Soul Calibur VI: General discussion

SSfox

[14] Master
Soul Calibur 2 is still the best Soul to me. Just saw the opening and it give me chills that i very rarely feel. There is something about the tone and atmosphere that is just so special and awesome, it almost feel like the people that made it were pre Fromsoftware guys.
 

HydroJames

Shining Sea Dragon
Don't worry about Soul Calibur. The series has sold millions of copies, it ain't gonna stop being made.

Soul Calibur 5 disappointed, the free-to-play bombed, and we STILL got a 6th game after all that. That should convince you right there that the series is here to stay.

You can look at other games too. Mass Effect: Andromeda was a big disappointment, bigger than SC5, and it still gets another game in ME4. Devil May Cry 2 was a stepdown from 1, and they still made a 3rd game. Deus Ex; Invisible War was considered worse than Deus Ex 1, it got another game made by a different team called Deus Ex: Human Revolution and was hailed as a comeback for Deus Ex.

I could go on and on, you get my point - don't worry about a franchise that has a history of positive sales and reviews.
Let’s not forget about Sonic. The franchise managed to endure duds that would have sank most others.
 

Dragons Fury

[02] Apprentice
Let’s not forget about Sonic. The franchise managed to endure duds that would have sank most others.
Like I said, I could go on and on. After giving 3 examples, I didn't want to add another.

Also Sonic 2006 was an epic fail. All these people worrying about the future of the Soul Calibur have no idea what Sonic fans had to deal with in 2006. To this day, it's Wikipedia page has restricted editing to prevent vandalism.

Soul Calibur 2 is still the best Soul to me.
I played this recently and I'm convinced that 90% of people who say this, is due to nostalgia. The improvements 6 has made to the controls has put the gameplay in a much better place. In 2, the feel was a little clunky (Voldo especially felt worse to play compared to 6). 2 has better pacing because there's no Reversal Edge or long Critical Edge animations but on everything else (especially balance) 6 is better.

Also, Reversal Edge is balanced. All they have to do is get rid of the rock-paper-scissors part and it's in a good place. The Critical Edges that have long animations were way more annoying than Reversal Edge.
 

Crash X

[14] Master
I played this recently and I'm convinced that 90% of people who say this, is due to nostalgia. The improvements 6 has made to the controls has put the gameplay in a much better place.
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In 2, the feel was a little clunky (Voldo especially felt worse to play compared to 6).

As a Voldo main, I thought this was a good joke.

2 has better pacing because there's no Reversal Edge or long Critical Edge animations
It just has a faster pace in general, ranging from it’s movement speed, GI speed, step G, attack animations, and even the weight of the game as a whole. It constantly keeps you on your toes while playing.


Also, Reversal Edge is balanced. All they have to do is get rid of the rock-paper-scissors part and it's in a good place. The Critical Edges that have long animations were way more annoying than Reversal Edge.
So basically just get rid of it entirely then. Excellent. After all, it may as well not exist if those are the changes.
 

Dragons Fury

[02] Apprentice
As a Voldo main, I thought this was a good joke.
I was talking about how he felt, not about how strong or weak he was. So many characters felt like their moves ended abruptly compared to 6 where the moves felt more fluid and complete. Also you should work on your tone buddy - mocking people ain't gonna make them listen to you.

It constantly keeps you on your toes while playing.
That's the best part of SC2. This is coming from someone who started with 5, then 6, and played 2 on an emulator. I can see why many say 2 is the best but I don't think they give 6 enough credit when it comes to gameplay.

So basically just get rid of it entirely then.
Why are you taking an all-or-nothing approach? Get rid of the minigame and it improves the flow of combat. The rock-paper-scissors and breaking up the flow is why it's detested, not the strength of Reversal Edge itself. Just ending the minigame is enough but maybe they can turn it into a break attack to prevent counter-Reversal-Edging. Hard to say without testing, but it doesn't need to be removed completely - just changed.
 

Crash X

[14] Master
I was talking about how he felt, not about how strong or weak he was. So many characters felt like their moves ended abruptly compared to 6 where the moves felt more fluid and complete. Also you should work on your tone buddy - mocking people ain't gonna make them listen to you.
It can be taken either way really. And honestly Voldo feels fine. From what I felt he’s pretty much remained the same in movement and animation.

I don't think they give 6 enough credit when it comes to gameplay.
And I understand that to an extent, but it’s also not hard to see why some people amongst the community don’t really like it. Be it the return of the verizontals that were a part of SCV, the already mentioned long CEs and Reversal Edges killing the flow, the fact that Soul Charges can be a ridiculous game changer especially for specific characters and there’s very little ways to properly punish it, or even the over abundance of character specific mechanics or gimmicks in an attempt to “reinvent” the wheel with them. I’m not saying SCVI is bad or anything but I can understand why some just…don’t enjoy it in comparison to other installments.
Why are you taking an all-or-nothing approach? Get rid of the minigame and it improves the flow of combat. The rock-paper-scissors and breaking up the flow is why it's detested, not the strength of Reversal Edge itself. Just ending the minigame is enough but maybe they can turn it into a break attack to prevent counter-Reversal-Edging. Hard to say without testing, but it doesn't need to be removed completely - just changed.
I never said RE was too strong. Hell, I’ll even go out and say it’s super easy to counter. Biggest problem I’ll say is it’s for the most part a redundant and pointless mechanic that adds nothing significantly new to the table. Once you get the hang of using GI’s you’ll only ever end up using RE sparsely if at all. Sure you gain a good amount of meter from it but it’s not really worth it just for that since gaining meter is very easy in the game as a whole and nearly everything you do can fill up almost half a bar.

Honestly not much hope for Reversal Edge no matter what gets done with it. Just best to throw it in the trash bin as a far as I’m concerned.
 

SSfox

[14] Master
Like I said, I could go on and on. After giving 3 examples, I didn't want to add another.

Also Sonic 2006 was an epic fail. All these people worrying about the future of the Soul Calibur have no idea what Sonic fans had to deal with in 2006. To this day, it's Wikipedia page has restricted editing to prevent vandalism.


I played this recently and I'm convinced that 90% of people who say this, is due to nostalgia. The improvements 6 has made to the controls has put the gameplay in a much better place. In 2, the feel was a little clunky (Voldo especially felt worse to play compared to 6). 2 has better pacing because there's no Reversal Edge or long Critical Edge animations but on everything else (especially balance) 6 is better.

Also, Reversal Edge is balanced. All they have to do is get rid of the rock-paper-scissors part and it's in a good place. The Critical Edges that have long animations were way more annoying than Reversal Edge.
SC6 is super great. But still lack things that make me put it above SC2. SC2 gameplay is more basic, but also more solid, i also prefer the tone and atmosphere of SC2 that has less of that cringey anime feel to it compare to recent SC games. Also no CaS in SC2 is another win, i mean i like being able to make costume for characters, specially since there are no alt costumes in the game, but not a fan of character creation being forced in all online modes.

Just played online recently since a very big while. Main issue to me with SC6 is the CaS thing, actually almost forgot about it, i met a Sophitia at first then a Siegfried, then 3 rd player a CaS character and ... yeah, it remind me that aspect i'm not a big fan of of the recent SC games there are other things that could be better, some stages looks awesome while other looks a bit fast made not polished enough. Online is not good also. There are things i dislike about gameplay but overall it's still very good and fun SC game, best since SC2 imo.

Honestly for SC7 they really need to do something about that CaS thing, seprate that shit or idk, the way it is right now is pure disaster, i want Soul Calibur when i go online, not Sims Calibur!!
 

Dragons Fury

[02] Apprentice
It can be taken either way really. And honestly Voldo feels fine. From what I felt he’s pretty much remained the same in movement and animation.
Fair enough. The animation is the same but the execution felt clunkier to me. Either way, I can understand your view on him.

Be it the return of the verizontals that were a part of SCV, the already mentioned long CEs and Reversal Edges killing the flow, the fact that Soul Charges can be a ridiculous game changer especially for specific characters and there’s very little ways to properly punish it,
All of these are valid points.

or even the over abundance of character specific mechanics or gimmicks in an attempt to “reinvent” the wheel with them.
This is where I disagree. Even with all the gimmicks, the balance felt good so it was fine. They handled the gimmicks properly it never felt like a character was unplayable or too strong, at least not at the end of season 2.

Once you get the hang of using GI’s you’ll only ever end up using RE sparsely if at all.
Offline sure, online I doubt it. The netcode is so bad and doesn't keep up with the pacing of the game, that landing a GI there is a lot harder I find than RE. Either way, I see your point on Reversal Edge and I'm ok with it being gone. I just think the developers should play around with it during development for SC7 to see if it's still worth it or not.

This post had a much better tone to it than the 1st reply you gave so thanks. You convinced me on a bunch of points.

i also prefer the tone and atmosphere of SC2 that has less of that cringey anime feel to it compare to recent SC games.
The Soul series always has art styles and graphics that look good to me. I never felt 6 was cringe.

Just played online recently since a very big while
That was a mistake. This netcode just isn't gonna cut it for a fast paced game like 6.

Honestly for SC7 they really need to do something about that CaS thing,
The only issue I have with CAS online is changing the height which affects hitboxes, range, and damage. Otherwise it's fine for them to be online.
 

Rusted Blade

[14] Master
Let’s not forget about Sonic. The franchise managed to endure duds that would have sank most others.
Did it? Did they ever start making good Sonic games again, post-Dreamcast, let's say? I only ever seem to hear about terrifically faulty, broken, clunky, half-finished, and typically weird as shit games? Aside from maybe one or two arcade games in the mold of the oldest retro entries in the series? I'm asking as someone who genuinely doesn't know: what, if any example, is a good modern Sonic game?
Even with all the gimmicks, the balance felt good so it was fine. They handled the gimmicks properly it never felt like a character was unplayable or too strong, at least not at the end of season 2.
Well, I don't think balance is the core of the criticism here: the point is in the word selection there: gimicky. As in, these characters had existed in reasonably balanced versions before, without odd thematic and mechanical additions which in many respects replace their traditional flow in fundamental ways. These kinds of changes are just present for far too great an extent, and for far too many different characters. Hwang did not need to be a meter maid, and Amy did not need to be a magical girl and...well, the list goes on. Variety is one thing; giving half your cast radical new preconditions on their play, that often seem randomly pulled out of a hat is quite another matter--especially given the many longterm players who faithfully bought each new entry who had been waiting for their mains to return for two or three games/a decade or more.

It's just like everything else in the game: they wanted to paint with a broad canvas, but the depth and the quality suffer from stretching a clearly limited budget across too many ideas that clearly needed more attention, refinement and rethinking than they got. Frankly, it's surprising that the balance isn't more of a mess: so much else feels half-assed in VI.
Offline sure, online I doubt it. The netcode is so bad and doesn't keep up with the pacing of the game, that landing a GI there is a lot harder I find than RE. Either way, I see your point on Reversal Edge and I'm ok with it being gone. I just think the developers should play around with it during development for SC7 to see if it's still worth it or not.
Well, I expect they will, but you can count me also in the camp of someone who firmly hopes it is gone. Talk about the mother of all flow-killers. Becomes problematic spam for the lower-level players, a crutch at the mid level that will limit the mid-tiered player's growth into an advanced player at the higher levels. And when it does land, it brings combat to a screeching halt, for the sake of replacing reflex and strategy for a degree of chance and then rewarding/conditioning new players with meter. It's just so ill-considered: for me I think it might be the single biggest poorly considered addition in the series, relative to the rest of the gameplay--or at least the worst mechanical such misstep since SCIII:CE.

The Soul series always has art styles and graphics that look good to me. I never felt 6 was cringe.
Not saying SC6 is totale bad and cringe, it's great overall, but a bit lesser than SC2 and also SC3 imo.
I definitely feel that the art style of SCVI is slightly more bland and less eye-catching than SC2 and SC3, despite the higher graphical fidelity. Part of that is definitely down to the design with regard to color, but it's also just generally true. But here's the correlate: SCIV is the best of both worlds. I agree that the games that perhaps first cemented SoulCalibur's stellar (if often also hammy) art design were SCII and SCIII, but IV is underrated as the highwater mark for combining the best of the traditional idiosyncratic style and gorgeous use of color with increasingly high resolution character, object, and environmental rendering. Whatever else you can say about that game (like almost all in the series, it's a mixed bag of sorts), it holds up today as an inspired work in terms of visuals.
 
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Dragons Fury

[02] Apprentice
Did it? Did they ever start making good Sonic games again, post-Dreamcast, let's say?
The point is that they keep making them, regardless of quality. So if a bad series of games keeps getting pushed out, a good series like Soul Calibur will be made too. It's just gonna take a while.

As in, these characters had existed in reasonably balanced versions before, without odd thematic and mechanical additions which in many respects replace their traditional flow in fundamental ways.
Fair. Less focus on gimmicks, meter, and combos and more focus on neutral would be interesting. Too many fighting games focus on those combos and not enough on neutral stuff.

It's just like everything else in the game: they wanted to paint with a broad canvas, but the depth and the quality suffer from stretching a clearly limited budget across too many ideas that clearly needed more attention, refinement and rethinking than they got.
They did the best they could with what they had. If they reduced the content, who knows if they would've sold 2+ million copies. Then again, Tekken 7 over there is making 9+ million with barebones content so who knows.

I definitely feel that the art style of SCVI is slightly more bland and less eye-catching than SC2 and SC3, despite the higher graphical fidelity. Part of that is definitely down to the design with regard to color
Part of it is due to a limited budget, don't forget that.
 

Rusted Blade

[14] Master
The point is that they keep making them, regardless of quality.
Yes, I guess that is the point in this context--fair enough!

So if a bad series of games keeps getting pushed out, a good series like Soul Calibur will be made too. It's just gonna take a while.
Oh yes--no doubt there: there was an awful lot of hand-wringing going on about how "Soulcalibur V almost killed the franchise", and then on the other end of the spectrum, ridiculous hopeful thinking like "SCVI is doing so well, VII is sure to be out in a couple of years"--can't tell you how many times I had to burst that bubble on this forum in particular.

No, Namco is not some independent studio that sinks or swims on the success of a handful of IP: it's one of the largest corporations in the industry with one of the largest and most varied portfolios of successful IP out there. They simply have vastly more properties they can iterate upon than they can possibly produce at any one time. Soulcalibur simply has too much cultural currency in the genre to go away forever, but the genre is one which is difficult to turn a decent profit in--DLC/the continuing support model are changing that gradually, but bellyaching from hyper-spoiled fans cutting off their nose to spit their face has slowed it's emergence--so sum result of which is that the franchise has a lot of security, but (as has been the case for decades) each entry is likely to take a little longer to come out than the one before it.

Really, it all comes down to the Tekken development cycle, since Project Soul is not a standing internal team or studio at Namco, but rather an ad hoc development group that gets thrown together (apparently almost wholecloth, and pulling talent from wherever it is available) in between Tekken games.

Fair. Less focus on gimmicks, meter, and combos and more focus on neutral would be interesting. Too many fighting games focus on those combos and not enough on neutral stuff.
Well, I do agree there is a lot of room for games less focused on combos as a central mechanic, but that's not really the direction Soulcalibur has been headed in over the last few entries. It's relationship towards neutral has been...well, neutral itself, at best, and if anything skewing towards slightly increased combofication.

I'd personally be alright with the current balance, if the rest of the mechanics were less onerous, but in my opinion, SCVI, while not a bad game in its mechanics, by any means, was a step in the wrong direction. The new take on Soul Charge was a nice idea (great means to pack more legacy moves and variety into a character playset if nothing else), but maybe a little over the top in how easy it was to bring out; the gimmicks, as we've just discussed, were over the top and often ill-fitting to the characters and ill-considered in general; and reversal edge is an easily exploitable joke to experienced players, a handciap-forming shortcut for new players, and a flow-killing annoyance to
just about everyone.

They did the best they could with what they had.

...

Part of it is due to a limited budget, don't forget that.

I don't think I can altogether agree with that, not without a lot of qualifications. Obviously they were going for a blue ocean marketing and design strategy here, and pulling in the casuals was put at a premium. And it's hard to know for certain, but it may have been the right business decision in the long run--and fair enough to them, if so: they are in the business of turning a profit and with the genre so competitive, one can understand if they decided to focus on short-term gains in that respect.

But in terms of actually making a well-designed game that will live in the memories of longerm fans of the series and serious FG enthusiasts broadly, the game is kind of a horrendous flop. So much money went into that terrible single player content, which could not possibly be more underwhelming. Meanwhile they dropped the ball on many fundamentals that have historically been strong points for Soulcalibur games. The art design is kinda generic and uninspired--the stages in particular are attrociousously barren, ugly, static, and unimaginative; optimization is horrid, netcode scarcely better; matchmaking and communication a step backwards from SCV; creation basically a hobbled together iteration on the same editor from the last generation; modes are more limited. As I said before, I'm kind of surprised balance isn't worse than it is, because otherwise, the multiplayer aspects and competetive fundamentals got really short shrift this time around, and I'm kind or surprised the hardcore crowd wasn't more vocal about it. But I guess after SCV and the long wait, people were judging from a sliding scale.

Basically all the charm and character was squeezed out in order to fill up generic content to fish for casual players. Again, it's understandable why that was done, but if we are looking at the game from a critical standpoint, I don't think the budget (whatever it was) was well utilized, personally. And we don't really know that the budget was particularly small: it's a fair assumption it was not ginormous, but as with almost everything else about this game, fans have gone off their kilter with speculation that doesn't really seem to come from anywhere in particular (and as far as the major forums are concerned, I can tell you, the speculation often betrays a basic lack of understanding about the industry and how content is produced).

If they reduced the content, who knows if they would've sold 2+ million copies. Then again, Tekken 7 over there is making 9+ million with barebones content so who knows.
And this kind of dovetails with that last point, but is less about fan expectations and more about Namco's spin, because I'm a little skeptical about that "2 million +" figure. We really don't know if that figure includes DLC sales, and I rather suspect it does. Namco famously does not publish its sales figures for some of its top games in many of the ways other major players do, and keeps the lid on other analytics. Even its shareholder-facing data can be stingy, from what I've seen. And yet, even as they've gotten tighter lipped in this respect, some of their teams like to trumpet supposed milestones over social media. I really take it with a grain of salt, personally. But I do think we can say with real certainty that it was much more successful than SCV. I'm just not sure we are going to be happy with the lessons Namco and Project Soul take from that uptick in sales, because many of the things that seem to have greased the skids for those sales are not things I really want to see as longterm trends for the series.
 
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Dragons Fury

[02] Apprentice
No, Namco is not some independent studio that sinks or swims on the success of a handful of IP: it's one of the largest corporations in the industry with one of the largest and most varied portfolios of successful IP out there.
Fantastic point.

but the genre is one which is difficult to turn a decent profit in
You sure about that? Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Street Fighter, and Soul Calibur sell millions of copies. The genre isn't as niche as people say, just doesn't have the popularity of other genres.

Well, I do agree there is a lot of room for games less focused on combos as a central mechanic, but that's not really the direction Soulcalibur has been headed in over the last few entries.
Not sure about 4, but SC5 leaned more into the combo side and 6 built upon that. That's only 2-3 games right there and 4 looks so different from the other two that it probably shouldn't be in that group. The direction of the series can still swing back to the neutral, especially as the dev team changes over the years.

SCVI, while not a bad game in its mechanics, by any means, was a step in the wrong direction.
It's not a step backwards, it's just a sidestep towards combos. Not a wrong direction just a different one.

The new take on Soul Charge was a nice idea (great means to pack more legacy moves and variety into a character playset if nothing else)
Not a fan of the Soul Charge mechanic, just way too powerful. Would rather have Brave Edges back, they felt more balanced.

Obviously they were going for a blue ocean marketing and design strategy here, and pulling in the casuals was put at a premium.
In 99% of games out there, the audience is going to be casual. Only a small subset of players are gonna care about competitive stuff. So it makes sense why they were going after casuals.

But in terms of actually making a well-designed game that will live in the memories of longerm fans of the series and serious FG enthusiasts broadly, the game is kind of a horrendous flop.
That's too high of a standard for a low budget game. Look at 6 as a first step to getting a top tier fighter. The success of 6 should boost the resources for the next game. You need enough resources and time to get the fighting game that captivates people. Otherwise you get SC5 (not enough time) and 6 (not enough budget).

So much money went into that terrible single player content, which could not possibly be more underwhelming. Meanwhile they dropped the ball on many fundamentals that have historically been strong points for Soulcalibur games. The art design is kinda generic and uninspired--the stages in particular are attrociousously barren, ugly, static, and unimaginative; optimization is horrid, netcode scarcely better; matchmaking and communication a step backwards from SCV; creation basically a hobbled together iteration on the same editor from the last generation; modes are more limited.
Lack of budget explains most of this.

Basically all the charm and character was squeezed out in order to fill up generic content to fish for casual players.
Giving most characters meaningful stories is not generic content. Especially when fighting games have a history of bad stories and lack of single player stuff. Sure, the presentation wasn't great, but the devs had to make do with what they had.

The other option is to focus on the multiplayer which the majority of the player base isn't gonna stick around for because it's a fighting game. They knew people would gravitate towards the less competitive content hence why they focused on the story mode.

And we don't really know that the budget was particularly small
Just look at the game. Look at all the reading you have to do. Look at how Soul Chronicle is like a visual novel. You ain't getting that from a high budget title, you'd be getting actual cutscenes.

because I'm a little skeptical about that "2 million +" figure. We really don't know if that figure includes DLC sales,
True but 2 million is still a good figure for a game. And if you believe that fighting games are niche, this is an even bigger deal.

I'm just not sure we are going to be happy with the lessons Namco and Project Soul take from that uptick in sales, because many of the things that seem to have greased the skids for those sales are not things I really want to see as longterm trends for the series.
No point worrying because regardless of the direction, the series has a good foundation to work from. Even if things aren't to your exact liking, the game should still be worth playing.
 
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Rusted Blade

[14] Master
Fantastic point.
Well thank you very much. :)
That's too high of a standard for a low budget game. Look at 6 as a first step to getting a top tier fighter. The success of 6 should boost the resources for the next game. You need enough resources and time to get the fighting game that captivates people. Otherwise you get SC5 (not enough time) and 6 (not enough budget).
...
Lack of budget explains most of this.
...
The other option is to focus on the multiplayer which the majority of the player base isn't gonna stick around for because it's a fighting game. They knew people would gravitate towards the less competitive content hence why they focused on the story mode.
. . .
Just look at the game. Look at all the reading you have to do. Look at how Soul Chronicle is like a visual novel. You ain't getting that from a high budget title, you'd be getting actual cutscenes.
Well, even if we assume for the sake of argument that the budget truly was meager (and I tend to agree that it was not particular large, we can say at least), the point is, I just don't care for many of their priorities and the choices they made within the budget, whatever it happened to be.

But you're right, I should expect VII will have a slightly increased budget the next time around, though I'd be lying if I said I was anywhere near certain of it. I think it will largely depend on how much they feel the consumer as been won over by the value of continuing support/extended DLC models. Because they make a lot more per unit on those than the core game, but it does also encourage them to make sure the core game is also an attractive prospect in itself.

You sure about that? Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Street Fighter, and Soul Calibur sell millions of copies. The genre isn't as niche as people say, just doesn't have the popularity of other genres.
...
True but 2 million is still a good figure for a game. And if you believe that fighting games are niche, this is an even bigger deal.

The thing is...2 million isn't really a significant money prospect for Namco, especially with production costs rising, and the amount they can charge for a full-price game largely static (and the value falls out after a couple of years). This is again why the continuing support model can be helpful. I mean, don't get me wrong, 2 million units over a few years certainly justifies the project in terms of a spreadsheet of return on investment...

...but the analysis is more complicated for Namco, at the same time. Remember that any SC entry is competing against tons of other projects to justify that investment, and Namco has a lot of IP that dwarf SC in terms of what that next game is gonna bring in. Even just among Namco's fighting game catalogue--hell, even just among 3D fighters--it comes in dead last as a cash cow. Nevermind every other project Namco might greenlight in a given year. And then there's that question again of where they get the talent, which has to come from other teams, so timing is also constrained in that respect as well.

Giving most characters meaningful stories is not generic content. Especially when fighting games have a history of bad stories and lack of single player stuff. Sure, the presentation wasn't great, but the devs had to make do with what they had.
Well, the presentation was indeed atrocious, yes, but the quality of the story, how it was formatted, was also quite terrible.

The other option is to focus on the multiplayer which the majority of the player base isn't gonna stick around for because it's a fighting game. They knew people would gravitate towards the less competitive content hence why they focused on the story mode.
Thing is, I think there's a market for that game too. You better believe there's a small army of players out there who would lose it over Tekken Tag Tournament 3, and I think you could design a Soulcalibur game that leans a little more cleanly towards multiplayer (and competitive/hardcore) enthusiasts. Soulcalibur Arena, if you will.

Of course, I'm not holding my breath: I'm sure the path of least resistance will continue to lead right through the casual market with future games. I just hope the balance is a little more reasonable next time. They did their big exposition plop game, and got it out of their system I hope. A palette cleanse for what people said was an issue with SCV (although, ironically, though there are problems with that game as almost everyone agrees, the story is....kinda the only one in the series that feels like it has stakes or meaning...??).

Hopefully the next game drops the 5 million words at choose-your-own-adventure-novel quality, coupled with a light novel, and tries instead to land somewhere between "cinematic but brief" (SCV) and "massive in scope, but cobbled together with string and beyond worthless" (SCVI). And hopefully the game also has something slightly closer to traditional mechanics. And a little more love for CaS. And some traditional mode variety returning. And a marginally increased cast size over VI. And for f#@&'s sake, some stages that feel worthy of the Soulcalibur name?

No point worrying because regardless of the direction, the series has a good foundation to work from. Even if things aren't to your exact liking, the game should still be worth playing.
True...but I'd really like to fall in love with a Soulcalibur game again. SCV and SCVI both have their strengths, but IV was the last game in the series that sucked me in with a...how do I put it? Graceful quality?
 
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Dragons Fury

[02] Apprentice
The thing is...2 million isn't really a significant money prospect for Namco, especially with production costs rising,
Keep in mind the budget for this game. If it's low, that 2 million is gonna be a bigger deal.
Remember that any SC entry is competing against tons of other projects to justify that investment, and Namco has a lot of IP that dwarf SC in terms of what that next game is gonna bring in.
Still not gonna stop them from making the game.
but the quality of the story, how it was formatted, was also quite terrible.
Terrible is too strong of a word. I guarantee you if this game had more cutscenes, less reading, but everything else stayed the same, you wouldn't be saying this.

Thing is, I think there's a market for that game too...and I think you could design a Soulcalibur game that leans a little more cleanly towards multiplayer (and competitive/hardcore) enthusiasts
There's a market but does Namco have faith in Soulcalibur competing in it? No, that's why they gave 6 barely anything. The dev team had to pick their priorities and they chose story. If they focused on the multiplayer instead who knows how successful the game would've been.

I just hope the balance is a little more reasonable next time.
Gameplay balance or single-player vs. mutli-player content balance? The former is already good, the latter requires a higher budget than what 6 got.
Hopefully the next game drops the 5 million words at choose-your-own-adventure-novel quality, coupled with a light novel, and tries instead to land somewhere between "cinematic but brief" (SCV) and "massive in scope, but cobbled together with string and beyond worthless" (SCVI).
Only reason it was like a visual novel was because they didn't have the resources for cutscenes. And yes, some of the stories were bloated.
And hopefully the game also has something slightly closer to traditional mechanics.
Coin flip on whether that's gonna happen. I think meter is here to stay though.

And a little more love for CaS. And some traditional mode variety returning. And a marginally increased cast size over VI. And for f#@&'s sake, some stages that feel worthy of the Soulcalibur name?
You'll get this with a higher budget.
True...but I'd really like to fall in love with a Soulcalibur game again.
You're on a forum dedicated to Soulcalibur. Forget about a game, you're in love with the series.
 

Rusted Blade

[14] Master
Still not gonna stop them from making the game.
No, clearly not. The observation is about timing though, primarily.
Terrible is too strong of a word. I guarantee you if this game had more cutscenes, less reading, but everything else stayed the same, you wouldn't be saying this.
lol, no, I guarantee you I most assuredly would. The story itself is one of the most embarrassingly bad, painfully stilted, flat, and ham-fisted efforts at storytelling I have ever seen, even within the constraints of video game narratives. It's a series of almost procedurally generated--they are that uninspired--encounters between cookie-cuter npcs, interspersed with cringe-inducing melodrama. I mean, Soulcalibur always lands in the realm of "acquired taste" in terms of its plot, but this was just next level tedious: somehow they kept all of the bizareness and still lost all the fun. It's like they gave all the previous scripts and voice lines from prior Soulcalibur games to one of those laughably bad, rudimentary script-writing AIs, turned its settings to "rushed job" and "randos as characters=90%" then had the resulting product script-doctored by eight-year-olds on prozac. It's terrible. I'm not disagreeing the format and presentation were contributing a lot to how bad the final product was, but no amount of machinima or animation, voice acting, or stellar production values all around could polish that turd. It's a fundamentally un-engaging, boring-ass, dramatically vacuous, and artistically inept story.

Gameplay balance or single-player vs. mutli-player content balance?
The latter. Or more precisely, better balanced between the hardcore and the casual I agree the balance in VI is surprisingly adequate, given how mixed the decision making was in other areas of the game's design, including some of the other aspects of the fighting mechanics.

You're on a forum dedicated to Soulcalibur. Forget about a game, you're in love with the series.
Yeah, but that can change, eventually. I'm not looking for the door right now, and I'm probably on board even for a few more mediocre games, but bluntly: my hours for gaming are so limited these days, and I've dropped other once-cherished franchises over the years. I really hope the next game brings the magic back a little, because, honestly, I just wasn't feeling it this time. SCV was like an incomplete half-mess that wasn't properly supported, but had a skeleton of artistic vision to it at least. SCVI was better planned out for a budget, but substantially lacks, depth, character, and charm. Both came from a lack of
 
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Dragons Fury

[02] Apprentice
The story itself is one of the most embarrassingly bad, painfully stilted, flat, and ham-fisted efforts at storytelling I have ever seen, even within the constraints of video game narratives.
Ok, not to sound rude, but your response is honestly overreacting and that wall of text really didn't prove anything. The 2 story modes were nothing special by video game standards but by fighting game standards? Hell yeah it was decent. Most fighting games either don't bother with the story or they have crap ones. Only a few have decent ones and 6 is one of them.

How are you gonna look at Azwel and Amy's connection and tell me that's not interesting? Hwang's story was epic and introduced intriguing characters. Not every character had a good one, but they did get fleshed out. And that's more effort than most fighting games will ever do.

Your response is better suited for 5 and not 6. Yeah the story has flaws but nothing as bad you make it out to be.

one of the most embarrassingly bad, painfully stilted, flat, and ham-fisted efforts at storytelling I have ever seen
If true, you haven't seen shit.
The latter.
Again, the devs need more resources for that to happen.

but bluntly: my hours for gaming are so limited these days, and I've dropped other once-cherished franchises over the years.
But you think Soulcalibur is still worth the limited time. That's telling because if somebody has limited time, I'd imagine fighting games are one of the first things to get dropped. I'm gonna bet you're gonna be buying every Soulcalibur even if you don't come back to the site. Based on what you told me anyway.
 

Rusted Blade

[14] Master
Only a few have decent ones and 6 is one of them.

LOL, ok.

Ok, not to sound rude, but your response is honestly overreacting and that wall of text really didn't prove anything. The 2 story modes were nothing special by video game standards but by fighting game standards? Hell yeah it was decent. Most fighting games either don't bother with the story or they have crap ones.
Sorry, I'm not grading on a curve here: a bad story is a bad story, and that was a terribly told, terribly plotted, and on every level terrible story. It just was. Judging stories by what other fighting games have done with them in the past is one of the very worst metrics I can fathom for such a evaluation. But even putting that aside, and judging purely by comparison, VI's story is easily the clumsiest and most embrarassing in the series. The fact that they put more effort into it and attempted to paint a broader picture of the world doesn't automatically make the story superior to the narrower and leaner stories in past SC games. If anything, it only draws more attention the abundant flaws and overall tediousness of the entire exercise.

Look, I'm not trying to be rude either, but bluntly, you're trying to shout down my (I think pretty damn valid) opinion of this story, and I'm sorry, but I stand by every last letter of my above description: it's painfully bad. It's embarrassingly bad, and somehow has managed to avoid the "it's so bad it's good" quality of past Soulcalibur stories--probably because you get the sense that they thought they were upping their game with this bland, facile mess of a narrative. I wasn't looking to exaggerate how bad it was: it just is that bad,

How are you gonna look at Azwel and Amy's connection and tell me that's not interesting? Hwang's story was epic and introduced intriguing characters. Not every character had a good one, but they did get fleshed out. And that's more effort than most fighting games will ever do.
Actually, these aspects kind of hilight some of the problems for me. The whole A&A thing felt like a clumsy way to try to tie in this new hithertoo-unknown character (himself one the most eye-rollingly goofy things to ever happen to the franchise) into existing lore. I mean, it's not terrible: if the mustache-twirling villain is going to stay in the narrative for subsequent games, I guess it doesn't hurt to make him feel rooted in the world in a way other characters already do (at least to the extent anyone can in such a silly world) because of their long history of known interactions. But it still felt shoe-horned in. I do like that we finally have some clarification on A=V (I assume you know what I mean by that), but other than that? Meh to that whole plot line. And the less said about Gambit-style Hwang, the better.

Your response is better suited for 5 and not 6. Yeah the story has flaws but nothing as bad you make it out to be.
Well, we're going to disagree here again too, though I will concede you're going to have popular opinion in your corner on this one: I actually think SCV may be the best story in the series. Don't get me wrong, War and Peace it is not: it's the best by default of all the previous games in the series barely putting together a story and SCVI being, well, as I've said, just plain awful. But SCV at least has stakes: people are actually capable of dying, there's some sense of resolution to the conflict (rather than just a bunch of silly status quo ante resets as with all previous games), and I actually found myself feeling a little something for the Alexandria family, who have suffered so much just because their matriarch tried to do the right thing. Or the righteous thing, more accurately, as she was set up to believe.

Seeing the two surviving scions of that family fight through manipulations from all sides to finally see the truth and then turn these two powerful (but ultimately parasitical) entities against eachother, to lock them away from the world once and for all was actually a little poignant. I actually felt a little something for them, which is not something I am used to in a Soulcal game. To have the main protagonists of this line finally refuse to allow humanity to be subject to the cycle of the destructive struggle of the swords feels like a very logical end point for that story, and I applaud the SCV dev team for taking a chance on something fresher than "Hey, guess what EVERYONE is back again. And everyone is looking for Soul Edge, and Soulcalibur, and someone will prevail at the end and someone will be defeated. Only not really, because you know the next game is going to pick up in exactly the same place two years later, but with the state of things more or less exactly the same."

Now, was it a bit of a questionable choice to rush the timeline along so quickly to get to that conclusion. Yeah, and it had knock-on effects for the rest of the game beyond the story, so I'm not a huge fan of the choice in that respect. I also found it odd that for a game that was focused on the next generation, the younger characters from the older games all disappear, while the older characters (now canonically in old age) stick around by and large. Very weird choice.

And yes, I know the main criticism is just that it feels shorter compared to older games because of it's focus on a handful of characters. But honestly...that's just how you tell a good story (or in this case, let's say "better than previous stories in the franchise"). Part of where SCVI goes so terribly wrong is that it is more lore fan-service than interesting plotting. I'm sorry, but with stories, it's always quality of quantity if you want to create something worth engaging with. And there are no two games in the series that are farther apart on the spectrum of those trade-offs than SCV and SCVI. I'd rather have one delicious piece of cake here than a table full of cakes that are completely undercooked. And unfortunately those are the choices we have with SC to date.

If true, you haven't seen shit.
Well, I've seen a fair bit. I've probably played forty or fifty fighters in my life just counting the ones that belong to one of the top ten or twelve ongoing franchises of the last 35 years or so. But I don't really play them for their stories...because that's an insanely stupid thing to go looking for in this genre. I really don't need more context than "get over here!!" I get that they're gonna still keep trying, and that inexplicably people (mostly very young or very fanboyish people) are going to take this shit more seriously than they have any rational reason to, but.. What I'm getting at here is that I've been exposed to a fair bit of it, and very rarely has it felt so awkward as in SCVI.

There are sillier stories to be sure. But Super Smash Bros. or Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter or Tekken or whatever telegraph that they know the story is asinine. In SCVI it feels like the devs were just obssessed with checking off boxes for referencing and expanding upon the lore of previous games, as if this is a meaningful exercise in serious story telling. And that just makes it fell that much sillier, and robs it of the batshit crazy wild energy that the story coasted on in past entries.

But you think Soulcalibur is still worth the limited time. That's telling because if somebody has limited time, I'd imagine fighting games are one of the first things to get dropped. I'm gonna bet you're gonna be buying every Soulcalibur even if you don't come back to the site. Based on what you told me anyway.
Yeah man, you're probably right, I'll give that to you. But it's not 100%. The problem I have with the story in SCVI is not that it's bad. I can just ignore a bad story, all other things being equal. The problem I'm trying to stress here is that it was bad while also being a huge development priority, which cost the game in other areas.

Keeping me around is not a great indicator of anything. I'm kind of grandfathered in here, having started playing these games nearly 27 years ago (good lord saying that makes me feel a little old). And maybe some of my dwindling interest is more down to me than the games themselves. But I don't think it's by any means just that. SCVI lacked the charm and style the series is known for in a noticeable way. It felt very paint-by-numbers in many respects, and in that sense I really hope it is not indicative of what the future of the series has in store for us.
 
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Crash X

[14] Master
Did it? Did they ever start making good Sonic games again, post-Dreamcast, let's say? I only ever seem to hear about terrifically faulty, broken, clunky, half-finished, and typically weird as shit games? Aside from maybe one or two arcade games in the mold of the oldest retro entries in the series? I'm asking as someone who genuinely doesn't know: what, if any example, is a good modern Sonic game?

Well, I don't think balance is the core of the criticism here: the point is in the word selection there: gimicky. As in, these characters had existed in reasonably balanced versions before, without odd thematic and mechanical additions which in many respects replace their traditional flow in fundamental ways. These kinds of changes are just present for far too great an extent, and for far too many different characters. Hwang did not need to be a meter maid, and Amy did not need to be a magical girl and...well, the list goes on. Variety is one thing; giving half your cast radical new preconditions on their play, that often seem randomly pulled out of a hat is quite another matter--especially given the many longterm players who faithfully bought each new entry who had been waiting for their mains to return for two or three games/a decade or more.

It's just like everything else in the game: they wanted to paint with a broad canvas, but the depth and the quality suffer from stretching a clearly limited budget across too many ideas that clearly needed more attention, refinement and rethinking than they got. Frankly, it's surprising that the balance isn't more of a mess: so much else feels half-assed in VI.

Well, I expect they will, but you can count me also in the camp of someone who firmly hopes it is gone. Talk about the mother of all flow-killers. Becomes problematic spam for the lower-level players, a crutch at the mid level that will limit the mid-tiered player's growth into an advanced player at the higher levels. And when it does land, it brings combat to a screeching halt, for the sake of replacing reflex and strategy for a degree of chance and then rewarding/conditioning new players with meter. It's just so ill-considered: for me I think it might be the single biggest poorly considered addition in the series, relative to the rest of the gameplay--or at least the worst mechanical such misstep since SCIII:CE.



I definitely feel that the art style of SCVI is slightly more bland and less eye-catching than SC2 and SC3, despite the higher graphical fidelity. Part of that is definitely down to the design with regard to color, but it's also just generally true. But here's the correlate: SCIV is the best of both worlds. I agree that the games that perhaps first cemented SoulCalibur's stellar (if often also hammy) art design were SCII and SCIII, but IV is underrated as the highwater mark for combining the best of the traditional idiosyncratic style and gorgeous use of color with increasingly high resolution character, object, and environmental rendering. Whatever else you can say about that game (like almost all in the series, it's a mixed bag of sorts), it holds up today as an inspired work in terms of visuals.
The saddest thing is a good chunk of these character specific mechanics could have good but they don’t do them any favours. Some like Nightmare’s, Voldo’s, Yoshi’s, Groh’s, Geralt’s, Mina’s and Zasalamel’s are some of the few that are relatively harmless towards what the character is about. But others generally handicap the characters, are useless, or just don’t need to be here.

Siegfried for example with his Dark Legacy. While it gives him the giant “fuck off” bubble in this form, he doesn’t have any access to his Lethal Hits until he’s on life support, and even then you could never end up taking advantage of them.

And then you have Astaroth’s armor which can’t take more than a single hit, making him very weak to string pressure should he even try to use it and these traits get carried into his Soul Charge.

And then there’s Tira’s Coda. Which basically turns Tira into ultra instinct while in Gloomy. Why is this is even a thing?

I could go on about the rest but I think I’ve made my point.
 

Rusted Blade

[14] Master
The saddest thing is a good chunk of these character specific mechanics could have good but they don’t do them any favours. Some like Nightmare’s, Voldo’s, Yoshi’s, Groh’s, Geralt’s, Mina’s and Zasalamel’s are some of the few that are relatively harmless towards what the character is about. But others generally handicap the characters, are useless, or just don’t need to be here.

Siegfried for example with his Dark Legacy. While it gives him the giant “fuck off” bubble in this form, he doesn’t have any access to his Lethal Hits until he’s on life support, and even then you could never end up taking advantage of them.

And then you have Astaroth’s armor which can’t take more than a single hit, making him very weak to string pressure should he even try to use it and these traits get carried into his Soul Charge.

And then there’s Tira’s Coda. Which basically turns Tira into ultra instinct while in Gloomy. Why is this is even a thing?

I could go on about the rest but I think I’ve made my point.
Yup, I agree, up and down. Amy's is perhaps the most infuriating example to me, though I admit to some substantial bias here. Amy's entire raison d'etre is as being a slippery counter-puncher. Why do I have this tonally and thematically bizarre addition that has me spending the first 2/3 of very round jockeying around trying to find spacing to toss a fricken flower overhand and charge up in order to get access to a fully viable status. It's not just that this is wasted opportunity either: they took classic moves out of her flow and re-arranged her inputs significantly to accommodate this mechanic. Yeck. It fundamentally shifts her from a character who spaces based on a ballet of trying to lure in attacks and then either brush just barely back out of the way before countering on the generous frame advantage her moveset affords--or even using it to just getting to the first hit sooner.

When you are pulling Amy off--and I do think she has traditionally been on of the characters hardest to really get a sense for--you should be enjoying the feeling that you're making our opponent just a little bit complicit in any good sequence of hits. Inexplicable magical floral projectiles to charge up through petite super saiyan statuses for a slight buff edge is just such a sytlistic and design clash with Amy, I can't fathom why it was thought to be a good idea. It's like the development team (and particularly the remaining dev team for the DLC) just divided up the characters between themselves and whatever they came up with for their characters with regard to some new crazy mechanic, they just went with it. No workshopping: just do it and we'll just balance it later with in the overall balance with trade-offs everywhere else. And if it just doesn't actually make sense afterall, well "no time to say hello--goodbye! The product's late, it's late, it's late!"

I mean, to be fair, some of them work as nice new wrinkles. But I certainly think--Jesus, I desperately hope--that SCVI will be remembered as the most gimmicky entry of the franchise. It's just a bit too much: arguably, we shouldn't be asked to have to virtually take night classes to keep up on the ins and outs and idiosyncrasies of each character's new thing. Especially by a company that refuses to provide the frame data that would make a lot of it more concretely understandable, for reasons they've virtually described as "because it makes us laught to watch you guys have to work it all out". But if you're going to do a discrete new major gimmick for every single character, put some real thought into them. Work with what is already there, mechanically and thematically: don't just shoehorn crap in. If you can't come up with something that feels intuitive, maybe you don't need them to throw tarot cards or vegetation?
 
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