It’s finally here, the long awaited “proper” sequel to “Soul Calibur IV”. Taking place seventeen years after the events of “Soul Calibur IV”, SCV brings the back the fast paced weapons based fighting fans have loved for years.
The Story mode follows Patrokolos, the son of series veteran Sophitia and newcomer to the Soul Calibur universe. Patrokolos is on a quest to rescue his long lost sister, Pyrrha, who has been kidnapped by Tira. Along the way players will run into new and old faces and encounter the legendary holy sword Soul Calibur and it’s eternal nemesis Soul Edge. The features an awesome soundtrack that fits well with the series and it’s characters and adds a lot of new features while tweaking some of the old.
The game play for SCV is quick and dirty. It feels much more like “Soul Calibur II”, which was the series favorite amongst fans. Each character’s fighting styles are different and offer a wide array of techniques specific only to that character. Namco decided to add a combo counter to appeal to traditional 2D-fighting gamers.
Gone are the critical finish fatality moves, and in their place are critical edges. Critical edges are new super moves that every character can perform but are different depending on the character chosen. In order to use a critical edge, you first have to charge your super meter, which works much like the meters in other fighting games. In addition, to critical edge, players can now use brave edge moves which are basically stronger versions of normal moves that use some meter.
Guard impacts, a maneuver used to stop any blockable attack, have been modified to require meter but can now block any attack regardless of height. Parrying has been removed from the game, but just guarding has taken it’s place.
If a player blocks an attack at the very last instant, they will perform a just guard. To fighting game veterans, this maneuver resembles parries from “Street Fighter 3: Third Strike”. To everyone else, just guarding is an advanced maneuver that will allow players to attack immediately after performing a just guard.
As with any fighting game today, the on-line modes play a large part in the success of a game. Luckily, Soul Calibur V offers one of the best on-line experiences. The search mechanic is fairly detailed but occasionally has it’s hiccups, but it’s the multi-player lobbies that truly shine. When not participating in a fight, players in the lobby can choose to watch the fight, text chat with others in the lobby, or browse leader boards as they wait their turns.
Soul Calibur V is a refreshing new take on the series. The addition of a super meter, brave edge, and critical edge moves sets this one apart from it’s predecessors and ultimately moves the series in a new, deeper, direction.