Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Soul Calibur 4, Praise and Laments

Soul Calibur 4 Cervantes

Originally uploaded by darciastevenson.

I have good and bad things to say about Soul Calibur IV. The good is that it looks amazing, play control is spot on and may actually be better than the previous games by a hair, the custom character creation is cool, and having Yoda as a playable character is just down right neat. The Soul series of games have always been one of my favorites. Nearly bought a Dreamcast on a number of occasions just to satisfy my desire to play the original Soul Calibur... which is still the pinnacle of the series by the way.

So number 4 is by far a worthy addition to the series, but I do have a few minor complaints... which once again brings it all back to the Dreamcast version as being the best one. While the game looks amazing and the addition of Jedi is very fun, having Vader's apprentice be the next to last opponent in arcade mode every time (and thus always having my butt handed to me) has become very tedious. The apprentice is overpowered in the way Cervantes was during the Soul Blade/Edge days, and at least then the old pirate was the end boss. If there were a way to adjust the difficulty of the arcade mode or turn off the apprentice, then I'd probably be happy.

You have to remember that I'm playing for fun here, not to become a frothing ball of frustration to the point of scaring my family. You can blah blah blah all you want about challenge and such, but I should be able to tailor the game's difficulty to my liking. I can always ramp it up later once I've got all the moves down again. I completely skipped over Soul Calibur 3 because I heard the difficulty level was absurd a SC2 was still working fine for me.

This version has online play, which sounds great... but with my silver account on Xbox Live it does me no good. I'll be upgrading to Gold this fall once the update comes out to allow Netflix streaming, so I'll just find out about all that then.

Custom character creation is pretty neat. I'm hoping to have more options once I unlock more outfit pieces, but I've already made two Chrono Trigger characters for it (Magus and Lucca) using what was available. My only complaint is that instead of just going for the appearance, I have to worry about how each piece effects my stats. After finishing up a pretty respectable Lucca lookalike and starting the game, turn out she starts out with only 50% health. No wonder she was dying so fast. I added some extra outfit bits to bring her health up, but it did spoil the look I was going for... bummer.

At any rate the game is still great, even if the menu system seems to have suffered a bit. I also miss the old travel the world to unlock stuff game that was in SC2. That was better than the new tower of souls or whatever the call it. That and the story mode seems like a replacement for the way the arcade mode used to play... all in all it is like they messed to much with what used to work perfect.

In the end I'm really impressed, but also slightly disappointed... which has been the case with every game since the original SC.

Oh and the anatomy on some of the girls (I'm looking at you Ivy) has gone off the deep end of absurdity. Honestly, could we tone it down a tad. My wife watches me play this game, and she's already telling my newborn son he's not going to get to play... which is a shame.

1 comment:

Your wife said...

Not until he is 18! :)