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Soul Calibur V XBox 360 Review - -
Soul Calibur V
Reviewed by
Tom West
Soul Calibur V XBox 360 Review If you enjoyed the previous game, than you'll get a kick out of this games.

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 8.0
Sound 7.0
Value 8.5
Distributor: Namco Bandai
Review Date:
Feb 2012
Tom West


Soul Calibur V

Soul Calibur is definitely one of the more unique fighting titles and opposed to your Street Fighters and Tekkens, weapons play a key part to the fighting style of all your characters. Another cool aspect about this series was the inclusion of guest stars into the franchise. Although there are a number of staple characters in this franchise, the developers have successfully bargained with video game and movie companies to include characters like Solid Sake (Metal Gear Solid) and even Darth Vader (Star Wars). So when I heard that Ezio Auditore from Assassin's Creed would be one of the playable characters, I was totally over the moon. However unlike the aforementioned Darth Vader, Ezio Auditore is definitely a much more suited character to this franchise and is not as overpowering as the Dark Lord of the Sith.  

It should also be noted that Soul Calibur V is oozing with T&A and I don't think a game since Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball has shown so much female flesh. Unfortunately the following UK/US poster was not used in Australia for some strange reason. We can't see a problem but have a look and tell us why if you can see the problem.

With a variety of different gaming modes that include Legendary Souls (extremely bloody hard), Arcade, Quick Battle, Vs Battle, Training and our favourite Story 1607 A.D., there's plenty to be found in this title. For newcomers to the series, we suggest the story mode as it also acts as an interactive tutorial for the player. It also helps explain the new combat enhancements such as the critical gauge system and the 3 attack types that include horizontal, vertical and kick plus guard. The story of Soul Calibur V takes place 17 years later from the previous game where the children of Sophitia who happened to be a kick a$$ character in previous instalments has handed the reign to her children. Unfortunately for Pyrrha, she has been cursed from the evil Soul Edge Sword and it is up to her brother Patroklos to find the swords to free her.

As with most Soul Calibur games, the story is rather lacklustre and uninspiring but thankfully the gameplay more than makes up for this lack of insight. Some would say that the story is bad but its over the top nature actually makes it quite amusing to see it all unfold in the 20 or so episodes/fights that you engage in. Just be ready for a very difficult boss battle at the end of all this. Character creation also returns in this game that allows players to create some truly bizarre and sexy looking characters with tweaked fighting styles. The customisation here is quite insane as you pick heights, body types, gender, muscle types, chest size (yes... just like the picture above), hair styles, voice types, clothes (or lack of) and weapon styles which are based on the core characters such as Hilde or Yoshimitsu. Needless to say, there's quite a lot to do and we got stuck in this section for awhile. It definitely adds to the replay value of this game.

Our "Wonder Woman"

Another strong point of Soul Calibur V is that all the characters play quite differently which definitely opens up the game for hours upon hours of fighting entertainment. Whether it's a quick online match, a versus mode against an AI opponent or another attempt at the story mode, thereís plenty to see and do in this game and more importantly, kick Soul Calibur butt! Even though some of your favourites may be missing from the line-up in this game, there are plenty of characters to choose and my favourites were Ezio and Natsu. I loved the balanced fighting of Ezio, especially his up close and personal moves, whereas Natsu was more fluidic in her attacks. Another interesting character was Z.W.E.I. who definitely has a few surprises up his sleeves.

In terms of combat, Soul Calibur is definitely a much more complex fighter opposed to its predecessors. At its core, the game is still a fighter with weapons that has a healthy dose of attacks and defence to keep your fingers busy on the controls as you attempt to succeed with your attacks and combos. Each character also has a critical edge attack which can only be used once your critical gauge is full and allows to perform a very powerful attack and can sometimes mean the difference between victory or loss. There are also mini critical edge attacks called brave edge attacks that use half your gauge and does a fair amount of damage. It definitely creates a new spin on this franchise. To challenge players even more, defence also uses the critical gauge which uses a quarter of this and must be built-up to be used. While I did enjoy these new features in Soul Calibur V, I would have preferred if they were explained to the player a little more than just a screen of text. Fortunately the game is quite strong in terms of combat from kicks to throws and lots lots more.

As mentioned, the game supports online play that allows for both ranked and player matches. Online opens up the game for more challenges to the player as humans are generally more unpredictable than the AI in the game, even on the harder levels. I also like the ability to check out other players profiles online and thereís always someone to find to play. I must admit that some of these online players are quite good and watching via a spectator mode does allow you to get an insight into their fighting prowess in this good looking fighter.  

Graphics are pure eye candy for Soul Calibur V and look amazing on a FULL HD TV with some extraordinary character models, flawless animation and some well designed environments. The cinemas are very cool, especially the introduction and the start of the story mode as we are once again introduced to the soul edge and soul Calibur. There is some clipping during the battles but it's nothing major. Sound effects are good and are well used with its surround sound feature but voice acting is a little over the top and sometimes borders on truly bad. The musical score is quite powerful and really enhances this classic series. All in all, Soul Calibur V is a good looking and sounding game. 

Final Level

If youíre looking for a fighter with a decent amount of longevity than Soul Calibur V is the game for you and whether youíre a newbie or an aficionado of the series, the game successfully manages to keep things fresh, exciting and playable for everyone. However like I said at the start of the review, itís an easy game to play but hard game to master but if you put the time into this game, it will reward you well. Check it out if youíre looking for something totally different than the Street Fighter or Tekken series.


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