By September 21, 2008

Soul Calibur IV review

Console games are not something that we would typically cover here on tracyandmatt but when Namco got in touch with me a couple of months ago about the release of the fourth chapter of Soul Calibur I agreed to do a review for them.

Similar to it’s predecessors Soul Calibur IV continues the barrage of fast paced violence and continued onslaught of over endowed scantily clad female protagonists that many gamers have come to love of the lifespan of this somewhat iconic albeit miss spelled franchise.


Many of the series previous characters return in this the forth instalment of the game with the addition of some new and somewhat special playable characters. The character list is solid with each of the characters having there own unique style and armoury however successfully remaining even with regards to ability and skill. The game contains 26 standard characters and a few more unlockables along the way so offers a fairly expansive roster.. The guests in this game come in the form of Darth Vader & The secret Apprentice also seen in star wars: the force unleashed. These are welcome additions to the game as they add some familiarity to gamers who have not experienced the Soul Calibur series before and there unique skills also make them a great asset. If the characters in the game do not do it for you than there is a fairly comprehensive create a fighter allowing you to customize your perfect star.


There are several options to choose from when it comes to getting stated Story which offers your chosen character the chance to battle there was through a number of opponents before reaching the boss at the end of the stage the killing of whom leads to the collection of items and collectables. The story mode though is a little weak as it can be completed in a short amount of time and offers little variety leading to a tedious continuation which does wear thin after a while, that said it is the best way to experience all the fantastic characters and settings for the battles. Arcade mode is the standard pick up and play, selecting 2 characters to do battle through a number of rounds, perfect for those interested in a quick and brutal fight without the need for interruptions in the form of scene setting. Training is very useful and certainly recommended to those who are yet to play a title from the Soul Calibur franchise.

Graphically this game is fantastic the characters look great and so do the environments with chunks of debris flying from the surface as your opponent is slammed into the ground. The new feature which allows for the breakdown of opponents armour leaving them more open to attacks works really well and looks fantastic integrated perfectly into the battle really adding an element of realism or as realistic as a fight between Darth Vader & a small Japanese girl in a fire infested pit can be, speaking of girls the female characters in the game seem slightly overdone with regards to there assets where as I am sure this will please a certain demographic seems a little unnecessary. if it has always annoyed you when the button basher shows his face in multiplayer mode well it has been slightly improved as now if a player blocks to much you will be able to destroy a part of there armour making them more susceptible to damage and also teamed with un-blockable special attacks button bashing has just got allot harder.


As mentioned earlier the game is very easy to pick up and play and little to no experience of the Soul Calibur franchise is required to play as although button bashing has been reduced there are still a limited number of attacks and combinations it plays in a very similar way to other beat em ups so if you have played any in the past you will be away with Soul Calibur IV. This is just one of the beauties of Soul Calibur IV. The fun factor is instantly increased by the simple control system as it eliminates the frustration and anger caused by other titles. The lifespan of Soul Calibur IV depends hugely on how much enjoyment you get from the title. The story mode will certainly not keep you tied up for long however with the large number of characters and environments to enjoy the game should keep you happy for a good few months.

Overall Soul Calibur IV is a solid title, it combines fantastic graphics and a depth of realism unmatched by any other next gen beat em up. The immersive gameplay and the large selection of characters teamed with great environments and many new features will keep gamers happy for some time to come. A great title however a more in depth and varied story line would be very much appreciated.


Review by: Nick

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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