Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Preorder Bonuses

Thinking about picking up Tekken Tag Tournament 2 in September? Well, here’s a bit of good news. A few online and physical retailers have revealed what DLC characters you can get early for preordering Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Check them out below. Also do note that the DLC characters for this game are not exclusives and will be available for free approximately 2-3 months after the game is released.

Europe

Shop.to: Angel, Michelle.
Zavvi: Kunimitsu, Ogre.

North America

Amazon (USA): Angel, Michelle.
Amazon.ca (Canada): Nothing announced yet.
Best Buy: Angel, Michelle.
Gamestop: Angel, Kunimitsu, Michelle, Ogre.

I will add more retailers to the above list as they are announced. Last updated May 25, 2012.

SoulCalibur V Seong Mi-na CAS

Do you miss Seong Mi-na in SoulCalibur V? Well, you’re not alone. Many people online have attempted to recreate the missing Korean in SoulCalibur V’s creation mode. I’m sharing my own formula for my Seong Mi-na CAS with you guys after several people commented on how faithful it appears. Here is the formula!


BODY
Height: 3
Body Type: Normal
Upper Arms: 5
Forearms -2
Pectorals -2
Hips: -16
Thighs: -6
Calves: -15
Stomach: -10
Chest: -1
Waist: -20
Muscle Mass: 1
Face: 1
Hair: Ponytail (DLC)
Eyebrows: 17
Voice: Upbeat Girl/0/-6/None

EQUIPMENT
Head: Ashigaru Headband
Upper Body: Tight Shirt
Upper Body Covering: Arabian Vest
Hips: Pareo
Arms: Adept’s Sleeves
Ankles: Thigh Highs
Feet: Engineer’s Long Boots
Special 1: Cylinder (Place on Pareo’s knot)
Special 2: Earrings
Special 3: Flower Brooch (Place on ponytail)

WEAPON
Style: Xiba
Weapon: Halberd

COLOURS (HAIR + SKIN)
Skin: Any light shade will do.
All Hair: 3:9, 31
Ponytail Knot: 8:43, 3
Eyes: 3:12, 28 ~ 1:0, 0

COLOURS (EQUIPMENT)
Head: 7:10, 28 ~ 9:0, 0
Upper Body: 7:24, 19
Upper Body Covering: 5:0, 0
Hips: 7:24, 18
Arms: 7:24, 19 ~ 7:11, 29 ~ 6:13, 18
Ankles: 0:0, 11
Feet: 9:0, 0 ~ 8:23, 21
Special 1: 9:11, 13
Special 2: 4:7, 15
Special 3: 9:0, 0 ~ 9:8, 5

STICKERS
1. Place a red sticker over upper body undershirt.
2. Place a large white sticker on same undershirt to make red clipping areas less obvious.
3. Place green stickers along bottom of coat as a border.
4. Place sun emblem sticker on back of coat.
5. Put large Motif 49 sticker on pareo.
6. Put large #1 stickers on boots and colour them green.

And the finished result…

SoulCalibur V DLC Hints

Some nice CAS equipment piece thumbnails were recently data-mined from one of the recent compatibility packs for SoulCalibur V. This is evidence that we still have at least four or five more DLC packs left on the horizon, which is great news for CAS junkies like myself.

Even better news, however, is what we’re getting!

Click to enlarge.

My eyes managed to notice the following CAS pieces:

SoulCalibur Pieces
Astaroth’s 1P and 2P masks from SoulCalibur V.
Edge Master’s 1P costume from SoulCalibur V.
Hilde’s 1P helmet from SoulCalibur V (unconfirmed).
Hilde’s 2P costume from SoulCalibur V (unconfirmed).
Maxi’s 1P costume from SoulCalibur V.
Mitsurugi’s 1P and 2P costumes from SoulCalibur V.
Nightmare’s 1P and 2P costumes from SoulCalibur V.
Raphael’s 1P costume from SoulCalibur V.
Rock’s rhino mask from SoulCalibur IV.
Seong Mi-na’s 2P costume from SoulCalibur IV.
Talim’s 2P costume from SoulCalibur IV.
Yoshimitsu’s 1P and 2P costumes from SoulCalibur V.

Tekken Pieces
1. Asuka Kazama’s Tekken Tag 2 primary outfit.
2. Jun Kazama’s Tekken Tag 2 primary outfit.
3. Julia Chang’s Tekken 6 primary outfit (not confirmed).

Assorted Pieces
Biker’s leather outfit costume
Business suit costume
Casual clothing pieces (baseball cap, shorts, t-shirt)
Denim jackets
Hairstyles (one female, one unisex)
Japanese schoolgirl costume
Nurse costume
Police officer hat
SC4 CAS pieces (only a few, it seems).

The above only counts for at most 60% of what’s in the leaked CAS thumbnails. Expect to start seeing these pieces showing up for download around June 4, 2012!

SoulCalibur V to Feature Assassin’s Creed Guest Characters

It appears that we now know who will appear in SoulCalibur V as guest characters. This picture (as well as the title of the post which gives it all away) will say more than enough.

Ezio Auditore has indeed been leaked by someone who attended a recent SC5 showing at an event (New York Comic-Con maybe?). No other Assassin’s Creed characters have leaked, but we can probably be sure that we’ll at least get 2-3 in total.

SoulCalibur 5 Wish List

After SoulCalibur 5 was revealed last month, I think I can speak for a lot of fans when I say that it was about time! I like everything I’ve heard so far and the game is definitely shaping up to be quite nice looking despite still being early in development. There are, however, several things I’d like to see in the new SoulCalibur title.

Characters

Adult Talim: I have never liked Talim for her appearance and annoying sound effects, even though she had a somewhat interesting moveset and weapon. With SC5 being set 17 years after SC4, Talim would go from being a young teenager to a thirty year old adult! That is a massive change and I would love to see it. I could easily see her being far less annoying and potentially developing a proper fanbase among the normal players and just not with the crowd of people who are oddly attracted to cute little girls in video games (this crowd mostly exists in Japan, as we all know).

Bring Back Dampierre: The newcomer from Broken Destiny was very interesting and deserves a proper HD outing. Dampierre was brimming with personality, which is more than I can say about some of the characters in the Soul series. I also loved his dual knife fighting style. I can easily see Dampierre pulling a Dragunov/Lili from Tekken and making the jump from PSP to PS3.

Cover Ivy Up: Let’s all face the facts, Ivy is the most iconic female character in the Soul series by miles. It is obvious that she’ll be in SC5, but there’s one problem with this… She’ll essentially be 50 years old (49 or 51, I forget). NOBODY wants to see a sagging and wrinkling 50 year old woman wearing Ivy’s usual attire, which means Ivy’s wardrobe will need a serious redesign. I honestly feel that she should be wearing a robe or some kind of battle/combat ready dress. Cleavage would be fine and all, but do we really want to see more than that? Probably not. At the very least, Ivy needs to wear something like this:

Decent Guest Characters: While the Star Wars characters in SC4 were somewhat interesting (though I found Vader to be the only fun character of the three), they just didn’t fit at all. It’s a little weird to mix futuristic science fiction characters with a fantasy medieval setting. Previous guest characters like Kratos, Link, and Lloyd Irving fit very well and Namco should stick to including characters that will actually make sense in the Soul universe. Daishi Odashima, the producer for SC5, openly stated that he’d love to have Final Fantasy characters as guest characters… Which may very well be a hint as to what we should expect to see in SC5. If we go the Final Fantasy route, I’d expect to see Lightning (representing the latest titled FF) and Cloud (arguably the most popular hero character in the series). If SC5 includes three guest characters like SC4 did, then I suppose Sephiroth would probably show up too. I hate the guy, but you can’t deny his insane level of popularity. Still, SC4 taught us that no franchise should be ruled out from appearing in SoulCalibur. If Star Wars can make it into the series, then just about any franchise can. While Final Fantasy is likely, we could just as easily get something totally unexpected like Naruto or X-Men. Don’t rule out any franchise!

Tira Returns: Regardless of what happens in any of SC4’s endings, Tira could still make a return since character endings should always be taken with a grain of salt in fighting games. There are two things that would be interesting about Tira being in SC5. First, she would be an adult much like Talim. Second, it would be very cool to see how her frighteningly insane personality would have developed over the 17 year time skip. Would she be even more crazy and unpredictable? Is it even possible to think that she may have come to her senses somewhat? It’s really hard to say, but Tira could be really fascinating to see in SC5.

Voldo’s Weirdness Factor: Voldo pretty much gets more creepy and unnerving with each game. The fact that he’ll be older in SC5 makes me wonder if he’d still be as flexible as he was in the SC4 timeline? What if he is even more flexible? Regardless, Voldo is a really cool character simply because he’s so bizarre and unusual. Namco needs to make his outfit even more creepy and/or risque just because, hell, Voldo makes an awesome circus freak.

Create A Soul

Equipment: Even though SC4 featured a pretty nice amount of equipment for our CaS characters, by the time most of us unlocked every equipment piece we were feeling a little underwhelmed. A lot of people are asking for more gender specific equipment pieces as well as making more pieces unisex. A slightly better variety of pieces should be available in SC5. As for how many many pieces there should be in the game? I wouldn’t say twice as much as in SC4 since that would be more than Namco may be willing to give us, but perhaps somewhere between 25 and 40 percent would be fitting. The features from Broken Destiny that allowed us to reposition and scale some pieces of equipment should also return.

Fighting Styles: A lot of SC4 players were upset by the fact that the game’s Create A Soul feature only allowed us to use movesets from default characters present on the roster. We couldn’t even use the fighting styles of the guest/special characters, which was a huge bummer. As one GameFAQs member put it, if we want to play with Siegfried’s moveset than we will use Siegfried, not create a character that uses his moveset. I eventually grew tired of making original characters that copied entire movesets from established characters. By the end, I was simply making CaS version of the regular characters, like adult Amy and Talim, or a more grizzled and light-armor version of Siegfried. We need original movesets like the ones featured in SC3. It helps give our characters more identity and personality of their own.

Individuality: Custom characters in SC4 suffered from not really having much of their own individuality or personality. This problem, I believe, was mostly due to how we were stuck choosing from a few pre-made faces and such. I’ve seen some people suggest some interesting things for designing our character faces. One suggestion was to allow us to, instead of picking entire pre-made faces, we could individually select the mouth, nose, eyes, and so forth. Most games that allow gamers to make characters have incorporated this nowadays, and I think it is time for SoulCalibur to join the crowd. Doing so would allow us much more versatility in designing our characters, and we would have fewer troubles making faces match the personalities that we aim to give our custom characters.

Features

NO TOWER OF LOST SOULS: SC4’s Tower was just bad. The number of people I’ve spoken to who actually thought this was a great game mode are vastly outnumbered by those who thought it was pointless and hardly even any fun at all. How is it fun to take characters with outfits that look absolutely ridiculous into battles that stack the odds against you and force you to use cheap or exploitful tactics to win? Simple, it’s not fun for a vast majority of gamers and we should get a more enjoyable and robust mode in place of the Tower of Lost Souls. Namco should feel embarrassed for ever including such a gimmicky and lame mode in SC4. The following two ideas would fit much better in SC5.

Survival Mode: What used to be a staple of the fighting game genre seems to be getting very little attention these days. The Tekken series is still giving us strong survival modes with each new game, but I’m hard pressed to think of any other series that still includes survival mode as much. Given how SoulCalibur and Tekken are both Namco franchises, it isn’t impossible to rule out the fact that survival mode could appear in SC5. A lot of fans ask for survival mode to be included in each and every new fighting game that comes out, so Namco would be smart to listen to the wishes of the players. Survival mode is fun and is probably the best test against the AI that a player can get. Arcade and story modes just don’t cut it, truthfully.

Team Battle: A lot of players were really clammering for team battle to be included in SC4, but it was noticeably absent. Will Namco exlude it from SC5 as well? Fans are already asking for the game mode to be included, and I’m one of those who would like to see it. Given how barebones SC4 and Broken Destiny felt in terms of game modes, and how, with the exception of Tekken, fighting games as a whole seem to be giving us fewer and fewer modes to play these days, I think Namco really owes the fans here. Give us some more game modes such as team battle.

Gameplay

Armor Breaking: I did not like this feature in SC4. It was somewhat annoying when you would put a lot of effort into a CaS character only to have the equipment that you took quite a lot of time to colour continuously get broken off during fights. Female characters were especially guilty of this and it was not uncommon to see them standing in their undergarments even before the second round would begin. Seriously, Namco? If we’re going to put the time into designing outfits then at least let us see them as often as possible. Armor breaking should be able to be toggled off, at least graphically. The main reason I don’t like armor breaking is because it quickly makes our characters lose the outfits we gave them – that we would be happy with. The second reason is that it just seems really juvenile and stupid to make the characters constantly be fighting in their undergarments. Obviously it is a move to please the younger gamers who are still fascinated by near-nudity in digital form. It’s not needed, and we older gamers should be given an option to turn the graphical aspect of armor breaking off. It just looks silly, Namco.

Critical Finishes: Get rid of them. The requirement for executing them is ridiculous and by the time you’re usually able to pull one off, the match is pretty much over. My family, friends and I who have played together have never used a critical finish on each other despite knowing how to pull them off. We just simply never fulfill the conditions for using them in normal matches. You literally have to go out of your way to focus on meeting the requirements for a critical finish and, when you do this, it will throw you off your game and make your fighting easier for the opponent to read. Critical finishes are dumb, and setting yourself up to perform one just leaves you very open. Aside from getting some nice looking finishes against AI, there’s really no point in ever using critical finishes.

Soulcalibur IV (Review)

SoulCalibur IV. It’s been out for quite a while now, so why am I writing a review for it now? The first reason is because not everyone has played the game, and second? SoulCalibur IV is just flat out awesome.

I don’t have much experience with the Soul series. The only prior games I played in the series were both in the arcade and they were the first game, Soul Edge, and SoulCalibur II. What do I remember from them? Well, I have a distinct memory of being weirded out by Voldo in Soul Edge, and I recall playing with Yoshimitsu in SoulCalibur II, but beyond that? I remember nothing else.

Before release, SoulCalibur IV wasn’t even really on my radar. So what drew me in and made me purchase the game immediately after the street release date? I hate to admit it, but Vader and Yoda sucked me in. I wasn’t even a Star Wars fan at the time, I was just lured in by the premise of two sci-fi characters being thrust into a fantasy fighting game. It seemed completely insane to me and, after hearing about the character creation system as well, I was sold. To this day, I’ve played SoulCalibur IV for about 90 hours and love it immensely. It’s only fair that I talk about a game that I hold in such high regard, so here we go.

Click to enlarge.

When SoulCalibur IV was released in the summer of 2008, it had stunning visuals for a fighting game. I maintain my belief that it is still the best looking console fighting game available on the market, though that may change next month when Mortal Kombat hits store shelves. Character models look absolutely fantastic in SoulCalibur IV. Aside from having beautifully rendered faces, each character looks absolutely unique and all their own. Characters such as Siegfried will impress you for their incredibly detailed armor, while others such as Seong Mi-na will warm your heart with charming and realistic smiles. The stages are equally as detailed. The lighting is breathtaking in almost every arena and everything is modeled and textured brilliantly. My favourite stage is without a doubt the pirate ship stage that thrusts fighters onto the deck of a pirate vessel that has been snapped in two. The atmosphere is really wonderful, and it’s a joy to fight on that stage along with a few others. Unfortunately, there are one or two stages that lag behind the rest and aren’t particularly good.

SoulCalibur IV is also a huge treat for your ears. Every music track in the game is vibrant and full of energy, which assists the flow of combat brilliantly. Sound effects are also very pleasant to listen to, even though a lot of the sounds you’ll hear are typical clangs and smacking noises. The voices are worth mentioning, too. While the announcer for the fights may say some pretty unusual pre-fight lines (“Slashing through the shadows, she defeats the evils that lurk behind history!”), the actual characters on the roster all have pretty good actors behind them and they deliver great lines. Tira, voiced by the extremely talented Jennifer Hale, is an absolute treat to listen to as she shifts back and forth between her cheerful and dark personalities.

Click to enlarge.

The actual gameplay is very solid and enjoyable for just about anyone. Each of the game’s characters comes with a weapon and that is what they fight with. Characters such as Nightmare or Siegfried will attack with giant two handed blades while smaller characters, like Talim, will assault you with small elbow blades. Each character feels one hundred percent unique and unlike anyone else on the roster, though I felt that there were a few similarities between Cassandra and Sophitia, but this is understandable considering they have similar fighting styles and are sisters.

There are only three actual attack buttons in SoulCalibur IV, which may make the game sound shallow, but this is far from the truth. The attack buttons are horizontal attack, vertical attack, and kick. The fourth button serves as a block, while your shoulder buttons are used for combining attacks together, executing throws, and performing critical finishes. The critical finish is a new mechanic in SoulCalibur IV that, when the opponent’s guard has been crushed, you can finish them off with a single attack. This may sound overpowered, but the requirements required for executing a critical finish are archaic at best and are seldom reached in most fights. Critical finishes are extreme rarities and, in my honest opinion, are utilized so infrequently that they may as well not even be in the game as they just feel like a useless feature that Namco tacked on to make the fighting system feel a little deeper.

Click to enlarge.

And what of Darth Vader and Yoda? They’re both extremely cool to see in the game, though I find Yoda to be a bit of a pain to use since his movements are very awkward. Vader is a lot of fun however, so Star wars fans should have a blast using him. A third Star Wars character, The Apprentice, seems to be the most technical of the three and is possibly the hardest to master.

In terms of game modes, there isn’t a whole lot to do in the game. There’s your basic arcade and story mode, online versus, character creator, and Tower of Lost Souls. Arcade and story are pretty basic, with the former just being straight fights that are meant to simulate playing on an arcade machine, and story mode is just a few fights that tells you a barebones story (honestly, it’s even less than barebones) and awards you with ingame currency. The online versus is pretty decent, though I found that there were very few match options and the net code seemed inferior to pretty much every other fighter out there.

Tower of Lost Souls is a new mode introduced in SoulCalibur IV that pits players in a series of bizarre challenges that are often incredibly unfair if you are using stock characters. In the Tower of Lost Souls, each challenge pits the player against a series of AI characters who have, literally, unfair bonuses such as dealing ridiculous amounts. To defeat the enemies in these challenges players will have to unlock costume pieces to use in the character creator. Various costume pieces will give created characters all sorts of bonuses to their attacks or defenses. Setting up your character in the right way is essential in clearing the Tower of Lost Souls.

Click to enlarge.

As for the character creator, it’s one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever had the pleasure of using in a fighting game. The only one that was nearly as fun was the one in Mortal Kombat Armageddon. SoulCalibur IV’s character creator allows players to choose a character’s complete costume from head to toe while choosing any colour imaginable for each costume piece. Players can then choose their weapon style, voice, physique, and much more. There’s a lot to do in the character creator and, when everything has been unlocked in it, one can spend dozens of minutes coming up with a character.

SoulCalibur IV is without a doubt one of the best fighting games of this generation in terms of just being flat out fun. Any fan of the Soul series who hasn’t checked this game out should really do so, as should any fighting game fans in general who have avoided SoulCalibur IV all this time.

Final Score

8.9/10