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Soul Calibur 4

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Soulcalibur IV

Developer(s) Project Soul
Publisher(s) Namco Bandai
Ubisoft (Europe)
Composer(s) Masaharu Iwata, Junichi Nakatsuru and Keiki Kobayashi
Series Soul series
Engine Havok (game physics)
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release date NA July 29, 2008

JP July 31, 2008
AUS July 31, 2008
EUR July 31, 2008
UK August 1, 2008
NZ August 1, 2008

Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: Teen (T)
PEGI: 16+
CERO: C (15+)
BBFC: 12
Media Blu-ray Disc, DVD-DL[1]
Input methods Gamepad

Soulcalibur IV (ソウルキャリバーIV Sōru Kyaribā Fō?) is the latest installment in Namco's Soul series of fighting games, and was released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on July 29, 2008, in North America, on July 31, 2008, in Japan, Europe, and Australia, and on August 1, 2008, in the United Kingdom.



[edit] Gameplay

[edit] Modes

The fourth Soulcalibur game features the familiar Story, Arcade, Training and Museum modes. A new mode called Tower of Lost Souls has the player fighting special battles in order to gain rewards.[2]

[edit] Character Creation

Character Creation from Soulcalibur III returned in Soulcalibur IV. Instead of including original weapon styles for use with certain classes of fighters, SCIV now only allows players to simply choose which character from the series they would like to have their created character mimic (excluding Algol, bonus characters, and the Star Wars guest characters). This differs from Soul Calibur III in that many unique styles were also included, such as Grieve Edge, Kunai/Shuriken, Wave Sword, or Tambourine. All in all many styles were removed in the transition, and the character creation has been simplified.

A wide array of new pieces of equipment are available for use in SCIV's Character Creation mode, and new options include a wider range of character voices (now with pitch adjustment) and the ability to change a character's general physique and muscularity.

In addition, equipped items now also affect a character's statistics. Armor, weapons, and accessories may increase health, attack or defense; they may also grant skill points that allow the character to equip special traits that affect the character's playstyle.[3] These traits range from automatically triggered guard impacts, the ability to cause damage against a blocking opponent, or even a stat increase based on parameters such as an opponent's alignment or gender. Standard characters will also be able to be modified in this way to a modest degree, allowing custom costumes and skill sets to be used in Special VS. mode. Custom characters can still be used in Standard VS. mode, but without any of the special abilities gained through equipment or weapon choice.

At the moment only one profile is allowed for offline versus mode, meaning that only one profile's created characters can be loaded at a time. If a friend comes over with their profile and saved characters, the only way to play with their custom characters is to either log off the other profile, or go through the process of recreating all the characters on the other profile. The game does not recognize two profiles and two save files, only one.

[edit] Active Matching Battle

Multi-fighter battles in Soulcalibur IV use a different structure from its predecessors, nicknamed Active Matching Battle (AMB). Similar to the tag system of games such as King of Fighters 2003, the AMB system allows players to switch to other members of a 'party' of fighters with the push of a button. Also, instead of starting a new round for each opponent defeated, new opponents will simply run into the battle immediately after a K.O. - with the exception of certain combatants. Matches utilizing the AMB system only appear in the Story and Tower of Lost Souls modes.

Soul Gauge & Critical Finish

Soulcalibur IV features an all-new Critical Finish system. Next to a player's Health Meter is a colored gem that represents the "Soul Gauge." The gem changes color when the player guards and is attacked. The color gradually changes from blue to green and eventually to red and then flashing red. The player's own Soul Gauge will regenerate if the he or she makes an attack and hits the opponent (guarding or otherwise). If the character manages to empty out the opponent's Soul Gauge, he or she will get a short chance to perform a powerful Critical Finish move, which will defeat the opponent instantly, by pressing all four face buttons at the same time. Each character has his or her own personal Critical Finish move. Namco says that it developed the Soul Gauge to decrease the benefits from constant guarding, thus giving the game a faster tempo and making the matches more offensive.[4]

[edit] Force abilities

The Star Wars guest characters, Darth Vader, Yoda and The Apprentice utilize unique attacks using the Force. Darth Vader is able to utilize Force-based pushes and chokes, Yoda can use the Force to launch himself into the air for complex aerial attacks, and The Apprentice is able to use Force lightning and other dark-side moves. These moves drain a special Force Meter, which recharges gradually when not in use.[5]

[edit] Online Battles

For the first time in the series, Soulcalibur IV has the option to fight against other players online. Confirmed versus-modes available in online battles are "Standard VS" (for classic matches) and "Special VS" (for customized characters).[6] Created characters are playable in the online multiplayer mode.[7]

[edit] Characters

Darth Vader, the Apprentice and Yoda, characters from the Star Wars universe, are the playable guest characters. Darth Vader appears on the PlayStation 3, and Yoda on the Xbox 360. The Apprentice, the main protagonist of LucasArts' upcoming video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, also makes an appearance as a playable guest character on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions.

Recent videos that have appeared online however, suggest that both characters (Darth Vader and Yoda) will eventually become available for both the Xbox 360 and PS3 as downloadable content.[8][9][10][11][12] Furthermore, as of July 29th, 2008, Dale Nardozzi, Senior Editor of, confirmed through "somebody in the industry that [had] played with Vader on the 360 version" that both Darth Vader and Master Yoda will eventually be made available as downloadable content for both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 consoles.[13][14][15]

Revenant,[16] Frederick Schtauffen[17][18] and several other minor Soul series characters make an appearance in battle.

[edit] Returning characters

Characters are listed in alphabetical order.

[edit] New characters

[edit] Guest characters

The Apprentice battling Yoda in Soulcalibur IV in the Xbox 360 version.
The Apprentice battling Yoda in Soulcalibur IV in the Xbox 360 version.

[edit] Bonus characters

[edit] Premium Edition

The Premium Edition of Soul Calibur IV includes a 48-page softcover art/comic book illustrated in full color, an XL 100% cotton t-shirt, and a tournament chart that allows "fans the opportunity to document the battle amongst friends". This chart is also a poster on the reverse side. It sells in a metal packaging and was released on the same date as the Regular Edition. Gamespot also mentions that there will be exclusive access to extra customization content in this version.[24] The "extra customization content" refers to the unlocking of the "Soul Calibur", "Soul Edge", and joke weapons for each character, as well as clothing items to create a schoolboy or schoolgirl character. In New Zealand, United Kingdom and Australia there will be a Steelbook case edition with bonus DVD containing 4 trailers in HD, 4 wallpapers, exclusive concept art and an exclusive booklet with character biographies.

[edit] Downloadable Content

Shortly after the initial release, various downloadable content was made available.

Soul Calibur 1 Soundtrack - The original 17 music tracks for Soul Calibur were released for 80 MS Points each, or 1,200 for the entire soundtrack. These can be implemented into SCIV via options and integrated into the existing track list.

Customization Equipment 1 - (100 MS Points) Contains nine pieces of equipment that can be equipped to custom fighters or as alternate outfits for existing characters. The items included consist of classic pieces of costumes from SCI and II for Voldo (helms), Yoshimitsu (mask), Nightmare (helms), and a chest piece for Sophitia. [25]

[edit] Reception

[hide]Review scores
Publication Score A[26]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 89%[citation needed]
GameSpot 8.5 of 10[27]
GameSpy 4.5 of 5[28]
IGN 8.7 of 10[29]
X-Play 4 of 5[30]

SoulCalibur IV so far has received mainly positive reviews from most media outlets.

There were certain criticisms directed towards the guest characters from the Star Wars franchise, with several critics maintaining that their presence was unnatural and that Yoda and the Apprentice in particular were "broken" and "absurd", respectively.[31]

There has also been some criticism towards the online multiplayer mode on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game. It has being known to take upwards of 10 minutes to find a match that typically lasts less than 2 minutes.[citation needed] Also, due to poor network programming, the "auto-matching" feature will attempt to often connect players to an already full or in progress match thus giving the player the error "Match is Full". This is the exact same problem that PlayStation 3 owners were facing with Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection before a patch was released. The best fix for most is to host a match of their own, in which an opponent will typically join within a minute. Namco Bandai has yet to fix this problem, though many suspect it will be fixed with downloadable content.[citation needed]

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Soul Calibur Page". GamePro. Retrieved on 2008-03-21.
  2. ^ Namco Bandai Games America
  3. ^ Soulcalibur IV Hands-On Preview
  4. ^ GameSpot: Soulcalibur IV Updated Hands-On
  5. ^ Electronic Gaming Monthly 229 (June 2008)
  6. ^ Namco Bandai Games America
  7. ^ Soulcalibur IV Goes Online at
  8. ^ The Apprentice
  9. ^ Keighley, Geoff. "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed". & Spike TV.
  10. ^ McWhertor, Michael. "Darth Vader's Apprentice Joins Soulcalibur IV Cast". Kotaku.
  11. ^ Gandhi, Mayur. "Exclusive The Force Unleashed Information!".
  12. ^ Gandhi, Mayur. "The Force Unleashed: Interview with Dan Wasson".
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Revenant
  17. ^ Frederick Schtauffen
  18. ^ "Soul Calibur IV Character Spotlight: Siegfried" via
  19. ^ Ashcraft, Brian. "New Soul Calibur IV Character, Has Sharp Nipples". Kotaku.
  20. ^ Good, Owen. "New Character for Soul Calibur IV: Ashlotte". Kotaku.
  21. ^ McWhertor, Michael. "Soulcalibur IV Adds One More Female Fighter". Kotaku.
  22. ^ Ashcraft, Brian. "New Soul Calibur IV Character". Kotaku.
  23. ^ McWhertor, Michael. "Soulcalibur IV Ups Its T&A Quotient Again". Kotaku.
  24. ^ IV Premium Edition Details at
  25. ^ Soulcalibur IV Gets DLC at
  26. ^ "Soul Calibur 4 (Xbox 360)". Retrieved on 2008-07-29.
  27. ^ "Soulcalibur IV Review". GameSpot. Retrieved on 2008-08-03.
  28. ^ "Gamespy: Soulcalibur IV Review".
  29. ^ "IGN: Soulcalibur IV Review".
  30. ^ "X-Play Soul Calibur 4 review". Retrieved on 2008-08-05.
  31. ^ Clements, Ryan. "IGN Review, p.2", IGN. Retrieved on 8 August.

[edit] External links

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