Sunday, August 24, 2008

Soul Calibur 4 Review

Welcome to my Soul Calibur 4 Review (or something like that).

What is Soul Calibur 4?
Soul Calibur 4 is the latest installment in Namco's Soul series of weapon based fighting games that hit North American retailers on July 31.

Now this review might not be the most complete one out there, since I only rented SC4 for the Xbox 360 and didn't buy it (at least not yet...).

The graphics are beautifully done and really make the characters and environments come alive.
It sounds real good. Though some of the voices in the Character Creation Mode (which I'll talk about later) sound a bit weird.
It's very easy to pick up and play even if you've never played any of the Soul series games before (like myself). Unlike a lot of fighting games, you don't have to master millions of different combos and moves to excel in it,but you still can if you want. That's why some call this a Button Masher. Though I enjoyed it for it's simplicity and easy to pick up game play.

  • Story: With only five levels and very few cut scenes, there's not much of a story or gameplay. Also "Normal" is more like "Easy" and takes little time to beat,even for a first time player. Though "Hard" is still "Hard" for what I saw.
  • Arcade: Like the name suggest, it's like a Arcade where you play against an opponent one-by-one until you beat the the last one (the 8th or 10th I think). Unlike Story Mode, It's pretty challenging.
  • Training:It's a good place to practice and learn new moves like combos and other stuff.
  • Museum:Things like Videos,Pictures, and other stuff like that can be found here, though it doesn't add much to the gameplay experience.
  • Tower of Lost Souls: Here you face a certain amount of opponents each floor as you ascend or descend the tower in order to unlock armor,weapons,clothing, and other accessories. This mode can be painfully hard at times.
  • Character Creation: This mode is really cool! Not only can you customize existing characters, but you can also make your own character (as the name states) and equip him or her with various clothes,armors,weapons, and other accessories. Though getting them can be quite a challenge since one of the main ways of getting them is in the Tower of Lost Souls Mode and doing various thing in other modes, you can also buy them after you unlock them.
Other Features:
  • Armor destruction: Let's say you (or your opponent) blocks too much there a chance that the armor (one piece for the head, upper body and lower body) will be destroyed and could leave you (or you opponent ) open for a Critical Finisher. It can be pretty cool seeing your opponents armor come off, especially when Hilde's helmet is knocked off, but the only bad thing I could say about it is that your character (or your opponent's) can end up fighting the rest of the match in their underwear (unless you give them different undergarments in CC) it looks kind of odd. It doesn't happen with every character (thankfully) and it doesn't distract from the gameplay too much. ^^'
  • Critical Finish: Truth be told, I never preformed a Critical Finish since I hadn't figured out how to preformed one sadly. :( But from the videos I've seen it looks awesome.
  • Star Wars: "Reviewer Guy Say What!?" Some of you might be asking yourself that same question and I'm prepared to answer it. Over the years the Soul series has had Console Specific Guest characters since it's second installment with Link (from the Legend of Zelda) on the Nintendo GameCube, Heihachi Mishima (from Tekken) on the PlayStation 2, and the infamous Spawn (from Image Comics) on the Xbox. "What's does this have to do with Star Wars?" You ask, Well...because Yoda (whose in the Xbox 360) Darth Vader (whose on the PlayStation 3) and StarKiller AKA Vader's Apprentice from the upcoming Force Unleashed game (whose in both consoles) are featured in Soul Calibur 4. Yoda and Starkiller are pretty and fun to play as...I wish I could have played as Darth Vader, but I couldn't since I don't have a PlayStation 3 and I don't plan on buying one just play as him.
  • Violence: Well it is a fighting game so of course it's going to be violent. You use weapons like swords,axes,spears, and other sharp things to slash,stab, and knock out opponents. Since you're doing all that, you would expect blood and body parts to be all over the place. But instead, there is no blood or any bodily dismemberment which is a big plus in my book since I don't like to play fighting games with lots of blood and bodily dismemberment like Mortal Combat for example.
  • Sexual Content: There isn't much (or any) sexual content in the story and stuff. But the outfits on the other hand is a completely different story. Most female characters tend to wear skimpy outfits (excluding Hilde for sure since she wears a full suit of armor). Their alternate outfits seem to be ok, also you can always use CC to make a more modest ones. But it's a bit of a minus in my book since you have characters who wear ridiculously skimpy outfits (Ivy being the worst of all). I mean, did they (Namaco) have to make most of the females' main outfits with so immodest. >:(
  • Other Stuff: It's kind of dark.Maybe that's what they were going for. It's still a fun game though.
  • Rent It: Try it out first and see what you think before buying.
  • Age to Play: Even though it's rated T-For-Teen by the ESRB which means 13 and up, I would recommend 16 and up like the PEGI did in Europe.
All and all it's a very fun and entertaining game with a few flaws (the main one the skimpy outfits). With great graphics and good game play, Soul Calibur 4 is sure to rock your socks off. So I give this game an 8.5 out of 10 score.
Hope you all liked my first video game review.
Post you thoughts in the comment box.