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Soulcalibur IV is the fifth 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 and New Zealand.

The game is notable for its inclusion of several characters from the popular Star Wars franchise as playable fighters.

GameplayEdit

ModesEdit

The fourth installment in the Soulcalibur series features the Story, Arcade, Training and Museum modes. A new mode called Tower of Lost Souls requires the player to win battles in order to gain rewards.[1]

Character Creation Edit

Character Creation from Soulcalibur III returns in Soulcalibur IV. Instead of including original weapon styles for use with certain classes of fighters, Soulcalibur IV now only allows players to choose which character from the series they would like to have their created character mimic. This differs from Soulcalibur III which had many unique styles such as "Grieve Edge". Algol, the bonus characters and the Star Wars guest characters cannot have their styles used by player created characters. A wide array of new pieces of equipment are available for use in Soulcalibur IV's Character Creation mode, and new options include a wider range of character voices and the ability to change their pitch. The player may also 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.[2] 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 are also 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.

One profile is allowed for offline versus mode, meaning that only one profile's created characters can be loaded at a time.

Active Matching Battle Edit

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 The King of Fighters 2003, the AMB system allows players to switch to other members of a 'party' of fighters mid battle. 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 Edit

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 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 after the player destroys a piece of armor or breaks the opponents guard. 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.[3]

Force abilities Edit

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 blasts, punches, 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. If the Force Meter is depleted, the player loses control of the character momentarily.

Online Battles Edit

For the first time in the series, Soulcalibur IV has the option to fight against other players online. Versus-modes available in online battles are Standard VS (for classic matches) and "Special VS" (for customized characters).[1] Created characters are playable in the online multiplayer mode.[4]

Characters Edit

Many characters from the Soul series return for Soulcalibur IV, with newcomers Hilde and Algol added to the roster. The Star Wars characters Darth Vader, Yoda and Galen Marek are playable as guest characters. Initially, Darth Vader appeared on the PlayStation 3, and Yoda appeared on the Xbox 360; Namco later made both characters downloadable content on the opposite platform for a small fee. Marek, the main protagonist of LucasArts' video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, is playable on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions. Matt Sloan, Tom Kane and Sam Witwer, the voice actors for Vader, Yoda and Marek respectively in various Star Wars games and cartoons, reprise their roles in the English translation of SCIV.

Revenant,[5] Frederick Schtauffen[6][7] and several other minor Soul series characters make an appearance in battle; most can be made in the Character Creation mode. Several bonus characters designed by manga artists - "Angol Fear", "Ashlotte", "Kamikirimusi", "Scheherazade" and "Shura" - are also playable in the game, and use the fighting styles of returning characters.

Premium Edition Edit

The Premium Edition of Soulcalibur 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 comes in a metal case and was released on the same date as the regular edition. GameSpot also mentioned exclusive access to extra customization content in this version.[8] The "extra customization content" refers to the automatic unlocking of the most powerful weapons 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 instead, with a bonus DVD containing 4 trailers in HD, 4 wallpapers, exclusive concept art and an exclusive booklet with character biographies.

Downloadable Content Edit

Shortly after the initial release, various downloadable content were made available, including music tracks from the original Soulcalibur, customization equipment[9] , and weapon packs. Later, the option to play as Darth Vader in the Xbox 360 version of the game and Yoda in the PS3 version was made available as well.[10]

Expansion Game Edit

Main article: Soul Calibur IV: Souls of the Future

Soul Calibur IV: Souls of the Future is an expansion of the game. It's gameplay is more enhanced compared to the original game. Instead of the Star Wars guests, Dante and Nero from Capcom's Devil May Cry series replaces them.

Main article: Soulcalibur IV: Blades of War

Soulcalibur IV: Blades of War is an expansion of the game that was made for the Wii. Its gameplay is more enhanced compared to the original game. Instead of the Star Wars guests, Roronoa Zoro from One Piece series replaces them.

Reception Edit

Soulcalibur IV has received mainly positive reviews from most media outlets.

The game was praised for its next-gen graphics, character-creation mode and finally being able to play online. Reviewers also noted that the gameplay is accessible for newcomers and beginners but still has plenty of depth and technicality for veterans and experienced players, including an abundance of single player challenges in Tower of Lost Souls mode.[11][12]

Certain criticisms were 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" (a reference to a perceived imbalance in Fighting Games that gives some characters a vastly unfair advantage over other characters in gameplay) and "absurd", respectively. Yoda's smaller size (and thus his immunity to grab attacks) is mentioned as one such design problem.[13] Fans were also disappointed at the lack of a Team Versus Mode, which allows two players to fight with up to eight characters each. The mode had been a feature in previous installments of the series yet it is conspicuously absent in Soulcalibur III and Soulcalibur IV. Critics have described its omission as “baffling” and "disappointing".Template:Fact

AwardsEdit

Broken Destiny Edit

Main article: Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny

In April 2009, a Soulcalibur game titled Broken Destiny for Playstation Portable was announced. The game incorporates the gameplay and character designs from IV, although it is unknown at this point whether it is a remake, a direct sequel or neither. Although the Star Wars characters were removed from the character roster, several new characters and features were added, including Kratos from God of War as a new guest character.

Collectible Card Game Edit

Like its predecessor, Soulcalibur IV was released as one of the franchises represented in Fantasy Flight Games' Universal Fighting System collectible card game. As of May 2009, a base set has been released, featuring eight of the game's characters.

References Edit

External links Edit

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