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Rant: Soul Calibur IV

Updated on February 9, 2012

Out of a fit of boredom, I picked up my old edition of Soul Calibur IV and started playing. I played my favorite character, Voldo, and remembered how they "changed" his style with certain moves causing him to switch around, fighting his enemies while having his back facing them. But I managed to beat his story and was given a somewhat satisfactory ending.

It was when I switched to Arcade Mode that I remembered why I haven't played this game for four years. With Siegfried and the Apprentice's overpowered game styles, making them the dominant strategy characters of the series. I lost solely because they each could ground-pound me with very little means of reprisal.

And after I finished playing, I thought, "I was actually excited about Soul Calibur V?" and started playing Marvel Versus Capcom 3 to feel better about the fighting game genre.

Soul Calibur IV was aweless with many design flaws that should have been addressed. Especially hitting Siegfried while he's in mid-move only to have your attack go through and miss him completely. The idea of Soul Crush was a joke because in order for a player to get enough meter on their Soul Gauge, they have to fight at least, three rounds before they can execute their critical finish. When a part of the game is rarely utilized and can only be used with very specific conditions, it is better for it to be abandoned and that time spent on game balancing.

Now you might be wondering why there's a Capcom Logo overshadowing a Namco Logo. Frankly, this is here because I think Namco should sell their company to Capcom and be done with it. I'm not talking takeover, I'm talking complete liquidation.

Years of subpar fighting games and an ill reputation have led Namco lower and lower in the eyes of the gamers. Don't believe me? Think back to when the last Soul Calibur Tournament was held? Not the ones in your living room with your friends, the ones that take up huge spaces in convention centers like EVO. For all I see is Street Fighter 4 Tournaments, Marvel Vs Capcom 3 Tournaments, and Street Fighter X Tekken Tournaments. Soul Calibur is nowhere on the map.

Once a jewel of the arcade, Soul Calibur really hasn't changed since the days of Soul Edge. However another jewel of the arcade was Marvel Versus Capcom 2 who's successor did a lot in the way of progression.

Instead of playing a single character, you got to play a team of three characters. Each MVC3 character are more balanced whereas Siegfried hits you five times and you're dead. The archaic system of pushing X,Y,B (360) 50-75 times with moves rarely combo'ing into one another to KO your opponent was vastly beaten by pulling off a few good combos, hypers, and assists coupled with the optional and dread X-Factor to take out the opposing team.

What gives me the right to state such facts and opinions? I'm a Full Sail University Game Design Graduate with two titles under my belt. I know of where I speak.

I now have another game I'm eager to sell and what of Soul Calibur V? I might buy a clearance bin.


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    • Michael Smathers profile image

      Michael Smathers 5 years ago from LaGrange, GA

      I agree, 4 was a disappointment. I'm undecided on whether 2 or 3 was the best. The thing about the Soul Crush/Critical Finish is the requirements were too strict; in all likelihood you'd have already KO'ed the opponent before reducing their Soul Gauge to zero. 5 was also rather disappointing.