In Analysis of ‘Soul Calibur V’

UPDATED 12/2/11 As a sidenote, I’ve discovered a few new things about the characters in these past few weeks. For example, Kilik is NOT Leixia’s father, as I had previously thought. Whoops!

If there was ever a video game series that I consider myself a fanboy of, it would be Soul Calibur. I’ve been a big fan since the Soul Blade, even the home version which boasted the cheesiest opening theme song ever. And to further shame myself, I actually own that soundtrack. Yeah.

Anywho, I was fully expecting SCIV to be the final game in the series, so you could imagine my complete and utter joy when Soul Calibur V was officially announced a few months back. My excitement was already pretty high, and then they had to go and release this trailer-

Namco, you sons of bitches. Take my money now.

Little by little we’ve been seeing which characters are going to be in the game, so I’m offering my initial reactions as well as my take on the roster. I’ll be sure to update this post should any more characters be announced down the line. Let us begin!

Siegfried
“There is no Soul Calibur without Siegfried.”

There was no doubt that this guy would be back. Siegfried’s been through all sorts of changes and redesigns throughout the series, and he’s come a looooong way since Soul Blade. According to the story that’s been released thus far, Siegfried is no longer in possession of the Soul Calibur, which brings his weapon back to the old-school zweihander that would probably make Cloud Strife fall into a phallic rage.

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Mitsurugi
“Yup, that’s seems about right to me.”

Mitsurugi is back, and looking exactly like I imagined he would 17 years later- dirty, grizzled, and dangerous. He’s still that quintessential ghetto-assed ronin he’s always been, and I’m glad that Namco didn’t change him up too much. Just give that sucker a few more scars, a scraggly beard and a blade, and point him in the direction of whoever needs to be cut three ways- long, deep, and fast.

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Patroklos
“Hey, who’s the new chick… wait a sec…”

Aw c’mon, I can’t be the only one that thought Patroklos looked like a woman in the debut trailer! So this is the new hero of the series, eh? Alright, he seems cool enough. I like his fighting style, and that Super Move of his looks pretty sweet too. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that he doesn’t end up being a gigantic annoying douche bag.

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Pyrrha
“Sophitia?”

Wow… Pyrrha totally looks like her mom circa Soul Blade, before she was demon-sword destroying badass and still just a young priestess that totally got spied on by Hephaestus while she was bathing. I mean seriously, you have this epic vision to impart upon a worthy mortal, and the best time you could come up with to deliver said message is while she’s butt-naked? That’s ancient Greece for you. Oh yeah, Pyrrha- we shall see.

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Natsu
“What have you done with Taki, you godless jackals?!”

I admit that my first reaction was a little knee-jerky seeing as Natsu is replacing one of my favorite characters in the entire series. Nonetheless, I’ll give her a fair shake before I pass judgement. Video footage makes it look like she’s even faster than Taki, which could be interesting. Still, she’s got an uphill battle in my eyes- you can’t replace Taki and expect me to just welcome you with open arms!

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Ivy
“I wonder what a more mature Ivy is going to be like… wow, those boobs haven’t aged a day…”

I really was looking forward to seeing a slightly older Ivy, so it was rather surprising to be greeted by… well, those… but I was more accepting after I caught a bit of her backstory for SCV. I had forgotten about her background in alchemy, and apparently she’s figured out the secret of prolonged youth. Still, I was sort of hoping on a different take on the character.

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Z.W.E.I.
“You’re a rather violent-looking gentleman.”

OK new guy, you look pretty wicked, this much is true. Also, that floating wolf-thing you’ve got going on has potential. Still, I wish I knew a little bit more about this guy. His fighting style makes me think of a heavier-and-more-brutal Talim, and I can’t help but notice that chest tattoo looks very much like the one on Zasalamel’s face. I wonder if there’s a connection, or if they just hang out in the same tattoo parlors.

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Tira
“Gaah! Bitch still be crazy, yo!”

When Tira was first introduced, I thought she had a lot of potential. She had a very unique weapon (Satan’s Hula-Hoop, as I often referred to it) to match her rather interesting look. Then they had to go and do that silly personality-and-moveset-switching-midmatch bullcrap in SCIV, which turned me off a bit. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want her to be stable, oh no. Her insanity is part of her psychotic charm. However, I WOULD like a character that I don’t have to relearn mid-combo.

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Voldo
“He couldn’t possibly get any creepier… and I stand corrected!”

Voldo continues his illustrious career being the Soul series’ version of that creepy uncle no one likes to talk about. I was honestly surprised that he was included this time around due to it being 17 years later, and him being damn near 70 and all. But it doesn’t look like he’s lost a freaky step, and that’s awesome. Voldo’s one of my favorite characters in the series and just the mere fact that you selected him gives you a psychological advantage over your opponents, because no one wants to be touched by this freaky bastard.

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Maxi
“You again…”

Maxi has never been one of my favorite designs, and the trend continues. I don’t dislike him, but to me, he’s always just been there. On paper, you can’t miss with a nunchuk-swinging pirate. But somehow Maxi just fails to capture my attention. I dunno, maybe it’s that damned hairdo of his. It’s too bad they killed off Li Long, the previous nunchuk character after the first game in the series. I mean seriously, who did HE piss off?

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Hilde
“Welcome back!”

I don’t dislike Hilde- I’m actually very fond of her fighting style- but she’s never really grabbed me as a character. I guess I just need to spend a little more time with her. Anywho, her design is pretty similar to what we were looking at last time around, so I really don’t have much to add about her. But yes, I still love her spear/sword combo fighting style, definitely something different.

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Astaroth
“Wow… Shrek looks PISSED.”

OK, I’m digging the whole Frankenstein’s monster approach they’re going with Astaroth with those electrodes. And I suppose that I shouldn’t be too shocked at his now greenish hue seeing as he was purple in previous games. I’ve never personally been a fan of the slower characters, but I can’t really hate on his design too much. I haven’t seen anything about Rock being in SC5 yet so maybe Astaroth’s finally taken him out. Who knows, perhaps we’ll finally get an official appearance from Rock’s son Bangoo this time around?

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Viola
“Amy?”

Viola is probably the new character that I’m most intrigued by. She’s got a very unique magic-based fighting style from the looks of things, and that clawed gauntlet is pretty sweet too. But maaaaaaan, she really does look like Amy. Looking at her profile, it says that she’s suffering from amnesia currently, so… yeah. Right age, similar look… what’s the over-under on her being my favorite shin-stabbing French girl?

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Leixia
“Looks like Xianghua and Kilik GOT BUSY!”

It looks like she’s going to fight more like her mother than father which upsets me a bit, as I much preferred Kilik to Xianghua. Nonetheless, the series needs some new blood so I’m not opposed to her being here. I just hope she brings a little more to the table than just being Xianghua 2.0. I hope they do end up moving a staff fighter into the game, though.

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Nightmare
“Nasty!”

And where would be we without THIS nasty sucker wreaking some havoc upon the masses? He really hasn’t changed too much in his appearances throughout the series, but then again he really hasn’t had to. He’s still the destructive-force-of-nature-with-a-creepy-eyeball-sword-staring-into-your-now-weeping-soul he’s always been, and I’m OK with that. He’s just sheer epic brutality.

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Raphael
“Awwwww $#%*!”

First off, screw the haters. I don’t care what anybody says, that hat is PIMP. Raphael was my favorite amongst the new characters when he debuted, but I stopped using him after they totally JACKED his moveset in SCIV and gave it to Amy. Hopefully his moves have been revamped (heh) to match up with this creepier look. As a sidenote, Raph here was at the top of me and a friend’s list of Characters We Could See Becoming the New ‘Nightmare‘; while it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen here, I’m still very OK with this new look.

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Dampierre
“If Hell had a circus, you’d be the ringmaster.”

I didn’t get spend any time with Broken Destiny, but from what I’ve seen of Dampierre in action, he’s going to be a blast to play. Looks like he’s a PreOrder Exclusive right now, which I’d give 99-to-1 to meaning he’ll be a downloadable character down the line. If nothing else though, if there’s a fighting style that SCREAMS to be used in a Create-A-Soul of the Joker, it’s this dude right here.

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Ezio
“Awwwww double-$#%*!!”

Now I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge of Assassin’s Creed is somewhat limited. But what I DO know is that Ezio is a complete and utter evil-smiting badass, and should be an awesome fit into Calibur. A guest character that actually looks like they could fit into the setting? In your face, Starkiller!

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Aeon
“Lizardman’s back! And he’s dual-wielding axes! Er… are those wings…?”

Being the huge SC geek that I am, I immediately recognized that Aeon Calcos was Lizardman’s name before his, er, reptilization. And I am glad that he’s back because I love terrorizing opponents with that crawl of his. But what the crap is up with those wings? They don’t even look reptilian! I’m hoping there’s a rational explanation for those things, but then again I am talking about logic with a bipedal lizard with a pair of axes.

Cervantes
“The Dread Pirate Cervantes takes no prisoners! But he WILL take your frilly shirts!”

I’ve always liked Cervantes- it’s kind of hard to hate on a cursed pirate. And I think this younger version looks pretty killer, even if he looks like he got his shirt from Voldo’s clubbing attire. Apparently he’s been resurrected by the Evil Seed, so I’m very anxious to see this nasty joker in action again. What’s with the DeLeon bloodline in this game and none of them aging?

Xiba
“Oh, the fangirls are going to -love- you…”

And we have our new staff fighter! As well as my vote for the character that’s going to get abused the most by fangirls via fanfiction and yaoi artwork. I like the feral look to this guy, you can definitely see that Monkey King influence in there. I imagine his style will be very similar to Kilik’s so I’m OK with that. Xiba looks like he’ll be a fun character to play. I just hope he’s ready to deal with the fangirl menace.

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Yoshimitsu
“And just when I thought you couldn’t get any freakier…”

Wow. Yoshimitsu is looking pretty badassed now. To me he’s always been fun to play with, but I never really took him seriously next to the rest of the cast. And apparently this is a new guy under the mask with the title of Yoshimitsu, so I’m curious to see if there’s going to be a huge difference in his fighting style. I love the split mask, but combined with that skull face? That’s some creepy goodness right there!

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