SoulCalibur VI Xbox One X Review

SoulCalibur VI is one of the strongest installments in the franchise and one that fighting gamers of all skill levels can enjoy.

By Grayshadow, Posted 21 Oct 2018

The SoulCalibur franchise built its notorious reputation on weapon-based combat and legendary warriors modeled after pirates, knights, and more. The simple struggle between good and evil created a solid edifice that manifested into one of the most acclaimed fighting titles of all time. SoulCalibur VI  returns the franchise to its roots, providing the same outstanding and tactical weapon-based combat the franchise is known for.

SoulCalibur VI,Bandai Namco,NoobFeed,

SoulCalibur VI's single-player is separated into 2 modes, Libra of Souls and Soul Chronicles. Libra of Souls has players taking control of a custom character in a large journey to save their own life. The customization options in SoulCalibur VI are surprisingly large, with so many different variations that the community has created some interesting characters. Both from renowned franchises and original creations.

The cutscenes themselves are not as engaging with dialogue and descriptions setting the stage for each fight. You've become "malfested" with evil energy and now must obtain Astral Fissures or die. You can take on the main missions but optional ones pop-up that offering busy work with world building information such as important trading products, legacies, and much more.

You'll earn experience for each successful mission that can be used for stronger weapons. Enemies themselves become more formidable over time, relying more on these RPG elements and along with your combat abilities. Special battle conditions prevent things from getting stale by offering handicaps to the mix. Food can offer advantages in battle such as increased experience, boosting health, and other benefits if you need a helping hand. If you want to hire someone else to fight the Mercenaries Guild offers different fighters but you have to outfit them with a weapon and food.

SoulCalibur VI,Bandai Namco,NoobFeed,

Since this is conveyed as a long journey the player will have a good and evil system in place. Decisions you make will alter how characters act towards you and a timer ticks down on how long you spent on this journey. The consequences for many of your actions are short-lived but it does add to the sense of going on an epic quest.

Seasoned players won't have much of an issue with Libra of Souls. The NPCs are average at best, with more seasoned players able to rush through many of the fights. Load screens are short and pop up between battles and text portions but can become tedious quick especially since it suffers from the same issues as Dragon Ball FighterZ's campaign. Fighting the same structured enemies over and over again.

Soul Chronicles is more of a classic SoulCalibur experience and provides more lore about the core characters. Each campaign centers on that character's involvement with the legendary Soul Edge. It's told through amazing static artwork that looks great but could've benefited from animated scenes. With such beautiful character models, it seemed like a waste not to use them in cutscenes.

SoulCalibur VI,Bandai Namco,NoobFeed,

While both campaigns offer hours of content many SoulCalibur fans play for the multiplayer and it's fortunately stable. Getting into a match is easy and during our 10 hours of play time, we were generally matched up with players equal to our skill level and faced little latency. With modern releases becoming more known for releasing with a series of net code issues it's relieving to play a triple-a game with stable online features at launch.

Combat has many layers to it but the developers have crafted a system that is simple to understand but difficult to master. Decisions are instant as players try to understand their opponent's movement and either try to counter or dodge. Admittedly, this can be said for most fighting games but it's a difficult concept to get right and SoulCalibur VI successfully accomplishes this. You can pick up a controller and grasp the basics and hold your own in the competitive arena but underneath the surface is much more densely packed mechanics that veterans will need to master if they hope to reach the higher ranks. Characters share similar control inputs and moves are limited but the 8-way movement system provides plenty of creative options to move. Movement itself becomes an entire concept that players need to master as a player with quick feet can easily take control of a fight.

There's is a standard training mode but no combo challenges. You're given a list of various moves but how these link together or the best way to use them isn't provided. It's become a standard for fighting games to include some sort of combo challenge system to help players understand each character's strength and weaknesses while also learning the basics and to have it absent here is a complete misstep.

SoulCalibur VI,Bandai Namco,NoobFeed,

The Reversal Edge provides even more variety to combat, allowing players to counter almost anything. It's simple to use and has a long charge, making it easy for casual players to grasp. But the incredibly large tell can easily leave you vulnerable, allowing the opposing player to simply wait and attack when the animation is over. If you do perform a Reversal Edge you're not only gifted with the satisfying hit impact but the beautiful colors that burn from the weapon.

Critical Edges serve as SoulCalibur VI's super moves. Like other fighting games these are governed by a meter, here it's called Soul Gauge, and is charged by attacking, defending, and taking damage. Once 1 level is gained you can perform a single cinematic attack that deals heavy damage or a Soul Charge that opens unique moves for each warrior.

What brings the entire experience together is the incredible graphics and musical score. Each soundtrack has that fantasy flare that complements the arena you're fighting in. The character's themselves are wonderfully animated and detailed, with distinct marks and features regardless of which costumes you have them wear. Nightmare and Inferno look especially extraordinary. 

SoulCalibur VI,Bandai Namco,NoobFeed,

SoulCalibur VI does offer your traditional ranked modes and players can choose to play in a specific region, connection status, and preferred side. Replays are also available for those seeking to learn from their past games and a community favorites option. It's your basic options found in most fighting games but it's clear that Bandai Namco went for the simple and effective approach when designing the game's multiplayer and it works. You can drop into a match or look at other player's content with ease.

SoulCalibur VI is an outstanding addition to this acclaimed fighting series. The use of Reversal Edge allows newcomers to jump into the series with ease while still appealing to veteran fighting gamers. The lack of a real training mode could cause players to become frustrated but this a minor issue. SoulCalibur VI is one of the strongest installments in the franchise and one that fighting gamers of all skill levels can enjoy.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer(s): Project Soul
Genres: Fighter
Themes: Fantasy
Release Date: 2018

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