SoulCalibur V Reviews

AuthorReview
Kienamaru
187,656 (98,386)
Kienamaru
TA Score for this game: 2,731
Posted on 23 April 12 at 14:59, Edited on 09 May 12 at 07:21
This review has 28 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
SoulllCaliburrrV... I've wanted to review this game since the day it came out... So I'll do a Pros, Cons, and summary type review for anyone who wants to save time on a SC Veterans opinion.

PROS
Player Card- This is not much more than a way to keep traxk of your stats during gameplay. It helps when trying to figure out how much further you need to go for achievements, and you get over 200 titles to give to your character.

Great graphics- This game looks better than SCIV by a long shot. The levels are amazingly designed, the character models look pretty realistic and less bland this time around, and the menu is pretty nice to look at unlike previous SC games. Sparks fly when weapons clash or scrape walls and clothing or hair flow fluidly. Due to everyone having Special attacks you can expect battles to be much more colorful this time around. There's a nice variety from light and dark levels, which look great with the new lighting engine.

Great soundtrack- The music on this game feels like a true SC. It puts me in the mind of SCIII, which in my opinion had the most memorable soundtrack. If you've ever been a fan of SC music you won't be disappointed here.

New Characters- This game has 2 to 5 characters depending how you see it. ZWEI, a human who uses a three handled sword and summoned werewolf. Viola, a sorceress who fights using her bare hands (though she wears a claw) and crystal ball. Patroklos, the son of Sophitia who uses a shortsword and shield. Pyrrha, the daughter of Sophitia who also uses a shortsword and shield. Lastly, there is Omega Pyrrha who fights like a someone more aggressive version of Pyrrha. People say that Patroklos is similar to Cassandra in style, so some people don't consider him "new" in style. Pyhhra fights similarly to Sophitia however, but not enough to be considered a clone.

Gameplay- The gameplay is fast, and fluid for the most part. It is more suited for competetive play but at the same time simplified for casual players. It feels much better than SCIV though it doesn't compare to SCII or SCIII. The gameplay has been sped up dramatically, and 8 Way running is somewhat easier.

Character Creation- The amount of improvements to CAS is nearly endless. You have new faces, new hairstyles, body types, proportion adjustment, eyebrow types, stickers (tattoos), make up, and more. You can change your height, and even customize your weapons this time around. Alignment is no longer affected by clothing, and stats now aren't forced by your clothing. Aside of that there are also some changes such as being able to take snapshots for your character, frame them, and use them for your Character Select Screen. Not to mention a newish dlc update has Equipment coming out every month or so.

Amazing Multiplayer- The online MP seems to be the biggest improvement in my opinion. There is basically no lag, they now have searching, lobbies where you can chat while waiting to fight, and there is even a spectator screen to watch the action while you talk to others through voice or text. The removal of Skills makes the game pretty balanced this time around. You can even make rivals and keep track of their stats or compete with their scores and times in single player modes.

No more Critical Finishes- There are no more one hit kills due to loss in a gauge. Removing 10% of the cheese factor of SC.

Soul Link- This little feature keeps track of your every stat from Win Loss ratio, to perfect wins, or gameplay. Good for those who like to compare with friends, or keep track of achievement progress.

That's all for pros. Now for the Cons... Which I have to post a certain way due to how they affect the game.

CONS

Mitsurugi- Has no relic stance
Yun Seoung- Missing from game
Seoung Mina- Missing from game
Talim- Missing from game
Amy- Presumed Viola, unconfirmed. Assumed Missing from game.
Zasalamel- The immortal man who was removed from the game.
Rock- Removed from game.
Sophitia- Replaced by a look alike who isnt her. A mimic character. Removed from game.
Cassandra- Removed from game.
Setsuka- replaced by a man who is also Patroklos.
Dampierre- a bad character who can only be used if paid for.
Kilik- returns as a Mimic character
Edge Master- The third mimic character.

Critical Edges- Unbalanced severly, characters like Nightmare can deliver a two hit KO. They also freeze time making them basically undodgeable after initiation.

Create A Soul- So much drowned potential here. SCIII Had 15 or so completely unique fighting styles. SCV has one, and they ripped it from Tekken. With so much more customization options it was all wasted because you can still only make clones.

Modes to Play...

Story- Play as Patroklos and Pyrrha in 20 battles, seperated by poorly scribbled still frames, and every now and then a high quality CG cutscene. There is also one or two ZWEI battles in there.
This mode is not fun, or even slightly entertaining.

Arcade- 6 battles with multiple routes depending on who you want to fight. However, there are no endings at all. No destined battles. No boss fights. Simply fight and be done with it.

Legendary Souls- As if the AI needed a reason to go beyond hard difficulty. This mode is a new level of cheap in SC History. Each character takes about 20 minutes to defeat if you have never played SCV.

Quick Battle- 240 Battles each with opponents of varying fighting styles, tactics, and difficulty levels. The best Quick Battle in SC, however there are too many AI spams for it to be consistently fun.

Options- You can no longer adjust the amount of health in vs matches, or set the timer to unlimited.

Missing features- Get up attacks, while landing attacks, impact exchange, parry, an extra mode such as Weapon Master, Chronicles of the Sword, Survival, or even Tower of Lost Souls.

Just Guard- Few people can pull one off, but if you can easily do it, you will never lose. It renders Guard impact obsolete.

AI- The majority of the AI will do the same attacks over and over until you lose or until you stop them. For some reason the AI deals more damage than you and can go... Around... Your guard.

Once again- Advancing Guard, and Soul charge do not return. Clothing still breaks.

Dodging- Works perfectly against human players, not so well with AI.

Guard Impacting- First off the input has been switched to... RT+(back direction). Parrying is gone altogether so you no longer throw people on the ground for a potential combo. To make things worse, there are now two impacts. High/mid, etc, and low. This now relies on your soul gauge, which you can't fill up by charging... Because it isn't there. You have to block and take damage to fill it up. Which once again works somewhat, due to limited defense before your guard breaks. Normally you might manage to impact at most 6 times during a match. The only exception is that certain characters have auto impact attacks which don't require a gauge.

SUMMARY I know I've likely forgotten to cover something but overall the game isn't so bad in comparison to SCIV. Other than that, every game has been better. Good gameplay, fun characters though not nearly enough. Great graphics, levels, and music. This game has enough to keep you busy for a few weeks but I wouldn't buy it unless you're either a long time fan, or you really need a new fighting game.
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All the Tigers
447,347 (212,010)
All the Tigers
TA Score for this game: 2,327
Posted on 11 September 12 at 04:48
This review has 11 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
The Soul series, starting with Soul Edge and moving all the way up to Soulcalibur V, has a reputation for growth. Compared to their respective predecessors, each game in the series features larger character rosters, flashier move sets, and ginormous-er boobs. This latest installment in the series keeps the tradition alive, and even visiting character Ezio Auditore has a bigger bust than he had in Assassin's Creed II. No one ever said bigger is better for everything, but at least no one can accuse Namco Bandai of sexism.

Bountiful bosoms aside, Soulcalibur V refines certain elements of previous games, and it keeps the game mechanics that make the game what it is. Looser buffering time, faster combat, and some very wicked-looking moves. At day's end, the game is a solid addition to the Soul franchise, though it definitely has a few drawbacks that will irritate a fair number of fans.

Visually speaking, the game is exactly what you'd expect from Namco Bandai. The studio hands out topnotch animation and art design. Characters like Voldo and Yoshimitsu still have that element of oddity that puts fans somewhere in the middle of liking and not liking the costume choices. Ivy and the like have have their trademark outfits, and no one looks like they shouldn't. There isn't really much to complain about regarding the aesthetic appeal.

The stages, as always, are palette swaps of older maps. A few of them are a little different, but replace the moving wall with suits of armor, or tundra with paved stone, and you won't have a hard time guessing which previous level became which current level. Even so, there's still some new material out there, and the stages weren't broken, so there was no need to fix them.

One great addition is that some stages have multiple tiers, so scoring a Ring Out on one stage will put you and your opponent on a different one in the next round. Unfortunately, there's only a handful of those. It would have been better if Namco had committed more to the new idea, but the attempt itself deserves some praise, or at least a tip of the cap. Hopefully, in the inevitable Soulcalibur VI, we'll see more from this new innovation.

From a story standpoint, the game doesn't really have one. Less than twenty stages encompass the whole narrative, which is even worse than what Tekken 6 had. There are people out there who don't really care much for fighting games' story lines, saying the story is always poorly written, but it's still fun to run through them precisely because they're bad. Soulcalibur V has a single path that fails to tell anyone's story well. This crosses the line between enjoyably bad and just plain bad.

The new characters suffer the most from this decision. Z.W.E.I and Viola, Patroklos and the rest don't have any sort of development, which just makes them flat stock characters who exist purely to thrash each other. If they had some sort of history behind them, gamers could identify with them on some level, and have a different reason for liking or hating a character that isn't simply because their fighting style is subpar. And since none of the characters have their own unique story line, where you play as that character through five or so fights, there isn't much incentive to try them out too much.

The "plot" of the Story Mode itself is hard to follow and underdeveloped. Originally, the creator wanted to call the game Soul Edge II, because they were basically resetting the characters and back story by having the action seventeen-odd years in the future. Marketing purposes gave the game its current title, which doesn't affect the story because there really isn't one to affect. This idea is another one that warranted more commitment than it received, and the game suffers for it.

Another unfortunate casualty is the game's character creation. Whereas in SCIV, there was an extensive array of equipment that you bought with the "Soulcalibur dollars" you earned throughout the game, SCV just gives you items for leveling up. What's more, there's significantly fewer pieces to choose from, unless you count the DLC packets. Of course, at 160 to 320 M$ per pack, most people won't count those.

The idea of patterns is nice, but there just aren't enough items to really satisfy the players who loved the character creation in the previous games. The fact you don't buy them yourself but simply get them for playing the game also doesn't help matters. Again, you get new ideas that aren't fully developed, and no explanation for any of it.

From a mechanical standpoint, though, the game is a vast improvement. The Critical Finish system from Soulcalibur IV received a lot of criticism precisely because it wasn't an actual move. Players simply set up the move, pressed a single button, and the Finisher happened. While some of the Finishes looked pretty, they didn't require any skill and were just a little dull because of it.

Soulcalibur V removes the Critical Finish mechanic entirely, instead replacing it with a set of new mechanics. The Brave Edge and Critical Edge system both require actual button inputs that, though simple, are at least actual moves. They also add a bit of flare to the game play, which is always nice. The Quick Move idea won't play into most gamers' play style, at least beyond nabbing its one achievement for K.O.s.

The online play is about what you'd expect. Fight people from across the country and/or globe, finding five players who mercilessly throttle you for every one player who's somewhere around your skill level. The achievements for rivals are simply a matter of finding a player at the bottom of its respective list and then playing like you kind of mean it. Still, the online community, even today, is far from deserted, so the competitive gamer can have at it without inviting seven different friends over to have a decent experience.

When all is said and done, the game keeps the parts that make people enjoy and come back to the series, but doesn't follow through on its newer, and sometimes better, ideas. People who enjoy fighting games in general won't regret playing this game, but the people who specifically enjoy Soulcalibur will have at least a few problems with this installment. Still, both groups will enjoy at least some, or more likely most aspects of the game. It isn't perfect, but then again, it doesn't have to be.
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ryanlegend95
175,627 (116,378)
ryanlegend95
TA Score for this game: 769
Posted on 05 January 13 at 17:12
This review has 8 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
The Soulcalibur series has been with us for quite sometime. Soulcalibur was actually released on the PS1 which was originally called Soul Blade (Soul Edge outside of the EU). In fact Soul Blade was originally an arcade hit in Japan then Namco decided it was time to take the next step and port it onto consoles. When Soul Blade was ported it did really well and Namco decided to make a series of it which is now known as Soulcalibur. Every single Soulcalibur game has had a great run and is probably one of the most popular 3D fighters around. 3 years ago Soulcalibur 4 was introduced to Xbox 360 and PS3. That game did extremely well with the help of the surprise guests from Star Wars. This time Soulcalibur 5 only has one special guest and is probably the most fitting character yet. Ezio from Assassins Creed has made an appearance and like in the games he is awesome. Namco did a good job at using his skills and weapons for this game and is definitely an over used character on the online battles. Mainly because he is one of the most easiest characters to use which is a great welcome to the newcomers.

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Apart from the guest the game's combat system has majorly improved. The game feels faster and performing combos is easier than ever. For newcomers however this game may be difficult because of the lack of a true tutorial mode but eventually your made up combos will no longer be stuttered due to the simpler combos. The combos no longer feel like a drag to learn because they are not overly long. In fact you can go to training mode and watch a CPU perform a combo. This will at least give you a good idea on how the combo is supposed to look like but the fact the game doesn't teach you on how to perform a combo can feel frustrating when you are repeatedly being hammered online by some guy that knows every combo for Nightmare. Apart from the difficulty curve the developers throw in nice features for the new and improved combat system. Countering an attack is a lot easier because the timing is less strict and there is the return of Critical Edge. Critical Edge was featured in Soul Blade but wasn't perfect and felt like a hit and miss opportunity which is why it wasn't introduced in the later titles. Thankfully Namco has improved Critical Edge because it can be performed by a simple input. Critical Edge is basically the ultimate move and can usually take away half of the opposing players health except for Nightmare who could take away three quarters.

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The other features of the game are also very good. There are plenty of offline modes which range from Quick Battle, Arcade Mode, Training, Legendary Souls and story mode. All of these modes are fine and the fact that there is a true story mode is a real treat. Unfortunately the story is pretty cheesy and the main characters aren't all that interesting. For the most part you play as Protrokolos who is basically a rude pot mouth with a temper. He is not all that interesting and the second main character Pyraah is basically Sophitia but even more apologetic. However the story does involve important characters like Siegfried and Nightmare but unfortunately they play more like side characters. The story would've been more interesting if it was about the rivalry between Siegfried and Nightmare because they still have unfinished business. Also because of the story mode the arcade mode no longer has individual storylines for each character which I think is a real shame cause the endings for the previous games were actually pretty interesting.

Speaking of characters the game introduces a whole bundle of new characters. Most of them are however replacements of older characters e.g. Natsu is the replacement of Taki. Some of the new characters are quite annoying but they do show off some nice combos and the older characters from previous titles are now absolute badasses especially Killik with his mastery of all weapons.

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On the graphics side of things this game is probably one of the most prettiest games I have ever seen. The characters look gorgeous with plenty of detail and their animations are just epic especially when it comes to Voldo's violent moves. The stages are also good looking with great attention to detail and fantastic lighting and the backdrops are just amazing. In fact the backdrops sometimes have a bit of action in it which does make the stage feel more like an epic battle.

The sound design is also impressive with a great soundtrack and the voice acting is pretty good despite of the cheesy dialogue and the annoying voices. I also like the sound effects that the swords make. In fact you can change how they sound like in the options. You get the choice between realistic or exaggerated. It's a nice feature especially for nostalgia reasons when you turn the effects on exaggerated. Mainly because it sounds a lot like the sound effects from the first Soulcalibur game.

The one thing that I really love though is the character creation mode. In this mode you can customize an existing character or create your own character from scratch. There are plenty of customization options to choose from and you can even unlock more costumes and weapons by playing the game either offline or online. This mode is a real time waster and should be introduced in future projects.

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Almost forgot. The online mode is spectacular. Playing with a friend or some stranger is a nice get away from the dull story mode and the battles feel epic. The game runs nicely too with no signs of lagging or crashing. The only downfall is however is that there is a lack other online modes like tag team or a tournament mode. It's quite bare boned but you can easily spend hours with just playing the same mode over and over again.

Summary:
+Great combat system
+Gorgeous graphics
+Fantastic online
-The story mode is cheesy
-Some of the new characters are annoying
-getting your ass kicked by Nightmare

Overall I think this is another great title for the Soulcalibur series despite its dull offline modes.
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