Yeah, it’s me again, writing more about Soulcalibur VI after playing it again recently. Spoiler alert: it still feels incredible, and the more old characters that they add to the roster, the more Soulcalibur VI feels like the perfect blend of timeless 3D fighting and new mechanics. It’s fair to say that I can’t get enough of it.
All the old characters feel like they did in previous iterations, retaining a lot of their key moves. Yoshimitsu is still weird, but absolutely devastating in the right hands, Siegfried is still insanely quick for someone wielding a sword the size of Braun Strowman and Ivy is still a perfect combination of combo flair and disgusting range.
The new mechanics help complement those styles instead of taking away or distracting you from the core action. Decent players can utilise the refined Soul Charge mechanic, which costs one bar of meter, to mount a comeback, making use of the increased damage and added buffs to your character. However, more novice players could use that meter for a Critical Edge.
There’s one or two issues with the control scheme. Currently, Soul Charge is mapped to the same button as Critical Edge (R2), though Soul Charge is activated by pressing back on the d-pad at the same time. There are times when being pressured and moving backwards that you’ll accidentally perform the Soul Charge instead of the Critical Edge, which cost me a couple of rounds during the night. No, I’m not salty. Not at all. In fairness though, the issue will probably resolve itself after some significant time with the game.
The increased cinematic aspects of Soulcalibur VI have drawn plenty of comparisons to fellow Bandai Namco fighter Tekken 7, and in keeping with that, Critical Edges feel much more riskier than Tekken’s Rage Arts. They’re not the instant win button that Rage Arts were in Tekken, that’s for sure, even if they are incredibly powerful.
Though there are exceptions to the rule, most Critical Edges have an obscene amount of start-up animation, making them useless against an opponent who loves pressing buttons right in your face. In those situations, the Soul Charge more useful instead. Currently, characters like Ivy and Zasalamel are the exceptions, as their Critical Edges start up with a guard impact that can catch any opponent foolish enough to carry on spamming vertical attacks with Kilik.
Alright, I know you’re probably wondering how everyone’s favourite Witcher boy is, and the truth is he’s great. Geralt feels like he belongs as part of the roster, with his spells seemingly giving him more depth than just a man with a sword doing cool sword things. Work has been done to make him a viable member of the roster, and Project Soul have succeeded in that respect, even if I wasn’t very good with him. As of right now, he’s a better guest character than Ezio and the Star Wars lads, but we’ll have to wait and see if he touches the glorious heights of Link.
Still, the highlight of the demo was Maxi, and that was only partly because I’m a Maxi main until the day I die. He exemplifies the more cinematic nature that the game is embracing in the best way possible. Every hit he lands feels more impactful than ever, and the camera cuts allow Soulcalibur VI to display the more stylish aspects of his character. Oh Maxi, you beautiful virtual nunchuk boy, you.
With Soulcalibur VI just a few short months from launch, it seems that the foundations are in place for it to be one of the best games in the series. We’ve just got our fingers crossed that the modes, such as the teased story mode, can live up to the amazing gameplay.
If you want more details about in-game mechanics, check out the write-up we published a few months back, and be sure to watch the gameplay footage we recorded. No, we didn’t record Geralt, much to my editor’s dismay, but there’s plenty of Maxi footage.
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