Soulcalibur VI Review
Final Score 8.5/10
Soul Calibur VI is an amazing sleeper gem of 2018. Developed by Bandai Namco, It is one of my favorite fighting video games to date. It sets the stage in many ways for what a modern fighter game should be. I initially wrote about the "beta" network test. The test concerned me; as matches took incredibly long to load and find players, 20-40 minutes, and the game was almost entirely greyed out. The combat wasn't fully polished yet, and worse came with no tutorials. I am happy to say, those early fears were not justified. The final product delivered on every note. The combat is spotless, and the game features one of the best character creators to date. Online matches typically take under 30 seconds to match, and many more modes are available.
(Character Re-Created 2B from Nier Automata VS Geralt from Witcher)
Pros: Character Creator
If you are like me and spend a long time creating your initial character in an RPG, then you are going to love Soulcalibur Vi. It has one of the most extensive character creators I have ever seen in a game. You can control everything from skin tone, voice, body type, and multiple levels of armor. Colors and shaders can be applied and tweaked to absolutly everything. There are dozens of intial species to choose from that add even more variety of characters. I have re-created Dr Strange, Lara Croft, 2B, Hulk, and more, in addition to creating crazy different other characters. One of the most perfectly recreated characters is 2B from Nier Automata, who was later announced to be coming in full as a playable DLC character. The detail oriented nature of the this mode is vast and satisfying. It would be better if they allowed armor pieces to apply in real time as you swipe over items, or let you preview some of the items you have to unlock. There will eventually feel like a lack of options once you have created about 20+ characters, and many peices of equipement are just ugly, and could have been swaped out with other things. However, the overwall experience with creator is amazing.
(Speaking of 2B...guess who is actually coming to Soul Calibur VI. Read More Here)
Soulcalibur VI perfectly blends a drop in feeling for new comers, with layered complexity for advanced fighting game players more so than I have ever seen. Fighting games can either feel to simple and reliant on button mashing, or too complex to be fun when you are just learning. It doesn't unfairly punish you for not knowing every combo right away, or not playing the tutorials or mock battles. However, once you do, you gain even more demension with new moves and abilities that look amazing and are more effect. This balance makes Soulcalibur VI one of the most approachable fighting games without loosing its fans. This is partly accomplished by being a weapon based fighter, you pick the weapon you want to use, and it gives you some idea as to the fight style of the character, rather than picking from an identical looking roster of characters. While there are many combos to learn, flashy super moves, and new elements like "reversal edge" a new rock paper scissors mechanic, you can start playing right away. The vast array of weapons provide a unique and exciting diversity to your gameplay that keeps the game fresh.
(Gi SCVI Screenshots)
Cons: Story Mode
For a game that has so much polish on its gameplay and character modeling, it is a massive shame that the story mode(s) are such an after thought. For a modern day AAA title to have a story mode that uses still frame "cut scenes" with no voice acting is an abomination. Unless you want to "read" small subtitles with a floating character head talking back and forth, you will be soarly dissappointed. Yes it can be moderately fun, but it is such a lazy after thought that extremely distracts from the game. If the game included a real story model with even short animated in game cutscenes inbetween fights this game could have been over a 9 in score. But this lazy addition of a story mode is made even worse by the fact that game forces you to play it to get actual tutorials, and to have a change at earning real in game currency. Just playing battles in versus doesn't net your coins to unlock equiptment. You can play arcade, but it is long, over 8 matches to warrent you only 50-250 coins, when a single piece of equipment takes 550 coins. It feels excessively grindy to earn coins, so you will feel forced to play the story modes. After six years of waiting since SCV, it is unforgiveable that this story mode is so bare.
(SCVI Wallpapers) Art ownded by Bandau Namco for entertainment only
If you have ever played a fighting game before, what makes them trully fun are the diverse characters. While the initial roster is small, only 20 characters with a promise for more with DLC, this is balanced out by the ability to make 100 customer characters. You can customize the initial 20 characters. Some of the characters are too NSFW for some liking so you can modify them to be more social meda friendly. The roster is filled with so many interesting characters like giants like Nightmare. There are fast moving characters that can dance around you like Taki or Tira. You can feel their speed and strength vary by how they play, and Bandai really took the time to make their outfits, playstyles, and gameplay special. One of the best parts of the series is its commitment to guest characters, and SC6 is no exception. Geralt makes an amazing and sometimes frustratingly difficult badass to fight against. 2B looks to be amazing and hopefully we can look forward to even more characters to join as DLC.
Summary - In summary, dispite a rough story mode, and small flaws, the game is a fighting game masterpiece. It is a welcome addition to fans of the franchise, and deserves a spot in its very crowded release window. I mentioned in a previous article about Battlefield V, how over saturated this Holiday 2018 is for gaming, and my fear is that smaller AAA series like Soulcalibur may hurt from mega releases like Call of Duty BO4 and Red Dead Redemption 2. If you are looking for something different, or a fighting game to hold you over until Super Smash Ultimate, then I definitely recommend you pick up this game. Several Major US retailers have Soul Calibur Vi already heavily discounted for Black Friday so if you wallet is hurting from Red Dead or Black Ops, make sure to keep that in mind. As always, stay tuned for the latest news and reviews right here on Game Infinite.