Very nice improvement over IV - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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Very nice improvement over IV

If you played Soul Calibur IV and enjoyed it at all, you should go out and buy Soul Calibur V. There are two main reasons. First, the online play is waaaaay better than the last iteration. I especially enjoy the Grand Colloseo (I think that is how it is spelled) which functions kind of like a virtual bar room where you can chat and brawl at your leisure. The game does a very impressive job of tracking all of your stats too, which is cool. The only thing I have against the online play at the moment is the rival system, which may or may not be a big deal. Basically, I can't figure out how to set someone as my rival, which you would think would be an intuitive thing to do.

The second reason to pick up the game is the obvious improvement to combat. By and large, it is the same, but I find the addition of Brave Edge and Critical Edge (don't know if those names are right) as a really good feature. Plus, executing these moves is extremely easy compared to Critical Finishes from the last game (which I never did get to work right). The roster has also seen some additions and I think it is a good balance. Even better, they got rid of the messy attribute system that you used to assign powers to your characters (you know the Power, Gauge, Special, Boost ones) which makes customization purely an aesthetic choice and I think takes out a bit of tedium.

Drawbacks. The game has a few. First, I think having some kind of small tutorial would be a nice feature. Granted, each character has a pretty distinct fighting style, so it may be kind of pointless, but I think just outlining the basic fighting systems would be nice to have in there somewhere. That's not to say you can't figure it out, but I know it would help, especially if your skills are dusty like mine (or don't exist like mine lol). Second, the game is missing some characters from the previous game, so if you pick it up expecting to play as one of them, you might be disappointed. Finally, Voldo... I don't think I need to elaborate.

Overall, I'd recommend this game if you are looking for a fun online experience that doesn't involve shooting people in the face. I consider myself a very casual fan of fighters and Soul Calibur in general, and I am enjoying the game a lot.

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