Hate Speech: On the Subject of Change
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Fact: Namco isn't afraid to perform radical surgery on Soul Calibur's core mechanics from one iteration of the game to the next.

This is perhaps most evident with additions like SC4's implementation of the soul gauge, but it's equally present in the ongoing metamorphosis of the guard impact system, the overall speed of the games, and the considerable retooling of characters such as Nightmare, Ivy, and Talim.
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Fanart Friday: Custom Stages Edition!
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Well last week was a mistake. This was an awful, awful idea; and any of you who participated in it should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves. These are not good, and I already regret ever doing this! You people are sick!

Hopefully this week's topic will give us a reprieve from you nasty people. Its a lot simpler: custom stages. Come up with some stage design; whether you want to be ornate and come up with a setting, or be as simple as possible and come up with a mechanic is up to you.
Extended rules and selections poll from last week are after the break.
Astaroth and Viola Announced at TGS
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Tokyo Game Show started today (half a day ago, due to timezones) and already a metric ton of information has been released about various fighting games for the upcoming year. Soul Calibur V is of course no exception with Famitsu getting the details on two new confirmed characters!

The first revealed character is a returning favorite... Astaroth; who if my math is correct, is now 23 years old. The second new character is "Viola"; who attacks with disembodied jewels, very similar to Z.W.E.I. She is working with Z.W.E.I. to accomplish something or another.
More screenshots and updates after the break.
Countdown to DEVASTATION 2K11!
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With all hype around SummerJam wearing off, it is time to shift our attention to the next Soul Calibur 4 major in the United States, DEVASTATION 2K11!

Taking place in Phoenix, Arizona, on the weekend of October 7-9, DEVASTATION is far more than just a Soul Calibur tournament. There will be developers on site. There will be large pot cosplay competitions. There will be big money tournaments in dozens of games.
Hate Speech: A Formal Introduction
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For those of you who don't know me, my name is BrianHatesYou, or just plain Hates, and I think it's time we all had a little chat....

This is the inaugural installment of what will be a regular column in which I'll be discussing issues pertinent to the community. What's fair game?
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Fanart Friday: Gender Bender Edition
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We actually didn't get a lot of submissions for last week's Swimsuit Edition of Fanart Friday. What's the problem? Was the topic too "pervy" for Soul Calibur's obviously high brow stature and community? Well moving on...

This week's topic actually ups the perv factor; but in a different way. The topic: gender bending. Draw a Soul Calibur character, but in the opposite sex. Naturally, only official Soul Calibur characters will be accepted.
Extended rules and selections poll from last week are after the break.
Kayane's Video Interview with Tago-san!
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As you know by now, Kayane had some hands-on time with Soul Calibur V at GamesCom in Cologne, Germany. In addition to the chance to be the first person outside of Namco to ever play the game, she also managed to snag an interview with the producer of the Soul Calibur series: Hisaharu Tago!

In the interview, Kayane and Tago talk a bit more specifically on Namco's future interest with the tournament community, including patching, arcade editions and how they will try to listen to the players. Tago also specifically calls out Hilde's "Doom Combo" as a point of shame for them in Soul Calibur IV. Kayane asks a lot of specific questions about returning characters: Tira, Maxi and Voldo.

Also... if you look carefully at the video, you can see 32 slots for characters!
Fanart Friday: Swimsuit Edition!
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It's labor day weekend here in the United States, and what does that mean? Well naturally, the unofficial end of summer. So in honor of that inevitable end, and the upcoming equinox, this week's contest will be the swimsuit edition! This week, only official Soul Calibur characters will be accepted.

Last week's submissions have been gathered up; a lot of people submitted a large number of entries. I took what I considered the 2 best from each submission and added it to the list. Some people also submitted customization of existing Soul Calibur characters; I have decided not to include those submissions and instead that will be a topic of a future week.
Extended rules and selections poll from last week are after the break.
Fall Soul Calibur Tournament Roundup!
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Summer is coming to an end, and there are now a whole bunch of tournaments for Soul Calibur in the next few months, starting with the Tokyo Game Show 2011 during the weekend of September 15! While there is no confirmed tournament, it has been confirmed that SC5 will be playable on the show floor!

Next, we have T12 - Toronto's 12th Annual Fighting Game Championships on September 24 and 25. T12 is a major event just for fighting games, so if you're in the area, you should check it out. A few weeks later on October 7 to 9, in Phoenix, we have DEVASTATION 2011. This is the 7th annual event, and you can even get a discount off your registration fees using the promo code located within the thread.

Finally, on December 3 and 4, we have North East Championships XII; this is the biggest tournament we have on the east coast, and if the turnout from Summer Jam is any indicator, then expect this tournament to be our largest event till SC5. In the meantime, videos from Summer Jam are now available in a convenient playlist...
Kayane's Hands-on Impressions of SC5
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Namco graciously invited Kayane to come to GamesCom to try out the build of Soul Calibur 5 that they brought with them, but was unable to share her impressions of the game until August 30th because of a media embargo that was in place. Now that the embargo is over, Kayane stayed up until 6AM her local time in France just to share with the community her impressions of the game.

Check Kayane's blog for the full details, and leave a comment with any questions that you may have for her.