How did you became a Soul Calibur fan?

Herr-Krieg

[07] Duelist
Most wunderschön greetings, my fellow Soul Calibur fans and comrades :D! This is Herr-Krieg writing :).

Lots of things have happened in my life which have prevented me ,or just outright have been draining all the juice from me, to be active on the forums. Now that I have however mostly figured such obstacles out of the way, I decided to post this thread, to show that I´m not dead yet XD, to reactivate me back to business as well as to expand my activity further with this additional thread of mine. So, without further delaying, let me tell you about the idea of this thread ( which you have most likely already figured out from the title, but still XD ).

We all have had the same moment. That fateful moment when we made our first contact with the franchise in one way or another. Wether it was reading an article about one of the games of the franchise ( how my story with SC started XD ), one of our friends suggested or told you about it, your eyesight picked up one of the franchises game installations from the shelf of a game store.....such endless amount of possibilities indeed.

So, the question is: how did you exactly got interested of the franchise and how did you learned about it's existence in the first Place?

I hope you share your opinions about the subject and that we can get some nice and constructive conversations started :).
 

Rusted Blade

[10] Knight
For me it was late summer in 1996 (or was it '97?), I wandered into an arcade (I hadn't really spent much time in one for years) and my eyes were immediately drawn to the Soul Edge cabinet. I can still remember exactly the stage and the match-up; a fellow was playing as Li Long against Rock on Rock's stage (the square plateau with the wavy grass that looks so low fidelity today, but which looked pretty cutting edge at the time). I remember being blown away when he rung-out the AI: "Wait, you can knock them out of the stage!?" I went straight to the change machine and began to work my way through most of the roster (losing continuously to the far more experienced player but hardly caring) starting with Seong-mina, who would ultimately become my main for that game, insofar as I had one. I was hooked. I came back to that arcade repeatedly for a couple of weeks to pump far too much money into that box, but eventually moved on, aside from the odd match here and there when I would see the cabinet thereafter.

A few years later, I became aware of Soulcalibur, but it wasn't until 2000 that I became a full-on devotee; a friend owed me some money and since I had just moved back into town for a temporary stay, I accepted his Dreamcast and the one game he owned for it, Soulcalibur, in lieu of payment. Holy crap did I disappear into a void of obsessive couch-play with friends over the following weeks. That was it: from that point on I always remained abreast of what was happening with the series, played every entry as soon as it hit an arcade near me (SCII) or a console (SCIII and forward) and eventually owned virtually every single port of every mainline game in the series, sinking somewhere between hundreds and thousands of hours into each.
 
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Thylacine492

[06] Combatant
When I was five my parents bought my sister and myself a GameCube. At the time my sister was a major Legend of Zelda fan and thus started buying any game she saw Link in (SC2 and SSBM).

Ever since then the fighting genre has been my favorite to play. (And now I find myself only able to play rush down since Talim and Pichu were the first two characters I mained, respectively)
 

artard4321

[12] Conqueror
I believe I was 9 at the time when I was browsing the internet and saw a game featuring Link and remembered a title called "SoulCalibur II" thinking it was some kind of Legend of Zelda spin-off. In a demo disc that came with the GameCube I bought, I immediately noticed the title right away and saw the opening sequence which got me extremely hyped for the game (especially after seeing a badass looking knight with a giant sword and a raven, or Nightmare in other words). When I played the demo of it, I immediately thought that it played kind of like Tekken which I was a big fan of since Tekken 3 was the first console game I have ever played. Eventually, I bought the game when it came out and became a big fan of the series.

Sadly, SoulCalibur III did not come to the GameCube so it wasn't until much later that I got to play that game. I ended up getting SoulCalibur IV as my next title since I ended up buying a PlayStation 3 later on.

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Slightly off-topic, but I believe that Bandai Namco should consider releasing a Nintendo Switch version of SoulCalibur VI similar to what they did with SoulCalibur IV for the PlayStation Portable in the form of SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny. The Nintendo Switch is currently the fastest selling console and I believe it's a great marketing strategy to reintroduce the franchise to Nintendo fans by bringing Link back to the game. I'm sure I'm not the only person who became a SoulCalibur fan because I saw Link and it was available to my Nintendo console.
 

CaoCao

[03] Disciple
I first came across soul calibur 2 at my arcade's fighting game section when i was like 5-6ish. It caugh my interest when it was on a display of Mitsurugi so i immediately put a quarter in because samurais are cool i guess. Every month i went to the arcade i would spend more than half an hour on it before i went and did other things. And then i saw it was on console because of Game Informer and then whined to get it on my ps2 and then i became truly attached to it and i've been playing it non-stop since.
 
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Wyldwarrior

[06] Combatant
So I have always said SC3 was my first Soulcalibur game but in all honestly I can never remember if it was SC2 or SC3 because the time frame I played both was relatively close together. That said when I was about 10 I fell in love with SC3 and that was when the series had me hooked. I fell in love with that games character creator and the Chronicles of the Sword mode in it. I spent so many hours creating characters that I'm certain that it is where my love of games with character creation came from. I also loved how Chronicles of the Sword mixed strategy and RPG elements into a fighting game. I have played every game since then and have not regretted it (even SC5).
 

PiperAtDawn

[05] Battler
My dad got Soulcalibur for the Dreamcast when I was 5 or 6 and I was instantly drawn to Ivy and her snake sword. I thought it was the coolest weapon ever and I would spend so much time messing around in training mode with Ivy in her stage. I never did play any other mode, but I did watch my dad play through arcade as Kilik quite a few times. However, I don't think I became truly attached to the series until I played Soulcalibur III in middle school (I got it the Christmas after it came out but it didn't stick because I was tiding myself over until Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.... my, how the times have changed :P ) and spent so much time playing Tales of Souls and making OCs that have stuck in some form to this day (heavily edited of course- my tastes and inspirations have changed a lot since I was 12-13).
 

Rusted Blade

[10] Knight
Because i'm a Zelda fan. After 2, i couldn't get enough of Soul Calibur and even bought a PS2 just to play SC3 and T5. And have since played every game in the series.
I'm seeing a pretty strong trend here. Did Link act as kingmaker for Soulcalibur's most successful game? Now I don't feel quite so abnormal for having bought a Gamecube just to play that version, despite already owning the game on PS2 and XBOX! It's really a pity that the licensing and other industry issues make Link's return to the series any time soon virtually impossible.
 

Thylacine492

[06] Combatant
I'm seeing a pretty strong trend here. Did Link act as kingmaker for Soulcalibur's most successful game? Now I don't feel quite so abnormal for having bought a Gamecube just to play that version, despite already owning the game on PS2 and XBOX! It's really a pity that the licensing and other industry issues make Link's return to the series any time soon virtually impossible.
That’s the impression I got when speaking to people last year at Texas Showdown.

Taking into that the most common age mentioned in the posts regarding Link was 9, I’d say that having a kid friendly and popular character on the console meant to be kid friendly allowed for more children to pick up a fairly non-complex fighting game that they then proceeded to grow up with.
 

Crash X

[14] Master
My middle school had this old PS2 and SC2 and 3 were the main game. I didn’t play the game for a while (only observed) but then I eventually decided to join in the fun. I then realized it didn’t have a memory card so we couldn’t unlock the other characters. As a result, I decided to bring my own memory card for it so we can keep all the unlocked cast.

I’ve been a fan of the series ever since, with my experience to SC5 wanting me to invest into any main entry of the series.
 

artard4321

[12] Conqueror
I'm seeing a pretty strong trend here. Did Link act as kingmaker for Soulcalibur's most successful game? Now I don't feel quite so abnormal for having bought a Gamecube just to play that version, despite already owning the game on PS2 and XBOX! It's really a pity that the licensing and other industry issues make Link's return to the series any time soon virtually impossible.
I wouldn't call it virtually impossible if they add him as a console exclusive guest character for a Nintendo Switch port.

I know that people don't usually like console exclusives but the Nintendo Switch is practically a different environment than other platforms. I'm sure there will be people who will buy another copy if it's for the Nintendo Switch since it also serves as a handheld experience. Having Link return and featured in the cover of the game will be huge for sales.
 

Rusted Blade

[10] Knight
I wouldn't call it virtually impossible if they add him as a console exclusive guest character for a Nintendo Switch port.

I know that people don't usually like console exclusives but the Nintendo Switch is practically a different environment than other platforms. I'm sure there will be people who will buy another copy if it's for the Nintendo Switch since it also serves as a handheld experience. Having Link return and featured in the cover of the game will be huge for sales.
Unfortunately, I don't think there's really even a remote chance of a switch port for SCVI. First, we're talking about a game that has substantial performance issues and mediocre graphical fidelity on the XBO and PS4; in order to get it running on the Switch, a system with a far inferior GPU and CPU, that utilizes entirely different chip architecture, the game would have to be down-resed to the muddiest image you can imagine and would still have constant severe frame dips. Beyond that, it would be a huge amount of work that would have virtually no chance of earning back it's cost, at a time when Namco's development staff are stretched pretty thin on ongoing support for numerous projects, almost all of the others being more lucrative than Soulcalibur. Further, Project Soul isn't a permanent internal studio for Namco; it's an ad-hoc group put together specifically to knock out a game (these days, every six years) and then the staff are re-absorbed into their studios. That means there's a clock on the ongoing support for this game, and it's clearly going to be going towards DLC, which is far less work (in terms of raw man hours and the breadth of technically expertise required) than a full port, represents a better cost-benefit analysis as to the DLC itself, and helps continue to move units of the base game on the systems it is already completed and optimized for.

In order to make it profitable to A) go through the expense of porting a version of the game which is graphically far inferior to every version already on the market and B) do so when games that are other surer bets require development support, C) and even as far as Soulcalibur is concerned, DLC represents a better value returned for less man hours, Namco would have to be sure that there would be a massive install base for the game on that console to justify the decision--and I'm pretty sure that their market research will have told them the exact opposite: the Switch isn't exactly the console that's killing it with the hardcore right now, and those few harcore gamers that do have the system will mostly also have one of the other systems and if they are truly interested in Soulcalibur will buy it on one of those systems if they haven't already, since it will be a far superior version in terms of visual and stability. The situation gets even more dismal when you consider that by the time such a port came out, the game would already be two years old at a minimum, and no Soulcalibur game has ever been selling more than a trickle of copies at that point.

In other words, the amount of people dying to play Soulcalibur, who also have a switch and who don't own another system is tiny--far too little to justify the cost of a port when Namco have other IP to promote and they can make more money even on Soulcalibur through ongoing support and DLC sales on the systems it is already optimized on. And Nintendo doesn't exactly go out of its way to court third-party IP these days, on any of its platforms, so it's not like there's going to be any sweetheart deals to make such a dubious investment look more attractive. Even if PS decided to eat that cost, and even if they decided to break their long-standing trend of not re-using guest characters, I'm not sure Nintendo would even license them Link again: it's a different day for intellectual property and branding in video games, and they may decide that Link is already over-saturated between the Zelda franchise and their own fighter that would be competing against Soulcalibur.

Alas, considering all of that, I don't think even the Hero of Time is enough to make a SCVI on the Switch a profitable venture. On far too many levels to even list, the situation is just far too different from the technical and market context that brought the series to the Gamecube. That is unfortunate, I will grant you, because I'd love to see what Project Soul could do with Link after all of these years, now that they have not just the Ocarina of Time and it's predecessors/contemporaries to base his moveset on, but also the likes of Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Breath of the Wild and others. I feel like you could give him six different skins and an amalgam of abilities from ten different games and it would be a thing of beauty. Shit, get Gannon in there too! But unfortunately, I think this is likely to remain a fantasy for us to discuss in the abstract, and not likely to be anything that will ever occur again, at least in the current gen.

The good news for those disappointed by the IP roadblock issues regarding guest characters is that the next gen is looking to move towards generalized streaming services operating over multiple kinds of hardware. In other words, Nintendo's current walled-garden approach to coupling their hardware with software is going to be an increasingly difficult thing to pull off while still maintaining a decent market share, whereas leveraging the trend with their very valuable IP will actually give them a disctinct advantage in the market. In other words, in five years time, we could be looking at very different model for how games are distributed across services that you can load on any of your consoles, at which point we might be able to expect some of these barriers to come down, with positive benefits for games that like to borrow guest characters and other elements from different franchises.
 
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Nyte

Fu-ma's Shadow
I remember first playing Soulcalibur at arcades when I was like 6 at Red Robin or the bowling alley. However, I didn't really "discover" the series until Soulcalibur II, when I happened by a demo of it at Wal-Mart and got hooked. I got the game, and have been a regular follower since.

I think the very first battle I saw of Soulcalibur II was Taki vs. Nightmare... might have introduced me to her.
 

artard4321

[12] Conqueror
Unfortunately, I don't think there's really even a remote chance of a switch port for SCVI. First, we're talking about a game that has substantial performance issues and mediocre graphical fidelity on the XBO and PS4; in order to get it running on the Switch, a system with a far inferior GPU and CPU, that utilizes entirely different chip architecture, the game would have to be down-resed to the muddiest image you can imagine and would still have constant severe frame dips. Beyond that, it would be a huge amount of work that would have virtually no chance of earning back it's cost, at a time when Namco's development staff are stretched pretty thin on ongoing support for numerous projects, almost all of the others being more lucrative than Soulcalibur. Further, Project Soul isn't a permanent internal studio for Namco; it's an ad-hoc group put together specifically to knock out a game (these days, every six years) and then the staff are re-absorbed into their studios. That means there's a clock on the ongoing support for this game, and it's clearly going to be going towards DLC, which is far less work (in terms of raw man hours and the breadth of technically expertise required) than a full port, represents a better cost-benefit analysis as to the DLC itself, and helps continue to move units of the base game on the systems it is already completed and optimized for.

In order to make it profitable to A) go through the expense of porting a version of the game which is graphically far inferior to every version already on the market and B) do so when games that are other surer bets require development support, C) and even as far as Soulcalibur is concerned, DLC represents a better value returned for less man hours, Namco would have to be sure that there would be a massive install base for the game on that console to justify the decision--and I'm pretty sure that their market research will have told them the exact opposite: the Switch isn't exactly the console that's killing it with the hardcore right now, and those few harcore gamers that do have the system will mostly also have one of the other systems and if they are truly interested in Soulcalibur will buy it on one of those systems if they haven't already, since it will be a far superior version in terms of visual and stability. The situation gets even more dismal when you consider that by the time such a port came out, the game would already be two years old at a minimum, and no Soulcalibur game has ever been selling more than a trickle of copies at that point.

In other words, the amount of people dying to play Soulcalibur, who also have a switch and who don't own another system is tiny--far too little to justify the cost of a port when Namco have other IP to promote and they can make more money even on Soulcalibur through ongoing support and DLC sales on the systems it is already optimized on. And Nintendo doesn't exactly go out of its way to court third-party IP these days, on any of its platforms, so it's not like there's going to be any sweetheart deals to make such a dubious investment look more attractive. Even if PS decided to eat that cost, and even if they decided to break their long-standing trend of not re-using guest characters, I'm not sure Nintendo would even license them Link again: it's a different day for intellectual property and branding in video games, and they may decide that Link is already over-saturated between the Zelda franchise and their own fighter that would be competing against Soulcalibur.

Alas, considering all of that, I don't think even the Hero of Time is enough to make a SCVI on the Switch a profitable venture. On far too many levels to even list, the situation is just far too different from the technical and market context that brought the series to the Gamecube. That is unfortunate, I will grant you, because I'd love to see what Project Soul could do with Link after all of these years, now that they have not just the Ocarina of Time and it's predecessors/contemporaries to base his moveset on, but also the likes of Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Breath of the Wild and others. I feel like you could give him six different skins and an amalgam of abilities from ten different games and it would be a thing of beauty. Shit, get Gannon in there too! But unfortunately, I think this is likely to remain a fantasy for us to discuss in the abstract, and not likely to be anything that will ever occur again, at least in the current gen.

The good news for those disappointed by the IP roadblock issues regarding guest characters is that the next gen is looking to move towards generalized streaming services operating over multiple kinds of hardware. In other words, Nintendo's current walled-garden approach to coupling their hardware with software is going to be an increasingly difficult thing to pull off while still maintaining a decent market share, whereas leveraging the trend with their very valuable IP will actually give them a disctinct advantage in the market. In other words, in five years time, we could be looking at very different model for how games are distributed across services that you can load on any of your consoles, at which point we might be able to expect some of these barriers to come down, with positive benefits for games that like to borrow guest characters and other elements from different franchises.
No offense, I didn't bother to read the entire wall of text but I did skim through it to get the general idea so forgive me if I missed some points (please try to summarize your points next time).

In the technological side of things, SoulCalibur VI is running under Unreal Engine 4 which, if I recall correctly, supports the Nintendo Switch. If Unreal Engine 4 is anything like Unity Engine (which I have some experience in) then they could simply change the build settings to Nintendo Switch for compiling the game and perform a couple of optimization fixes and lower some of the graphic settings. They've ported a game to handheld before with SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny which I think is an even bigger hurdle since it's under an in-house engine (meaning they have to develop a compiler themselves). The performance gap between the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 is also far greater than the gap between the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 / Xbox One.

The Nintendo Switch is also the fastest selling console right now and has already topped the lifetime sale of the PlayStation 4 in Japan. It would be a missed opportunity to actually skip out on bringing SoulCalibur VI to such a rapidly selling console. If they bring in Link to this game as a console exclusive character for marketing (which would benefit both Banda Namco and Nintendo) then this is a small risk high reward situation.

Also, the majority of sales in games are attributed to casual fans (which Link will attract) rather than hardcore fans such as us. This is something that is always mentioned by game developers and publishers.
 

Rusted Blade

[10] Knight
No offense, I didn't bother to read the entire wall of text but I did skim through it to get the general idea so forgive me if I missed some points (please try to summarize your points next time).

In the technological side of things, SoulCalibur VI is running under Unreal Engine 4 which, if I recall correctly, supports the Nintendo Switch. If Unreal Engine 4 is anything like Unity Engine (which I have some experience in) then they could simply change the build settings to Nintendo Switch for compiling the game and perform a couple of optimization fixes and lower some of the graphic settings. They've ported a game to handheld before with SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny which I think is an even bigger hurdle since it's under an in-house engine (meaning they have to develop a compiler themselves). The performance gap between the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 is also far greater than the gap between the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 / Xbox One.

The Nintendo Switch is also the fastest selling console right now and has already topped the lifetime sale of the PlayStation 4 in Japan. It would be a missed opportunity to actually skip out on bringing SoulCalibur VI to such a rapidly selling console. If they bring in Link to this game as a console exclusive character for marketing (which would benefit both Banda Namco and Nintendo) then this is a small risk high reward situation.

Also, the majority of sales in games are attributed to casual fans (which Link will attract) rather than hardcore fans such as us. This is something that is always mentioned by game developers and publishers.
Well, respectfully and meaning no offense either, the reasons why the switch version is (as I see it) unlikely to happen are quite complex, and if I thought I could account for them in less words, I assure you I would have. I'd submit that if you really want to understand my assessment, you'd need to be willing, at a minimum, to dig into a few paragraphs of my reasoning, because the technical reasons (which I do think you have a more than decent handle on) and the business and market factors (which I think you may be under-analyzing) are quite nuanced. That said, I'll try to address the remainder of this particular post to the points you raised in response.

As to the outright technical feasibility of some minimally successful port of the game is concerned, I do agree it's not an impossibility; indeed I had this discussion just recently with FluffyQuack/ThePodcasterFormerlyKnownAsSectus and came to the same basic agreement as to that narrow point. However, I do think you are forgetting a few key factors that go to make a very strong argument that this is unlike previous ports PS have done for more limited hardware. Now SCIV did get quasi-ported to a device with far lower graphical processing power than the home consoles of the day, yes, but consider two things: 1) the size of the screen the game was being outputted to (absolutely tiny) meaning massive down-resing could be accomodated, and 2) the fact that SCIV ran very smoothly in its base iteration.

Compare that to the factors here, where 1) the game has to look decent on the same size screen, despite a huge gulf between the CPU/GPU capabilities (that's assuming that it does indeed turn out to be a simple matter of letting the compiler do they heavy lifting on optimization for the chipsets and architecture; regardless there would be nothing simple or minor about how much you'd have to turn those graphics settings down, and frankly the game already looks a little washed out and blurry as is), and 2) this game chugs and struggles even on the console hardware it was originally designed for, and isn't going to get any better on less powerful processing, even if Namco could spare a team of dedicated software engineers to dig deep into the nuts and bolts for code optimization. Which I would strongly suspect they would not see as the most useful application of their stretched-thin staffing resources, when producing continuing support DLC for the existing releases represents such a better cost-benefit return for them with less hassle.

So indeed, I do concede that you could probably port this game to Switch as technical matter. However, I also think it would look and run at a level that most everyone would agree is a pretty hideous decline over the previous releases. All that said, the major reasons I believe the port is unlikely are more the market factors, and I can't put those more clearly or succinctly than I did in the previous post, so you'll have to decide if it is worth returning to review the points discussed there in detail. Suffice it to say, I do not feel "fastest selling console right now" = a sufficient install base for such an undertaking (even with casuals and the lure of Link, if they could get him, factored in), and there are many details arguing against the likelihood that Namco would invest in such a port.
 
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