Friday, December 28, 2018

Soul Calibur VI

Over the holidays I picked up Soul Calibur VI.

It's been forever since I've played a fighting game. I'm pretty terrible, the veriest button-masher. But SC is a lot of fun. It's bright and colourful. There are lots of characters and weapons. Each weapon set is a different fighting style.

Soul Calibur VI also has an extensive custom character creator where you can make your own unique fighter. You assign that fighter a weapon which determines what moves your character uses.

The main story mode, Libra of Souls, has you creating a character, then wandering around in a quasi-RPG. Your character gains XP and levels from fighting enemies. You can also find or buy weapons which have levels and powers.

The RPG mechanics are actually a really nice fit for a single-player fighting game. As far as I can tell, levels just reduce the damage you take and increase the damage you deal, while the fighting game aspect is the same. So if you're actually good at fighting games, you can do everything at low levels. If you're bad, you can grind a few levels with the random encounters, and then have an advantage on the fights.

The story is pretty basic. There are a couple of choices you can make which change parts. You can do a Good or Evil play-through, though I'm still working my through it. Sometimes fights will have special conditions, like the area being slippery, making it very easy to fall off the edge.

There's also a second story mode (Soul Chronicle) where you play shorter stories as the specific characters in the game. Soul Chronicle doesn't have RPG elements, basically a series of fights with some story scenes in-between.

As for fighting game mechanics, I have no idea how it compares to other fighting games. It's quasi-2D, you can move towards or away from the camera, but it's mostly to dodge attacks and change direction in the arena. The camera keeps the view like a standard 2D fighter.

The basic moves (horizontal attack, vertical attack, kick, and block) are simple but effective. Then there are throws, break attacks, soul edge, and reversal edge specials. Soul edge are specials you can only use after a meter builds up. Reversal edge is a special break attack that takes you into this rock-paper-scissors mini-game, which I think allows you to "reset the momentum" if your opponent is pushing hard. Then there are combos after that. I'm still learning the basics and next tier though. Trying to learn how to block effectively.

I'm probably going to stick with single-player, rather than fighting other players online. But so far, the single-player component of Soul Calibur VI is surprisingly extensive, and very enjoyable. If you feel like trying a modern fighting game, I recommend giving Soul Calibur VI a whirl.

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