Soul Calibur V releases in Europe today, having been available in North America and Japan for most of this week. It came away with a headshot in Tuesday’s Soul Calibur V review, and if you’re thinking of joining the fight you’ll need to do some catching up to the rest of the world, especially as my main criticism was of how the game doesn’t do quite enough to get you up to speed on its new systems and massive move list. The info is all out there if you’re willing to spend time researching it though, so here’s some of the fundamentals of the new game:
Don’t let the dashing, hooded Italian on Soul Calibur V‘s boxart fool you. Namco and their rivals aren’t in the business of trying to squeeze a big release out every single year. They understand the value of leaving land fallow. It has been nearly three years since the last Tekken, dead on three years since we entered the fourth Street Fighter era. And Soul Calibur IV? Nearly four years old. The Soul series’ sixth instalment arrives this week, and it’s a game that reaffirms the series’ position as a major fighting game franchise whilst reacting to the less-than sweeping changes that have been wrought by its alternatives.
For all of their convoluted relationships, quests and all the arbitrary specifics of their canonical stories, the only thing that puzzles me about Namco’s fighting game mythologies is how some people actually manage to care about them. But they do, and Soul Calibur‘s habit of dropping in guest characters has long been a source of acute pain for those who can wrap their heads around the game’s tale of two swords better than I can.