Soul Calibur: Lost Swords is a
free-to-play, single-player spin-off of Soul Calibur 5 released in early
2014 and was ended in November 2015. Lost Swords
features familiar mechanics to Soul Calibur 5, with some
returning characters from the most recent installment. Like other fighting
games experimenting with "free-to-play" models, Lost Swords features
a variety of micro-transactions consisting of bonus content like power-ups and
armor. Lost Swords
uses a "time-limited" credits system like most F2P games, where players must
purchase tokens for continuous playing (or just wait 15-20 minutes for new
Very strangely, Soul Calibur: Lost Swords
ditches the multiplayer aspect of 99.999% of all fighting games, and primarily aims
to be a 1-player experience.
(Who's idea was that?!?). The core gameplay is
based around players collecting loot by defeating enemies and discovering /
creating new weapons. As players defeat opponents, they obtain new
weapons as well as raw materials which are used to create new "elemental-infused"
weapons. These color-coded elemental
weapons are key to defeating certain opponents. Typically, you'll acquire a
stockpile of loot (weapons & raw materials) that you can equip &
power-up or sell for gold (which is used to infuse / power-up weapons). While
playing through the mode, players will also unlock additional playable
characters (which may also put some of that previously unused loot to good use).
makes her return from
Soul Calibur IV.
Guard Impacts (high only) make their return, and unlike in SC5, can be used at
any time. New gameplay systems introduced in Lost Swords include the
Soul Burst, Soul
Break, Weapon Arts and the Support Characters system. Similar to armor break
systems from past installments, a "Soul Break" occurs after
certain conditions are met. When an opponent is susceptible to a Soul Break, a
red aura ignites around them (known as a "Soul Burst"). When
players break their opponent's armor, they will have a chance to collect a
"drop" from the opponent if they defeat them within the time limit. "Weapon Arts" are powerful attacks which vary depending on the
equipped weapon. These are similar to super moves from past
installments, and are activated simply by pressing R1 (or 1+2) once the Weapon
Art Gauge is full.
"Character Support" system allows players to use other players'
characters to assist during quests. After utilizing a "character
card," the current fighter will be swapped out on the fly and the support
character can be used
for a short period of time. If your friend's character is a higher level than
yours, this can certainly come in handy. There's also a level of strategy to
consider when you and your support character have different elemental weapons.
Returning characters have also been given a variety of new (and easy-to-perform)
combo strings (ex. Hitting "A, A, A, A" is a new 4-hit chain combo for
Siegfried demonstrating a
"red" elemental attack.
game's title, one would assume that the "Lost Swords" might represent
fan-favorite characters who went missing in Soul Calibur 5. This turned
out to be only partially true, as Sophitia, Taki & Amy made their return from Soul Calibur IV,
but of course, many other fan favorites are still missing. Regardless of the
roster, the fact that this game has no multiplayer mode at all almost makes it
meaningless. If the roster was actually good, it would be even more sad.
I was hoping Project Soul would eventually announce a multiplayer mode for the
title, but that obviously didn't happen.
In my experience with Lost Swords, I began playing the Japan version when
it came out February (and interestingly, all my stats
conveniently transferred over to the North America version when it released). After
playing on & off for several months, I tried... but I never could understand
the point of the game. I was left with way more questions than answers... Why
single-player only? Why the lack of effort? Why not an expansion of Soul
Calibur 5 instead?
The dumbed down movelists (yes,
dumbed down than in SC5) put a bad taste in my mouth from the start. On the bright
side, the movelists aren't deteriorated enough to make me not want to play the
game at all. There are actually many new combo strings per character, which reminds me
of Soul Edge / Blade in some weird way... and dare I say some of the
combo possibilities are actually kinda fun (as fun as beating up on silly CPU AI
can be). For
many moths since the game's release, painfully slow load times were easily among
the game's biggest flaws... but the load times were remedied in the Sept. 2014
Namco (Project Soul)
I'm glad they
that whoever was behind the design plan of Soul Calibur: Lost Swords had
no part in the creation of the original Soul Calibur games. Because if
you worked on those games, you wouldn't want to see such a highly respected
series deteriorated in such a way. It
boggles my mind that Project Soul / Bandai Namco supported this "game" for over a
year, adding new content, guest artists costumes, etc... when all of that effort and content could've been
directed towards making SC5 better, instead. The existence of this game
just never made any sense to
And I thought Soul Calibur
Legends was a weird and unnecessary spin-off...
single-player Soul Calibur game, with no multiplayer or VS mode at all?
Obviously, that's a massive disappointment for competitive players right off the
bat, and a joke really. Need I say that the majority of my best Soul Calibur memories are playing
epic, parry-filled matches against skilled opponents?
Overall, Lost Swords feels more like a typical "shallow" mobile
phone game than a console game (and actually would feel more natural on a phone
with all the microtransactions trying to steal your money). Lost Swords also emits a blatantly "noob-friendly" vibe that slaps
any halfway-skilled Soul Calibur player across the face on their first go-around. I'm really not sure if this game was made for
returning fans at all. And even if it was directed mainly towards "new" players, Lost Swords
doesn't come close to giving the right vibe & presentation to get newcomers
interested in the series.
starters, your selected character starts out fighting in
their UNDERWEAR... for quite a while... until you can manage to "acquire" clothing items, new
So apparently you start out as "homeless" in Lost Swords and
have to fight for cloths? (Or, it's like one of those bad dreams where you have
to walk around in public in your underwear). And when you do finally retrieve some clothing,
your options are nothing but horribly generic items that never seem to match.
Overall, it's embarrassing on many levels.... It seems like a bad joke.
Whether it's because I've been a fan of the series since the beginning, or
because I want to see how terrible the game can possibly get (or perhaps get
better?)... I actually played Lost Swords
on & off for about 5-6 months. Lost Swords lived and died as a game
that seemed it was in an "early beta" phase. It actually had
potential, as leveling up your
character RPG-style was subtly fun, and the Survival style missions were mildly
satisfying (notably when your opponent enters a "Soul Burst" state and
you're rewarded with additional loot for defeating them within the time limit). Being
able to use a friend's character also adds a multiplayer-esk element to the game...
but it wasn't used to its fullest potential. (Perhaps we'll see a similar mode
like this in a future SC game?)
If Soul Calibur: Lost Swords
was designed to be more like
Tekken Revolution, I think it would've been more successful. Hell,
people would've actually been able to play the gametogether...
which is kind of important for a fighting game. That said, Lost Swords
never really was a "fighting game," and thus, won't be reviewed or
rated. My fingers are crossed that Soul Calibur 6 will
set things straight... (and no, that hasn't been officially announced yet). ~TFG