Review: Soul Calibur V

Soul Calibur V leaves a good first impression, but after putting some time into the game, one discovers that this (mostly) sword-fighting game is not going to earn itself a place in the book of legendary titles.

The latest chapter in the Soul Calibur series begins with a quite impressive opening scene that builds a desire to jump right into the game. Soul Calibur V’s story mode is typical for a fighting game. The hero goes through a series of battles until you reaching an
over-the-top end guy. Where Soul Calibur V starts to fall short, however, is in the development of the hero character, Patroklos. He comes off as whiny, ill tempered and it seems as though
he kills innocent people because he believes them to be “malfested.” These traits make it
very difficult to get behind the character and root for him to win.



The actual game play is a bit inconsistent. The difficulty of the computer opponent varies
from
round to round. Matches shift from being easy to excessively difficult,
and it doesn’t no matter what difficulty level you are playing on. And
it bears repeating that Patroklos is not the best character on Soul
Calibur V’s roster. He has a rather lackluster bag of tricks, and there
are plenty of other characters in the game I would have much rather been
able to use for this mode.

Soul Calibur V’s characters look great and appear to be well crafted, but their fighting
styles
and battles are a little choppy. True, you can link fight moves
together and completely pummel your opponent, but if you are on the
other end of that, fun quickly goes out the door. This is only more
intensified by those characters that have long-range
weapons. Granted, Soul Calibur is a fast paced high energy game, and the moves are
rather easy to pick up. There are also some very visually stunning super moves, which
alone make the game enjoyable to play. The environments and backgrounds are also
works of art in themselves.

There’s
no reason to report that Soul Calibur V is a total loss. On balance,
it’s a fighting game with enough pep hold your interest for at least a
short period of time. Its versus mode seems to be its saving grace, as
it gives you and a bunch of buddies a chance to get together and spend
hours having the same kind of battle royale you can experience with a
franchise like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. Cue expletives to one
another and plenty of light beer.

My favorite part of the game is the create your own fighter mode. This does at the very
least give you as a player a bit more of a connection to the game. There are a large
variety of options to choose from in your creation of a perfect fighter. I can see how you
could spend quite some time creating characters.

To
summarize, Soul Calibur V is a visually-stunning game with some very
interesting looking and well- crafted characters. The game play,
however, leaves me wanting more, even with the
addition of the Assassin Ezio Auditore. If you are looking for a quick game to pick up
with ease than this is the game for you. On the other hand if you are interested in a
fighting game with more than just a pretty exterior that has some meat on its bones then
perhaps you may want to go for Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat.

SoulCailibur V
Project Soul/Namco Bandai Games
PlayStation 3, XBox 360 (Reviewed on XBox 360)
Rated T for Teen