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Soulcalibur V (ソウルキャリバーV SōruKyaribā Faibu?) is a video game developed and released by Namco Bandai Games for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2012.[1]

The sixth main installment in Namco's Soul series of fighting games, Soulcalibur V is the follow-up to Soulcalibur IV and retains the weapon-based combat that characterizes the series but follows a new character, Patroklos, who aims to rid his sister of a curse brought upon her by an ancient weapon.

The game received a mixed reception and was often criticized for the removal of many iconic characters from the earlier games in the series.

Gameplay

Like the previous games in the series, Soulcalibur V is a weapon-based fighting game. Players use high and low vertical and horizontal attacks to damage opposing player characters and can block incoming attacks or parry enemies' moves to gain a tactical advantage. The game features a tweaked "Critical Edge" system, allowing players to fill up a meter and utilize a variety of special attacks.[2]

The game features a variety of gameplay modes. In Story Mode, players take control of the game's protagonist Patroklos and various supporting characters, guiding him through a series of battles divided into 20 episodes. Unlike previous installments, not every character is playable in Story Mode. The game's arcade mode allows players to control any of the game's characters and face six opponents in time trial matches. In addition, the game features Quick Battle mode, which allows players to unlock titles for their online profiles and an extra "Legendary Souls" mode. Like its predecessors, Soulcalibur V also sports variety of multiplayer modes, allowing players to face each other both online and offline. The character creation mode from previous games has also been retained.[2]

Plot

The game takes place 17 years after the events of Soulcalibur IV and centers around the children of Soul series veteran Sophitia.[3] The protagonist is her son Patroklos and his estranged sister Pyrrha is a supporting character. The two siblings journey across Europe in an attempt to rid Pyrrha of the "malfestation", a curse that is bestowed upon whoever comes into contact with the evil weapon Soul Edge.[4]

Characters

The game features 28 playable characters, including 10 characters that are new to the series.[5] The new characters include two versions of Pyrrha and Patroklos.[2] The game also introduces the mysterious Z.W.E.I. as well as Viola, a fortune teller. Several new characters use the fighting styles of previous characters in the series: Taki's successor Natsu, Xianghua's daughter Yan Leixia and Xiba, who uses Kilik's fighting style.[6] The game's guest character is Ezio Auditore da Firenze from the Assassin's Creed series.[7] The game also features a number of returning characters, such as Siegfried, Voldo, Ivy, Raphael, Tira, Maxi, Algol, Mitsurugi, Hilde, Kilik, Cervantes and Nightmare. Dampierre, who first appeared in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny, is a playable character.[5]

Development

A petition for Soulcalibur V posted on Facebook caught the attention of Katsuhiro Harada, producer of Namco's Tekken series. He accepted suggestions and promised to lobby on behalf of fans for the creation of a new Soulcalibur game. The game was teased as early as 2010, when game director Daishi Odashima tweeted "SC is back!". On December 25, 2010, a new Soul series project was announced to be under way, led by a new director.[8] In late April 2011, Odashima tweeted again saying "Hopefully I will be able to announce something mid May."[9] Soulcalibur V was officially announced by Namco Bandai on May 11, 2011.[1]

Development of the game's story mode was outsourced to CyberConnect2, developers of the Capcom game Asura's Wrath.[2] The story was originally planned to be four times longer, but was cut back because of time and manpower restraints.[10]

Release

Pre-order bonuses included the playable character Dampierre from Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny.[11] A collector's edition of Soulcalibur V was released along with the standard edition in a book-like package containing the game, CD game music soundtrack, art book, making-of DVD and exclusive White and Dark Knight character creation downloadable content.[12]

Namco has released additional downloadable content for the game. The first "Launch Day" pack includes a set of character customization items described as "exotic" as well as music from Soul Edge and Soulcalibur. The Valentine’s Day February 14 pack includes customization items described as "fearsome", along with music from Soulcalibur II and Soulcalibur III. The February 28 pack includes more customization items and music from Soulcalibur IV and Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. The music tracks are also available individually.[13] Further DLC packs were announced planned to be released once a month.[10]

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 80.24% (PS3)[14]
78.60% (Xbox)[15]
Metacritic 81 (PS3)[16]
77 (Xbox 360)[17]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com B+[18]
Computer and Video Games 8.9/10[19]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 6.0/10[20]
Eurogamer 8/10[21]
Game Informer 8.5/10[22]
Game Revolution 4/5[23]
GameSpot 7.5/10[4]
GamesTM 8/10[24]
GamesRadar 9/10[25]
GameTrailers 8.7/10[26]
IGN 7.5/10[2]
Official Xbox Magazine 8/10[27]
Official Xbox Magazine (UK) 7/10[28]
TeamXbox 7.5/10[29]
UGO B-[30]

Soulcalibur V received relatively tepid reviews as compared to most previous games in the series, resulting in average Metacritic scores of 77 (Xbox 360)[17] and 81 (PS3).[16]

1UP.com criticized the story mode, but was overall positive in its review, stating that the game "reinvents the series again".[18] Game Informer called it "the best Soulcalibur ever."[22] On the other hand, IGN wrote that Soulcalibur V "feels like more of the same" and was disappointed by the game, especially criticizing its story mode.[2] According to the review in Joystiq, Soulcalibur V "is simultaneously one of the best Soul Calibur games ever made, as well as the worst Soul Calibur game ever made."[31]

Besides the lackluster story mode, an often-repeated point of criticism was the absence of many of the series' stalwart characters such as Sophitia, Cassandra, Taki, Talim, and Seong Mi-na.[23][32][33][34] Cheat Code Central included "every new character in the game" on their list of top ten lamest video game characters of all time.[35]

As of June 2012, the game has sold 1.38 million units worldwide.[36]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 VG247 Staff (May 11, 2011). Namco nukes Dubai: SoulCalibur 5 announced for 2012. Vg247. Retrieved on May 11, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Steven Lambrechts, Soulcalibur V Review, IGN, January 31, 2012
  3. McGarvey, Sterling (2012-01-31). Soulcalibur V review. GamesRadar. Retrieved on 2012-03-19.
  4. 4.0 4.1 SoulCalibur V - GameSpot.com
  5. 5.0 5.1 Soul Calibur V Review (Xbox 360). Team Xbox (2012-02-05). Retrieved on 2012-03-19.
  6. Basile, Sal (2012-01-17). SoulCalibur V New Characters. UGO. Retrieved on 2012-03-19.
  7. Gilbert, Henry (2011-10-21). Assassin's Creed's Ezio joins the Soulcalibur V roster in new trailer and screens. GamesRadar. Retrieved on 2012-03-19.
  8. Twitter feed for Daishi Odashima (2010-12-25). Retrieved on 2010-12-25.
  9. Gantayat (April 26, 2011). New SoulCalibur Info Possibly Coming in Mid May. Andriasang. Retrieved on May 11, 2011.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Train2Game interview: SoulCalibur V game director Daishi Odashima | The Train2Game Blog
  11. Hilliard, Kyle (2011-10-22). Unlock Dampierre When You Preorder Soulcalibur V. Game Informer. Retrieved on 2012-03-19.
  12. Fletcher, JC. Soulcalibur V Collector's Edition: the pages of history. Joystiq. Retrieved on 5 November 2011.
  13. Soulcalibur V DLC Announced - News - www.GameInformer.com
  14. SoulCalibur V for PlayStation 3 - GameRankings
  15. SoulCalibur V for Xbox 360 - GameRankings
  16. 16.0 16.1 SoulCalibur V Critic Reviews for PlayStation 3 at Metacritic.com
  17. 17.0 17.1 SoulCalibur V Critic Reviews for Xbox 360 at Metacritic.com
  18. 18.0 18.1 Jose Otero, Review: Soulcalibur V Redefines Namco's Flagship Weapon-Based Fighter, 1UP.com, January 31, 2012
  19. Rich Stanton, SoulCalibur V Review: Ivy league, CVG UK, 31st Jan 2012
  20. Andrew Fitch, EGM Review: Soul Calibur V, EGMNOW, February 3, 2012
  21. Matt Edwards, SoulCalibur 5 Review, Eurogamer, 31 January 2012
  22. 22.0 22.1 Adam Biessener, Soulcalibur V, GameInformer, January 31, 2012
  23. 23.0 23.1 Daniel Bischoff, Does the Soul Still Burn?, GameRevolution, 02/03/12
  24. SoulCalibur V review, GamesTM, 31 Jan 2012
  25. Sterling McGarvey, Soulcalibur V review: Refinements and revamps help restore the lustre to the series, GamesRadar, January 31, 2012
  26. SoulCalibur V Article Review and Ratings | GameTrailers
  27. Nic Vargus, SoulCalibur V review, Official Xbox Magazine, 01/31/2012
  28. SoulCalibur 5 Review: A slick, underwhelming return to the stage of history, Official Xbox Magazine UK
  29. Jesse Lord, Soul Calibur V Review (Xbox 360), TeamXbox, February 5th, 2012
  30. Sal Basile SoulCalibur V Review, UGO, January 31, 2012
  31. SoulCalibur 5 review: The old flame still burns | Joystiq
  32. Daniel Maniago, SoulCalibur 5 Review, G4tv, Feb 02, 2012
  33. Nick Dinicola, 'SoulCalibur V' Is a Very Vibrant Game, PopMatters, 6 February 2012
  34. Evan Narcisse, SoulCalibur V : The Kotaku Review, Kotaku, Jan 31, 2012
  35. Top Ten Lamest Video Game Characters - Cheat Code Central
  36. Financial Highlights for the First Quarter of the Fiscal Year Ending March 2013 (April-June 2012). Namco Bandai Games. Namco Bandai Holdings (August 2, 2012). Retrieved on 2 September 2012.

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