Game: Soulcalibur V
Available On: Xbox 360 (Review), Playstation 3
There’s something fun about beating the crap out of your friends. I’m not extremely knowledgeable about fighters, and the really intense ones like Tekken are just way too complicated for me to truly master. I’m more of a fan of the ‘casual’ fighters like Soulcalibur and Mortal Kombat. They allow me to actually feel accomplished and make it seems like I know what I’m doing. I mean when I play Tekken I button mash, when I play Soulcalibur I actually know combos. So really with all that it’s not hard to see why I like Soulcalibur over other fighters, it makes me feel competent and actually know what I’m doing. It’s also lucky to be a fighter that my big gaming friends also enjoy playing, and there is nothing more fun than the battles you can have in this game with close friends. When you’re not yelling at each other for cheap tactics, that is.
Soulcalibur V pretty much picks off exactly where the fourth one leaves off… that is, it’s a fighter. I’ve never really paid much attention to the game’s storyline, but that’s because it gets more and more simple with each newest game. There is that man, he has an evil sword, KILL HIM! V’s story seems to take a bigger castration than its former brethren, as the story is so bare bones that there isn’t even bones. When I first got the game, I figured I’d start with the story, cause that just makes sense, and after maybe 45 minutes tops I was done the entire story mode. Sure, it was nice to have all those achievements pop up, but I’d much rather have something actually substantial drive the narrative of the game. Then again, as I said earlier, it’s a fighting game, I’m not really in it for a story that’ll leave me breathless.
The combat and controls stay pretty much the same from the previous game, except for a few ‘feel’ changes. I can best describe ‘feel’ is the weight of the controls. There is a tangible difference in how your character performs his move. It was incredibly noticeable, and off-putting, when I started the game but after playing it for 50+ hours I am use to the change. I haven’t touched SCIV since, so I can’t comment on whether or not it’s a good change, but I’m happy with how SCV controls. My friends say it’s easier for them, I actually feel like it’s harder, but to each their own.
A minor annoyance (but knowing me, all ‘minor’ annoyances are extremely unforgiving pet peeves) that really gets to me is the character roster. It’s just complete shit. It’s so limited and there’s just a serious lack of characters in it. This is somewhat understandable, what with the time change between games, but then they just take their time shift and throw it out the window. Talim, a character who’s like 13 in SCIV, is nowhere to be seen in SCV, however Voldo, a character who’s like 60 in SCIV, is front and centre for SCV. I’m a big fan of Voldo and even I was annoyed by this addition. Why make a time shift when you’re going to take all your young characters, get rid of them and then keep all your oldies. Fan favouritism, I can understand, but come on.
A big feature that draws me and my friends to Soulcalibur is the Create a Fighter mode. To put into perspective how much my friends like it, one of them has logged 25 hours in it on its own. I don’t spend as much time there, because somehow all of my characters are just guys in thongs with a different skin colour. However, the Creation is great and it’s extremely diverse. Some of my personal favourites that I made are Hyper Realistic Kirby, Cthulu, Tinkerbell and Hank Hill. In the last game I made Natalie Portman, Walter White and Homer Simpson — I could easily make them again in this one too. It becomes a point where I stop playing the regular fighters and only play my customs, which is much preferred. I mean there’s nothing better than Tinkerbell beating the shit out of my friend’s customs that they spent hours on. I LIVE FOR THEIR TEARS.
Now through all this stuff that I’m enjoying I have to just fault SCV so much for just seeming like a shell of a game. There is really absolutely nothing to it. There are rumours circulating that the game itself was rushed to the point where none of the features they wanted are in it, and you know what? I believe it. There’s story, a ghost battle mode, arcade and then a harder arcade mode. Of course there’s online, but that’s merely just a standard now. Really this game has nothing to it, and that’s very apparent when you just spend some time actually playing it.
Overall Soulcalibur V is a fun gaming experience, but that’s really all because of my friends. The game is there but at the same time it just isn’t. It’s hard to really describe unless you spend some time really trying to dig deep into it. It’s trying to have the same soul of its previous instalments (pardon the pun) but it just falls flat on its face. I can only say it’s a good game up to a point, and all of its fault come from it seeming so empty. I mean if I just bought this and had no friends to play it with I would feel pissed off. Also, it’s nice to see them use a realistic guest character as opposed to fucking Yoda and Darth Vader. Come on.
Soulcalibur V: 7/10
Just a heads up, Monday’s Stuck Up Cinema is going to be super serial. Warning you now.