Platforms: PS3 | Xbox 360 (reviewed)
Developer: Project Soul
Publisher: Namco Bandai
There might be those who suggest that SoulCalibur has never had its own identity, but that's not really true. The weapon-based fighter has, since the days of the Dreamcast, been a fighting game that's tried to welcome everyone and, not only that, but it's been one of the few series to successfully provided solo gamers with a reason to buy a fighting game. Yeah, about that. It must be said that in recent years, the series became a little bloated, mind: Overly complex game mechanics, not to mention gimmicky and exceptionally cheap cameo characters, had become the order of the day. Project Soul clearly felt that change was needed.
It would appear that the solution, to the former point at least, has been to take a leaf out of Capcom's books. The combat in SoulCalibur V is just as fluid, gorgeous to look at and artistically bountiful as it has always been, if not more. Indeed, making the combat look right has often seemed to play larger role when it comes to the series. Now, however, the fiddliness of the past has been replaced with systems that cater well to newcomers and there is no better example than with the revised Soul Gauge.
Critical Edge attacks replace Critical Finishers, but they're now far easier to execute. In the past, deploying your stunning move of balletic excellence would have required superhuman dexterity as you attempted to pull of a rather complex array of button presses. Now, however, all it takes is a couple of quarter sweeps of the stick, and the mashing of three buttons (or the right trigger) simultaneously. The result is suitably spectacular, although not quite up to the seizure-inducing special effects of Marvel vs. Capcom 3.Click here to read more...