SoulCalibur VI – Review

Fresh And Smooth Fighting Gameplay

Welcome to the stage of history, retold! Ah, that famous line that the game narrator always says in that I think almost all Soulcalibur games. Welcome to Soulcalibur VI my friends, another awesome title from the franchise. Let’s get to the nitty-gritty of this game, shall we?

Detailed Characters, Not That super grand background assets

I know that the focus in Soulcalibur VI is the fighting gameplay, but I still have to give my opinion on its visuals. The 3D model details are good like with the weapon, costume, character model, and others. To compare it to other Triple A games right now though, it does not compare, but serviceable nonetheless. If I would compare it to fighting games, Tekken 7 would be a grade higher and this title would be second. There is just something in this game that lessens its quality in visuals. I dunno, it looks a bit bland? Not highly-detailed compared to Tekken 7? Can’t put my finger on it. Anyways, I should note that I played this on a PlayStation 4 Slim, so that might be the cause of the slight downgrade of the visuals. The special effects look awesome though, just like in the previous titles. With the power of the new console, it has been upgraded to look flashier. And for some reason, it looks brighter in terms of color compared to previous titles.

I’m also impressed with the framerate because it is consistent. It might have a lower resolution (which might be the cause of the lower visual quality), but the framerates are steady for me. I didn’t see any slowdown in my gameplay and did not complain of my characters suddenly freezing up during a move. Everything was responsive and quick, which is quite a feat even on a PS4 Slim.

For visuals, I’ll give it a good 8 out of 10 score. I wanna try the game on a PS4 Pro later I guess to see the difference, but for now, from what I see, this is the score to give.

What’s with the weird dialogue?

I must confess: the main story dialogue of Soulcalibur VI felt really weird. Another moment where I can’t put my finger on it, but my best guess is that it’s so straightforward and fast that sometimes it stumbles at some parts of the story. I mean, at one point you defeated a villain and then on the next dialogue it’s all cheers and moving on? Can you give me a bit of a context here, just a bit? Now, I’m very particular when it comes to narrating a story and this just rubs me a bit wrong. The straightforwardness of it all is all good though, I like it, just don’t overdo it.

Another great thing about the story mode is the optional specific characters storylines that you are not forced to play throughout the main story. That is a big relief for me since one particular title of the series really rubbed me wrong when it came to storytelling. It forced me to follow all side stories before getting to the final chapter. Here, you just meet certain people and battle them once and then you move on. If you want to know more about that individual, you can go for their particular side of the story whenever you like. No hassle at all.

The Libra of Souls mode is quite interesting due to its non-voice dialogues. It feels like a visual novel or choose-an-adventure type of story, but it kind of connects to the main one. The sort of awkward dialogue is gone and you can merrily hop around the map to explore or get further with the story. It’s pretty long though.

The story also has an 8 rating from me due to the weird dialogue and a bit lacking in context to let the characters rest a bit before moving on with the story. It’s pretty straightforward though, so I’ll forgive that a bit.

Things Have Changed Once Again In This Title

Just as the previous titles in the franchise, Soulcalibur VI also changed or upgraded some of its movesets of its characters in the big roster. There are certain characters that have changed or even removed some of its movesets and some have improved further. Bandai Namco did a great job of balancing all of the characters and I’ve not seen any overpowered ones in my playthrough, even the final boss is well balanced and killable with a bit of a challenge. Well done developer guys, I am thoroughly impressed with what you have done here.

The story mode gameplay and narration is quite acceptable in my opinion rather than letting the 3D models talk it out in animation the whole time. This time around only pages can be seen and some voice overs from the characters, but the portraits change its form depending on the emotion that the dialogue is portraying. Only a few scenes can be seen with 3D animation of certain characters conversing with the others. It’s a good move to save some space and focus more on the fighting gameplay rather than the story all the time. I also like how they divided up the specific stories of the characters and the main story with a timeline of how they met throughout the journey.

Libra of Souls is not that overly RPG, but it’s a light version of it. It’s a pretty acceptable version since, again, the focus here is the fighting gameplay. You can customize the costumes of your character creation in this mode, but there won’t be any additional stats with the different armor or undershirt you are wearing in battle. They are all cosmetic changes, which I like. The good news is that the weapons you use will have higher offensive power with some bonuses on the side. It also has weapon levels. Fighting and defeating enemies awards you with experience, which in turn upgrades the stats of your character, an RPG like feature. After a few battles, you can explore the map at your leisure, take jobs for more experience, use food to get you temporary bonuses or refill your lifebar when battling several enemies, get legendary weapons, and more. For me, it’s a pretty straightforward type of RPG with no complicated rules and stuff. Just create your character, choose your fighting style (based on characters in the current roster), fight enemies to gain XP, weapons, and items, and move on with the story.

For gameplay, I give this game a perfect 10. Balanced characters, a new mode to try out, and a story mode that is not complicated and forced to go through.

OST is pretty solid and nostalgic

As usual, the soundtrack of the series is quite amazing and Soulcalibur VI is no different. In fact, I really like their set of tracks right now and they even have The Witcher 3 tracks in it, which is awesome. It hypes you up every time you get on that stage and fight the opponent in front of you. The voice acting on English and Japanese are amazing as always. It’s not overdramatic and you can feel the emotion coming from the characters.

For soundtrack and voice acting, I’m giving this a solid 10. Perfection, as always from the franchise and I’m glad they are sticking to that.

Arcade and Libra of Souls offer tons of replay value

While the story mode only offers the main story and the character-specific ones, your curiosity ends right there after finishing all of them. This is where the other modes shine, which are the Battle Mode that includes Arcade, Versus and Training, Network for ranking matches, and the Libra of Souls mode. Each of these modes offers tons of replay value that allows you to play the game over and over again without getting so bored with it. Even the character creation mode is quite fun to tinker with. You can also view some cinematic scenes in Museum mode. It also features portrait images, music, and more.

The only thing that I’m a bit conflicted with is the Season Pass, which is a bit disappointing these days since I was a gamer that started with complete games. The pass will include three unannounced characters, Tira, and two armor packs for character customization. Ah well, developers and publishers need to earn money after the game launches, right?

For replay value, a score of 8 is in order. Tons of things to do in other modes, Libra of Souls a great adventure game, and so much more. Just disappointed with the Season Pass addition.

Soulcalibur VI is a good action fighting video game to have in your gaming shelves together with the other big games right now like Tekken 7 and Street Fighter V.  This will be great for playing with friends who also love fighting video games.

Disclosure: This review is based on a review code provided by Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia. Read our review policy to know how we go with our game reviews.

Good
  • Superb special effects
  • Smooth fighting gameplay
  • Upgraded movesets
  • Choose-your-adventure and RPG elements
  • Great voice acting both in English and Japanese
  • High replay value
  • Uninterrupted framerate speed
Bad
  • Weird dialogue
  • Somewhat watered-down visuals
  • Lower resolutions on PS4 Slim
  • Addition of Season Pass
8.8
Great
Written by
Christian is just your regular gaming joe who likes to get the latest gaming news scoops. He isn’t particularly picky when it comes to genres, but he really loves JRPGs, beat ‘em up games, tactical and strategy, and story driven games. He is currently addicted to card games particularly Unstable Unicorns.

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