First Impressions: Soul Calibur IV

Filed under: , by: Grundy the Man

Fighting games are like a fine wine. They are deep, come in a wide variety of flavors, and can only be appreciated by pompous assholes, who have a high opinion of themselves. Luckily, I am a card carrying member of that exclusive, self appointed society. So here I dive, arcade stick and all, into the world of Soul Calibur IV for the Xbox 360.

To continue on the wine analogy from earlier, if a fighting game like the Virtua Fighter series is an expensive 1800's vintage Merlot, then past Soul Calibur games would have been the cheap boxed variety you can buy at your supermarket. Sure, it can get you drunk as hell, but it is not something that you went around and bragging about. The same could be said about playing these mediocre classics. The real question is, can Soul Calibur IV make the changes necessary to earn a place in your wine cellar?

The graphics have seen a significant upgrade in their jump to the next generation consoles. Every character is very unique and has a vast range of different body and facial features. Fighters seem to react accurately to the velocity of different strikes and the breast physics are unparalleled. Trust me, that is the kind innovation that guys can really get behind.

George Lucas has even whored out his signature Star Wars franchise, all in the name of a little ass-kicking. Yoda makes an appearance as an overpowered playable character, with a knack of evading even the most obvious damage. I have a feeling that most competitive circles will quickly ban the use of him, because of his tiny hit box and over-the-top special moves. All of the complaints aside, he really is a thrill to fight with, allowing me to cross another item of my bucket list.

In the name of shameless cross promotion, The Apprentice from the upcoming The Force Unleashed game is also an unlockable character. He is one of the most difficult characters that you will encounter in the Arcade mode, but once he is unlocked, you will find that he is just as unbalanced as Yoda. I look forward to being able to really dig into this game in the upcoming week.

Don't worry, there will be more to come, as I blast through this game at full bore. You can catch a full review of this game on Friday.

Until then, take a peek at the trailer for Soul Calibur IV: