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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Game Play: Soul Caliber IV

I've always been a huge Soul Caliber fan, from playing the game first with Big Brother on the Dreamcast. I'm not a huge fighter buff in general, despite a huge flirtation with Eternal Champions which might point to the opposite, but I like the genre when it's done well.

For the most part I'm willing to say that Soul Caliber IV is the genre done well. Briefly though, I want to talk about one bit which is just truly annoying.

There's been some fuss about the inclusion of Star Wars characters into Soul Caliber. I gotta say that with a so-called plot along the lines of Soul Caliber, they could pretty much have Kris Kringle fighting Kris Kristofferson and I'm not sure I'd notice.

No, the problem is that someone seemed to have let the inclusion of LucasArts essentially break, or at least throw a decent sized monkey wrench into, the arcade mode of the game. While I think including The Apprentice from the upcoming Force Unleashed games is perfectly fine, I don't see why he has to be ten times harder than anyone else in arcade mode.

I mean I played as Darth Vader and took the so-called boss out for pancakes after not so kindly making him my bitch in about ten minutes. The Apprentice, who is not the boss of the mode, took almost an hour of complete swearing and near controller tossing. I don't see how that is anything but bad design and someone's idea of Lucas worship. I don't give a damn who The Apprentice is or how powerful his little mitochondria are supposed to be - he shouldn't stand out as significantly more powerful than everyone else in an entire roster during an entire game mode. It's just stupid.

Otherwise I'm mostly enjoying the game. Even playing as The Apprentice, which is of course not as godlike as playing against, is something worhwhile - but would someone please tune this jackass down a notch?


sterno said...

Yeah I picked this up too and there's something that just tickles me about playing as Darth Vader even though he's almost completely uncustomizable. It pleases me that in spite of Lucas' efforts to the contrary I still feel like Darth Vader is a total badass :)

Agreed on your point about the apprentice.

One thing that has annoyed me about the game is that the online mode seems to be a touch flaky. I've never managed to be able to join a match by hitting the quick match button. Because each game is only two people, they obviously fill up nearly instantly. I can just create my own match obviously, but this leads to another problem in that I can't control what level ends up playing against me.

On the first day the game came out, this was no big deal because everybody else was at the same level as me. Now there's people who are like level 35 and apparently do nothing but play this game all day. While I actually do pretty decently against some of these people it still seem rather crazy that I'd get matched up against these people when I'm level 2 :)

Josh said...

Vader is brilliantly animated, for sure. I was desperately trying to find the force grip button ...

The online sounds to me like Smash Bros. - choices of either people you know or people who play it religiously.