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SoulCalibur V
XBox 360, Playstation 3

Reviewed on: Playstation 3
Project Soul
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Rated: "T" for Teen

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

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User Rating:        6
Presentation: 6

The easy way to put it? SoulCalibur V is one hell of a good looking fighting game. The environments sparkle with detail and the animations are smooth and buttery. The downside? Some of the worst load times in recent memory.

Gameplay: 5

This is the same SoulCalibur greatness that you've come to expect, and any fan of quality fighters is going to want to jump in full steam. Disappointingly though, Soul Calibur V is an incredibly thin and repetitive package.

Lasting Appeal:

Those who really want to jump into the franchise's trademark deep mechanics will find much to do, but don't expect much from single player -- at all.

Overall: 6
SoulCalibur could be the deepest, and most fun fighting game to master, and this installment is no exception. Previous installments have had a ton more content, and if you're not interested in mastering the mechanics; you're bound to get bored quickly.
CHEATfactor: 6

Time. It heals and it makes people forget -- it also brings experience, and with experience comes expectations. When the original SoulCalibur was released in the arcades in 1998, it set a standard for depth, customization and longevity in a fighting game. Now, more than a decade, and four sequels later, and the series next installment is met with a ton of expectations. Some of these it's met, the fighting is still as impressive and fun as ever, but the package itself is surprisingly thin. If SoulCalibur V was the start of a new franchise, it would be an easy recommendation, but as an anticipated sequel, it's a bit disappointing.

If you happen to be new to the series, you've missed quite a lot. Perhaps the most technically sound fighting franchise, at its most basic, SoulCalibur mixes a flurry of high, low and weapon attacks. At its best, it's an opera of strategy, timing and quite frankly, luck that some players pour years into. Don't let all that depth convince you not to jump in -- the SoulCalibur series has always been a blast to jump into a just start playing, especially if you're with friends.


The good news is that all of that makes its return in the series fifth installment. SoulCalibur V easily carries on the series' pedigree of being deceptively deep and adaptable. It's entirely possible to lose yourself in the game merely trying out different strategies with different characters, searching for the one that best fits your play style -- in fact that was a good portion of what we did with our pre-release copy.

That being said, the developers have done a remarkable job making Soul Calibur V easier for new players to jump in to. New to this latest installment, the Critical Gauge allows players to build up a meter by delivering and taking damage and then letting an impressive slew of attacks go, sort of like the Ultra Combo meter in Super Street Fighter IV. The Critical Gauge allows those who are newer to the franchise to not become discouraged, and thus pull off some impressive moves that make them want to spend more time with the game.

If you're just looking for a great fighter, you're in luck, but if you're looking for a complete game, you're bound to be disappointed by SoulCalibur V, especially if you've played previous installments. By far though, the most disappointing aspect is the single player, story mode, which pales in comparison to previous games in the series and other modern day fighters. When Mortal Kombat relaunched last year, my hope was that other developers of fighting games would take note of the game's well done story mode, and use it as a jumping off point for new and bigger things. Namco Bandai did not.


SoulCalibur V's story mode exclusively follows the story of the oddly named new character Patroklos, who is on a quest to rid her sister of "the manifestation" which is apparently some sort of werewolf disease. The story plays out in admittedly cool, yet lackluster sketches rather than full movie sequences. The real problem though is that the mode puts you almost exclusively in control of Patrokolos (you'll get some matches with the sister as well), which removes on of the game's most fun features; experimenting with other characters to find your right fit.

There's really not much else to SoulCalibur V besides the character creation tool which allows you to create some pretty cool fighters. Want to create a fighting furrie? Go for it. Giant man in bikini and pig tails? That's a bit odd, but go for it. While you can customize looks in the mode, I never got the feeling that you were able to create a move set worthy of the game's main roster though.

SoulCalibur V is at its best when you've picked out your fighter and allowed yourself time to figure out how to best make them work for you, then you take those skills to the couch and begin to trash talk your friends or online opponents. It's still one of, if not the deepest fighters around, but it's lost a step in all of its other features. SoulCalibur V isn't a complete disappointment, but it could be a lot better. 



CHEATS USED: Achievements/Trophies Lists, Unlockables

Playing through SoulCalibur V, you'll unlock new creation mode features and new characters, but other than that, there are no known cheats for the game -- yet. I would absolutley love to see a cheat for one button combos and special moves.

Stay with Cheat Happens for more cheats for Soul Calibur as they become available.



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