Fighting games have been around for what seems like forever. The current throne of the fighting game genre is possibly Street Fighter. There are strong contenders though like Tekken, Virtua Fighter, Guilty Gear, and Super Smash Brothers to name a few. Lets back track though to the Dreamcast what is one fighting game that was super popular on the console besides all the fighting games by Capcom? How about Soul Calibur? Everyone knows that it became popular after being on the Dreamcast. Currently there is Soul Calibur Broken Destiny, but lets talk about one of the best fighting games on the PS3 and 360, Soul Calibur 4. How is this old franchise holding up? Lets go and find out.
The story in the game is basically the same in everyone game in this franchise, two swords are super powerful and can destroy the earth, Soul Edge and Soul Calibur. Of course everyone has their own reason of finding the two swords and well of course there is going to be a nasty fistfight. It keeps the story going since you don’t really care about the story in a fighting game, but it would be interesting if Namco would actually come up with an interesting story. Ill gripe about the story later though let’s get to the good stuff.
The game play is classic Soul Calibur, a 3D fighting game where you control a big list of fighters who each wields a weapon and you beat the other person down until he or she won’t be able to stand up again. Some new elements have been added into the series though. For one there are super finishers kind of like Mortal Kombat style where if you break the opponents armor three times you can pull one off and destroy them. The other element I added was an armor health bar where there are three bars that act as your defense thing along with your normal health bar. It also shows your character with less armor when you deplete one of the armor gauges, which is pretty cool since I don’t see any fighters showing battle damage in other fighting games. There is another mode, which are like challenge arenas. Another great addition from the last game is the character creation mode where you get to create your character. Of course there are also new characters Darth Vader and Yoda depending on which version you have, but I will talk about that in a second.
The graphics in the game are just super amazing. I like all the lighting features and all the character designs. I like how they keep changing the outfits for the characters even if some don’t seem to change like Ivys or Cassandra’s outfit. I also enjoy the music for the game I don’t know why, but I just enjoy this music more so then a lot of music out today. Two of the composers of the game, Junichi Nakatsuru known for games like Time Crisis 2, Tekken 5, Urban Reign, and two Ace Combat games, and Masaharu Iwata who is known for Final Fantasy 12, Bloody Roar 1 and 2, his help in Odin sphere are the only two I could get information on. The only other two Keiki Kobayashi and Hiroyuki Fujita are the only ones I could not find info on. However the four of them did a very good job in making the music intense and great throughout the game. I also like how this game is great for casual gamers, but also in depth for hardcore players unlike Street Fighter which is more on the line of hardcore players and isn’t that welcoming to new players.
Its time now for the criticism I have for this game. For one I find it odd that they chose Star Wars characters. Maybe it was due to the new Star Wars game coming out, but I think they could of used different characters exclusive for that version of the game like how Soul Calibur Broken Destiny has Kratos in the game. Why not add like Master Chief or something as a special character for the 360 version? Either way two of the Star Wars characters, Yoda and the Apprentice are really unfair fighters. The reason behind this is Yoda’s height and being immune to grab attacks. The other is the Apprentice is overly strong and when he is being controlled by the computer he is extremely tough to fight against due to him being so cheap. The finisher moves while interesting are really hard to pull off and I tend to just kill the opponent the normal way since it takes forever to break the armor gauge on the opponent. I also think that the character creation is a little less free like in the one for Soul Calibur 3. It just doesn’t feel as open fighting style wise.
Even with its faults though I can’t stay away from it. I enjoy playing this game with my friends and classmates during times and we all get a kick out of it. I would say get either one for what ever console you have since you can have Vader for the 360 by downloading him and you can get Yoda for the PS3 by downloading him. I wonder what they will do for Soul Calibur 5…
This game gets a 9 out of 10.