Friday, August 22, 2008

SoulCalibur IV impressions

Coming up from SoulCalibur III, veterans may noticed that not much has changed in SoulCalibur IV. Gameplay remains essentially unchanged (which to be fair is expected). It is a very accessible series, and even the simplest of button mashing will get most people true. However like all fighting games, learn and memorise the button sequences and you will be rewarded.


A dramatically improved character creation, first introduced in SoulCalibur III, is also included where you can create and customised your character in pretty much every conceivable way. Animations are smooth and details are reasonably high. Shame the same can't be said about the environments... Visuals are upgraded, but apart from having higher polygons, resolution and better textures - does not really seem to take advantage of the consoles relative power. For example arena's debris will gradually disappear. So while the visuals are 'current-gen', the game does not attempt to improve on the physics. For example why are we not able to kick a cracked tile and fling it to the opponent? And why are the fighting arenas planes still flat?

Speaking of physics, the much talked about new costumes of some of Soulcalibur's popular characters is a bit disappointing. You get about two per characters (more may be unlocked, but I don't know about that). The much talked about 'boob physics' is pretty restraint really (at least in the PS3 version - yes even with Ivy), especially compared to the various iteration of successive Dead or Alive titles. Hilde the new character is sensibly dressed, though a new feature in Soulcalibur 4 allows desperate single male players to slowly chip away at their armour...


I've had the opportunity to play both the 360 and PS3 version (couple of hours total) and my preference would be to go for the PS3 version. This is a biased opinion I admit, as I much prefer the Dual Shock pad for fighting games when compared to the 360's rubbish d-pad. Still hardcore fighting fans will likely already own a fighting stick (like this 360 or PS3 Hori arcade stick), in which case go with whichever console you own (or whichever Star Wars characters you want to play as... sad as that may be...). The 360 version's boob physics is more 'jelly' and unrealistic as though the female characters were all fitted with all things Itagaki patented implants. And if that is what you prefer...

I will wait till I have the chance to go into the game deeper before passing judgement, but as it is, SoulCalibur IV is pretty much an evolutionary progression of the series. You won't be expecting a revolutionary title like the classic Dreamcast title, but it is still the best 3D fighter title out there. Replayability should be high, though if you are expecting a story (heh) you will be extremely disappointed.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

oOo La La

Jon said...

Indeed!