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Soul Calibur IV

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Soul Calibur IV
Soulcalibur IV covers
Developer(s) Project Soul
Publisher(s) Namco Bandai
Ubisoft (Europe)
Designer(s) Hiroaki Yotoriyama
Engine Havok (game physics)
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Released NA July 29, 2008

JP July 31, 2008
AUS July 31, 2008
EUR July 31, 2008
UK August 1, 2008
NZ August 1, 2008

Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Ratings BBFC: 12
CERO: C
ESRB: T
PEGI: 16+
USK: 16
Media Blu-ray Disc, DVD-DL
Input methods Gamepad

Soul Calibur IV (ソウルキャリバーIV Sourukyaribā Fō?) is the fifth installment in Namco's Soul series of fighting games. It was released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on July 29, 2008, in North America; July 31, 2008, in Japan, Europe, and Australia; and on August 1, 2008, in the United Kingdom.

GameplayEdit

ModesEdit

SCIV features the familiar Story, Arcade, Training and Museum modes. A new mode called Tower of Lost Souls has the player fighting special battles in order to gain rewards.

Character CreationEdit

Main article: Character Creation

Character Creation from Soulcalibur III returns in Soulcalibur IV. Instead of including some original weapon styles for use with certain classes of fighters, SCIV now only allows players to simply choose which character from the series they would like to have their created character mimic (excluding Algol, bonus characters, and the Star Wars guest characters). This differs from SCIII in that many different styles were also included, such as Grieve Edge, Kunai/Shuriken, Wave Sword, or Tambourine. The styles were removed in the transition, and the character creation has been simplified.

A wide array of new pieces of equipment are available for use in SCIV's Character Creation mode, and new options include a wider range of character voices (now with pitch adjustment) and the ability to change a character's general physique and muscularity.

Active Matching BattleEdit

Multi-fighter battles in SCIV use a different structure from its predecessors, nicknamed Active Matching Battle (AMB). The AMB system allows players to switch to other members of a 'party' of fighters with the push of a button. 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, these certain combatants usually being the 'end-of-the-level-boss' of each round or level. Matches utilizing the AMB system only appear in the Story and Tower of Lost Souls modes.

Soul Gauge & Critical FinishEdit

Main articles: Soul Gauge and Critical Finish

SCIV features an all-new Critical Finish system. Next to a player's HP Gauge 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 green to blue and or to red and then flashing red when the Soul Gauge is empty. 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.  However, the Critical Finish feature was met with some negative responses.

Force abilitiesEdit

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 pushes 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 Gauge, which recharges gradually when not in use.

Online BattlesEdit

For the first time in the series, SCIV has the option to fight against other players online. Players can play ranked matches or unranked matches which is called players matches. Modes available online include "Standard VS" where players fight without using skills and "Special VS" where players fight with skills enabled. Created characters are playable in the online multiplayer mode.

CharactersEdit

Darth Vader, The Apprentice, and Yoda are the playable guest characters. At release Darth Vader appeared on the PlayStation 3, and Yoda on the Xbox 360. The Apprentice, the main protagonist of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, also makes an appearance as a playable guest character on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions. In October 2008, Vader and Yoda were released as downloadable content for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, respectively.

Revenant, Frederick Schtauffen, and several other minor Soul characters make an appearance in battle.

The characters that must be somehow unlocked appear as bold.

Returning charactersEdit

Characters are listed in alphabetical order. Characters in bold can be unlocked by purchasing them in Character Creation for 4,000 Gold each.

New charactersEdit

  • Algol (can be unlocked by defeating him in the Story Modes of anyone except Amy, Hilde, Ivy, Lizardman, Maxi, Nightmare, Raphael, Siegfried, Taki, Tira, Voldo, and Yun-seong)
  • Hilde

Guest charactersEdit

  • Starkiller (The Apprentice, Galen Marek): (can be unlocked by clearing Arcade Mode as either Vader or Yoda)
  • Darth Vader: (playable from the start on the PlayStation 3 version; can be downloaded onto the Xbox 360 version for 400 Microsoft Points or unlocked in Online Mode)
  • Yoda: (playable from the start on the Xbox 360 version; can be downloaded onto the PlayStation 3 version for the equivalent of $5.00 or unlocked in Online Mode)

Bonus charactersEdit

All bonus characters share a move list with a regular character and must be defeated in Story Mode in order to be unlocked, exact Story Modes are stated below.

  • Angol Fear (uses Seong Mi-na's move list; appears in the Story Modes of Algol, The Apprentice, Darth Vader, Kilik, Scheherazade, and Zasalamel; designed by guest artist Mine Yoshizaki)
  • Ashlotte (uses Astaroth's move list; appears in the Story Modes of Angol Fear, Astaroth, Lizardman, Maxi, Rock, Sophitia, Talim; designed by guest artist Oh! great Itomi Ogure)
  • Kamikirimusi (uses Nightmare's move list; appears in the Story Modes of Amy, Cassandra, Mitsurugi, Shura, Tira, Xianghua, Yun-seong; designed by guest artist Hirokazu Hisayuki)
  • Scheherazade (uses Amy's move list; appears in the Story Modes of Ashlotte, Hilde, Nightmare, Siegfried, Voldo, Yoda, Yoshimitsu; designed by guest artist Yutaka Izubuchi)
  • Shura (uses Cervantes' move list; appears in the Story Modes of Cervantes, Ivy, Kamikirimusi, Raphael, Seong Mi-na, Setsuka, Taki; designed by guest artist Hiroya Oku)

Minor CharactersEdit

  • Grimgerde, Wolfkrone soldier
  • Solnhofen, Ostrheinsburg soldier (playable)
  • Dürer, Ostrheinsburg soldier (playable)
    Auguste1

    Auguste, one of Raphael's servants.

  • Azola, Ostrheinsburg soldier (playable)
  • Helmwige, one of Astaroth's soldiers (playable)
  • Ortlinde, one of Astaroth's soldiers
  • Rossweisse, one of Astaroth's soldiers (playable)
  • Shadow, Voldo's servants (playable)
  • Doppelgänger, a doppelgänger of Maxi
  • Valmiro, a member of Cervantes' crew (playable)
  • Phantasm, members of Cervantes' crew (playable)
  • Auguste, one of Raphael's servants (playable)
  • Marienbard, one of Raphael's servants (playable)
  • Jacqueline, one of Raphael's servants (playable)
  • Lizardmen, Aeon Calcos' servants (playable)
  • Ukon, a Manjitou member (playable)
  • Sakon, a Manjitou member
  • Revenant, one of Zasalamel's puppets (playable after clearing Zasalamel's Story Mode once)
  • Skeleton, Zasalamel's puppets
  • Frederick, one of Zasalamel's illusions
  • Xianglian, one of Zasalamel's illusions
  • Arcturus, one of Zasalamel's illusions
  • Gargantua, unknown loyalty
  • Dverger, unknown loyalty
  • Shark, unknown loyalty
  • Picks, unknown loyalty

Only some of the minor characters are playable, and strictly in Story Mode. However, most can be made from custom character parts.

MovelistsEdit

Many movesets have been modified and/or simplified. Nearly all characters' moves have been slightly changed, yet the most obvious modifications are: Ivy, Yun-Seong, and Mitsurugi.

StagesEdit

Premium EditionEdit

The Premium Edition of SCIV 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. The Premium Edition also has the best weapons and joke weapons already available for purchase, as well as clothing items to create a schoolboy or schoolgirl character. In New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Australia, there will be a steel bookcase edition instead, with bonus DVD containing 4 trailers in HD, 4 wallpapers, exclusive concept art and an exclusive booklet with character biographies.

Downloadable ContentEdit

Shortly after the initial release, various downloadable content was made available.

Name Description
Soulcalibur Soundtrack The original 17 music tracks for Soulcalibur were released for 80 MS Points each, or 1,200 for the entire soundtrack. These can be implemented into SCIV via options and integrated into the existing track list.
Customization Equipment 1 100 MS Points or $1.49 on PlayStation Network. Contains nine pieces of equipment that can be equipped to custom fighters or as alternate outfits for existing characters. The items included consist of classic pieces of costumes from SCI and II for Voldo (helms), Yoshimitsu (mask), Nightmare (helms), and a chest piece for Sophitia.
Customization Equipment 2 200 MS Points. Currently only available in places lacking the Limited Edition with exclusive equipment, this pack contains items that can be used to make a maid character. Only usable on female characters.
Customization Equipment 2 (AMERICA) 100 MS points or $1.49 on PlayStation Network. Contains 5 pieces of equipment that can be equipped to custom fighters or as alternate outfits for existing characters. The items included consist of Jack-O'-lantern (male and female helms), wizards mantle (male neck),

frilled shirt (female upper body) and short slops (female lower body)

Character Addition "Darth Vader" (Xbox 360 only) 400 MS points. Allows Darth Vader to be playable on the Xbox 360 version.
Character Addition "Yoda" (PS3 only) $5 US. Allows Yoda to be playable on the PlayStation 3 version.

ReceptionEdit

Reviews
Publication Score
1UP.com A
Electronic Gaming Monthly 89%
GameSpot 8.5 of 10
GameSpy 4.5 of 5
IGN 8.7 of 10
X-Play 4 of 5


SCIV has received mainly positive reviews from most media outlets.

There were certain criticisms 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" and "absurd", respectively. Also, programming on the Star Wars characters containing such detail that the characters abilities are "unnatural" and "unfair" to the player when playing the Arcade or Story modes.

There has also been some criticism towards the online multiplayer mode on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game. Due to poor network programming, the "auto-matching" feature will often attempt to connect players to an already full or in progress match thus giving the player the error "Match is Full". The best fix for most is to host a match of their own, in which an opponent will typically join within a minute.

TriviaEdit

  • Soulcalibur IV has the distinction of being the very first Japanese game to have a crossover with the Star Wars franchise[source?].
  • Soulcalibur IV is the first Soul series fighting game to not have had an arcade release.
  • Unlike prior games, it does not have a mimic character, one whose fighting style is randomized each fight, such as Charade or Olcadan.
  • Previous games in the series have depicted Soul Edge and Soul Calibur as being capable of shapeshifting into the form of the weapon most suited for the person currently holding it; when Xianghua holds Soul Calibur, it turns into a short one-handed sword, but when Talim holds it, it splits into two tonfa blades. However, while Soul Edge and Soul Calibur weapons are still available to several characters, in SCIV's ending videos, the weapons are never shown in any form other than as enormous swords, the forms in which Nightmare and Siegfried wield Soul Edge and Soul Calibur, respectively. Even Maxi, whose signature weapon is a blunt pair of nunchaku, is shown wielding Soul Edge as a sword.
  • It is stated that a full year has passed between SC2 and SC4. As such, Siegfried and Kilik should actually be 24 years old (if the game truly does start in the month of March). [Source of month?]
  • There were supposed to be shop lines for each character. Some of the female custom character voices even had a shopkeeper lines. Unfortunately, they were scrapped and didn't appeared in the final version of the game (probably due to the lack of space).
  • The battle intros and victory poses' effects were removed. Examples are:
Battle Intro: When Lizardman moves his axe past his mouth, no lightning appears.
Victory Pose: When Nightmare kneels and raises his demonic arm, no lightning runs across his arm.

AwardsEdit

  • IGN Best of 2008: Best Xbox 360 Fighting Game
  • Spike TV Video Game Awards: Best Fighting Game

GalleryEdit

WallpapersEdit

External linksEdit


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