The Score: "SoulCalibur V"

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2012 1:38PM

Written by J. Bachelor

Buy Now
  • Soul Calibur V
  • Playstation 3, X-Box 360
  • January 31, 2011
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 8/10
Metacritic 8/10
Gamespot 7.5/10
Pop Bucket 9/10
Mediakick 8.5/10

Fans of the popular fighting series SoulCalibur rejoice: The latest entry in the series, SoulCalibur V, slices its way into stores today.

SC V is set nearly two decades after the events in the previous installment. Although much time has passed, players familiar with the series will find themselves right at home with many of the games characters and controls.

SoulCalibur V picks up 17 years after the events of SoulCalibur IV with new heroes and returning warriors clashing in an epic showdown between good and evil. The tale of Patroklos, son of Sophitia Alexandra, unfolds as his family's destiny intertwines with the Soul swords.(IGN)

As with previous Calibur games, creators placed great emphasis on the game's environment and character agility.

SoulCalibur has always placed a greater degree of importance on 3D space than most fighters, and quicker side-stepping means evading telegraphed attacks is easy and vital. The combat, which can initially seem closed and restricted, blossoms once you get to grips with its 8-way movement. The key is in managing space and creating openings with cautious and considered use of quicker horizontal attacks as opposed to the meaty weight of powerful vertical strikes.(Video Gamer)

Gamers can create their own characters as well as give them special moves.

Customizing the look of the existing cast is a recipe for hilarity - and some clipping niggles as you layer accessories over weaponry, armor and clothing - but the real appeal lies in creating a character from scratch, albeit using the move set of an existing member of the roster. With such freedom comes a genuine risk of breaking the game's delicate balance, so Project Soul has placed limits on what can be done - our attempt to turn the hulking, Soul Edge-wielding Nightmare into a slender girl with a hitbox the size of Soul Calibur IV's Yoda met with frustration thanks to the forced selection from a handful of fixed body types. While the limits of time and our own creativity led only to a reproduction of Seth - Street Fighter IV's bald, naked final boss - there is scope here to create unique-looking fighters, with Namco doing much to show the way in the foes you face in Quick Battle. (Edge Magazine)

An interesting feature is the "Critical Edge" gauge and attack, which can quickly even the odds of a fight in which one character has had the upper hand.

At the center of SoulCalibur V's new design is the critical gauge. This meter can hold two bars of energy used to perform new types of offensive and defensive maneuvers. Critical edge and brave edge attacks are its offensive uses. The flashy, cinematic critical edge attacks cost a full bar of meter and deal substantial damage. Each character has one, and every critical edge has the same input command. Critical edge attacks come out quickly and are great for catching aggressive opponents off guard, especially when you're rising from a knockdown.(Game Spot)

Critics have been kind to SoulCalibur V, agreeing that while it may not redefine the fighting genre, it is another solid outing from a video game series that has managed to stand the test of time.

The series has yet see the kind of design overhaul that say, the Street Fighter series experienced with Street Fighter IV. A similar makeover might not be something the fans necessarily want to begin with. From what we have played, Soul Calibur V might have just enough new features and characters to also grab the attention of fighting game fans who may not have played Soul games in a while.(Complex)
The sum of "Soulcalibur V's" parts will most likely please its loyal fans, and the addition of "Assassin's Creed's" Ezio Auditore could bring some new ones onboard. Bringing in other gameplay modes would have added some much-needed variety. Tag matches or team battles would be welcomed, or perhaps an updated version of "Soulcalibur 3's" Tales of Souls mode. This is a beautiful fighter, but if you strip away its glossy finish, "Soulcalibur V" feels empty.(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Check out a trailer for Soul Calibur's Story Mode below:

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