Soulcalibur IV So Far…

Gamevideos recently posted a bunch of gameplay vids of Namco-Bandai’s upcoming Soulcalibur IV, as well as a preview on the latest episode of The 1UP Show. Lately, the game has had some significant additions to the roster, things shown and revealed. So… how is it so far for me?

New Character! Well, once again, more babes rule, but finally sausage-lovers finally get a male character added to the roster… the only wrinkle being it’s another Star Wars character. Scratch that- a ‘secret’ (read: created only recently for another game, and probably out of canon) character known as, well, The Secret Apprentice. This guy’s supposedly Darth Vader’s young Sith Padawan, the main character of the upcoming Star Wars Unleashed game. He looks suitably non-descript, but lets his powers do the talking. I think it’s just a way for the producers to just put in cool Force powers that Vader or Yoda can’t do- like Force Lightning. Yeah, both Xbox360 and PS3 versions get the guy, so at the very least we can now have Jedi vs Jedi fights in SCIV.

Gameplay. Honestly… it looks the same as Soul Calibur III. Which is not totally bogus, since I liked SCIII. I really wish this is all just because the videos are from an earlier build, but I really want Namco to go all-out with revamping the character animations just like they did with Tekken 6. I wanna see new dizzies, new KO animations, new attacks, smoother moves… well, the game does supposedly move at a solid 60FPS… I’m sure it will look awesome in actual play, on an HDTV. Still, so far all the gameplay vids aren’t exactly impressing me. Hopefully a more advanced build will reveal more of this promising fighter.

Armor Breaks. I like this new addition, and I hope it really adds a lot to the enjoyment of the game. It Seeing characters half-naked due to battle damage is awesome, and having pieces of your costume littering the stage adds to the tension. Having the hotties show off a little bit more skin is besides the point. Really. Heheheh.

Critical Finishers. This is hard. On the one side, it would be awesome to have a way of finishing a round instantly, but this cutscene-based system may become as unwieldy as Final Fantasy Summons. Will we become bored at seeing the same attack done over and over? Probably not, since it’s not exactly easy as pie to pull off a CF. We’ll just have to see later then.

Character Creation. WHERE THE HECK IS IT? Nothing yet, not a peep, but it’s there, we’re assured. It should be freakin’ awesome. Please be freakin’ awesome. If SCIV’s Create-a-Soul is just SCIII’s old system (complete with occupations and options) with next-gen graphics, I’ll be happy. If they actually do something new and build on what’s there for something more amazing, I’ll be sacrificing a fatted calf to the developers.

It’s just a couple of months to go, and hopefully we’ll be seeing more and higher-quality videos to showcase the improved fighting and features of this upcoming blockbuster. More on this as we get it.

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