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Soul Calibur V Review

GO BIG OR GO HOME! One of the few statements that followed this particular title up to its release along with special shots of certain characters, it definitely seems to be something that invokes a challenge to us players.

The fans pushed and pushed Namco Bandai to finally release the fifth installment of their popular fighting game franchise, Soul Calibur V featuring new characters, new features and big improvements on the previous title but does Soul Calibur V certainly GO BIG? Or in this case will it just have to GO HOME?

The narrative takes place 17 years after the events of Soul Calibur IV where the focus is mainly on one of the new characters and the son of Sophitia, Patroklos and the journey he takes to reunite with his sister Pyrrha.
Patroklos acting cool as usual.
The are some interesting twists and the story seems to flow well, although I can understand that the main point of the plot is the relationship between Patroklos and his sister however when it came to interacting with the other characters, I felt that there wasn’t enough depth to justify why they’re there in the first place. At times a character would appear, say a few lines, fight and then leave which to me makes the story feel a little rushed and not explore more options to involve the side characters a little more.

Mechanics wise, the game stays to its roots in terms of control and execution of moves however it’s so refined that the battles seem to flow amazingly well. It still has that complete strategic feel to it in which spacing and what move you’re using becomes really important in gaining the advantage.
Newly introduced to the series is the “Critical Edge System” a sort of super gauge which allows you to pull of devastating and destructive combos and finishers. This is incredibly important and can easily help you turn the tide of a battle.
Customise like crazy and unlock more items as you go along!
There are your standard modes such as Arcade mode bringing the old school kind of ladder tournament action and Quick Battle in which you can easily get into a match against customized CPU opponents so you never know who you’re going to get.

Character Creation is one of the cooler aspects of the game, allowing you to create your own character for use in game. At the beginning you don’t have a lot to work with but as you experience battles and play through the different modes, you will unlock extra items to use. The game allows you to either edit an already existing character or create an original of your own with the freedom to create a max of 50 of your own fighters. As you play through the game, you will unlock more items to use on your character from a new hairstyle to better props such as a bandana.

Legendary Souls mode is more like an extremely difficult Arcade mode in which you face opponents who just throw everything on the line resulting in some very embarrassing losses but at the same time creating that awe inspiring moment after an opponent juggles you silly. It really is like a gift to those hardcore Soul Calibur V players in which they can test their skills to the max by having the AI show you no mercy at all.
Woops, sorry didn't see you there.
Now as you know with Soul Calibur, you will get those surprise additions such as Link from The Legend of Zelda series but this time its Assassin’s Creeds, Ezio who looks to mix things up. The character seems to fit well gameplay wise and has a better feel for the overall universe, more so then Yoda or Darth Vader. This time we also have Yoshimitsu the 2nd, who plays very much like it’s Tekken counterpart even to the point where spinning too much drops him from dizziness.

Online Gameplay
Taking on challengers from all over the world is the best way to improve your skills and Soul Calibur V gives you the ability to do just that. Other than your regular Ranked Matches which scores you on the leaderboards, I like how interactive the Player Matches are specifically the interactivity between players in the lobby.

In Player Matches are generally the same as casuals and in a lobby up to 6 players can duke it out in a winner stays on style. The lobby features Voice chat so you can speak with everyone but it also featured something you wouldn’t generally see in online games these days…Text chat. I thought the inclusion of this was brilliant and just meant that more players can give input on what’s going on. It also allowed the spectators to view the match on a smaller screen above the chat box which made the whole experience feel that much better.
As for the performance of the online battles themselves, I have to say that it was brilliant. In all my matches I experienced no lag regardless of the kind of connection the other player had resulting in smooth and enjoyable gameplay.

Visually Soul Calibur V is as great as I always was! Detailed characters and environments, great lighting and overall atmosphere make for some hyper battles. I thought the use of 2D art in the story mode cutscenes was a nice touch however I did miss the rare chances of seeing them with the actual full 3D characters.
The new dynamic finishers are a marvel to look at making use of several camera angles to show off a move that truly finishes you’re opponent. While these finishers look good cinematically, I do feel that it breaks the overall pace of the gameplay in a jerky way.
Beautiful environments.
Sound is used well in the game, before and during battles. The voice over’s sound great as well although during some of the story cutscenes, they seem to lack any kind of emotion and run a little dry. Luckily enough you can switch over to the Japanese version in the options.

Final Verdict
Soul Calibur is definitely a fighter worth picking up! Graphically the game looks great and the attention to detail is amazing, yes the Story is lacking a little and the Critical Edge System is a sort of gamble, however the online play’s features and gameplay work at a really high level making sure to develop some epic battles with the world.

Story = 8/10
Gameplay = 9.5/10
Graphics = 9.5/10

Final We Know Gamers Score = 9/10
Had a chance to play the game? Tell us what you thought in the comments section below!
Soul Calibur V

Reviewed by Liban Ali
on Feb 03 2012

Rating: 9/10


  1. Nice review man, the single player still seems alittle thin to me, but still the story seems alot more fun than Broken Destiny's guantlet mode.

  2. Thanks and I do agree with you, this is definitely one of the better Soul Calibur V games.