Soul Calibur IV

For some odd reason, I'd like to see the Prince from the Sands of Time trilogy in a Soul Calibur game. Hmmm...

ALthough it may be canon, I wouldn't mind seeing Luke or Obi-Wan as DLC. Hell give Grievous or Maul while your at it! XD
I was just working on it tonight. I'm stuck on floors 45-46. I've tried using 3 super-health'd Nightmares and just using Attack Throws and his Flapjack low-throw. I can beat the first two enemies with only 1 character dying, but that Astaroth CaS just rapes me...I spent the rest of the night levelling up my Astaroth so I can cheap ass them.
I was slogging through simply for the unlockable equipment, but as it turns out, achieving thirty achievements has the same effect. Still, since I've only about twenty floors to go, I'll probably see it through.

I just got done finishing the third costume for all the female characters. It took a lot of tweaking and a lot of matches for me to figure out the right combination/tone for each character, seeing as how they all have different personalities and distinct looks. However, I finally think I've nailed some pretty awesome costumes for each of them. I can't decide whether I want to bother with the dudes yet, though.
I didn't bother alterring many base characters. I'd rather make a whole new CaS than alter existing ones. Although I did alter Cervantes because I just adore his pre/post-match banter. He's so menacing. I just can't find a good look for all these people though. I wish you could have Cervantes with his grey/purle skin and cool beard though...his alt's base appearance just does nothing for me.
The alternate costumes are all pretty terrible this time.

As much as create-a-fighter modes are touted these days, I've never really gotten into it. Granted, this is the best system implemented so far, but created characters just don't interest me. That's why I've sunk a lot of effort into these spare costumes. I'm disappointed that many of my favorite costumes from SC2 didn't make a return in some form or other.

As an aside, the lack of an alternate costume per character in MK vs DC is quite disheartening.
You don't like the alts? There are several alts that I like considerably more than the mains. Astaroth, Xianghua, Siegfried's is a tie, Sophitia's is awesome, Maxi, Yun-Seong, Taki's rocks, Talim's a kitty!, Yoshimitsu always looks great, Tira, Zasalamel, Voldo, they all have amazing alternate costumes. However, admittedly, several of the alts look damned terrible. Cervantes for instance. Or Nightmare.
I can't stand Taki's. Ceremonial shinobi robes? Not really feeling it.

Maxi's alternate costume has always been, in my opinion, his quintessential costume. Lose the blonde hair and it'd be great.

Sophitia's is really neat. I like the blue color. I created one for Cassandra with a centurion motif in red.

Mitsurugi's third costume from SC2 should've been his alternate. It reminds me of Jin from Samurai Champloo.
Well I finally got Cervantes to look just how I like him. And with good skills/stats as well! I'll makea thread for Create-a-Soul pics when I find my camera. I've made some neat ones.
Someone told me that hackers have found Vader on the 360 disk, can anyone verify this? If so, Namco charging us to 'download' something already on the disk is immoral.
It's true. It's all over the net now. They said that whatever's supposed to free vader from being locked up is going to be DLC today.
Someone told me that hackers have found Vader on the 360 disk, can anyone verify this? If so, Namco charging us to 'download' something already on the disk is immoral.

Agreed. There should be some way to regulate why DLC is made to cost. If email spamming is an illegal activity, then charging for DLC that is already coded on the disc should be as well.

Nevertheless, this is vintage Microsoft behavior. Looks like the trend is catching on.
Well, it's time to give you guys my one-week later final views on Soul Calibur IV.

--Tower of Lost Souls--
I've beaten the Tower of Lost Souls (had to glitch out Floor 60, everything above 40 is ridiculously unfair). I equate this mode to weapon master in Soul Calibur II but a little less in-depth. SC2's had multiple branching paths, tied into equipment and character purchases, and was overall longer. The enemies also had more interesting non-playable abilities that made each match an adventure. The ToLS is basically just a progression of harder and harder enemies with themed Create-a-Soul Abilities.

This is where the meat of my playtime has been for the past 4-5 days. I was able to beat floors 1 - 44 on skill alone. But above that the enemies get multiple S-rank skills and become nearly unbeatable with normal play. You simply MUST be cheap against the enemies on floors 45 and 46 and abuse attack throws. All other skills do almost no damage and you WILL run out of time. I beat them with Astaroth's 2,1,4,A attack throw after many tries. When an enemy CANNOT be run out, CANNOT be thrown, and have the equivalent skill of a Very Hard CPU it becomes a chore to beat them. Floors 45 - 60 were simply not fun to play.

--Story Mode--
Personally, I think Soul Calibur 3 had the best story content of the games thus far. It had a lengthy Story Mode with multiple cutscenes, alternate endings, and action sequences that altered the next match in the lineup. By comparison SCIV's Story Mode is extremely lackluster. Only 1 ending which is overall shorter than SC3's and none of them really progressed the story of Soul Calibur. I would equate the endings to those of MKA in that they were all what-if situations that give you nothing to go on when trying to determine the overall storyline of the title.

What's more there are only 5 stages to each character's quest. However, this is actually sort of a good thing. I was able to get through all the characters story modes in 2 days. It took more than twice that to finish everybody in SC3 and it got REALLY old.

Online is a real double-edged sword. There are 4 options total. First, Standard or Special versus play lets you choose if you want to dabble in strategy using your Create-a-Soul perks or just go for looks and fight a fair battle. Second, Ranked or Player matches let you decide if you want to play for glory, gold, and experience by fighting random players or if you want to forget about bonuses and play more casually.

But by "more casually" I mean "play without a bunch of spammers, sore-losers, and overall dicks". Ranked play online is extremely unpleasant. Unfortunately several achievements require you to play ranked matches to unlock them. I'll get into achievements later. If you're a good player you can probably avoid and swiftly defeat the spammers attacks, but it is no less annoying to fight a player who does nothing but spam one attack when you're looking to have a serious contest.

I'm not a big fan of achievements, and I've said that before. But these achievements are pretty fun. Not many of them require anything outrageous. I believe I have 12 to go out of 50. 6 or so of those involve online play, others are about doing actions an insane amount of times. For instance, accumulate 10,000 total miles of walking distance (I'm up to 7,000). They're good to work toward as well because unlike other games, the achievements actually play a part in the game. Achievements are referred to as "honors" in-game which unlock simultaneously and unlock additional equipment for Create-a-Soul. This melding of gameplay and achievements makes them actually worth doing.

This is by far the best thing about Soul Calibur IV. The Create-a-Soul system is versatile, varied, and VERY in-depth. Every piece of equipment alters your Attack, Defense, and HP stats (a maximum of 200% each) and most of them also give you points to go towards skills. As you play with a given character or style you will level it up (to a maximum of 9) and unlock more skills. Everybody draws from the same pool of skills, but certain character's weapons provide bonuses geared more towards certain skills. I've made a dozen characters from various media and I'm not stopping anytime soon. If you buy this game, this is what you will love most about it. I guarentee it.

--Final Thoughts--
While it seems like most of the features in SCIV are watered down from previous installments in the series, that's not to say the overall experience isn't the best yet. Online is a definite plus and Create-a-Soul is much improved. But even that isn't the reason to love this game more than the others. The fighting engine is tweaked, improved, and added to. Yoshimitsu for instance can now walk on two blades while in Flea Stance many other characters have new or improved moves.

The fighting experience in Soul Calibur IV is one of the best I've played in recent memory. I like it as much as Smash Bros. Brawl and quite a bit more than MKA. If this is any indication of the greatness to come to the fighting game genre this year then I have high hopes.
I agree that the Create-a-Soul mode adds the most play value to this title. I've spent the majority of my time simply creating costumes. The stats and perks system, however, makes little difference to me. It's a fun way of handicapping a match, I suppose. But the majority of time my friends and I spend playing fighting games is highly competitive, and character customization seems pretty nonsensical to us when the alterations affect gameplay balance. In Super Smash Bros., for instance, we always play on a customized "Final Destination"-style stage. Items are typically bogus and only 100% damage stock matches are any fun.

Because I care mostly for customizing character aesthetics, the mode doesn't disappoint. I will say, however, that it's disappointing that there aren't more pieces of clothing and armor. It's far and away better than MKA's custom character mode, but it still felt lacking. After you make more than a handful of original custom characters, it's difficult to come up with new ideas. There are only so many ways to do the archetypal samurai, ninja, knight, and martial artist characters. Even so, the costumes I ended up keeping I feel are really great, and rival if not best the ones that shipped coded.

One final gripe: I've only seen a handful of the critical finishers during my actual play time, but the majority of them have been cop-outs. Yun-Seong's is terrible. Mitsurugi's is worse. Those are the kind of cartoony, nonsensical super moves that are in the likes of Bleach and Naruto games (which I still don't mind playing from time to time). For everyone that does have a decent finisher (Maxi and Kilik are highlights), they always feel far too brief. Since SC has to skimp on the gore, they could at least give us a nice, extended attack kata to finish off our hapless opponent. Still, this hardly matters since Critical Finish moves rarely happen between two skilled opponents. But if I'm going to run clinic on a n00b, I want the end result to be worth it. MK still, even after MKA, has that aspect cornered.

All said and done though, it's a great game. The customization mode is quite addictive. And since it'll be another four months until a proper fighter comes out, SC is the way to go.
I got this game and it is a good game.

Story mode is pretty easy, even on hard. Then you have arcade which is a bit tougher, especially when you get to the apprentice. But Tower of Souls is where the game is the hardest. Im only on floors 36-38 right now. I had a hard time getting past 30-32 floors mainly because Voldo and the last guy in room 32 kept killing me. It can be very frustrating at times. Especially when the opponent hits you even though you block, or they keep going after you and dont give you any chance to get up. Online is terrible. From what ive played, most people used the same characters over and over, and spammed cheap attacks over and over. Personally i try to do some special moves, and be versitile when picking moves. But these people keep doing regular kicks and punches over and over. Its not the least bit fun. The Create a Soul is really fun though. They give you 50 slots to make your own, or make edits of the regular characters which is great. More games need a create mode where you can edit a real character. I was dissapointed in the star wars character customization though, and the lack of giving a created soul a lightsaber. Hopefully that darth vader DLC comes soon, i want to fill in that open slot. :D
For some odd reason, I'd like to see the Prince from the Sands of Time trilogy in a Soul Calibur game. Hmmm...

ALthough it may be canon, I wouldn't mind seeing Luke or Obi-Wan as DLC. Hell give Grievous or Maul while your at it! XD

If they do console specific guest characters again, then I'd like to see Kratos for PS3 and Master Chief ( weilding an energy sword obviously) for 360.
I agree with Kratos being on the PS3 version, but Master Chief? I'd put on someone from Fable or something. Like Thunder or Jack of Blades.
But Master Chief was in SCII, so maybe they could put in The Arbiter or Marcus Fenix...
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