Soul Calibur V

I Just Beat DiegoUmeharez!

Eddard Stark also makes an appearance in Soul Calibur V.
Author: Scott Rodgers
Published: February 2, 2012
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Soul Calibur V (or Soulcalibur V, whatever variation works for you) really has a lot going for it. Let me start out by saying that the Soul Calibur series will always hold a place near and dear to my heart. I missed out on playing Soul Edge but I more than made up for it in my playtime of Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast. Since then I was hooked, picking up Soul Calibur II on the original Xbox (what? I love Spawn), to playing Soul Calibur III on my PS3, and jumping into Soul Calibur IV and immediately trying out Darth Vader. Because of that, and thanks to the fact that Project Soul has never milked the franchise (sure, there have been DLC characters and costumes, but nothing like what we saw with Capcomís latest fighters) I was eagerly anticipating getting my hands on SCV. Of course, it doesnít hurt that you can practically recreate Solaire from Dark Souls or make a giant manchild who uses shish kabob skewers as weapons.

I donít think I need to tell you how different this series is from just about every other fighter on the market. The combination of three dimensional stages and movements, weaponry, story, and focus on single as well as multiplayer allows Soul Calibur to carve out a bit of a niche. I should stress that focus on single player because this is a series that has always done things a bit differently. Whether you were fighting through the floors of challenges, collecting and purchasing different weapons, or creating your own character to fight through the gameís universe, there was always something to do when you were by yourself and didnít want to (or couldnít) venture online. That tradition continues with SCV but instead of focusing on one or two components and polishing them, Namco chose to go with quantity.

The first thing I would suggest anyone do is play through the gameís story mode. It spans over 20 missions and can be completed rather quickly. Personally, it took me about two to three hours watching all of the cutscenes but if youíre the antsy type who doesnít care and just wants to unlock characters, you can finish all of the fights in less than an hour. I found the story to be a bit lackluster and cliched and Iím sure most will agree that the protagonists are lacking any real personality. On top of that, a good number of the cast members arenít even present or have any impact on the story whatsoever. Others pop up for one encounter and then never have any other lines or actions. I understand that Namco wanted to help push the new characters but it shouldnít be at the expense of the fan favorites and they especially shouldnít be shunned entirely.

Completing story mode is just the beginning of the offline experience. Upon doing so youíll gain access to the Legendary Souls mode. Legendary Souls is initially locked and after I completed arcade mode it didnít open up, but there may be other ways to get in there. This mode features a CPU that is dramatically more difficult than anything else (even hard mode) and has specific characters you fight along the way. I canít prove it, but I strongly feel as though these bosses have some input reading abilities because they are just ridiculous at times and wonít let you so much as get off the ground (reading around the web seems to point in this direction as well). Still, itís well worth investing some time and completing it to unlock things or just for some satisfaction of finally beating these guys at their cheapest.

Arcade mode, unfortunately, suffers quite a bit. Gone are the days of end bosses or any sort of story. There are just six stages and beating them doesnít really amount to a whole lot (though you can unlock one character by doing a specific route). There are four different routes: standard, Europe, Asia, and ranking. Standard is your normal affair while Europe and Asia focus on characters specific to those areas. Ranking is where you can play through to get a time and upload it to show off. There are three difficulties to choose from but the ranked route will only let you play on normal. The lack of any story really dampens the experience because thereís no reason to play through it. Sure, you can try to go through as quickly as possible or grind through to improve your player level, but honestly there are better ways to spend your time in the game.
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