comedic.

Gameplay: 10/10
I'd like to start off this section by explaining the Force's place in Soul Calibur, since it was one of the things I was very confused about upon announcement. Basically, there are two Star Wars characters in Soul Calibur IV (PS3) - Darth Vader and The Secret Apprentice. Each can use the Force during combat, but in different ways. Vader uses chokes and pushes, while The Secret Apprentice can use Force Lightning and other dark Force attacks.

One thing added by Namco that I'm extremely glad for is the new Critical Finish system. What this does is prevent people from constantly guarding. As you guard attacks, the bar will eventually become a bright red. At this point, if your opponent attacks you, your equipment will be destroyed, giving them the edge. Also, when your bar is red, you'll be given a chance to perform a Critical Finish attack. They're pretty much just Fatalities (MK) or IKs in Guilty Gear. Land a Critical Finish and you win. That's all there is to it.

Old characters have become new, with new attacks and for some, new stances. Overall, I think the gameplay of the game has evolved from the broken-ness of SCIII. The only thing I'd change is how meticulous some attacks can be to pull off.

Online play is great, but I just hate how most people play it. There's lag apparently, but I haven't witnessed it. Anyways, the people I've played online are either insanely good or spammers. Ability to play with created characters online = epic win.

Graphics: 10/10
Perfect score here, no doubt about it. It's got (arguably) the best character models to date, not to mention amazing backgrounds.

Sound: 7/10
I personally loved the music of Soul Calibur III and this game just didn't live up to what I was expecting. However, every sound effect in the game is very crisp and makes for memorable battles. Adding in Wookie noises for Star Wars levels was genius.

Overall: 8/10
It's a great game with many flaws that could be easily fixed through patches. I think that DLC Characters should become available sometime soon.


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