SoulCalibur IV Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
SoulCalibur IV box art
System: X360, PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Project Soul 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Namco Bandai 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: July 29, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Like I mentioned before, the series has received a tremendous graphics upgrade. Even if SC II and III looked gorgeous on last-gen consoles, the step up to HD makes all the difference. The environments and characters look crisp, very detailed, and the varied textures are very well represented and rendered in the game. The fast-paced rhythm of the battles rarely causes visual glitches or affects the framerate. Perhaps some issues may be noticed while fighting near walls, but it's nothing too exaggerated.

SoulCalibur IV screenshot

Character combos and special attacks trigger cool special effects that are sometimes dazzling, especially when using lightsabers or huge, shiny swords. Furthermore, the fighting animations are wilder than ever, leaving a good taste in your mouth after you crush someone against the floor and then step all over them, or when you perforate the enemy with your weapon and then twist it till he's KO'd. Even without blood, this game manages to be wild and exciting.

As far as sounds go, you won't miss previous SC titles. In fact, the main musical theme and a few other SoulCalibur tunes are heard throughout. The soundtrack is memorable and very exciting overall, with a few sound clips from Star Wars movies and several new and original tunes that are just as epic. The pretentious, tacky, and mostly cocky voice acting is there as well. It wouldn't be SoulCalibur without comments like "Curse your fate for running into me," or "Don't scream, you cur!" The only thing I missed from my good old times with Soul Calibur II is the solemn announcement of the players you were fighting against: "Vs. Voldo!" or "Vs. Link!" (Too bad the Wii version - SoulCalibur Legends- didn't quite make it!)

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All in all, SoulCalibur IV is a great addition to the franchise. There's a good amount of play modes, excellent character customization options, a strong character roster, smooth (though intricate) controls, and exciting online play. It's difficult to say which of the two versions is better, even though I think Yoda's the best. Both Yoda and Sith Lord Darth Vader will eventually be downloadable characters through Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network, so I don't think their current separation is a big issue.

By Maria Montoro
CCC Site Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
The game looks truly outstanding and full of magical special effects, despite a couple of random framerate drops while playing online.
4.3
Control
Controls are smooth and accurate, but not extremely intuitive or user-friendly. Players will master them with time, but there's a lot to learn in the process.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Cheesy and exaggerated voice-over acting and classic SoulCalibur-style tunes fit like a glove.
4.2
Play Value
There are quite a few game modes to play, and the numerous customization options and online play definitely extend the game's value.
4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Unleash the Force: Iconic Star Wars characters, Sith Lord Darth Vader and Jedi Master Yoda challenge the SoulCalibur fighters for the future of the powerful swords.
  • Unparalleled High Definition Graphics: Experience the legendary SoulCalibur level of graphics now in HD resolution for the first time.
  • Take the Fight Online: For the first time ever, fight opponents around the world online in multiple versus modes.
  • The Ultimate Roster: Battle with classic SoulCalibur characters, exciting newcomers, or customize your own unique fighter.
  • New Fighting System Elements: Exciting new fighting game elements including the Active Matching Battle System and the ability to execute devastating critical strikes.
  • Multiple Gameplay Modes: Experience SoulCalibur with Story, Arcade, Tower of Lost Souls, Training Practice, Character creation, and Museum View modes.
  • Screen Resolution: Up to 1080p (Full HDTV, Widescreen).


  • Screenshots / Images
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