|Engine||Havok (game physics)|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|Released||NA July 29, 2008|
JP July 31, 2008
|Media||Blu-ray Disc, DVD-DL|
Soulcalibur III (Chronologically)
Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny
Soulcalibur V (Chronologically)
Soulcalibur 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.
Soulcalibur IV 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 Creation from Soulcalibur III returns in Soulcalibur IV. Instead of including some original weapon styles for use with certain classes of fighters, Soulcalibur IV 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 Soulcalibur III 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 Soulcalibur IV'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 Battle
Multi-fighter battles in Soulcalibur IV 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 Finish
Soulcalibur IV 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.
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.
For the first time in the series, Soulcalibur IV 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.
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.
The characters that must be somehow unlocked appear as bold.
Characters are listed in alphabetical order. Characters in bold can be unlocked by purchasing them in Character Creation for 4,000 Gold each.
- Lizardman (Aeon Calcos)
- Seong Mi-na
- 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)
- The Apprentice (Starkiller, 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)
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)
- Schwertleite, Wolfkrone soldier
- Grimgerde, Wolfkrone soldier
- Solnhofen, Ostrheinsburg soldier (playable)
- Dürer, Ostrheinsburg soldier (playable)
- 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.
- Distant Marsh (Talim)
- Egyptian Temple - Sacred Flame (Yun-seong)
- Grand Labyrinth - Corridor of Suspended Time (Zasalamel)
- Hall of the Warrior God (Kilik/Xianghua)
- Ice Coffin of the Sleeping Ancient (Cervantes/Rock/Ivy)
- Jyurakudai Villa - Virgin Snow (Setsuka/Mitsurugi/Yoshimitsu)
- Kunpaetku Shrine - Dream Remnants (Astaroth/Lizardman)
- Ostrheinsburg Castle - Twilight (Taki)
- Ostrheinsburg Castle Throne Room (Rapahel/Tira)
- Phantom Pavilion (Voldo)
- Sailor's Rest (Maxi/Seong Mi-na)
- Star Destroyer Docking Bay: Laser Gates, Bridge Overhang & Loading Platform (Darth Vader/Yoda/The Apprentice)
- Thesmophoros' Imperial Garden (Cassandra/Sophitia)
- Tower of Remembrance - Ancient Gate (Bonus characters)
- Tower of Remembrance - Degradation (Algol)
- Tower of Remembrance - Encounter (Siegfried/Nightmare)
- Tower of Remembrance - Spiral of Time
- Wolfkrone Monument (Hilde/Amy)
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. 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.
Shortly after the initial release, various downloadable content was made available.
|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 Soulcalibur IV 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||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.|
|Electronic Gaming Monthly||89%|
|GameSpot||8.5 of 10|
|GameSpy||4.5 of 5|
|IGN||8.7 of 10|
|X-Play||4 of 5|
Soulcalibur IV 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.
- 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 Soulcalibur IVs 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.
- 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.
- Soulcalibur IV is set in the year 1591, four years after the events of Soulcalibur and seven years after the events of Soul Edge.
- IGN Best of 2008: Best Xbox 360 Fighting Game
- Spike TV Video Game Awards: Best Fighting Game
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