|System: Xbox 360, PS3*|
|Dev: Project Soul|
|Pub: NAMCO Bandai|
|Release: January 31, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence|
In addition to the story mode, there are two other main modes rounding out the game's content: online matches and an unlockable legendary mode that presents advanced users with some seriously punishing challenges. The random-but-fun tower mode from SoulCalibur IV didn't make it into this game, which is a real shame, but I suppose the ultra-hard mode should satisfy those still looking for a challenge.
If you are looking for customization options, SoulCalibur V also has plenty here for you, as the customization tool has been expanded yet again to feature more character layers, a paint tool, some 3D placement features, and a new picture taking system that gives you more control over character poses, locations, and even gives you the option to add one or two "fun frames." Customization in SoulCalibur V definitely has been improved quite a bit, and, if you don't mind sitting down for an hour or two, you can make some pretty awesome characters.
Visually, the game is on-par with SoulCalibur IV, which isn't a bad thing. Characters are nicely detailed, and environments are fairly diverse. Again, my only problem here is the non-animated content in the story mode. However, if you are just playing in the versus or online modes, you won't be disappointed by the game's visual style. Audio is also pretty much the same as it has been. Voiceovers are done well, and orchestral background music is pleasant to listen to.
On the surface, SoulCalibur V feels like a complete departure from what we're used to. The absence of old characters is jarring at first, and, as a fan, it is hard to adjust to the changes without a little bit of ire. However, as you play you notice that the game still feels the same old SoulCalibur. It's still fun, the characters are still bursting with personality, and despite my misgivings about the style, the story is still memorable. It's not a complete departure for the series, but the move away from classic characters may be indicative of the series as a whole turning away from its roots. And that may be something to worry about when we finally get around to talking about SoulCalibur VI.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
Senior Contributing Writer
Date: January 31, 2012