Soul Calibur IV’s visuals will make your socks shoot off your feet like little smelly rockets. It’s got fantastic, high-rez textures on very well modeled, detailed, cool looking characters. The stages are beautiful and varied (I like the pirate ship one!), though from playing through the story mode you might not expect it. During my 5 or 6 plays through story mode I think I saw a total of 4 stages. Then, on my play through Arcade mode almost every stage was something I hadn’t seen before.
Liz and I have started the Tower of Lost Souls game mode. It’s difficulty is relatively high, but it gives little clues about what you have to do to win a hidden treasure chest for each round. In these treasure chests you receive clothing to use when customizing your character.
The ability to modify existing character’s look and augment them with additional stat bonus’ and abilities is pretty awesome. The create a character mode is also super deep and is way more customizable than I had expected it to be. I have made 2 characters so far and both look just as believable in the SC universe as any of the main story players. I wish there was a name generator, though. I suck with coming up with names.
The cast of fighters is filled with familiar faces like Ivy, Cervantes, Maxi, Kilik and Talim, as well as some new comers (Algol, Hilde) and guest characters (Darth Vader, The Apprentice, etc). I could have done without some of the manga artist created characters like Angol Fear. She kind of breaks the visual aesthetic of the rest of the game. It’s easy enough to just not pick her in battles.
Soul Calibur IV is the cumulative knowledge of an already great fighting game applied in a way that makes the game become something fantastic. It’s easy to pick up and play, but has the depth necessary to continue learning and improving the more time you invest.