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.
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.
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.
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.