A series of Soul fighting games can rightfully be considered the jewel of the genre. Debuting in the mid-nineties, Soul Edge ( Soul Blade – in the West) was one of the first games to use Motion Capture technology, which later became the industry standard. All the accumulated experience in creating three-dimensional fighting games with knives Namco was able to fully apply in SoulCalibur . Incredibly beautiful game for the Dreamcast came out three years after the first part of the PS1 , offering gamers complete freedom of movement and a number of fresh mechanics. The project instantly received a cult status and constantly falls into the tops of the best games from various specialized publications and rating aggregators.
This was followed by successful sequels, but since the fifth part of the game was released, the fans managed to suffer no less than the characters from the soap operas. The leadership of Namco Bandai began to play the role of villains. The corporation was engaged in release of curves of ports and doubtful shareware projects based on the series. All this was accompanied by strange posts in social networks, and the fans’ questions about the new full-fledged game were answered only with tears about allegedly low franchise sales, which, as of 2012, had made more than 13 million copies, not counting success in the halls of arcade machines. Fortunately, the new producer in the face of Motohiro Okubo was able to knock out the necessary budget and the long-awaited sequel finally appeared.
The story, as before, tells about the struggle of two swords. The first, dark blade – Soul Edge – gives supernatural power to its owner, but in return it enslaves the mind. The second sword, Soul Calibur , was created in opposition to the first. Despite the serial number, the sixth part does not continue the story of its predecessor, but restarts it in the manner of Mortal Kombat2011. In the introductory video briefly show the events of the first part, where Soffit and Taki defeat Cervantes, and the cursed sword goes to Siegfried, who turns into a Nightmare.
There are two plot modes in SoulCalibur VI . The first is called “Scales of the Spirit” and is a kind of role-playing game. At the beginning, you need to create a character: choose the gender, race, and adjust a wide range of external parameters, including the volume of the bust, hips, and other protruding elements. Each can be decorated with different patterns and colors. The editor will turn out good, but the quantity of clothes available is not as large as we would like. Most likely, the wardrobe will be updated with new attributes through various DLC.
It should be noted that creating a fighter is also given separately from the “Libra of the Spirit” in a special section. These characters can be used in battles on the network, where you can meet characters that resemble famous heroes from other games or movies. Self-made fighters are allowed to spread in a special section for everyone to see, where you can also watch and download the creations of other players.
Let’s go back to the story. Having created a character, the player is transferred to the world map, where he receives the first tasks from Salarymel. After the prologue, the hero has the opportunity to travel the world map The route is tied to the main story and often intersects with other actors. There are no screensavers here: all situations are submitted exclusively by text. The game is fully translated into Russian, which simplifies the perception of the plot.
From time to time icons appear on the map with additional quests for which you must deviate from the designated path. This requires additional financial costs and – often – a higher level. The character receives money and experience completing various tasks and assignments. In addition, in some quests there is an additional reward in the form of useful items or weapons.
A new sword, pole or ax determines the strength and style of your character. For example, having received the staff of Kali-yuga, the hero acquires the skills of Kilik, and having acquired the blade Xphos and the shield of Hoplon, movements repeating Soffit. As you progress, you can rank the styles and thus learn the characteristics of a fighter.
The second story mode is called “Soul Chronicles” – it is more familiar to the fighting game genre. The mode menu is a kind of table where segments dedicated to one or another hero are plotted on the timeline. In addition, there is an additional storyline that combines Kilik, Maxi and Xiaohua, which repeats the main plot of Soul Calibur II . It is a pity, but in this mode there are almost no splash screens on the game engine. Instead, the characters are depicted as static avatars. Fortunately, they are at least beautifully drawn and voiced.
The events shown in the two scene modes complement each other well, and the paths of the characters intersect. The created character plays an important role and often turns out to be in key moments. At the beginning of the story, the story may seem simple, but as it proceeds, interesting details are revealed that change the mind about some people and events. Watching the progress of the plot and the lines of individual characters is very interesting.
A fascinating storyline mode and a long single-player campaign in a fighting game – this is certainly important for some fans, but the main thing in such games is the combat system. SoulCaliburI always tried to be accessible and at the same time thoroughly thought out fighting game. Four buttons on the gamepad are responsible for vertical and horizontal strokes, kicks and block. This time, the developers tried to rework the combat mechanics in such a way as to preserve the spirit of the early series and at the same time combine them with elements from the later ones. Some useful old tricks were returned to the characters, as well as supplied with new ones. When falling, the player may deviate from the opponent’s attacks, which helps to avoid long opponent combinations. In addition, the parry system is no longer tied to the super-scale. Now, to catch your opponent in predictable attacks, you do not need to worry about the fullness of the sensor.
Superataki work about the same as in the previous game. After filling in a special scale, the character can perform a powerful technique that takes a large number of opponent’s lives. There is a second variant of the accumulated energy consumption: by activating the rage mode of the fighter, for a while new tricks and abilities are opened, which allows you to invent more complex combinations and tricks.
In SoulCalibur, strategy and tactics can play a much more important role in combat than predictable combinations brought to automatism. An important tool for a tactical maneuver is the location itself, on it there are not only walls to which an opponent can be pressed, but also precipices, having flown into which the opponent loses the round immediately. Learning the features of arenas is an important aspect of the game that can give an advantage to those players who will deftly use the nuances of the location.
With some particularly aggressive rivals, you can choose a defensive strategy and try to bring the enemy to the cherished land, and then throw it there. However, experienced players will expect similar actions from you, and in such cases, both fighters are trying to deceive each other, turning the fight into a battle of cunning minds.
The developers tried to simplify the input of some commands and reassigned the key combinations of a number of key techniques in such a way that it was more convenient for players to be controlled by the right thumb. Combinations that use both “square” and “circle” were reassigned to other buttons. Some tricks, for example, in Son Meen and Kilik, are now made by clamping directions together with one button instead of two.
All the nuances and features of the combat system, as well as tips for conducting combat for various fighters can be found in a special section that is available from the main menu as well as from training mode. It describes the strengths and weaknesses of the characters, and text prompts are ranked by difficulty: from beginner to master. It is a pity that the studio did not prepare video demonstrations and tests for more visual training.
An important point was the new defensive mechanics Reversal Edge. It looks like something similar to Wager from Injustice , but it works completely differently – at a higher technical level. In contrast to the showdown of superheroes, the clash in SoulCalibur VI is one of the basic techniques of fighters, which has much more options.
At the time of performing Reversal Edge, time slows down, the background darkens, and the camera epically bumps the characters on each other’s friends. During these bright special effects and beautiful movements, the characters remain under the control of the players and you need to click on one of the buttons responsible for the attack horizontally, vertically or kicking. They interrupt each other on the principle of “rock, paper, scissors.”
However, there are other scenarios. During the collision, the onslaught of the opponent actually block and even parry. You can even step back or sideways – there also have their own nuances. If the opponent chooses a vertical attack or a kick, then a step to the side will give you a good opportunity to attack him guaranteed, and in case of horizontal attacks it is better to retreat. Perhaps it sounds difficult, in fact, everything is much simpler and clearer. After a few fights, I got used to the new mechanics and did not experience any difficulties.
The combat system in SoulCalibur VI turned out to be very interesting, exciting and truly spectacular. And most importantly – because of the cold arms instead of the usual for the genre of the handwriting, it still feels fresh and unique.
When the opponent’s life scale ends, the final blow is repeated several times and the camera approaches for a dramatic demonstration of the flight – it looks great. Thanks to the beautiful movements and bright special effects, you can enjoy not only during the game, but also just watching the epic fights from the side.
The list of characters lacks several popular fighters, but almost all the key characters from the first parts of the series got into it. Fans will be especially happy to see those national favorites who missed the fifth part. The list is not voluminous, but twenty full fighters at the start is enough to choose one or two fighters for study.
Of course, it was not in the game without newbies. A white-haired guy with a futuristic visor Groch (Grøh) fights with a double sword. The range and speed of his attacks are very average but is compensated by good damage. If the opponent is too close, then the blades can be divided, which opens up additional quick moves, intended primarily for close distances. Groh is hardly suitable for beginners, but more experienced players can appreciate its versatility by memorizing all the timings.
The second rookie Azvelo (Azwel) – sorcerer and sectarian. With his fighting style, Algola can be reminded, since it similarly materializes pair blades, axes, spears and other weapons from the air. The character is very fast, and his attacks have a good distance. All this, together with a large number of special effects can cause panic among novice fighters, however, getting used to the epic scale, it becomes clear that the hero is predictable. By dodging his long attacks, the opponent can launch a counterattack. This character will be useful to beginners in the first couple.
Following the traditions of the series, which constantly invited popular characters like Kratos, Link, Spawn, Ezio Auditor and even Darth Vader along with Yoda, the witcher himself – Geralt from Riviera looked at the light. He perfectly fit into the entourage of SoulCalibur. This is not surprising since CD Projekt RED helped introduce and adopt the White Wolf tricks for the fighting game.
Geralt is moving fast, has some interesting pirouettes in his arsenal, and also uses signs. It is not difficult to master, but it requires the novice player to deal with the proper use of witch magic. Spectacular superataka and atmospheric location-arena in Kaer Morhen look great.
It is a pity that the overall graphics in the game looks very ambiguous. Of course, the animation of new techniques and the detail of most of the characters are good. But the locations are spoiled by the ladders, muddy textures and the monstrous background blur effect, which behind a thick layer of soap hides highly detailed architecture and bright special effects. Even in well-developed areas, focusing the camera in the foreground together with the ladders strains the eyesight.
Fortunately, despite the fashion on SJW and LGBT among the part of the Western press, audience, and developers, the Japanese were not afraid to preserve the erotic aesthetics in the design of beautiful heroines. Ivey, Soffit, and Taki look great and pleasantly pleasing to the eye.
It is worth noting that the young ladies in the game are not just beautiful dummies, but important plot participants who play key roles in the events. The presence of such beautiful and skillful female warriors is much more useful and causes more respect for the beautiful half of humanity than the regular scandal around female characters in games.
It is also great that during hot battles with heroes often tears off clothes. Even with men. Therefore, everyone should be satisfied.