story of Soul Calibur Legends takes place between Soul Edge and Soul
Calibur and is based around Siegfried Schtauffen's transformation into
Nightmare. The game begins as Siegfried finds Soul Edge on a ship. He battles
Cervantes on the deck of the ship. Later, Siegfried is tasked by the Masked
Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire to find the remaining pieces of Soul Edge in
order to use it to win the war against Barbaros of the Ottoman Empire.
As you may know, Soul
is not a fighting game, but a "spin off" action platformer. Even
though I usually only stick to fighting game reviews, I figured I'd take the
time to inform the Soul Calibur and fighting game community on what this
Wii exclusive is all about. Soul Calibur Legends takes the series away from
fighting for the first time ever, venturing into the realm of the third-person
action game. Players face off against multiple enemies simultaneously. Enemies consist
of various "baddie" archetypes, such as: ninjas, mummies, rock
monsters, and lizard men. Some classic Soul Calibur fighters a make cameo
appearances as bosses as well.
Mitsurugi just spotted
the Wiimote and nunchuck controllers to control their on-screen counterparts. Slashing the Wiimote horizontally or vertically results in respective
horizontal and vertical slashes. The nunchuck is used to move your character
around and can be "shaken" for evasion and other special types of movement.
Buttons are required for jumping, guarding, and some special moves. It's a cool
concept on paper, but it ends up being more of a novelty than a solid control
The controls vary depending on the character, and new playable
characters are unveiled as you progress through the story. Players can select two characters
to take through the 1-player mode, and can switch between them
at will during gameplay. Unfortunately there aren't any "tag combos" or anything of the
sort. When your partner comes into the fight,
he or she drops from the sky as your current character "evaporates" into
Yes, that was a long awkward pause of disappointment (the same exact one I had while playing this game and that happened). In addition to "mindless"
combat mechanics, players have to deal with tedious traps & other obstacles in
dungeons, which are more annoying than anything else.
While a bit clunky, the Wiimote
controls aren't a complete disaster... your character will attack
accordingly when you thrust, slash horizontal, or vertical. Combos can
also be performed by alternating your attacks. It's fun for a while, but
then you realize you'll be doing the same combos over and over again... AKA
spamming (which would get you utterly destroyed in any previous Soul Calibur
game against a skilled player, mind you). *sigh* You're not teaching the kiddies
the right way, Namco.
In Legends, it takes little to no skill to mow
down hordes of enemies while having a shake-fest with the Wiimote... if that's what
kind of gameplay you're into, than maybe you should look into Soul Calibur
Mummies! Scary. -__-
Legends had the chance to be what Tekken Force Mode was to Tekken
3 & Tekken 4. Unfortunately, it isn't nearly as deep or enjoyable
as Tekken Force or even Tekken
5's "bonus" action platformer Devil Within. Why couldn't a "stand
alone" title surpass or even live up to the level that a "bonus mode" was
for Namco's other hit franchise?
feel incredibly dumbed down to say the least, especially when compared to their fighting
game counterparts (and why shouldn't we compare?). Playable characters in
Legends are missing countless trademark moves, combos, and unfortunately
can't even change stances..... Ouch.
I expected characters' fighting styles to be streamlined, and I know the Wiimote
control scheme has it's limits, but I also expected much more from a franchise that has
associated its name with "quality"... up until this game
are some pretty cool special attacks that can be performed by holding down the special move button
or jumping and attacking, but again, there aren't many variations. The vast
movelists that put Soul Calibur characters on the fighting game map are non-existent in
Legends. If Soul Calibur characters played
the same way they do in Legends in the previous fighting game installments, the series would have died a long
time ago. There's actually more variety in the original Soul Blade than in this game... and that's
Time to go for a spin...
you Lizard Man wannabe.
The Story Mode and
presentation...*sigh* Let's just say it's a let-down. The cut scenes are
filled with "pop up" 2D art, and really don't do much justice to the series (and
probably will evoke unintended laughter). And if you're not laughing at the cut scenes, you'll
definitely be laughing at the English character voice acting... which is HORRIBLE!
And no, turning on Japanese won't make the game much better, but it
might stop you from laughing so much. Ohh, and did I mention the graphics
in this game are borderline terrible? Soul Calibur Legends on the Wii looks
like a first generation Playstation 2 game... at best. Besides a few cool boss
fights, there's hardly anything visually stimulating about the game besides the
animations (which are borrowed from SC3).
So is the 2-player mode enjoyable at least? The 2-player options offer Co-op, Competition, and VS Mode. The game runs at a smooth
60 FPS when playing 1-player mode, BUT... you guessed it (there had to be
something wrong, right?), the 2-player mode
runs at a shoddy 30 frames per second. The VS mode is hardly entertaining,
since only 7 characters are selectable... and after playing something as
fun as Urban Reign with 60+ characters
and tons of moves, the "third person" fighting engine is lacking
in more ways than one.
Soul Calibur Legends might be entertaining for the casual gamers or the
"kiddies" (or for
those who are completely uncoordinated and have no hopes in ever being
good at Soul Calibur )...
but for everyone else, and any self-respecting gamer, Legends is just a sad, sad
story. It's just plain saddening to see such a
mash-fest of a game have any relation to "Soul Calibur."
Unless you're interested in a third-rate, button-masher friendly third-person
action game with "Soul Calibur" slapped on it, or you're "under the influence"
and just want to wave around a Wiimote with old-school Soul Calibur buddies
for laughs... I'd have to highly advise you to steer clear of this game.