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Xbox 360






Bandia Namco



Bandai Namco



T (Teen)



July 29, 2008



- Looks and plays great

- Big character roster and lots of customization options

- A button masher and a technical fighter



- Online match making is pretty much broken



Review: Soul Calibur IV (PS3)

Review: Dead or Alive 4 (360)

Review: Too Human (360)



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Soul Calibur IV

Score: 8.5 / 10


soul calibur iv          soul calibur iv


As a fighting for a "casual" crowd, Soul Calibur IV is a great experience provided you stay offline. The presentation can be appreciated, the extensive customization options can be explored and players will have a lot of fun button-mashing CPU opponents and friends in person, but online... the match making system is so broken it's unlikely you'll ever find a random someone of similar experience and skill to fight against.

Soul Calibur IV's online play is, for the most part, free of lag but everything else is a half-realized implementation. There's no lobby; players simply search for a Quick




- Xbox 360 Game Reviews

- Fighting Game Reviews

- Games Published by Bandai Namco

Match, Ranked Match, or Create Match. The game matches players seemingly at random and 95% of the time I faced online opponents well above my skill level to the point that it didn't really matter if I pressed any buttons - the match would be over in seconds. After losing (or winning, on occasion) players are booted back out to the Match screen where they can search for another random opponent. Not even a


rematch option? This seems like a massive omission, especially because everything else is so expertly put together. It's like a car with the doors welded shut - it runs awesome but because you've gotta swing through the window to drive the car it's almost not worth the effort, especially when there's some random dude in the passenger seat.

Fortunately, there's enough going on offline that even if you never go online, so it's not like you'll miss much.

Besides the expected Arcade and "Story" modes, there's also Tower of Lost Souls. In this mode players can Ascend or Descend - initially only Ascend is open - and each floor of the tower has its own challenges like taking on successive opponents, either alone or with a tag-team partner. This mode seems to be the most efficient way of unlocking new equipment and earning gold that lets players make full use of the customization options. Besides a templated, blank-slate character, Soul Calibur IV also includes a large character roster, which includes Yoda and the Apprentice (from The Force Unleashed) and a rabble of other guest characters that can be heavily modified. (Besides the Star Wars characters, at least.)


soul calibur iv          soul calibur iv

Whatever the character, all of them have deep movesets, which are not only dependant on proper stick and button work, especially sparing use of the block button, but also the relative position to your opponent. The fighting can be very technical, something that can only be really appreciated watching two experienced players. Button mashing will work on many of the CPU opponents but against more practiced human opponents, button mashing will not work. Period. For some pick-up and play fun for someone that just thinks Soul Calibur IV looks cool and wants to play with a buddy or mess around with the single-player there's plenty of fun to be had.

Bandai Namco did a great job with Soul Calibur IV creating an excellent fighting game for both casual players and technical masters. That's a hard line to walk especially with boobs this big.

- Aaron Simmer

(September 24, 2008)

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