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Soul Calibur 6



ABOUT
A prequel, Soul Calibur VI is a welcomed "reboot" of sorts... aiming to bring back old school players from the glorious arcade days and attract a new generation of players with enticing visuals and mechanics that all levels of players can enjoy. The timeline of Soul Calibur VI is set somewhere between the events of Soul Edge and Soul Calibur 2, offering a nostalgic roster of fan-favorites along with some new faces. With two unique story modes, SoulCalibur VI will retell the tale of souls and swords unlike ever before.
 


Buy the Steam version SoulCalibur VI and get 10% off using the code "FIGHTERSGEN" ↑ 

  
Like TEKKEN 7, Soul Calibur 6 runs on Unreal Engine 4 to provide the best visuals to date for the series. First things first - the quality difference in visuals on the PS4 Pro / Xbox One X in comparison to the PC version is a bridge wider than that of TEKKEN 7. I was worried about the game's visuals early on, with seemingly lackluster early stage designs, and certain unpolished character models. At a glance, SoulCalibur 6 may not impress visually. However, and especially on the PC version, this game shines vividly in many areas that other fighting games don't.

This time around, projectile and special move effects take prominence over background details - really filling up the screen during those intense moments of the battle (certain special move effects are also cool throwbacks to classic 2D titles I've loved for many years - are those Strider sparks I see?). As always, the quality close-up details like character clothing, facial expressions, and the depth found in stages is mostly in line with previous installments... but perhaps not the best ever (given the time period). Even so, playing the PC version in Ultra Settings will spice up all areas of the game.
It really does stand several notches above the console versions, this time.

The TEKKEN 7 team also lent Project Soul their revolutionary "slow motion" camera technology, which Project Soul utilized within SoulCalibur VI's unique Reversal Edge system. These slow-motion effects mixed with SoulCalibur's trademark fire, lightning, and special move effects make for a very satisfying and "new" visual experience. Certain visual elements of SoulCalibur 6 aren't as polished as previous installments, but all of these new effects kinda make up for it.
 

 Soul Calibur VI's character selection screen as of June 2018.

 
With TEKKEN 7's Motohiro Okubo at the helm, Bandai Namco recreated the "fast gameplay responsiveness" of the pinnacle of the series, Soul Calibur 2, while balancing and blending the best current-gen mechanics from recent titles. Soul Calibur VI introduces a major new defensive gameplay system called Reversal Edge. This mechanic gives players a opportunity to block most incoming attacks and land a powerful counter. Reversal Edge is easily sidestepped and countered, and some attacks will even break Reversal Edge, so players must use this new technique wisely. Upon impact, Reversal Edge will initiate a "rock/paper/scissors" slow-motion sequence. All characters have uniquely different options during this cinematic sequence, including movement options, making it much more complex than a simple "rock/paper/scissors" guessing game. After a Reversal Edge connects, players can either choose to perform a Horizontal attack, Vertical attack, Kick, Sidestep left/right, or move Forward/Back. This can result in a stalemate, a connected attack, a sidestep (opening an attack opportunity), or even initiate a unique and powerful combo for the winning character. It also looks awesome, btw. All characters have their own unique blocking animations for Reversal Edge.

Worry not, old school players... Guard Impacts are still in the game and don't cost meter like in SCV. However, Reversal Edge doesn't require the strict timing of a Guard Impact, and can prove useful for both beginner and higher-level players. At its core, Reversal Edge aims to give beginner/intermediate players a "chance" against higher-level players, resetting the momentum of the attacker. Reversal Edge literally "slows down" the fundamentals of a 3D fighting game, allowing each player to try to "guess" their opponent's next move. If an opponent is repeatedly using specific horizontal or vertical attacks, they will be easy to predict every time. If you read your opponent correctly, you'll find that Reversal Edge is much deeper than a "random" mini-game.

Soul Charge also makes its return, but is completely revamped for SC6. The SC6 Soul Charge is a temporary power-up, costing 1 meter of the Soul Gauge. Upon initiation, it will push away the opponent with a shockwave and immediately unlock a variety of unique / powered-up moves for each fighter. Characters such as Kilik, Grh, and Azwel will get a dramatic visual overhaul once their Soul Charge is activated.

Also costing 1 meter of the Soul Gauge, each fighter has a Critical Edge super move. For the most part, Critical Edge attacks are easy to connect, but can be blocked, sidestepped on reaction (some), and some can even be blocked using Reversal Edge and immediately countered! If a character wins using a Critical Edge, they will finish the round with a special cinematic animation. Last but not least, Lethal Hit is a special counter-attack that destroys the opponent's equipment parts when fulfilling set conditions of a move. Certain high damage combos also become possible after a Lethal Hit connects. Armor Breaks from SC4 and SC5 will also return and visually alter characters during gameplay.
 

 SC6's Character Creation Mode looks ambitious and fun... online should be fun!

 
Soul Calibur VI's Chronicle of Souls story mode, based on the struggle for the two swords, features dynamic fights enhanced by cinematic-styled combat. Each character who appears in Story Mode will have their own unique track and role in the storyline. Story mode will blend 3D cinematics with beautiful hand-drawn 2D illustrations by legendary fighting game artist, Hiroaki. 

Described as a "second" story mode... Libra of Soul mode lets players create their own warrior who will appear in a special cinematic storyline alongside the Soul Calibur veterans.
In this game mode, players will be able to create their own custom fighter from scratch before roaming the world in a quest to stop a new evil mastermind at work to gather Soul Edge shards. Along the way, players will come up against both characters from across the main storyline, and warriors created by the community, fighting in a variety of rule-specific showdowns which shape their own path. Libra of Soul will take certain inspirations from past Soul Calibur story modes such as Weapon Master and Chronicle of the Sword.

Fans of single-player content in fighting games will be happy to know that Soul Calibur 6 will have a full-fledged Character Creation mode. Players
will be able to customize their unique characters through thousands of different combinations, choosing from 16 races, including human, lizard or even living skeleton, before customizing the size, facial features, hairstyle, clothes, armor and, of course, weapons and fighting style!

 

 Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher series joins Soul Calibur!

 
While Soul Calibur VI will have a solid amount of single-player content... the title is being designed as a competitive fighting game, first and foremost. Project Soul stated on numerous occasions that they want to make a game that competitive players will love to play. Of course, online mode will be a priority, and we'll have more details about online mode soon.

Alongside the return of old school, tried-and-true mechanics like 8-Way-Run, Ring Outs, and Wall Combos... veteran Soul Calibur players will also be happy to know that returning characters will get many of their classic moves, stance transitions, and cancels back from some of the older games. Additionally, While Landing Attacks, an offensive option in SC2 & SC3 (later removed in SC4 & SC5) are making a comeback in Soul Calibur 6, offering unique jump attacks and mix-up options for each fighter. Last but not least, SC6 has a successor to SC5's Just Guard defensive system called Perfect Guard - which negates chip damage and builds meter for your Soul Gauge! 

 

Kid-surugi? The Soul Calibur veterans return as their younger selves.

  
A GAME STILL IN TOUCH WITH 2D ARTWORK.

While certain other fighting developers are "playing down" the role of 2D artwork in fighting games of this era... Namco's 2D illustrators have clearly been busy. Bandai Namco still cares about 2D artwork in your fighting games, as already demonstrated in TEKKEN 7, and we should appreciate them for it. Fighting game artwork legends: Hiroaki and Takuji Kawano deserve our admiration and respect for their amazing Soul Calibur VI character illustrations, and you should show your appreciation by supporting and buying this game.
 
 

 
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Click Here for all character art!



Page Updated: November 12th, 2018
Developer(s): Bandai Namco (Project Soul)
Publisher(s): Bandai Namco
Designer(s): Motohiro Okubo      (Producer)
Artwork by: Takuji Kawano         (Character Art)
Hiroaki                         (Story Artwork)
Junny                            (Special Illustrations)
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date(s): October 19th, 2018
Characters: Mitsurugi, Sophitia, Nightmare, Kilik, Xianghua, Grh, Ivy, Zasalamel, Siegfried, Taki, Yoshimitsu, Maxi, Talim, Voldo, Astaroth, Seong Mi-Na, Tira, Cervantes, Raphael, Geralt of Rivia, Azwel, Inferno, 2B

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Featured Video:

Related Games: Soul Edge, Soul Calibur, Soul Calibur 2, Soul Calibur 2: HD Online, Soul Calibur 3, Soul Calibur 3: Arcade Edition, Soul Calibur 4, Soul Calibur 5, Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny, Soul Calibur Legends, Soul Calibur: Lost Swords, Tekken 7, Blade Strangers, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, Samurai Shodown (2019)
 

Gameplay Engine     9.5 / 10
Story / Theme   
Overall Graphics     8.5 / 10
Animation     9.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects     9.0 / 10
Innovation   
Art Direction     9.5 / 10
Customization    
Options / Extras      9.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation    
Replayability / Fun      10 / 10
"Ouch" Factor     9.0 / 10
Characters      9.5 / 10

BOTTOM LINE

   

 Review based on Steam / PS4 Pro version 

 

First Impression:

EARLY REVIEW:  I love SoulCalbur VI... I've already spent 60-70 hours with the game - loving every second, and without touching either of the story modes. That should tell you something. It was clear to me in the first few hours of playing the beta that Namco made a brilliant fighting game. As someone who played SoulCalibur 2 competitively for 15+ years (and preferred it over all other installments), I can honestly tell you that SC6 is just as good (...dare I say better) than my beloved SC2. These are words I can't believe I'm saying, but I'm happy I'm saying them. If you can understand the frustration of being "disappointed" by gameplay elements of SC3, SC4, and SC5... than you can take comfort in the fact that the remedy has arrived... and it's called SoulCalibur 6. Buy it.

The game is already fun and packed with content at launch, and it's only going to get better with time. SC6 has no reason not to become a fighting game success story. Knowing Namco will only be building upon what's already great in SC6 is an automatic bright outlook on the future (we didn't used to have such a thing in the Arcade/PS1/PS2 days). This is what makes things like "Season Passes" a good thing. Tell your whiny friends.

For casual players and fans of single-player content, SoulCalibur 6 already offers far more than the typical fighting game. Two story modes, a robust Creation mode, Gallery, and quite a bit more. Once you stop wasting your time enjoying the hell out of Character Creation and making ugly (or pretty) characters, get your ass into Practice Mode and learn how good SoulCalibur VI actually is. FUN FACT: SoulCalibur 6 has launched as one of the most "complete" fighting games in recent memory. And remember, it's just a launch. It's not the "final package" on DAY 1 (the 09'ers will never know the struggle of the PS2 era of 3D fighters). In short, online and input lag issues can be fixed will patching, as Bandai Namco already demonstrated in TEKKEN 7.

I try to be a simple man, when I can. I don't need too many things in my life. But one thing I need are great fighting games that take years to master, are fun and rewarding to play (not just to look at), and entertaining for decades of my life. As usual, thanks to the amazing combat mechanics... I already know I'll be adding SCVI to my list of "all time" favorites and will be playing it for years.

Most importantly, SC6 is a soundly designed fighting game that rewards study, strong fundamentals, and your time. It's a true successor to SC2, meaning it offers an awesome experience for both casual and long-time veteran players. I promise not to forget about you, TEKKEN 7. I guess it's a good thing when my current "biggest problem" in life is balancing time between playing TEKKEN 7 and SoulCalibur VI.

Obviously, I'm ecstatic to see one of my all-time favorite fighting game franchises finally back in the spotlight. One of my most enjoyable EVO '18 moments was actually watching the Soul Calibur VI exhibition... and the game wasn't even out yet. I really hope SC6 catches on with the current climate of the FGC and remains a major competitive title for many years to come, because it's so damn fun to watch and play!

Even though the game now has "1-button" supermoves, there's still a steep learning curve to mastering your characters in SoulCalibur VI. It's the most accessible game in years, while remaining deep and endlessly fun for players aiming to master the mechanics. If, for some reason, you don't see or feel the amazing depth... either you're missing something, you're using the wrong character, or you're relying on beginner's mechanics... which are good, by the way... for beginners. High-level SoulCalibur players still get to play high level SoulCalibur in SC6. What that means is you'll see more Soul Gauge activations, badass combo setups, and speedy movement/spacing than you'll see Reversal Edge or "yolo wake-up supermoves". Don't fall for them. The latter two mechanics are still actually useful at a high level, but SC6 is much deeper when you learn and practice the game. All the reasons I love SoulCalibur are back.

SC6 being a prequel / reboot is an intriguing direction for the series, and I'm excited to see where they go with it. Project Soul has every opportunity to recreate the brilliance of the iconic characters, potentially offering their best appearances to date. SC6 movesets are an amazing mix of new and old... it almost seems like Namco made each character's moveset as a "greatest hits" love letter for dedicated players and fans of the series.  

SC6 characters have a surprisingly huge variety of their best attacks from over the years, and are much deeper than I expected before diving into the amazing Training Mode and movelists. Each and every character in the game is as complex as any serious SC2 player would hope for. Of course, there will always be minor gripes from returning players, but if you search for them, you'll find that each fighter now has "better" options than the ones you might've been looking for.

On the subject of Guest Characters... Geralt of Rivia and 2B were excellent choices. With Geese Howard a TEKKEN character... I'm truly hoping for some SNK love with the addition of some Samurai Shodown characters. Please Namco! Also throw in Cloud Strife, Sephiroth, a Bloodborne Hunter, and we're good to go! Perfect roster!

For many reasons, SC6 has the potential to be the most competitively successful title in the series. If you appreciate dynamic, complex fighting mechanics (over simpler "dumbed-down" ones, and you appreciate fighting games that advertise themselves with beautiful 2D hand-drawn artwork... Buy SoulCalibur VI. Support this game. Full review still in progress! 
~TFG Webmaster
 

 
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