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!
Head: Ashigaru Headband
Upper Body: Tight Shirt
Upper Body Covering: Arabian Vest
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)
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
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.
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!
My eyes managed to notice the following CAS 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.
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).
Biker’s leather outfit costume
Business suit costume
Casual clothing pieces (baseball cap, shorts, t-shirt)
Hairstyles (one female, one unisex)
Japanese schoolgirl 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!
It’s hard to believe just how old the Soul series is now. I still vividly remember playing the original Soul Blade in arcades back in 1997. Do I remember much about it? Not really, except ring outs and Voldo. Between Soul Blade and today, my exposure has been pretty limited with the series. Prior to SoulCalibur IV, I only played SoulCalibur II in a noisy Las Vegas arcade.
As someone who was late to getting into the series, I made up for it by playing the heck out of SoulCalibur IV. Granted most of my time was spent creating characters, but in total I clocked over a hundred hours with the fighter. Long time fans bemoaned SoulCalibur IV, but I loved it to pieces. Now here we have SoulCalibur V, a game that in all honesty shouldn’t even exist! After the previous title failed to sell well, Namco disbanded Project Soul (their internal dev team that makes the Soul games). They had no intention of reviving the series until fans annoyed the heck out of Tekken’s lead producer Katsuhiro Harada on Facebook and Twitter, begging him to convince Namco to get Project Soul back together again for another stab at glory. Well, the fans won… But was it all worth it?
SoulCalibur V is essentially a reboot of sorts to the series in the sense that it has advanced time by several years in the game world so that many new characters can join the fray. It’s pretty much the same thing Namco did with Tekken 3, and we know how great that game turned out to be! Just like in Tekken 3, we have a brand new protagonist in the form of Patroklos Alexander, son of Sophitia. No longer does the game focus on the exploits of Siegfried’s eternal battle with Nightmare and Soul Edge, but rather it is centered on Patroklos’ efforts to rescue his sister Pyrrha from the malfested as well as Soul Edge’s influence.
Patroklos and Pyrrha obviously take center stage in this installment while a handful of other new characters such as Leixia, Natsu, and Z.W.E.I. as well as several others help pad out the roster. Unfortunately this means that a few fan favourites are absent from SoulCalibur V. I’ll just throw some names out right now just to get the depressing part out of the way. Amy, Cassandra, Rock, Seong Mi-na, Setsuka, Sophitia, Taki, Talim, Zasalamel, Xianghua, and Yun-Seong have not returned from SoulCalibur IV. I’m sure that creates quite a lot of sadness since there are some definite favourites in there, but we still have other fan favourites still kicking around such as Ivy, Maxi, Nightmare, Siegfried, Tira, and several others. A few returning characters such as Aeon (Lizardman) and Kilik have also been severely altered for better or for worse.
To make up for the lack of some characters being cut from the roster, they have essentially been replaced with newer and younger characters who have similar fighting styles. For instance, Natsu happens to be Taki’s ninja apprentice, Pyrrha fights a lot like a cross between Cassandra and Sophitia, and Xiba is pretty much just Kilik with a new face and voice. Other new characters may seem similar for different reasons, such as the energy ball wielding Viola who bears a frighteningly striking resemblance to Amy, albeit a little older. The fact that she is even voiced by the same actress doesn’t help deter conspiracy theorists such as myself from believing quite firmly that Viola is simply a slightly older Amy (she looks mid-twenties rather than thirty or older since Amy was malfested and had her aging process slowed down). There’s also one guest character this time around in the form of Ezio Auditore from Assassin’s Creed. Suffice to say, he fits the theme of the game a lot better than Darth Vader and Yoda, and he’s also a heck of a lot of fun to play as.
Enough about characters. What about the meat of this game? Anyone who likes their fighting games to have a wealth of side content will undoubtedly be very let down here. While SoulCalibur V may not be as devoid of singleplayer game modes as Capcom fighters, it still has less than many other games in the genre if you exclude the character creation system. This time around we have arcade mode, story mode, Legendary Souls, quick battle, online, training, and creation. Arcade is six fights that end in a boss fight (usually against Nightmare) and is just your standard arcade ladder mode that is found in other fighting games.
Story mode is a boring romp through bad voice acting and dull fights, and that is all that I feel is worth saying. Truth to be told, I found story mode to be so overwhelming that I was skipping cutscenes and dialogue screens before I was even halfway through. It follows Patroklos on his quest to save his sister Pyrrha from Soul Edge. The plot is nothing worth writing home about and the overall experience is not up to par as it is mostly told to you via storyboard pictures with written dialogue. Actual CG cutscenes are few and far between, and the fights in story mode are very generic with no changes to the basic gameplay formula. If you skip all of the cutscenes and story sequences, you can probably clear story mode in half an hour or so.
“Legendary Souls” unlocks after completing the story mode and is essentially just a stress test that is out of control. It serves as an ultra hard arcade mode against AI characters that respond to your precise button inputs and appear to break the rules of the game’s fighting engine. Most people seem to record times of about an hour to clear the seven fights in this ridiculous game mode. I’ll advise anyone with anger issues to avoid Legendary Souls like the plague. If you are prone to losing your cool easily, then I can guarantee Legendary Souls will result in you breaking something. As an angry guy, I’m lucky to have avoided such a fate myself!
Quick battle just throws you into a list where you can choose random custom characters of varying difficulty levels to fight against. There is little point to this mode other than for honing your skills and unlocking titles that you can set for your online profile.
The online component is pretty robust and is probably my favourite online aspect to any fighting game I have ever played. The netcode is absolutely superb, making it not unusual to have lag-free bouts when your opponent may even have a mere one or two bars. However, the best part of the online experience would have to be the player match lobbies. In these lobbies, up to eight players can join in to take part in the fighting. Spectating the matches and being able to chat to your fellow spectators can both be done simultaneously. The actual fight will take place in its own little window in the left-center of the screen. Below it is a handy chat box and, to the right, is the list of players in the lobby. Lots of fun, especially when you’re in a lobby with level headed people who just want to have some fun (as opposed to rage quitters or man-children who throw out random insults each time they either win comfortably or lose by any margin at all).
Now, I’ve left the gameplay itself until just now because I wanted to get everything else out of the way first. The fighting engine is the core of the experience itself and I must say that it is a huge improvement over SoulCalibur IV. The speed of the fighting is much faster than it was in the last game and, according to long time hardcore fans, SoulCalibur V is the fastest game in the entire series! Coming from SoulCalibur IV, the speed was a little overwhelming for me at first as even Nightmare now felt like a raging freight train instead of a sluggish tank. The increased gameplay speed definitely works out well, and I can safely say that there is way more tension in the fights this time around than in SoulCalibur IV.
Project Soul also decided to throw in meters. Yes, meters. Marvel vs Capcom and Street Fighter junkies will know exactly what this means! Your meter will gradually fill as you both dish and receive damage. When you accumulate a certain amount of meter, you will reach level 1. Keep going on you can max your meter at level 2. Now, what are the levels for? Well, various button inputs will allow you to perform powerful special attacks which consume your meter. The “critical edge” attack is essentially an equivalent of the hyper/ultra combos in Capcom fighters and, when executed, will consume one level of your meter to dish out flashy effects, a lengthy attack animation, and a big helping of damage. There is also a “quick step” that can be pulled off by quickly double tapping up or down. This allows you to side step much faster than usual, which is fantastic for evading particularly tricky attacks and catching your opponent off guard. It’s worth noting that quick steps consume about 1/4 of a level off your meter, so they can’t be abused too much.
I have observed that there are also many more opportunities for juggles in SoulCalibur V than in the previous game. I suppose this is to be expected from a Namco fighter, but I would have liked juggling to stay where it belongs in Tekken. All characters in SoulCalibur V have a few decent launchers, especially new girl Natsu (who happens to be my new favourite character). Players who focus on playing fairly and with honor will find that this game may punish them more than reward them as juggling and keeping your opponents flat on their backs are both very prominent features in competitive play.
My only complaint about the gameplay would be the AI. It has definitely been made harder this time around, but the difficulty itself of the AI is fiercely inconsistent. You can be getting perfects on the hard AI one moment and a few minutes later you might find an easy AI opponent not even letting you get up. It’s a little odd and it can be frustrating when the skill of the AI bounces all over the place, but it is hardly game breaking.
So, how are the graphics? I wish that I could say that they blow SoulCalibur IV out of the water, but they are only slightly better here in the fifth installment. This is not necessarily a bad thing since, back in December last year, I fired up SoulCalibur IV for fun and thought to myself, “Gosh, this is STILL the best looking fighting game out there.” While SoulCalibur V may only be marginally better looking, it still looks better as a whole and is without a doubt the prettiest fighting game on the market today.
The sound department isn’t too shabby either. Music is absolutely fantastic, which should have been expected anyhow since Soul games always have great soundtracks. The voice acting is a bit of a different story though, and some of the voicing talents don’t seem to try as hard as others. Some characters, such as Algol or Natsu sound very great all across the board, while others (I’m looking at you, Cervantes and Ivy) may leave you scratching your heads wondering why overacting continues to be a big problem in fighting games. As a whole the voice acting is definitely pretty good and all of the new characters sound pretty exceptional, though I’m still on the fence with Xiba. I just can’t take him seriously, even though he is a lighthearted character.
One final note, the creation tools are absolutely fantastic. We finally have a CAS exclusive fighting style again in the form of Devil Jin (yes Tekken vets, THAT Devil Jin). We’re also free to create costumes for up to 50 characters (original or regular). As far as what we have access to once we’re in the costume editor, it’s clear that Project Soul both gave and take away in the latest CAS feature. We have LESS costume pieces than we did in SoulCalibur IV, which seems completely bizarre since it’s nothing short of a step backwards. However, almost any costume piece can be recoloured, retextured, or be given cool decals and stickers. So while we have fewer pieces to play with, the actual customization for the pieces has increased substantially. By utilizing the pattern and sticker functions, you can almost create entirely new costume pieces. As a whole, creating your own characters is a lot more satisfying now due to the fact that you can personalize them so much more now. You’re very unlikely to ever see identical created characters online, unless we’re dealing with recreations of characters from other video games (Sephiroth and Wesker, anyone?).
So is SoulCalibur V worth your money? If you liked the last game, or even like the series in general, then I say yes. The core fighting experience is absolutely fantastic this time and I find myself being unable to put the game down whenever I dive in to play. It’s not uncommon for me to play for three or four hours at a time, a feat that I just can’t manage with any other fighting games nowadays. Also, if you are brand new to the Soul series, this is a fantastic place to start since you won’t have to put up with the loss of culled fan favourites such as Taki, Talim, or Zasalamel. The only problem for newcomers is that this game does not hold your hand or teach you how to play, so expect a lot of trial in error in matches as well as a good amount of time spent figuring out how things work in training mode.
All in all, a fantastic entry to the Soul series. Project Soul accomplished a lot in the amount of time Namco allotted them (development on this game lasted only one year!) and it’s hard to fault the dev team for any shortcomings simply because they were working hard against a deadline with this game. It’s impressive what they managed to do in one year, and I think anyone who appreciates the Soul games will be equally impressed with just how fun this game can be. Check out it, its worth every penny.
+ Gorgeous graphics and above average soundtrack.
+ Online component is very stable and also quite enjoyable to boot.
+ Very diverse cast of characters. There’s someone here for everyone to appreciate.
– Game does not teach you how to play, which may hamper the experience of newcomers.
– Lack of offline content may deter those who aren’t serious about online play.
– Story mode is just flat out boring and sometimes painful to sit through.
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.