Musing About The Next Soul Calibur

Will Ivy return in the next Calibur?

With the recent announcement by Katsuhiro Harada of the confirmation of a new Soul Calibur game in development, fans are surely at this very moment mulling over the future of their beloved fighting game series. While I’m really more of a Tekken fan, I love the Soul Calibur franchise a lot, certainly for it’s more dynamic storylines, colorful characters, gorgeous cutting-edge visuals and robust console features. New SC head honcho Daishi Odashima certainly has his work CUT (got it? Cut? Blades? Eeeh…) out for him. There will be lots of demands to keep things from past games as well as the challenge and expectation to come up with all-new elements and features. It won’t be an easy job to keep the Tales of Souls and Swords going, but we’re going to do our part by speculating it to hell.

The Storyline. One can always do the usual schtick, and position the current game storyline just shortly after the last game. But that’s really a bit of a cop-out, and from the endings of the last game you’d expect some time- well, a lot of time- to have passed… perhaps even decades. However, once again evil, in the form of shards from the evil sword, or even just shadows of their power, are beginning to make their presence felt. Heroes both old and new are being called back into action, some to battle the menace, some to serve it. Who will answer the call?

The Roster. The available fighters this time around may be a mix of both old and new; some will be supercharged, younger versions of classic fighters who have since become old and retired. Several though return seemingly unchanged even after all these years. These seeming-immortals include the un-aging Zasalamel, the ever-young Ivy, the vampiric Raphael and his equally immortal ward, Amy, and the golem, Astoroth.

Of the new blood, perhaps a grown-up daughter of Sophitia will take up her mother’s sword, as will a student of Seung Mina. A young pirate of indeterminate gender bearing Maxi’s style will also appear alongside two young twins- a staff-wielding girl and a sword-swinging boy. A young knight from the great kingdom of Wolfkrone will also join the battle, with a style that switches between one or dual-blades.

On the side of evil, a disturbingly more human, more evolved Lizard Man, a more mad, frenzied Voldo, and a new incarnation of Soul Edge’s spawn, Knightmare.

Character Creation. It’s the best feature of the last couple of SC games, so Character Creation is definitely something I’ll be looking forward to in the next game. Improved graphics, a lot more customization options, more layers and costume pieces plus hopefully the return of additional fighting styles will characterize this next-gen Create-a-Soul feature. A play mode that specifically lets us use the CAS styles would be welcome- something like a CAS Soul Calibur Gaiden mode that lets you run through various challenges with your created fighter. Battle Theater, Team Battle, Survival, Challenge, Time Attack and full-featured Practice Modes and more should round out the features.

Gameplay. I’m no Soul Calibur expert, so I’ll leave it to the hardcore to twiddle about frame counts and attack values. I just want the fighting action to retain the smoothness, the exciting pace and flow of the best Calibur has to offer. Augment the animation with new reactions, KO animations, stuns, and cooler throws which always pleases the crowd. Guard counters and parries should be easy to do, but require correct or skill in timing. The Critical Finishers may be retained, but perhaps the execution can be changed or tweaked to make it more tactical and useful, rather than just a one-shot cinematic fatality you see once and just tire of afterwards.

It’s not going to be easy developing the next Soul Calibur- some people may be pleased, some horrified at what the new Project Soul team will be doing. I just hope they keep the best things, try out enough reasonably new stuff and have a surprise or two ready in the mix just to show what they’re made of. Oh, and most important, I hope while they don’t rush their job, I hope they don’t take their merry time either. I want my new Calibur yesterday.

New Soul Calibur news and updates may be found over at Daishi Odashima’s Twitter.


2 Responses to “Musing About The Next Soul Calibur”

  1. I’d prefer that they ‘really’ finish up with the current set of storylines before rebooting or whatever. Seriously, Soul Calibur 4’s endings were like

    “And so Taki said some words of wisdom to final boss from [the game] and maybe found peace, but we, being the creators, really don’t know for some reason.”

    “And so Lizardman found his soul, which had leaked out somehow, and ran off for some reason, and yeah… uh…”

    “And so Siegfried FROZE EVERYTHING because he is a misguided putz”

    “And so Nightmare BURNED EVERYTHING because he is a putz. And somehow this works with Siegfried’s ending, but we don’t really know.”

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