That freaking eyeball

July 28, 2008 by Tim

Soul Calibur 4 comes out this week, with its Star Wars chewy center.

I’ve always preferred Soul Calibur over games like Dead or Alive. Dead or Alive is a great series, don’t get me wrong, but Soul Calibur’s characters always appealed to me more. Next to Powerstone, Soul Calibur was one of my most-played Dreamcast games, and I played Soul Calibur 2 even more.

Soul Calibur 3… did nothing for me. I don’t know. I thought the custom characters thing was pretty weak, and the game came out right around the same time as the Xbox 360, which spoiled me with its easy online play (which SC3 lacked).

So Soul Calibur 4 is the first Soul game I’m really excited about in six years. Obviously the graphics and online play are a draw, but the Soul Guage and Critical Finish features seem to promise a more intense, offensive fighting game, which should be fun.

I have to admit, I was also over the boring square/circle “ring-out” type stages six years ago as well. When games like Dead or Alive 4 and Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe offer interactive, multi-level stages, it’s a little difficult to go back to wondering why someone constructed a perfect stone circle out in the middle of the ocean.

I do hope that I won’t end up just playing the Star Wars guest characters, out of a need to fill a long-standing desire for a decent Star Wars fighting game (Masters of Teras Kasi, I’m not talking to you). I picked up the 360 version so that I could have Yoda. I like Vader, but his secret Apprentice is on both versions, and I like a little balance to my force. Besides, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Vader/Yoda were offered as downloads at a later point for a nominal fee.

As much as I love the idea of guest characters in the series (Spawn, Link, Heihachi in 2, and Star Wars in 4), it still just boggles my mind. Soul Calibur has never been a series that was big on (decent) story and writing, so what the explanation is for Darth Vader showing up, I have no clue. At least in MK vs. DC, they’re coming up with some sort of story for, you know, why.

And then here’s Soul Calibur, circa 1587. Everyone is fighting with swords and staves, and here comes this evil cyborg from space with his laser sword and magic powers, along with his eight-hundred-year-old green midget alien enemy.

And then, what does Darth Vader do with the Soul Edge sword once he inevitably kicks everyone else’s ass? I mean he’s Darth Vader for crying out loud. Who gives up a red lightsaber for a red meatsword with a giant eyeball?

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