Soulcalibur V Review

by Stephen Heller Featured

16 Comments 15 Votes 3717 Views 13/02/2012 Back to Reviews

Who said stories weren't important in a fighting game?

It has been three years since the last Soulcalibur outing, which would make it the perfect timing for a brand new release. While Soulcalibur V may feature some gorgeous visuals, does it do enough to warrant a purchase for the casual fan?

What Soulcalibur V Got Right

Gorgeous presentation - The Soulcalibur series has a reputation for gorgeous presentation, and Soulcalibur V is no exception. Combat animations are some of the best ever displayed in a fighting game. Each movement is fluid and precise, and when coupled with detailed characters, it creates a mesmerising experience. The environments are varied and exciting, and provide the perfect backdrop for some hardcore battles.

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Deep combat system - Soulcalibur V features a deep combat system, that is certainly a challenge to master. Even veterans to the series will need to re-learn their combos to deal out punishing blows, which can be a little off putting for newcomers.

On the flip side of this however, the developers have included a new and improved Critical Edge move set, which allows newbies to perform a series of stylish combo moves. It allows them to get into the game and get a feel for the move set, without needing to learn mountains of button combinations. It's a great introduction, however to stand a chance, players will need to perfect their favourite fighter.

Multiplayer mayhem - Soulcalibur V features a simple, yet effective online suite that will allow players to jump into a random ranked battle, or take on their friends via the PSN or Xbox Live. Player awards and titles can be unlocked via the single-player arcade mode, although they don't offer anything other than bragging rights. Lag is non-existent, which means players can expect a silky smooth experience online.

Character creation - Soulcalibur V brings character creation back again, allowing you to craft a character using items you have unlocked in the story and arcade modes. As a result, you can expect to see some absolutely crazy characters online. User created characters can be used in all single-player aspects except the story mode, and can be seen online.

What Soulcalibur V Got Wrong

Weak single player component - When it comes to single-player components, Soulcalibur V is the weakest of the series. The quest mode is short and uneventful, and the arcade mode is lacking substance. Don't expect different stories for each character; the arcade mode has been replaced by six time-based battles, which feels a little watered down.

New characters are familiar - While Soulcalibur V features a number of new characters, however most of them feel far too familiar to make them exciting or worthwhile. A number of them a related to previous characters, with many sharing similar moves, personalities and even outfits. If you're a veteran of the series, you will probably be disappointed. Having said that, Ezio from Assassin's Creed is an excellent touch.

Worst story in the series - The story mode in Soulcalibur V is by far the worst in the series. Based around a character named Patroklos, the campaign is presented via a series of storyboards and dry narration over the top. The player is forced to use a series of new characters, with no direction or explanation as to how or why you are using them. On even the most basic level, the story plays out like a poorly written fan-fiction affair, that would struggle to grip even the biggest Soulcalbur fan.

The Final Verdict

As a fighting game, Soulcalibur V keeps up the tradition of fast, fluid and varied combat. As an entire package however, Soulcalibur V falls short thanks to a weak and uninspired single-player component that sullies the Soulcalibur franchise. Multiplayer has a solid offering for those heading online, but unless you're a big fan of the franchise, you will find yourself retiring this game a little earlier than expected.

By Stephen Heller

Soul Calibur V

Platform: PS3 / Xbox
Developer: Project Soul
Similar to: Dead or Alive, Tekken
 
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More Info on Soul Calibur V

Soul Calibur V Soul Calibur V Soul Calibur V Soul Calibur V Soul Calibur V Soul Calibur V Soul Calibur V
Game Profile: Soul Calibur V
Soul Calibur V Australian Release: Out Now

Soulcalibur V Review Comments

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Agree 100% with you on the faults. I actually could only play the story mode for 30 minutes max before I just dropped it.

The black and white images to explain the story is horrific and looks so half arsed. I'm not sure if this was due to budget cuts, but god damn, PROPER CGI in the story mode would have done this game justice but it just falls short in so many areas.
SCIV was so much fun. I couldn't get into this. It's a shame, really.
Glad to hear you agree with me @Mirage - it certainly does feel a little cheap, especially considering the great work the guys put into other fighting games like the latest Mortal Kombat.

I liked the game a lot, and it really showed some promise for hardcore fighting fans, but the real lack of worthy single-player modes and basic MP really brought the score down. Also the new characters are too similar to older characters also.
nup i dont agree but u knew that, i dont care about the story i only care about the fighting and it got that spot on
Autoplay, go away! [Rage]
@gammaray13 but don't you feel it's just too short? I certainly did.
I don't agree with the characters being familliar being a bad thing, if the new characters weren't the roster would be unbalanced, and we would be missing out on fighting styles that have been in every installment in the series. By giving the new characters similar styles, but different personalitys to the originals it freshens things up a bit.

gammaray13 said: nup i dont agree but u knew that, i dont care about the story i only care about the fighting and it got that spot on

Same here. I do love Soul Caliburs story, and I'll admit V's story mode was done poorly, but the only thing that matters to me is the fighting, which was done well, and I daresay is the best fighting system the series has had yet, so it's one of the best Soul Calibur's I've played yet.

Mirage said:The black and white images to explain the story is horrific and looks so half arsed. I'm not sure if this was due to budget cuts, but god damn, PROPER CGI in the story mode would have done this game justice but it just falls short in so many areas.

I'm prettysure it was because this got rushed, the developers had a deadline from what I hear, and a tight budget, not to mention this project was done in about a year.

Heller said: @gammaray13 but don't you feel it's just too short? I certainly did.


yeah story mode was very short but i like nothing better than a few mates around a few beers and we have good beat em up so yeah i loved it and i do agree with @Tsunamo the best fighting game to date for me, 9 out 10
Fair enough, you guys should team up and do a user review :)

You can tell they were on a budget and in a rush IMO. I expected a lot more, but that's not to say it was a horrible game by any means. It was more frustrating to see the potential there, but not being used.
Maybe i should keep my SC4 then. I was going to sell it so had cash for this, but I guess I should just wait for a price drop to get it cheap.

Tsunamo said:I'm prettysure it was because this got rushed, the developers had a deadline from what I hear, and a tight budget, not to mention this project was done in about a year.



That's pretty piss poor for the industry and fighting games then. And it really just puts a stamp on the score this game deserves.

What's stopping other fighting games from cutting out dialogue and basic CGI scenes because they were "rushed" and also selling their games at full RRP?
Soul Edge on PSOne was awesome.
SoulCalibur on Dreamcast was ground-breaking in all aspects!!!
SoulCalibur II on PS2 was pretty good.

The rest are meh, imo.

Beta said: SCIV was so much fun. I couldn't get into this. It's a shame, really.


is darth Vader and yoda in this one? cause of not then that's where they went wrong :P
what i can never get around though is that Soul Calibur 2 GCN was the highest selling out of all the SC2 versions. Yet Nintendo never got a SC3 or SC4 and i don't even see SC5 waiting in the wings. Instead Nintendo gets that piece of crap called Soul Calibur Legends.

SONY said: Soul Edge on PSOne was awesome.
SoulCalibur on Dreamcast was ground-breaking in all aspects!!!
SoulCalibur II on PS2 was pretty good.
The rest are meh, imo.



I think SoulCalibur on DC was the 2nd game after OoT to get a 10/10 on IGN.

Heller said: Fair enough, you guys should team up and do a user review

I would love to, but reviews aren't really my thing :P

Beta said:I think SoulCalibur on DC was the 2nd game after OoT to get a 10/10 on IGN.

It was one of the first few on Famitsu too, I'm pretty sure. (perfect from all 4 reviewers on Famitsu)

Mirage said:What's stopping other fighting games from cutting out dialogue and basic CGI scenes because they were "rushed" and also selling their games at full RRP?

I hate to go singling out capcom, but Marvel VS Capm was supposed to have a fully fledged story mode, and all we wound up with was arcade mode with a ending for each character, online, mission mode and not much else.

Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom was supposed to be DLC, but ended up being given a full retail release, with no dlc add-on option for the original, despite only having a few extras. (although I must say, it's dropped in price quite quickly to a reasonable price)

I'm sure there's more examples, but I don't know any others.

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