Review: Soul Calibur V...for Vendetta

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Soul Calibur Five. Yes, I said FIVE just to clarify; because I know someone somewhere out there is pronouncing it as a "v" (sigh). So before going on a tangent, and totally exploding on THAT type of people... Soul Calibur FIVE!

The fighting genre has experienced a boom in the number of games spit out (some good, others... not so) almost like the neighborhood gumball machine. (What were you thinking!?) Titles like Mortal Kombat 9, Street Fighter 4 (drop it), and Marvel v. Capcom 3 have brought forth a new chapter in fighting games, and reignited the flame. Now, another staple of fighters has emerged from seemingly nowhere, Soul Calibur.

Initial thoughts when loading up the disk were relatively high due in part to having a new Soul Calibur in a few years. The opening cinematic where Siegfried and Nightmare were clashing was definitely awesome and flashy; I couldn't wait to actually start playing. Once I selected my first character (Pyrrha) and began that first battle (COM), excitement turned into confusion, then further into frustration. What did they do!?

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Fighters are judged entirely on gameplay, and immediately, I had none from controller to character. Actions were clunky, slow, and generally dumbed down. Even against a mediocre COM, I had to dig deep to finish the fight. I switched characters to a faster type (Natsu) hoping to quell my fear only to reinforce it. The mechanics were tinkered with from the previous installment, and it did not bode well.

Actions have a greater lag transitioning from controller to character, and timing with each character is special. Timing combos has always been fine in previous installments, but the more I played with it, the more I noticed that this installment was not in tune. Parrying and breakers were effective, and special moves were still key at least.

The Story Mode was set, and had as much depth as any generic fighter of the ‘90s… well with a slight incest twist. Not every character was seen in the story, and involvement was transparent in the ones that were introduced. Questions were brought up, but never answered. Characters were thrown into the mix, and disappeared just as quick. Oh well, it’s a fighter and nothing to be ashamed about… right?

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Online playability has improved dramatically, and is as solid as any other current fighter on the market. Not once did I experience lag, and generally people stayed for a full match (but it’s more courtesy and less doucheness than anything). Both Ranked and Player matches are available, and custom characters may be used (I personalized the hell out of my characters!).

Speaking of custom characters… son of a bitch! If only moves could be altered, and less clothing presentable then I would be satisfied. I’ve seen more customability in WWE 12! Although I bitch about it, it was still satisfying enough creating custom characters who look like players from other franchises (I so made Lara Croft). It’s a neat mode that differs from other fighters, so that’s always a plus.

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Unlockable characters were half and half. Some came from the story, others from a mode called Legendary Souls. That being said, only six unlockable characters were present, and I did not enjoy trying to unlock the ones from Legendary Souls. Legendary Souls is a higher-level arcade mode where all you do is get your ass kicked from left to right, from Sunday to next month! I curl up in a ball under my sheets and cry for a while every time I remember getting Kilik’s pole shoved so far up my ass it tickles my insides… *shiver*.

Well, all in all. Not too bad. It’s not great. It’s not bad. It just is. Hey, they have Ezio! And not just any Ezio! End of Assassin’s Creed 2, beginning of Assassin’s Creed 2: Brotherhood Ezio! That’s great. Super. Well, hopefully next time they can get someone as badass as Yoda and Darth Vader in on the action. Oh, and console exclusives please. B-.