Holy Christ. The existence of Soul Calibur V has been officially known for about one day now, and people are already questioning it. Mainly, why does it need to exist, why is Namco still wasting their time with these games, and will Ivy's back still be able to support the increasing weight of her...assets.
But what are we complaining about?
What do we actually know about the game so far?
- It's Soul Calibur, which means that the game will likely involve weapon-based fighting in 3D arenas.
- The game takes place seventeen years after Soul Calibur IV and will have a largely all new roster.
- Siegfried and Nightmare are returning.
- Sophitia's son Patroklos is a new member of the roster and will have a fighting style based off of hers.
- Namco Bandai can't decide if "Soul Calibur" is one word or two.
- The create-a-fighter system is returning.
- There may possibly be a guest character from another franchise, which the developer is neither confirming nor denying.
What can be inferred?
- At least some of the newcomers (like the aforementioned Patroklos) will have movesets based on retired fighters.
- There's a possibility that Ivy may not even be in this game for people to mock.
- The game will more or less play like past Soul Calibur games.
- Ivy or no Ivy, breasts will in all likelihood bounce.
What does this all add up to?Who knows? Other than it being more Soul Calibur with a revamped roster, I haven't got a goddamn clue. And frankly, neither does anyone else. All I know is that I enjoyed the heck out of Soul Calibur II, was largely disappointed by Soul Calibur III, and Soul Calibur IV, while a step up from III, wasn't as good as SCII. In short, I know it's more Soul Calibur. And despite the latter entries not living up to the majesty of the second (or to some, the first), that's not inherently a bad thing. I mean, no, Soul Calibur IV isn't the best game in the series, but only recently I was at a friend's apartment, playing it with a group and having a grand old time. Flaws aside, it's not a bad game.
You want to know what a bad game is? Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.
How many of you have actually played this game? This, more than any other fighting game I have ever played, felt like nothing more than the developer throwing in the towel. A ludicrous number of fighters piled onto a flawed combat system with some of the most pitiful character balance you'll ever see in a major fighting game release. Armageddon is a piece of shit; one that left me with no hope of the series ever recovering. And MK vs. DC felt like a desperate grasp for anything resembling relevance.
Then Mortal Kombat happened.
Redemption, just like that. Not that the game is perfect; Shao Kahn's boss A.I. is so infuriating it almost takes the fun out of the otherwise excellent story mode. But my point is that even though Mortal Kombat was at its lowest point, the developer came back and managed to deliver something that's actually fun, plays well, and lives up to the legacy of the first three games. Who's to say that Soul Calibur V won't also be a return to form?
That's not to say that the game will be. With the past disappointments, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking things will only get worse. And they certainly could. But given what little we know about the game and what heights the series has seen in the past, it seems unreasonable to start the dog pile before we've seen anything resembling gameplay footage. The developer should be allowed to show their hand before we call them out.
So while some may remain content to roll their eyes, I'm looking forward to seeing what Namco has up their sleeves this time. While it's possible that the game may once again have the feeling of treading water, it's equally possible that they're cooking something up that's just as good as, if not better than Soul Calibur II. There are no guarantees, but I'm willing to at least give them the benefit of the doubt. Until then, I'll be left wondering, and thinking deep thoughts.