Six months in, how do you rank Soulcalibur VI relative to the rest of the series?

If pressed for a choice, where would you rank Soulcalibur VI as an entry in the franchise?

  • The best there has been

    Votes: 3 10.0%
  • Tied for first

    Votes: 8 26.7%
  • Second best

    Votes: 5 16.7%
  • Tied for second

    Votes: 2 6.7%
  • Third best

    Votes: 5 16.7%
  • Tied for third

    Votes: 4 13.3%
  • Fourth best

    Votes: 1 3.3%
  • Fifth best

    Votes: 2 6.7%
  • Sixth best

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Seventh best or below (yikes)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    30

Rusted Blade

[07] Duelist
At present we do have indicators of potentially long term DLC support for SCVI, but its also true that after half a year of experience and a basic sense of the ultimate scope of the experience the game has to offer, I imagine most hardcore fans are beginning to settle on an opinion of where the game stands in the franchise legacy. Hence the straw poll--hopefully the discussion following votes concerning the merits of the game and its competition is more an exercise in reminiscence than contentiousness. ;)
 

SSfox

[14] Master
Tie with SC2 at least. I may even put it higher if it didn't have the "CaS everywhere" thing and had 2p/3p outfits.
 

Rusted Blade

[07] Duelist
Personally, when considering each game in terms of how enjoyable I found it (both at release and over time), how well designed it was, what it brought to the table that was new and progressed the series, and how well balanced the experience was overall, I think I have to place this game fourth of the seven mainline entries of the game (Soul Edge and Soulcalibur I-VI)--or, put otherwise dead in the middle. For me, SCII-SCIV is the trinity of games where both art design, enjoyable gameplay and balance of features hit their peak, particularly if one includes both the console and arcade editions of of SCIII. I know not everyone is a huge fan of IV, but personally, I have a hard time deciding where I would rank the members of this three-entry arc of games. SCVI almost hits that level, but for me, a very poorly implemented and unreliable online experience, lackluster stage design and selection, too much emphasis on underwhelming story modes, ongoing concerns about balance, and a number of changes in basic mechanics has kept the game from competing for a place among the heavy hitters.

That's not to say it is not an impressive game: it has to be in order for me to rank it as being more memorable than Soul Edge, Soulcalibur I, and Soulcalibur V. It has a decently reliable mechanics. I think it suffers a bit from an identity crisis when it comes to who it is being targeted. The (in my opinion wholly unnecessary and cumbersome) new reversal edge mechanic has been expressly labelled by Namco an effort to make the game more approachable to newcomers, and yet, the basic mechanics have never become more convoluted for advanced features such as lethal hits, special character gimicks and meta-movesets, and all manner of other such factors. Even so, for me the good substantially outweighs the bad in the area of the nuts and bolts mechanics.

It's mostly a similar sentiment for style: the game's roster is looking to result in a more or less complete listing of the classic (up through SCIII) cast at least, if current hints bear out, and mostly everyone so far looks pretty close to their more iconic variations. The CaS is fairly deep and there's no knowing how much content season pass holders will end up owning after all seasons finish their drops, and combine the freebies. The music is roughly on par with the typical highly competent level of Soul Calibur music, though I wouldn't say it's the best score of the series. The performance and stability is pretty high--when one does not include the many, numerous, and significant issues with multiplayer, anyway. The character selection menus lag substantially on all platforms, but this has to be classified a minor annoyance, all things considered.

All in all, I think SCVI earns a spot near the middle of the pack. Even if it ends up delivering on the potential of re-uniting the entire SE-SCIII roster, plus two or more new original characters and two or more guests, I can't see myself ranking SCVI higher than SCII, SCIII, or SCIV. Maybe if they drop another five amazing stages in the game's life as well, but that seems unlikely.
 
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DanteSC3

[14] Master
I didn't realize you'd already made a thread, so I replied to your post over in the general thread, but I deleted it and I'll move it here:

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This all makes me curious: now that we've had six months plus experience with the game, and patching is proceeding, with signs of ongoing support for a little while at least, how is this game overall shaping up in terms of it's rank as a solid entry in the franchise, among fans? I'm tempted to start a survey.
I and II are still on top, with III trailing behind only because of technical problems. I would put V next, then VI, those two being very close together, with IV trailing behind at a pretty far distance, fairly cemented as my least favorite.

V is better from a gameplay standpoint, while VI is better from a lore standpoint. I know it may be shocking to some of you that I would still rate V higher than VI, considering my love of lore, but the questionable mechanical systems (so many ways to ruin the flow of battle) and the lacking stages just really do put a damper on the fun factor that just simply can’t be ignored. It’s also lacking in CaS appeal, though that is slowly catching up, it remains to be seen if it will still be inferior in the long run. I could have all the lore in the world, but if I don’t have a fun time actually playing the game, which I honestly don’t with SoulCalibur VI, then it still falls apart in the end, and doesn’t have lasting appeal once the single player modes are completed.

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I'll expand a bit, because this does have its own thread, and I didn't want to go into monolith-of-text mode over in the general thread, but what I look for most in this series is, above everything else, enjoyable gameplay, which I feel like should be the forefront of any fighting game, no matter how great the other features may be, even features a series becomes iconic for representing, such as guest characters and character customization. SoulBlade was a fun, if flawed, experience, but considering the other fighting games of the time, and that it was on the original PlayStation, it was quite good for its time, and I can look back upon it fondly, but when stacked up against the rest, it just really doesn't mesh, to the point where I'd have problems even comparing it fairly, because it lacks the central 8-Way-Run, of all things, and that's pretty important. It plays more like Tekken with weapons than it does what you'd think of with the Soul series brand. Not to mention those ridiculous jumps. But I digress...

SoulCalibur is where the series really hit its stride, and for good reason. It's still, to this day, the most pure implementation of the core aspects of the game, and while it suffers from clone characters more than any other entry, it revels in its simplicity and fluid nature, where it's just really impossible for it to be knocked off the top spot. SoulCalibur II didn't lose anything in translation, and only added more, with a more in-depth single player mode, more characters, the advocacy of the would-become iconic guest character slot, multiple weapons per character, just... everything better, nothing worse. So if SoulCalibur is on top, then SoulCalibur II has to be on top as well, because it just is everything the first game was and better, but both of these games are almost nearly perfect, so it's hard to even say, even though SoulCalibur II was better, that SoulCalibur has any faults, so they're just tied for first place, in my book. They're just not bogged down by anything else other than what they are, and everything flows well, and they're also reasonably balanced games, all things considered.

Third place, then, goes to SoulCalibur III. It tried, and I mean really tried, to continue to the trend of just being better, without losing anything, but it just did not manage to achieve this goal. It added so much content to the point of nearly bursting, I'm really surprised that it all fit on a single DVD. If the circumstances were different, if SoulCalibur III had gone to arcades first, and had the home release second, like the first three games, I really do believe that SoulCalibur III would also be tied for first, looking at how Arcade Edition fine-tuned the gameplay and ironed out the glaring mechanical bugs, it's just a shame, to the point where SoulCalibur III just really is the turning point in the downturn of the series. Hardly no one got to play Arcade Edition, which doesn't help matters, because it's a relative unknown. The only thing that really lived on past Arcade Edition was Amy, which was nice, but it's just a shame we couldn't keep Hwang and Li Long, and an even greater shame that SoulCalibur IV was just a drop in terms of... well, everything. But more on that later. SoulCalibur III was like a love letter to the series to this point, with the largest roster, taking into account the bonus characters, even if you take out the Chronicles of the Sword folks. Bringing back Hwang, Li Long, and even Arthur, as well as adding Revenant, Miser, Greed, and the trio of shop girls, each having their own unique fighting styles, it just really added an extra layer of depth that bonus characters in the future just don't have, that unique flair that comes with an off-kilter moveset that isn't simply a copy of an existing main roster character.

I really would like to put SoulCalibur VI in fourth place, but I just can't. At least not right now. It's possible that, by the end of its life cycle, it could be moved up a rank, but for now, I put SoulCalibur V above SoulCalibur VI. Despite all of SoulCalibur V's flaws, and there are many, as we all know, so I won't really retread on those, it still offered an incredibly smooth experience in gameplay, as a fair compromise of keeping SoulCalibur's core ideals in place while also advancing the formula along to compete with other fighting games. Critical Edge was a much better implementation than Critical Finish from SoulCalibur IV, and I believe that Brave Edges were superior to the Soul Charge mechanic that we have in SoulCalibur VI. Just Guard actually worked and gave advantage, which made it useful, and nothing really stopped the flow of battle, save for Critical Edge, but they were a lot shorter and to-the-point in SoulCalibur V, where they weren't really all that intrusive. It was a great balance. The only negative aspect of the gameplay, really, was that Guard Impact cost meter to use. They could have, should have even, kept all this intact, and removed the cost of meter for Guard Impact, and kept everything else about SoulCalibur VI the same, in terms of roster and game modes, and I would most assuredly firmly place SoulCalibur VI higher than SoulCalibur V, and with the game coming to a completed state with all its DLC, it could very well even top SoulCalibur III. The customization aspect of SoulCalibur V is debatably the best (tied with SoulCalibur III, pros and cons), creating the system we're still using today, but also having a ton of parts to use with it, and allowed us to truly begin to make unique-looking characters of our own that are hard to replicate by a passing observer.

So SoulCalibur VI sits in fifth place, and while I regard it as an extremely good effort, all things considered, as an attempt to revitalize the series after such a long wait, relieving us that our beloved franchise might have met its end with SoulCalibur V, but it just really has not lived up to its predecessors. They tried to re-invent the wheel, here, and I just really don't understand why it was necessary. Granted, I am a long-time veteran, having been with the series since SoulBlade, so it's possible that these things are really meant to bring in new players, but at the cost of alienating your already established base? I really don't think that was a good idea. And I don't have proof/evidence, but it doesn't even seem like to me, that we attracted and kept a sizeable amount of new players, seeing as how the player base goes down so quickly after new releases. People pop in, try the new shiny stuff, and then go back to not playing it after each update, instead of continuing to play. And, though it pains me to admit, I actually also belong in that group, due to how off-putting the gameplay of SoulCalibur VI really is. I have my fun with the new content, but my biggest attractor for SoulCalibur VI is the centralized lore, and I can experience that in a day when the new content drops, and then after that, all I'm left with is the not-really-all-that-fun gameplay to play with after that. The online modes have gotten even more busted with the latest update, which I pray they fix, but even if they do, though I love Amy's new technical nature, and she's pretty fun to play, the game just... drags, a lot quicker than it should. I just can't play it for hours on end like I could the previous games in the series, even SoulCalibur V, because it just feels like a chore.

Sixth, and last, place, though, firmly belongs to SoulCalibur IV. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most lacking entry in the series, on pretty much every level. The gameplay is incredibly sluggish, to the point where it feels like I'm seriously playing the game at half speed sometimes, and there were glaring technical issues in Hilde's doom combo, for starters, but the game just felt like it didn't know what it wanted to do. The slow nature made it seem like you would want to be more defensive, and you could be, but that clashed with the guard break/Critical Finish system they implemented, which encouraged more aggressive play, or at least discouraged turtling, it was just a weird balance, no pun intended, as the balance of the game was pretty off as well, featuring some of the most aggressively uphill battles in the entire series for some matchups. There's also the elephant in the room in the Star Wars guest characters, especially Yoda, but all of them just really broke things in a way that only really 2B comes close to, but even 2B is manageable compared to Yoda. Which yeah, guest characters do not, in and of themselves, make or break any of these games, it was just pervasive in how much they disrupted things, when added on top of everything else. It was already a low point, and it just got lower with them. And then there's the ruination of customization with gear and weapons having stat points and skills, and just... whoever came up with that was not having a good day in the creativity department. The story mode was laughably disappointing, and the extra mode Tower of Lost Souls was quite simply a grindfest. I really don't have much of anything nice to say about SoulCalibur IV, except I really enjoyed Kamikirimusi, even if she was just a Nightmare expy, her character was interesting and I felt like it had a good potential for development, far more than the other four bonus characters, though Ashlotte definitely gets an honorable mention. Speaking of bonus characters, though, SoulCalibur III gave us a host of extra (albeit poorly balanced and incomplete) movesets to work with, so this even was a downgrade. I really can't say there's anything SoulCalibur IV did better than SoulCalibur III except up the graphics. Okay fine, the stage design was kicked up a notch, as I'll note below, but the spirit of my argument still stands.

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Beyond gameplay, the other lesser, but still important, elements of the games have also been a bit of a sliding scale. Understandably, due to technical limitations, the earlier stages were incredibly basic by comparison to what can be accomplished now, but despite that, starting with SoulCalibur II, the stages really did create a cinematic appeal that would only get better in each game that followed... up until SoulCalibur VI, anyway. SoulCalibur VI's stages are incredibly basic, with very little interactive elements, and while it could be argued that they're doing a throwback to SoulCalibur's original stage design and are basic on purpose, that just doesn't really work as an excuse, since really, it should have been bringing those classic stages to new heights with improved mechanics and interesting qualities, so we could see them like we never saw them before. And then there's that about half of the stages don't really have an identity or ties to characters, not really, but this was so that Libra of Soul could have generic locations for exploring the world, so I get why it's that way, but they still could have stood to make those stages interesting, even if they had to be "plain", so as to not be defined to just one location or character. SoulCalibur V slightly ran into this issue, with a few characters sharing stages, but mostly, everyone had their own, and each stage had its own quirks and appeals to set them apart from one another. SoulCalibur IV started this idea with Phantom Pavilion, perhaps the most ambitious stage, but I can't be saying nice things about SoulCalibur IV, now can I? -grumbles and adds a note above-

Next up is music. SoulCalibur VI has some standout tracks, but is mostly pretty bland when compared to the previous games. SoulCalibur V was a bit of a slouch in this department too, but it still was more memorable than SoulCalibur VI. "Moon of Oblivion" is really the only new track that I would say holds a candle to the legacy of music that came before. SoulCalibur IV was the tipping point, where the music was alright, but merely passable, didn't feel like it had the same passion as the games that came before. Thankfully, both SoulCalibur V and SoulCalibur VI have afforded us the opportunity to use the classic music, and while SoulCalibur V was just a small selection, it would appear that eventually, SoulCalibur VII will have all of the tracks from the main series, eventually, someday, maybe, like Tekken's jukebox. I could go on, but I feel like the next part is more important.

Game modes are another aspect that have been lacking since SoulCalibur III, and I do applaud SoulCalibur VI's effort to return us to form, but I still think it fell short. Yes, we have two complete story modes, one for the main cast and one for your custom character, both managing to be canon and work off each other, which is a fine accomplishment in and of itself, retelling our narrative that was chaotic at best and nonsensical at worst, in a way that everyone's role is clearly defined, without power fantasy and wish-fulfillment what-if stories, that's pretty fantastic. But the gameplay of these modes rings hollow, without much, if any, replay value, once completed, where you could go back and revisit SoulCalibur III's modes again and again as they offered multiple options and paths, as well as being stimulating and worthy challenges, despite SoulCalibur III's infamous input-reading AI. But that's just single player modes, there's also multiplayer modes that they could have and should have brought back, but didn't. Team Battle is highly requested, and they again put the system in place where it could be a thing, and yet it still isn't a thing, because... reasons? I don't really know why they won't bring this back, especially considering the tease of tagging in SoulCalibur IV and that Tekken has two Tag titles to its name, and SoulCalibur has none. I fully expected SoulCalibur Tag Tournament instead of SoulCalibur VI, but that dream faded over time where we weren't getting a new game at all. But still, giving us the return of Team Battle, even without tagging, would be a great improvement and add some fun to the gameplay that SoulCalibur VI desperately needs. Granted, it would still be held up by the core mechanics, but it would help.

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Overall, I feel like SoulCalibur VII has the potential to get back on top, if they take our feedback into account and reel back on these gameplay innovations that no one really asked for, that only serve to slow the game down and break the flow of battle. I really cannot stress enough that this is my biggest complaint with SoulCalibur VI, and it's a far-reaching problem that affects literally every mode of play, online or offline. New stages would be nice, tweaking the existing stages to be more involved and interesting would also be nice, but if the gameplay to utilize those stages isn't on point, having the same flow as SoulCalibur I-II, it's all kind of moot, in my opinion at least. I feel like the nerf to Reversal Edge in the latest update is maybe a good sign that they might be willing to reel back on things, but at the same time, their apparent need to also nerf Guard Impact, that wasn't needed at all, makes me wary. I'm hopeful, but still not expecting major change in SoulCalibur VI. SoulCalibur VII, though... we'll see. I have faith.
 

Crash X

[13] Hero
If I’m rating it on gameplay alone: SCV > SCVI > SCII > SC > SCIII/AE > SCIV.

SCV: Amazing gameplay and online, great Creation system, but weak storyline and content.

SCVI: Good creation that is beginning to shape up, Soul Chronicle is alright, but lacks replay value after finishing all the storylines, online is a bit messy, and the gameplay is still good but it does suffer from inconsistencies.

SCII: Takes a mix of both sides. Decent amount of content, decent gameplay. Things like step G can be hassling but all in all a successful sequel.

SC1: About the same as it’s sequel, just aged slightly more.

SCIII: Has the highest amount of content in any SC game to date, offers replay value with the content it has. However, it does suffer from a plethora of technical issues and imbalances that can make the game somewhat frustrating to play. AE does fix these problems.

SCIV: Slow, weak content, frustrating online, Hilde Doom Combo, Critical Finish, unbalance in the roster, Star Wars guests, you get the idea...
 
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CelestialZodiac

[10] Knight
I guess I will rate the games I have played which were admittingly only four of them.

SC3: I know, I know. It has technical problems and it is not the love child of tourney players. This is a game mainly for casuals and that is why I rate it so high. It does come with a lot of modes and this game is packed with it. Not only that, but it had a lot of characters and to me that was perfect. Also, does have a lot of stages and I still feel that it's character creator is top notch even if a bit outdated. In time I hope that SC6 gets to this level of quality. If not modes I am hoping with characters at least.

SCVI: I love this game and I do try to play it every day. I do have some complaints with it not going to lie. It still doesn't come with a lot of modes that SC2 and SC3 had and it's character creator is still lacking. However, this is actually the first game in the series that I'm trying to play seriously and online is where the fun is at. Talim (my main) is seriously fun to play as and I try my best to be good with her and I am still learning with her. Eventually I want to learn to main other characters. Also, with the support it is getting I am hopeful for the future of this series.

SC2: I am rating this a tad low because it had Link and I hate that. He was a guest and people should accept that he is not coming back. LOL, but no seriously. This game is fun and was the game that introduced me to the series. Perfect music, perfect stages, has Talim and Yun Seong, Inferno doesn't look like shit and this game is a perfect childhood memory. Do wish that later games can make the characters look realistic like they did in this game, but I doubt they would do it.

SCIV: You know I just played this game once at a teen center so I can't make much of an opinion on it. Though it was apparent that this was the start where a lot of modes were beginning to get cut and I personally did not like the graphics for this game. However, it still had most of the core characters and had Hilde. The little time I played that game I used her and she was a blast to use. I think she was the best part of that game. Also, this game seems to be the most popular in DeviantArt and... that is not always a good thing.

Now for the other games I haven't played I would one day want to play Soul Edge and Soul Calibur. For SC5... IDK would want to give it a shot, but that didn't leave a good taste in my mouth. I did love its music and had good outfits for the cast and would love that as DLC for SC6.
 

LisaK

[13] Hero
SC III > SE/SB > SC VI > SC V > SC IV = SC II > SC:BD > SC.
(I did not play SC Legends, SC III:AE, SC: Unbreakable Soul, SC: Lost Swords or SC Pachislot.)
 

PiperAtDawn

[05] Battler
I'm rating these games based on the whole package, but I admit my rankings come more from personal enjoyment. While I have played SB, I don't feel I've played it enough to be able to judge it properly among the rest. I will say that on first playing it I didn't enjoy it, but when I tried it again years later it was more fluid than I remember it being.

SC III: It has my favorite everything about the series, bugs and poor balance aside. It's where I fell in love with my favorite characters, it has my favorite story mode in Tales of Souls, favorite Character Creation (even though it's outdated in a lot of regards, I still prefer it over even SCV's system), and I love that it had CaS exclusive styles (even with how unpolished and incomplete they are). The only thing I can really say I don't like about it is Chronicles of the Sword; I just dislike this mode a lot and it bricked my saves more than a couple of times.

SC I: This might be nostalgia talking, as this was my first fighting game ever, but I still really enjoy this game to this day. It's story is tied with SCIII as the best one (and it didn't even have a proper story mode!), it has my favorite music and second favorite presentation (behind SCIII), and it's still a blast to play, even if the gameplay is starting to show its age.

SC VI: When I first voted I think I placed SCVI as tied for first, but on further thought I had to bump it down a spot. While Reversal Edge misses the mark for me, I really like how Soul Charge works now and prefer it over Brave Edge, otherwise I feel like gameplay is almost as good as SC II. Lore wise it's the best in regards to fleshing out all of the characters, but I can't really give it credit for story as it's a retelling of SC I, and I really liked Libra of Soul in all of its bad fanfiction glory. However, the music is pretty bland, though there are more stand out tracks than SC V, and the remakes of the classic songs aside from Under A Pledge just don't do it for me (still a little salty that they used Hellfire as the base for Inferno's boss theme instead of Immortal Flame, but it's a non-issue now since I use the latter for Astral Chaos). The main downer is how badly they dropped the ball on Character Creation, but this might be remedied with time. Overall a really good effort to bring the franchise back, but it still needs work.

SC II: I still really like this game, but there's something about it that makes it feel bland to me. I didn't really care for the music aside from a couple of tracks, the story felt like just SCI all over again, and most of the stages looked very washed out and bland to me. Still, it has the best gameplay, and Weapon Master mode is among one of my favorite modes of the series.

SC V: Really the only thing I like about it is its Character Creation, and even that has its caveats. Gameplay felt really stiff to me and I disliked most of the gameplay additions aside from Critical Edge, most of the new characters were unlikable or bland (I'd have no problem with them being replacements if they weren't those things), and story mode was just terrible. It also has the worst soundtrack of the series with only a couple of good tracks, but I will say the stages are pretty good. It's a shame too, because I think it had the makings of a decent game, but with what we got it's just unenjoyable.

SC IV: But not as unfun as this game. Every complaint I have about SC V is exacerbated in this game. The combat that was not only stiff feeling but slow as hell, terrible gameplay additions, the worst presentation which still impacts the series to this day (PS really needs to update the character models), and I felt like a lot of my favorite characters got butchered in this game, in both gameplay and story. The gameplay modes and music were also pretty underwhelming.
 
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Heniek

[10] Knight
I would vote SCIII as the best one. Most content, most effort, most budget. The game had a soul and even with some of the worst balance in series and technical issues (although VC allowed for some really neat compilations). It also had the best tracks matched only by those from SCII.

SC VI - I want to enjoy and love this game but the more I play it, the more frustrating I find it to be. Frame data is all over the place, many moves are too safe, track way too much and the game feels quite random too often and also I do not like how much they keep on needing defense. On the other hand this game is the first one that tries to achieve something that was missing since SCIII and for that alone I am happy for it. Balance wise even tho I don't think it's very good it's definitely among the best the series had. If they had a budget comparable to Tekken we could indeed recieve a glorious game with tons of content and balance that does not rely on pumping stuff up or on RE.

SCV was a hit and miss. Gameplay-wise it was really good, it developed the meter in really decent way. I believe if not for the idea of replacing half of the cast it could definitely be the strongest entry in the franchise. Tho then again I still believe it may have failed hard because of again - lack of budget. The story was butchered (even tho those few cutscenes we had were visually great). It also had some of the best stages I believe.

SCIV - The elephant in the room. The game had a hard time after the drop caused by SCIII. Balance was awful, movement was a disgrace, SW guests were a grim joke and CF was the worst mechanic implemented in the history of the franchise. The funny thing is that tho I believe it was the worst it was still the one I had the most fun with. The roster was full, many characters were enjoyable to play (Yoshi was never so fun especially with his 4A+K that was dependable on timer) and for all the flack it gets people seem to forget that it was the last game in the franchise with a proper arcade and character's cinematic endings and I indeed miss them a lot. Also that was the last entry with Cassandra but that will change soon I hope

Didn't played SCI and SCII and I do not count SB because for all intent and purpose - it was a completely different game.

I count SCIII as the best one and the rest in no particular order because it's difficult for me to judge it technically in comparison to how much fun I had. SCVI technically is better but I don't have much drive to play it anymore whilst I played SCIV for few years straight. Still - in the end for the purpose of the poll I picked SCVI on the second place
 

Starringrole

[01] Neophyte
I think I find it safe to say SCVI is practically the best entry in the series.
Its only lacking stages and characters, both of which every other entry I think satisfied fairly well in their own right.

If anything, SCVI is definitely my favorite or second favorite entry followed by SC2, SB.
I just hope we don't go back to what SCIV was, I really dread that outcome if it were to pass.
 

SAPirata

[01] Neophyte
Never played anything pre-SCII so can't comment there

Gameplay: SCV
Aesthetics/Design: SCIII (SCII comes close tho imo)
Single player content: SCIII
Best all-round: SCVI
 

MONEYMUFFINS

[13] Hero
GIVING MY PERSPECTIVE ONLY FROM THE COMPETITIVE/TOURNAMENT POINT OF VIEW:

SC6 IS DEFINITELY THE WORST GAME IN THE SERIES. SOUL CHARGE, REVERSAL EDGE, UNSAFE STEP, INPUT BUFFERING, AND GUARD METER ARE THE BIGGEST COMBINATION OF PROBLEMS CALIBUR HAS SEEN FOR SERIOUS COMPETITION. THAT STUFF I LISTED, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I'M REFERRING TO, INCREASES THE LUCK FACTOR IN MATCH RESULTS BY FAR TOO MUCH. I'M SAYING THIS AS ONE OF THE FEW PEOPLE WHO HAS COMPETED IN EVERY SOULCALIBUR GAME OVER MANY YEARS.

NAMCO CAN'T AFFORD TO BALANCE THEIR GAMES FOR BOTH COMPETITORS AND CASUALS. THEY NEED TO MAKE SEPARATE ESPORTS EDITIONS, OTHERWISE EVERYONE IS CONSTANTLY MAKING UNDESERVED LUCKY COMEBACKS LIKE IT'S MARIO KART. THE AUDIENCE IS ENTERTAINED BUT THE COMPETITORS FIND IT MADDENING.
 

Rusted Blade

[07] Duelist
Interesting results so far: I was pretty sure that the majority of votes would cluster around second or third best, and yet among those participating in the survey so far, nearly 2/3 believe that SCVI is either the best or second best game in the franchise. Say what you will for the ALL CAPSSS!!!!!!!! delivery and the unlikely solution proposed immediately above, but fundamentally I agree with MM's observations. I really want to enjoy SCVI more, but I just can't get past the feeling that PS somewhat muddled the most essential aspect of the game, the basic gameplay--two games in a row now, no less. It's not awful, but the pacing is definitely broken up now for the purpose of trying to add cinematic flair to the experience everywhere. And while I appreciate the balancing act mandated by an expectation that each entry in the franchise will innovate, I personally feel the balance between flash and dependable, engaging, and competitive gameplay is off in this entry. I feel like this is a product with a few too many eye-catching ingredients and not enough consideration given to how well they improve the total experience in the aggregate.

It's not a bad game, especially on the budget it seems to have been produced with, with both inside and outside studios working in coordination. I think it seems to have wasted far too much of that limited budget on silly story modes to the detriment of other content at launch, but with ongoing support, the character roster and character creation could ultimately end up being the most comprehensive iterations ever and I'm willing to pay a premium to get everything--even if I would prefer that they released all of the characters and creation content up front and then released story modes later as ongoing DLC support. That's just as unlikely to ever happen as MM's proposal, though, more's the pity! But yeah, overall, I give this game high marks in lots of areas: quality (if not exactly exceptional) design for the characters, and ultimately I think we are going to end up with a great roster and possibly the best editor to date.

It's a fun game, but I just can't sink time into it like I have with the best entries in the past. The combat isn't the worst thing ever, but it is super gimmicky, leading to matches becoming a rinse-and-repeat chore when playing against new players in particular. This combined with an online match system that is incredibly onerous and glitchy, with even the most basic match-making options non-functional and netcode that makes me think those monkeys must have randomly hammered out Hamlet finally, and then were moved on to coding. The balancing definitely could be better (though I suppose we really do owe them time on that before bitching and moaning too much) and the stages and music don't really invite me in like they have in pretty much every past entry. Again, it's a competent game, especially given its obvious low priority at Namco, and I believe Okubo and his team should be proud. But compared to what previous games accomplished in their times? Nah, really this feels more like a stop-gap effort by comparison. A meaningful first step to righting the ship and getting things on track, but not really where I'd want things to be before I said the Soul Calibur brand was performing to its highest potential again.
 
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SAPirata

[01] Neophyte
RE: a separate competitive and casual edition: iirc this was done pretty well with an esports worthy game known as gears of war. This was a competitive 3rd person shooter with symmetric teams that emphasised movement and teamwork; where the distinction between casual and competitive was weapon tuning in the form of damage, range, and stopping power, and iirc it worked/works quite well.

Dunno how this would translate to SoulCal tho - I suppose given the asymmetry of play, the changes would have to be to universal tools? Dunno, I digress..