I really enjoyed playing SoulCalibur II on the Gamecube but I was forced to miss SoulCalibur III since it was PS2 only. When SoulCalibur IV came out WITH DARTH VADER as a playable character I rushed to GameStop to buy it. I traded in several games and paid the full launch price. Sadly, I was disappointed.
SoulCalibur IV lacked the story mode that I had enjoyed the most on SoulCalibur II. Worse, Darth Vader was a slow character and was hard to use. The combo system also seems to be overly complicated and the tutorial mode does not help you learn how to play the game. I was never able to memorize enough moves to become an effective fighter. After going through the game and unlocking most of the characters I ended up selling it on eBay.
I thought back of the fond times that I’d had with SoulCalibur IV. Myself and my gentlemen friends would enjoy frantically pushing buttons and killing each other in endless strings of 2 on 2 battles. It may not have been a great game, but it was fun enough, and I found that I regretted selling it.
Then the dark days came. The Playstation Network went down and stayed down. Many of the Playstation faithful began to lose hope and started liquidating old console and old games. Those of us who are less prone to panic took the opportunity to pick up some games for heavy discounts. So it has come to pass that I own SoulCalibur IV once again.
The game is a button masher. The combo system and moves list is so extensive that I can’t see myself learning more than a single character. When I do play I have no strategy in mind, I just hit buttons and hope for the best. The controls really don’t work well on a PS3 controller as some of the moves require you to hit button combinations that would require a few extra thumbs. If I had one of those fancy joystick controllers I might have better luck but I’ve already got too many peripherals. If I get any more my wife might leave me – or worse – start throwing them out.
Graphically SoulCalibur IV is excellent. The narration is so over-the-top melodramatic that it is humorous. Single player mode is lacking but multiplayer can be a fun diversion if you can find it cheap. Sadly unrealistic boob physics and partial nudity make this a game you probably won’t want to play around women, children or any friends you may have that graduated from Bible college.
* Excellent Graphics
* Fun button masher for 2+ people
* Complicated gameplay
* Lacking the longer story mode of SoulCalibur II.
Is it fun: Yes
Length: ~30 minutes per character