Soul Caliber IV Demo Review

By Mike on 7:56 pm

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Another week, another demo on PSN. Today, we're looking at Soul Caliber IV, the fourth game in the long running fighting series. PS3 owners are getting a real treat with this game by getting Darth Vader as a playable character. Xbox 360 owners got Yoda. According to others opinions on the game, Vader is a more balanced character than Yoda due to the latter's short stature, which makes him difficult to hit. Starkiller from Force Unleashed is also a playable character in both versions. Of course, with the game revolving so heavily on three Star Wars characters, you'd think the demo would include at least one of them to give you a little taste of what the full game is. Unfortunately, the demo falls a little flat.

Soul Caliber IV is a pretty typical fighting game. These games really haven't changed all that much over the years. The goal is simple, drain your opponent's health to KO them, or knock them out of the ring to win. They're trying to do the same thing. Basically, you just have to hack, slash, block, and dodge your way to victory. SC4 allows you to trigger high, low, and middle height attacks. It's all fought using swords. There's a wide cast of characters to choose from with different attributes such as higher speeds, better attack power, etc. There's not much to say about gameplay since it's pretty self explanatory. It's no different than other games in the genre. The demo features two modes. The story mode features two fights. The first one is three rounds and the second fight is two rounds. There three rings available. A garden, a river raft, and a castle. The second mode is a vs mode, which allows you to play free fights against either the CPU or a second player. The demo features two selectable characters. One is a giant demon like figure who is insanely powerful and the other resembles a cheerleader. She's fast but her defense and attack power is weak. The whole experience is pretty short lived though. You can mow through the story mode in less than 10min. The vs mode will keep you busy long enough provided you have a second player. The vs mode keeps the same two characters from the Story mode but adds several more maps. I believe there are five in total but I didn't count. The final game includes challenge and arcade modes.

On the technical side, the game looks very well done. The graphics are crisp and clean using a nice balance of HDR. Characters are highly detailed with fluid movements and the environments look very nice. I'd probably rate it as one of the nicest looking games on the PS3. The characters are done in a 3D Japanese anime style. I think the music for the game is a little cheesy and the voice acting is exaggerated but from a technical standpoint, the audio is pretty good. Controls are also slick.

What else to say about Soul Caliber IV? It's a pretty standard fighting game. As I said, these games really don't differ much from when I played them on my Genesis back in the day. The graphics keep getting butter but the basic idea remains the same. While I believe the final product is likely very well done. The SCIV demo is a little too short though to get the full experience of the game. Also worth noting is the fact that it was released over a month after the full version hit store shelves. That kind of defeats the purpose of having a demo. Still, this game looks strong if you're a fighting fan.

Score. 8 out of 10

What works
-Excellent graphics in 3D anime style
-Easy to use control layout
-Gameplay is simple and strait forward without the game itself being too easy

What Doesn't Work
-Demo far too short to get a good idea of what the game is like
-Would have preferred one of the Star Wars characters to try
-Demo released vary late
-Music and voice acting is a little cheesy

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