The Rundown: Soul Calibur 5

McNinja

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I've played Soul Calibur since the Dreamcast. I'm not good at it (I'm not good at any fighting game), but the Soul Calibur series has always had a special place in my heart. But as of late, it has turned into a sort of love/hate relationship, and Soul Calibur 5 only adds to that.

One of the first games I bought for the original Xbox was Soul Calibur 2, which featured Spawn, and it was awesome. You could play through the story with any character, Spawn was awesome (he could fly and shoot fireballs), and it was a blast with my friends.

Then came Soul Calibur 3. Damn that was a good game. The Chronicles of the Sword mode was perhaps the best idea Project Soul has had in a decade; it was well done and gave your created characters their own story mode. Now, there was a lot more to it that that, but I'll leave it there for anyone who wants to to find out for themselves how fun and involving it was.

After that came Soul Caibur 4. Damn. Just... damn. I wanted this to be so good. SC3 was awesome, but this game? This game was anything but. Arcade mode was ass, as the CPU difficulty was set for each round, and it eventually got to the point where the AI would read your button presses and instantly counter or block or just throw you off of the edge. In fact, it was like that for every offline mode: you play for a while, and the further you got along in that mode, the more difficult it became to the point where the only thing I could do was attempt grapples for the duration of the match and hope I won or threw the opponent off of the edge. SC4 also introduced a new Critical gauge thing which was never really explained well enough for me to understand, so I would get roflstomped and have no way to defend myself.

Now, we have Soul Calibur 5. Is it better than 4? Yes. Is it as good as 3? Nope.

Pros:
-Looks great (mostly, some textures are bland that really shouldn't be)
-Sounds great
-New characters ZWEI and Viola are cool
-same basic mechanics, plus a more refined Critical guage system, breaks, unblockable attacks, etc. It has definitely gotten deeper and more intricate
-The ability to change difficulty levels. This shouldn't even count, but after SC4, it does.

Cons:
-No tutorial or introduction modes for new players. At all. New to this game? Good f**kin' luck pissing around in training mode for thirty hours.
-The CPU is still a cheating bastard. Even on normal diffficulty, it seems that if you beat the CPU 2/3 rounds, the difficulty level rises for the 3rd round. Also, if you pause the game, then unpause, the CPU can move before you can.
-Talim, Kilik, and Taki are out. For no good reason. Also gone: My favorite, Zasalamel.
-Character Creator is still shallow, but thankfully had those clothing and weapon stats removed.
-Story mode is a big, steaming pile of WTF and are you serious. And mediocrity. It's like the developers went "hey, we got that online thing down great... oh crap, we forgot a story mode!"


Honestly, if all you want is a fighting game, go for it. The online mode is well-done, but other than that, there is zero substance.

234/489 stars.
 

StormShaun

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Feb 1, 2009
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I got it today and I played it for around 10-20 minutes before I put it down and decided that I was going to return it tomorrow, WHY!.

I didn't like it because of two points, the story was crap and the fighting felt more robotic then ever, even Soul Caliber 4 had better everything then it.

And what makes it worse, I couldn't play multiplayer (Due to Xbox live and stuff), the character creation was not inspirational like SC4 (which had a story for your created guy), I see no point with the new characters, the loading screen/menu sucked or was the same but dumbed down and the fighting just seemed much more dumbed down and didn't included a tutorial even though it felt more complex then SC4.

So I am glad Im going to give it back and put it towards a more worth it game, if I wanted to play this I would of just played Soul Caliber 4 again.

Now that my rage is gone, I have to say I expected more then this. This feels like a worse copy of SC4, how did I look forward to this? :(

So I disagree with most of the Pros.

-Looks the same but with a bit more detail.
- Sounds the same.
- I personally didn't find the new characters interesting.
- It felt less fluid, more complex and dumbed down the awesomeness. (Didn't notice the deeper system)
- I seriously didn't even notice that.
 

McNinja

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I noticed it, but only because I would randomly do awesome things and on the side of the screen it would say "Critical Edge" or "Break Edge." Honestly, I agree. The lack of a tutorial is just pitiful, like the developers didn't even think this game would be played by anyone who didn't play the others. The funny thing is, if they played the others, they would realize how bad this game is.
 

odin792

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Jul 21, 2011
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I'm pretty sure kilik is still in the game, i think you have to find and beat him in arcade mode to unlock him.
 

Ilikemilkshake

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McNinja said:
-Talim out. For no good reason.
Wtf.. guess i'll just cry myself to sleep now. Kidding but Talim has been my favourite since play SC2 a million years ago.. so im glad i didnt have this pre-ordered.
 

Some_weirdGuy

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Soul calibur 3 is the only one I own myself, but I found it to be a truly great game.

I've played 4 and it didn't feel as good. I was thinking maybe because i was just new to it that i wasn't liking it as much, that i'd just grown attached to soul calbiur 3's larger range of features and it's takes on the characters design, etc.
I also thought that people who were fans of soul calibur 2 probably viewed soul calibur 3 the same way I viewed 4.
But it seems to be the common consensus that 3 was just better than 4(and from what you're saying 5 too).

Seen as you(and anyone else who reads this and was a pre-soul calbur 3 fan) are familiar with the older ones, would you say you were disappointed by anything in 3? Or was it one of those sequels that you felt did everything right?
 

McNinja

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Some_weirdGuy said:
Soul calibur 3 is the only one I own myself, but I found it to be a truly great game.

I've played 4 and it didn't feel as good. I was thinking maybe because i was just new to it that i wasn't liking it as much, that i'd just grown attached to soul calbiur 3's larger range of features and it's takes on the characters design, etc.
I also thought that people who were fans of soul calibur 2 probably viewed soul calibur 3 the same way I viewed 4.
But it seems to be the common consensus that 3 was just better than 4(and from what you're saying 5 too).

Seen as you(and anyone else who reads this and was a pre-soul calbur 3 fan) are familiar with the older ones, would you say you were disappointed by anything in 3? Or was it one of those sequels that you felt did everything right?
Going from SC2 to SC3, SC3 improved in almost every area it could have. The music has stayed relatively the same throughout the series, as have the graphics, but with the extra modes, especially the Chronicles of the Sword mode as well as the introduction of the character creator, it significantly improved the single-player aspect of the game and made the characters you created worth something more than just a cool-looking fighter, which is why it is/was such a hit. SC4 and 5 have no such modes, and in fact have continually worse and worse Arcade/story modes, with 5 having a god-awful story mode and a bare-bones no-story-at-all arcade/time trial mode.
 

WolfThomas

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Dec 21, 2007
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McNinja said:
The Chronicles of the Sword mode was perhaps the best idea Project Soul has had in a decade; it was well done and gave your created characters their own story mode. Now, there was a lot more to it that that, but I'll leave it there for anyone who wants to to find out for themselves how fun and involving it was.
Loved Chronicle of the Sword, was absolutely shattered that SC4 and now SC5 has nothing like that. It's a terrible shame, a more modern Soul Caliber with a Chronicle of the Sword mode with cinematics and even dialogue choices would be boss.
 

TheSteeleStrap

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Kilik is gone? That was my favorite character! I wasn't going to buy it anyway, but now I'm definitely not...
 

TheSteeleStrap

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Also, SC2 was the only one I ever owned. Maybe the back of the box isn't an indication of how the combat is as a whole, but the streams of color that follow the slashes of weapons make it look like a cluster fuck.
 

HandsomeZer0

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I played soul calibur since 2, and 2 was great. 3 was incredible. 4 was a bag of dicks and 5 is so empty and shallow. The combat is great in it, but they didn't do barely any story mode, and arcade is a chore, legendary souls is harder than ron jeremey and its just convoluted and stuff. WE NEED TALE OF SOULS AGAIN!
 

Amethyst Wind

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I miss Seong Mi-Na. So much. Xianghua and Cassandra too. About the only character I liked from IV that's still there is Tira. Now I like Dampierre and Viola as they're relatively fun to play with. Knightmare is an even more annoying character than he was in IV (the only other SC I've played) and I'm generally meh about every other character (except Xiba, fuck him, seriously Japan, nobody likes the food-obsessed dumbarse character, just stop putting one in your franchises).

Now then, compared to 4 this game isn't as smooth, the story mode has done away with the different perspectives angle which was a mainstay of Japanese fighting games and that NOBODY WAS COMPLAINING ABOUT! and just shown you the 'true' ending straight off. Too bad it takes twenty fights to get there, should have been shorter, especially considering you fight some enemies twice (sometimes in a row).

The character creation is simplified into simple aesthetic choices with no stats which is kinda a good thing I guess. However it still had the same problem that 4 had. You couldn't create a character with a custom style, only copy an existing character, so your 'custom' choices were the name and whether or not you want a loli/shota version of Mitsurugi.

I never got to play SC3 and have heard stories about the custom styles (specifically Grieve Edge) and was really hoping they would be included here.

Overall view: I haven't been online yet and am not looking forward to it. Through a set of serendipitous circumstances the game will only cost me around $2 if I trade it in within two weeks, which I probably will, so I can probably say I've enjoyed myself more than two bucks worth but I don't have any enthusiasm for the game and don't see myself spending the hours and hours I happily put into 4 with this one. Really glad I got the Dampierre DLC though, that guy is fun to play as.
 

Amethyst Wind

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I miss Seong Mi-Na, so much. Xianghua too, boy do I hate her shallow, stock-character daughter. At least Tira's still in it and amazingly she serves as the main antagonist.

EDIT: Curses, I thought that other post didn't go through.
 

MetaKnight19

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I've always been a fan of the Soul Calibur series, I absolutely loved Soul Calibur 2 on the GameCube, and it ranks as one of my favourite fighting games ever. I missed 3, but I should probably check it out. I bought 4 relatively cheap and it didn't have the same feel as 2.

I got 5 through the post today, I'm enjoying it more than 4 but not as much as 2. The story mode just seems like the games storyboard with fights thrown in, completely wasted. I agree with the OP on the difficulty in arcade issue though, I got to the final fight almost effortlessly and Nightmare just killed me every time I was about to take the match. I haven't given online a go yet but that's on my to-do list. A minor thing is that the announcer sounds different, not as grand or eccentric as the one in 2 but that might just be me.

Probably the thing that annoys me most though, however petty it might seem, is that they took out Talim. Talim was my favourite character to use in 2, so it sucks that she's gone. Overall though, despite the issues I'm having fun with it. Plus Ezio's gun does far too much damage...
 

Some_weirdGuy

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Amethyst Wind said:
The character creation is simplified into simple aesthetic choices with no stats which is kinda a good thing I guess. However it still had the same problem that 4 had. You couldn't create a character with a custom style, only copy an existing character, so your 'custom' choices were the name and whether or not you want a loli/shota version of Mitsurugi.

I never got to play SC3 and have heard stories about the custom styles (specifically Grieve Edge) and was really hoping they would be included here.
Thats one thing i liked about SC3, the custom characters having their own weapons(but also having the 'soul of *whoever*' once they leveled up enough. Though i still think sword master should have gotten soul of olcadan).

I also liked to try and pick out where different weapon disciplines draw influences from each other :p. (for example, one of the grabs you can do with the lance discipline is very similar to a grab Raphael can do).

Pretty disappointing that the next game didn't have that... or a number of other cool stuff from 3.

I'm a little surprised though that after removing all those extra weapons types, they didn't then reuse some of them to create 'new' characters in the next game.
 

McNinja

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MetaKnight19 said:
A minor thing is that the announcer sounds different, not as grand or eccentric as the one in 2 but that might just be me.

Probably the thing that annoys me most though, however petty it might seem, is that they took out Talim. Talim was my favourite character to use in 2, so it sucks that she's gone. Overall though, despite the issues I'm having fun with it. Plus Ezio's gun does far too much damage...
The voice over guy did indeed change. It was rather jarring to me as I'm fairly certain he was in SC4, and was sort of cheesy, which was great.

Also, they took out Zasalamel, and he was my favorite character.
Sober Thal said:
You say:

Soul Calibur 2 featured Spawn, and it was awesome.

New character ZWEI (is) cool.


And I can't disagree with you more.

OT: Soul Calibur V is a step in the wrong direction. It's like IV, and that's just shit. I'm glad we agree there.
The problem with ZWEI is that in the story mode, he's basically a character from an anime that ripped off twilight. His fighting style is unique, but as a character? No. It looks like Project Soul tried to make a "cool" character, but they failed. I had more fun playing with him than I did Patroklos.
 

irequirefood

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In my mind, no SC game will ever compare to 3 unless they have the epic customisability, all those different fighting styles, and something akin to Chronicle of the Sword. Seriously, why did they vote to get rid of most of that stuff? And now they're removing some of the best characters of the series in V? I just...I was going to buy this, as I have owned every game since 2. But now, I'm not so sure. They just seem to be taking the fun out of the series game by game ever since IV.