Review: Soul Calibur V PDF Print E-mail

Soul Calibur V (SC5) is a vast improvement over its predecessor. Combat is now infused with flowing motion, spectacular moves and rich depth to the fighting gameplay. 

With an improved fighting dynamics and solid roster of new characters, Soul Caliber carves out a niche within the fighting game genre and makes for a hugely addictive experience.

SC5 is a typical fighting game in the vein of Tekken with full 3D gameplay. The game takes place 17 years after its previous one, and you play as Patroklos, as he battles his way to reach his long-lost sister Pyrrha.

However, things are not as simple as they initially appear and the lingering effects of an evil sword called Soul Edge are still cast over the land. To be honest I found the story really hard to follow and even though it is a decent introduction to the game, it comes off as very much as an afterthought.

Gameplay is incredibly easy to pick-up and even basic button mashing will meet with some success. However, the game requires you to memorise the more than 30 special moves per character, learning all the combos and spending a considerable amount of hours perfecting your timing.

One of the new features is a Super Meter. It fills up as you fight and when full, can be used to unleash either an un-blockable special move or a powerful Critical Edge. There are also a number of minor changes to the "guard" systems and defensive moves that are critical to the gameplay. Perfecting these is key to your success in the game.
 
 
A number of characters make a return, including Cervantes, Voldo, and Ivy, while a plethora of new characters are varied enough in their style and special moves to keep you busy for hours. The inclusion of Ezio from Assassin's Creed is a nice twist. Also making a return is a character customization engine. The engine allows a surprising amount of flexibility from fighting style all the way to body tattoos. I found the process very enjoyable and I was able to come up crazy looking characters.
 
The online experience is brilliant. Matchmaking is seamless and the lobby allows you to search by area, region and even connection strength. I easily found games, though not in my region and while the connections were at only two bars the online gameplay was almost lag free. The online gameplay was a highlight for me but I realized that I needed to master the game in single player story mode and training before I attempted serious online play.
 
 
If you look past the poor single player storyline and focus on the online gameplay, the game is a near-perfect fighter. Combat is the perfect blend of button mashing to get you into the game and complex combat moves to keep you hooked. Fans of the series will love the game, while those new to Soul Calibur will find enough variation from traditional fighters to keep them interested for hours.
 
IN SUMMARY
 
Pros: Online gameplay; variety of characters; low learning curve for noobs; fighting with Ezio; character creation engine.
Cons: Terrible voice acting; confusing short storyline; legendary mode is crazy difficult; steep learning curve.
Score: 7/10
Achievement difficulty: 7/10 
Price: R515
Contact: BT Games - www.btgames.co.za 

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