SoulCalibur franchise is known for its graphics and gameplay. What makes this game so special is its unique weapon based fighting mechanics which differentiates itself from the rest in this genre. SoulCalibur IV promises enhanced graphics and improved fighting mechanics, so does it really make up for its hype. Let’s find out…
Graphics is one area which the developers have put a lot of work on, thus making it inch perfect. The game is very colorful and lovely to look at. The characters, their clothes and their attributes are highly detailed. The environment just looks gorgeous with every stages beautifully rendered in HD. The graphics in the game is just a work of art.
SoulCalibur IV unlike Street fighter is a 3D fighting game and hence everything in the game reacts to the way you play. The arenas have their own advantages which the players can exploit to gain an edge over their opponent. Sometimes when the fighting gets intense the arena breaks apart thus making it behave differently, which opens up new opportunities to gain an upper hand over the opponent. The game does not suffer from any hiccups or frame rate drops, especially the PS3 version as it comes with an optional installation feature.
The controls are rock solid with no problems what so ever. We have the standard controls such as the X for guard, circle for kick, square for horizontal strikes and triangle for vertical strikes. The awesome thing about the controls is that it can be customized depending on your style of play. Another thing is that the game allows you to stack up combos for every button ie, you can assign button combinations for the R1, R2, L1 and L2 buttons, thus helping you to pull off some cool moves, thereby making your opponent look like a complete idiot.
The sound in this game is just mind blowing. I mean for real, the characters have their own dialogue pieces and taunts with which you can tease or insult your opponents. Every weapon has its own sound, the sound directors have done a great job documenting the various weapons, their characteristics and how they sound when ever they strike any object. The in-game music is cool and they differ with the various arenas. Ya how can I forget, the game also has an announcer who initiates every battle.
Let me start off by saying button mashing helps you a great deal to move forward with the game. Gameplay kicks ass and is one of the best I have come across in any fighting game. The PS3 version gets Dark Vader and Apprentice who are guest characters from the star wars universe.
The game screen has the life bar, the soul gauge and armor pieces. You can hold upto 3 armor pieces but these vary according to your costumes. The armor pieces can be broken if you are getting attacked constantly. As you fight, the soul gauge fills up and when it fills up fully, you can unleash a devastating move. This move is different for every character. The game also has combos for each character which you can master.
Game modes include the Story mode with various cut scenes and story sequences for every characters but only lasting for 5 rounds thus making it very short and giving a feeling of wanting more. It is funny that every story ends with the fight against Nightmare who is the bad guy in the game. Versus: The standard versus mode is basically, pick a character and fight till the end while special versus is more or like a tag team match up. I really had a lot of fun playing versus mode with my friends, talking trash and kicking ass at the same time. With the tower of lost souls game mode, you can select a character and fight your way up or down the tower by fighting against a lot of enemy AI.
As you play through your characters level up and with that their skills and play styles evolves which in turn opens up various customization options. Speaking about customization, the game offers tons of ways to customize a character. You can customize an existing character or even create a new character with a unique fighting style. The customized characters can also be taken online. The way you customize your character gives you combat bonuses which gives you an edge in the battle. For example, The auto counter helps you to pull off a counter very easily. Similarly you can make the horizontal strikes more powerful than the vertical strikes. Even combat bonuses have their own advantages and disadvantages to level up the playing field.
Multiplayer is bandwidth hungry and is enjoyable only if you have a 1 Mbps connection or more with good latency. Otherwise you cannot connect with other players online and even if you do get connected by any chance, the game is so damn laggy and frustrating. Multiplayer offers the same game modes as the single player, the ranked and unranked versus and special versus modes. As you win battles you gain gold and experience points. The gold is like the in-game currency with which you can buy new weapons, costumes or even unlock some characters. With experience points, you level up.
—Technically proficient graphics.
—Jaw dropping presentation.
—Rock Solid controls.
—Tons of customization options.
—Short story mode making you feel left empty and wanting more.
—No additional game modes like in other SoulCalibur games.
—Laggy Multiplayer if your connection is less than 1 Mbps