Soulcalibur VI DLC Discussion Thread

Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
Same for MK Injustice and DMC, however Samurai Shodown, FF and Sekiro I'm Fine...
I think CaoCao was saying that the recent Injustice/MK games have too many guest characters for his taste and that he would rather SCVI didn't fololow suit, rather than that he expected MK/Injustice characters as SCVI guests--which i believe would be incredibly unlikely in any event.

Personally, I am agnostic on the guest character issue. I really don't mind them where they are handled with care and in a manner that preserves their visual aesthetic and fighting style in a manner that is both faithful to the character and works within SC's systems. When done right, some characters can add great new dynamics and textures to the gameplay that keep things fresh. And that is something that Project Soul have traditionally excelled at: choosing the guests carefully for those needs and then translating them with attention to detail. More nerdy concerns, such as story continuity issues, are of no moment to me. Additionally such characters can bring in new players, extending the profitability of the game and continuing DLC support. However, there is the factor that every guest is likely to supplant a regular roster character--this is not always the case, as a developer may take the approach that a guest character will "pay for themselves" in terms of DLC sales (or extra sales of the base product if they are included in it) and may therefore plan accordingly in a way that they are added on to characters already planned. But in the long run, at least some guests will replace franchise legacy characters and new ones.

In the present case, whatever I might want, I don't think we should expect a guest in Season 2: I'm fairly convinced at this point that the plan is to flesh out the entirety of the legacy cast from Soul Edge through Soul Calibur III (meaning Season 2's six characters will be Aeon/Lizardman, Hwang, Li-long, Rock, Setsuka and Yun-seong) and that there will simply not be room for a guest character. However, on the outside chance of a Season 3, I would not only expect a guest character, but also a new original character. A Season 3 with Hilde, Algol, a guest, and a new character would suit me fine--though push come to shove, I'd be happier with Viola than a new character, though I doubt she is planned, based on the importance PS have placed on narrative continuity in this game. Of course that projects a return to four characters for this hypothetical third season pass. That just seems more likely to me; a third season is very much a far outside possibility as is, and I can only presume if it happens that it will be smaller in character selection.

One open question for me, now that we are getting some vague hints that CaS train may not be done, is where that content will land and where we might get any extra stages, were that to (very hopefully) happen. All of that would fit better with the third season pass in terms of making each season or roughly equivalent value if Namco wants them to all share a similar price point (which they probably very much want). But I'm not sure there will be a market for them that long if they delay another year before introducing them, which is what will happen if the current pace of DLC drops continues. That pace is actually faster than the average for such games, and quicker than even an optimistic projections/guesswork from fans up until recently, but it's still going to take time before they announce a season three, in the unlikely event there is one. I'm not sure how deep the pool of potential buyers will be at that point. But I am interested as a fan of the series (and someone interested in where trends in continuing content support for games and fighters in particular) to see how those matters play out.
 

REPROBEAN_CHILD

[14] Master
Exactly.

Is a disservice to the great characters that the Soulcalibur franchise already has.

Besides, 2 guests is good enough. Is one more than SC2/SC5 and one less than SC4.
If I may play devil's advocate for a second: Let's say in the next SoulCalibur, they make a game like Tekken Tag Tournament 2. They announce that they'll bring back every unique style, from Hwang, to Hilde, to ZWEI, to Groh. At that point, would guests be okay? It always seemed like "no more guests" really started with SC6. I didn't see this with SC5's pre-release, until the full roster was revealed. I don't think people are completely against the idea of a guest, or even more than one guest, as long as many veterans make it to the roster first.
 

Starringrole

[05] Battler
If I may play devil's advocate for a second: Let's say in the next SoulCalibur, they make a game like Tekken Tag Tournament 2. They announce that they'll bring back every unique style, from Hwang, to Hilde, to ZWEI, to Groh. At that point, would guests be okay? It always seemed like "no more guests" really started with SC6. I didn't see this with SC5's pre-release, until the full roster was revealed. I don't think people are completely against the idea of a guest, or even more than one guest, as long as many veterans make it to the roster first.
Why would guests matter regardless? We can get new characters that actually will continue to contribute to this series rather than having a one night stand with 2B. That's how I see it, I'd rather this series see's guest characters once in a while rather than making it an ongoing attraction. The devs should be building hype around their own characters not someone else. I understand it acts as free promotion but I don't like the idea of it becoming a reliant behavior they act upon, which so far it feels as though it has. SC2 was fine but after that they pushed it endlessly.

People want the veterans of course, but its just no matter how you put it we waste time with guests rather than someone new to SC who can contribute for years to come. Sometimes guests may have some part of their moves or ideas implemented elsewhere but it still means more work when we could have just a new SC character who already did that and the devs would have it easier too.

I might hate CAS, but I'd probably say long term guests have a worse influence as time passes. Had SC4/5 completely ignored guests I wouldn't complain. Quite frankly SC2 and SC6 are the games that make the most sense for guest characters, SC6 being a celebration and return to form of sorts so it makes sense, I still hate the fact we have to deal with guests in SC6 personally though. 2B and Geralt could have been Hwang/Setsuka/Rock/Hilde/Long.
I quite simply am not playing SC for these guests.

I do however, understand too if someone thinks guests/CAS are beneficial, but I do sincerely think long term its harmful for the franchise.
All in all though, this just my opinion alone. I'm not for CAS or guests at all.

Regardless however, I would love an SC TTAG2 style game that just outright brings back a lot. I would definitely be in for it. As far as I can see however if we're lucky SC6 could become this anyway thankfully judging by what has been said on occasion.
I hope they'd literally consider adding tag to SC6, I would actually enjoy such a mode online being teamed with players.
 
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DanteSC3

[14] Master
SoulCalibur VI should have been the Tag game, if they were going to make one. It doesn’t make sense for them to do it for SoulCalibur VII, now that they’ve set up this new narrative premise and left us hanging.
 

Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
People want the veterans of course, but its just no matter how you put it we waste time with guests rather than someone new to SC who can contribute for years to come. Sometimes guests may have some part of their moves or ideas implemented elsewhere but it still means more work when we could have just a new SC character who already did that and the devs would have it easier too.
Considering the track record with guest characters over the last decade, I think it's pretty clear that having a template in the form of an outside character design and moveset very frequently results in something that compares quite favourably against what the Project Soul character designers come up with on their own; for example (and from both an aesthetic and gameplay standard) Geralt and 2B > Groh and Azwel--it's not even a contest.

I honestly don't think there are any hard and fast rules--the equation works out differently in each game--but I do think reserving a sport or two (or even three) per game for guests does help the variety of gameplay, and I'm never too terribly concerned whether they return since the reality at this point in time is that the palette of movesets available to PS as a starting point for any future game is always going to be broader than the number they can realistically accommodate in any event.

2B and Geralt could have been Hwang/Setsuka/Rock/Hilde/Long.
That's not necessarily true, and impossible to know for certain, short of quizzing the senior developers/Namco management personnel: it's equally as likely that those characters were budgeted for on the understanding of the increased revenue it was anticipated they would bring in. To the extent these characters are seen as beneficial to the bottom line and thus increase sales and thus increase budgets and/or post release continuing support, it's probably fair to judge that in general they do not replace anybody; rather, a budget is set out with dev hopes on which characters to include in the base game and as DLC, and a couple of spots are anticipated for a couple of guests, who are valuable for promotion and thus contribute to the budget,

I quite simply am not playing SC for these guests.
I'm sure that's true of just about any of us here. I'd not only buy a Soul Calibur TB variant with all the main roster styles from SCI-SCVI, absent guests charracters, I'd pay $200 for it easy, provided it had a decent classic stage selection and a fairly comprehensive CaS system. But as features go, guests characters have never in any sense turned me away from a SC game, or even been a negative in any sense. Other than the Yoda obnoxiousness (mostly an artefact of how they decided to address his height), I can't think of a single guest character who was more a problem than a boon to the game. [/QUOTE]

Regardless however, I would love an SC TTAG2 style game that just outright brings back a lot. I would definitely be in for it. As far as I can see however if we're lucky SC6 could become this anyway thankfully judging by what has been said on occasion. I hope they'd literally consider adding tag to SC6, I would actually enjoy such a mode online being teamed with players.
I wouldn't bold my breath as to either. The continuing support looks likely to give us not much more than another six characters. A lot more would be needed before we got to a game worthy of being labelled as SC's first equivalent of a TB game.

SoulCalibur VI should have been the Tag game, if they were going to make one. It doesn’t make sense for them to do it for SoulCalibur VII, now that they’ve set up this new narrative premise and left us hanging.
If I remember correctly, the Tag Battle games typically disregard story continuity even more completely than even the usual unconcerned silliness standard set by Namco fighters. There's no reason to have an especially high expectation that PS will take a similar approach to the storytelling as it did for SCVI in the next mainline entry, whether it is a mainline or TB-style game. And indeed, one of the very advantages of a SC:TB game would be that you could pause the lore to deliver a game focused on the competitive multiplayer experience and still come back to that story where you left it for the next game/SCVII.
 

DanteSC3

[14] Master
If I remember correctly, the Tag Battle games typically disregard story continuity even more completely than even the usual unconcerned silliness standard set by Namco fighters.
This is correct, which is why I said it would have made far more sense to do between the mess of a story / incompleteness that was SoulCalibur V and the “reboot” that is SoulCalibur VI. Doing it next and having us wait for the continuation of the next story beats is questionable.

There's no reason to have an especially high expectation that PS will take a similar approach to the storytelling as it did for SCVI in the next mainline entry, whether it is a mainline or TB-style game.
Strong disagree, I believe they set up this “reboot” to fix the mess of a story that they had before, with all the what-if endings and never knowing what was canon moving forward, and until they’ve recapped all the way back to where they were, or diverge the story in a new direction, it seems fair to reasonably believe that they will stay the course.

If it’s Tag, the story would be an aside, a complete joke, so the format would be wasted. If it’s VII, the story would be a focus again, as we continue unto SoulCalibur II and beyond, finding out what happens next.

This new approach is much better for actually telling the story, and having it be told properly is definitely a selling point that would be somewhat lost with more of a gap between main releases.

And indeed, one of the very advantages of a SC:TB game would be that you could pause the lore to deliver a game focused on the competitive multiplayer experience and still come back to that story where you left it for the next game/SCVII.
Yes, which is why they could have / should have used it as their revival / the series isn’t dead game instead of putting it between mainline entries in a new paradigm.

You have two sets of expectations now, between those who want to see the gameplay evolve and get more characters to play with, and those who want to see where they’re going with the “reboot”, whereas before SoulCalibur VI, we had a unifying goal of just wanting a new game, because it seemed like SoulCalibur V would have been our last, since they just kept making junk instead of even hinting at a new real release.
 

Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
This is correct, which is why I said it would have made far more sense to do between the mess of a story / incompleteness that was SoulCalibur V and the “reboot” that is SoulCalibur VI. Doing it next and having us wait for the continuation of the next story beats is questionable.
Questionable why? Look, to some extent I am playing devil's advocate here, because I've never seen any indication that Namco is interested in doing a Soul Calibur game in the Tag Battle mold--let's call it 'Soul Calibur Arena' for our purposes here--and therefore I don't actually have any particularly high expectation of it ever happening, let alone soon. But at the same time, I don't think this 'it's not the right time' objection really adds up. Or to put it more accurately, I think you are correct in your assessment that there is inertia against such an entry right now, but it has more to do with irrational perspectives on the part of casual players (and those few hardcore players who are far too obessesed with the silly story, no offense intended) rather than anything that really should be a barrier in any pragmatic sense.

If we assume you a correct that every mainline game from here will adopt VI's template for story-telling (which I think is not just uncertain, but unlikely) then it will never be the right time for such a game. But the fact of the matter is, Tekken 3 and Tekken 6 both had ongoing plotlines--to the extent that Namco fighters ever have cognizable stories--and that wasn't seen as an insurmountable hurdle to Tag games following those entries. And low and behold, those games are near the top of the list for most popular and commercially succesful in the franchise, because it turns out that fighting game enthusiasts are a little more interested in solid mechanics and an experience that prioritizes gameplay than they are in anime melodrama explaining just why the giant panda selectable character wants to fight the animated practice dummy playable character. If Namco thought they could side-step the "Game must have a fully realized single player campaign that takes up at least 2/3 of the budget or I'll pitch a fit--waaaaaaaaah-waaaaaaaaaaah!" sense of entitlement/short-sightedness of the casual player consumer base by simply rebranding the next game as part of a side-series, I think they would be all about it.

I believe the fear is that perhaps the only reason Tag Battle worked is because it arose in an earlier era, and that right now every full prince game with a substantial budget needs a healthy single player component if it wants to survive the gauntlet of game industry consumer whinging long enough to turn a profit. And maybe that's exactly what you meant, but let's just be clear about one thing: this is more about the cultural zeitgeist of the industry right now than it is about anything that really should be a problem. And I also think there is something to be said for companies not going overboard on the blue ocean marketing approach; if you neglect your hardcore audience as a fighter for too long, you will pay a price; SCVI has been pretty warmly received, but largely because it came a long while after the last entry which was a massive dissapointment to most players. The next one will not benefit from being graded on that curve.

Strong disagree, I believe they set up this “reboot” to fix the mess of a story that they had before, with all the what-if endings and never knowing what was canon moving forward, and until they’ve recapped all the way back to where they were, or diverge the story in a new direction, it seems fair to reasonably believe that they will stay the course.
Yeah, except those "what-if" endings and story discontinuity were not a problem for the first two decades of the existence of the franchise, because no one had an expectation that a fighter's story is likely to make sense--let alone needs to. It's window dressing. To some extent the surreal goofiness is arguably a boon, insofar as it gives the player permission to turn the "testing for realism" part of their brain off, since a story about people who can stick eight foot swords through one another fifty times in one fight and still get up for the next round (even after their armor has exploded off them!) is never going to add up to anything invoking realism, risk, or stakes. So we now have a story where you can put pen to paper and create a chart showing exactly when everyone ran into eachother. Wonderful. But what does that give you? 300 'cannon' fights between demi-gods, not one of whom dies or so much as suffers a single permaneant injury as a consequence of all of that fighting. What a compelling story....They'll all still be ready to resume the conflict at the beginning of the next entry (after being given some patchy excuse for motivation) as the status quo ante is reset, ready for the next in their endless series of excuses for cartoon violence without lasting consequences, same as any other game in the series.

And I'm not saying that's a problem--that's fine, that's exactly what a fighting game is (and virtually has to be because of the way medium and the products work). It just doesn't make for good drama if every character is functionally indestructible and has to come back eventually and the animating plot devices that explain why they are fighting in the first place are never substantially resolved. But it doesn't matter, because it is first and foremost a game--the rest is just there to give the tiniest layer of explanation for the visual style of the game. Rather, what I'm saying is that any effort therefore expended on trying to make an especially "canon" story story that "adds up" in this context is not just futile, it's rather a silly waste of time and resources. The SCVI story, for all the extra effort they put into mapping out the timeline (which by the way, they would all have to have the ability to teleport around the world to make said timeline work...) and all the wasted budget for those silly, poorly-scripted, badly-acted, cut-and-paste visual novel scenes, makes just as much sense at the end of the day as did the Soul Edge story, or the Soulcalibur III story--or as will the SCIX story. And with regard to SCVI, I guarantee you that the decision to go whole-hog on the story mode had nothing to do with any principled decision to try to make anything of the lore--that was just a side-effect of the attention they gave it. Rather it was certainly a reaction to fan complaints about SCV's single player campaign focusing almost exclusively on two characters.

But the industry is evolving and due to the influence of free-to-play games and other alternative models, consumers are finally coming around to the idea that not every game has to map to the one-size-fits-all format (one part single player/story, one part multiplayer, one part collectables, one part...) that virtually every game has been expected to emulate in the last fifteen years. It will be another four years before the next SC game goes into production, minimum, and a lot can change by then--enough that we can't rule out a multiplayer/competitive focused experience will be something they can sell without getting reamed over the lack of single player content, allowing for a much better and varied basic experience for the game as a nuts and bolts fighter. I just think you have far too much faith that they will automatically

Yes, which is why they could have / should have used it as their revival / the series isn’t dead game instead of putting it between mainline entries in a new paradigm.
We're going to have to agree to disagree there: I think making such a game immediately after SCV (while a fine idea in the abstract sense for the hardcore fans) would have been (as a business decision) catastrophically idiotic, since it would have ignored the main source of complaint among common player that there wasn't enough story in SCV. Silly and non-sensical as I feel those complaints to be with regard to a competitive fighter, that was the (incredibly vocal) feedback Namco was working with at the time, following the biggest flop of the mainline series, and they would have been fools to ignore it.

You have two sets of expectations now, between those who want to see the gameplay evolve and get more characters to play with, and those who want to see where they’re going with the “reboot”, whereas before SoulCalibur VI, we had a unifying goal of just wanting a new game, because it seemed like SoulCalibur V would have been our last, since they just kept making junk instead of even hinting at a new real release.
Again, I just think you are working too much from faith/assumption here. This series has always featured a high degree of experimentation and no two sequential entries have kept the same basic approach to the story modes. There's by no means a guaruntee that Okubo will return to spearhead the next game and if someone else steps in to direct the project, there will be another shift in design philosophy, same as has happened with the last four games. Even if the next game is not a Soul Calibur Arena game (and I do concede that is much more likely than not), it's far from certain that the story will be approached in a manner tightly consistent with the current entry.
 
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TresDias

[04] Fighter
@Rusted Blade
You may feel that Dante is working too much from what she personally prioritizes in her analyses, but I feel your contempt for stories in fighters heavily clouds your own ability to assess. God knows what you must think of the "Dissidia Final Fantasy" games. =P

For real, though, homie. In one breath you say it's unlikely to see SCVII focus as much on story as SCVI, but in the next you say that the "irrational perspective"/"shortsightedness" (your choice of words) of most gamers will almost definitely require Project Soul to "waste" (your wording again) most of their resources. So which is it?

And for whatever it's worth, I don't buy that Namco had to direct Project Soul to focus so heavily on story in response to disappointment with SCV because long-time SC fans and fighter enthusiasts in general were just so dismayed by the focus on only a few characters in that game's story mode.

I certainly don't recall that being the primary point of consternation. A disappointment, sure, but the main frustration was with the heavily revamped roster. Development then putting the focus of the underfunded story mode on two of the newcomers -- at the expense of most of the other newbies, and damn near all of what few classics returned -- was just the cherry on the shit sundae for most fans of the series.

I appreciate what story is there, but I share in the frustrations in so far as being frustrated that Namco didn't allow development of that mode to go as far as intended. My frustration for the development team itself is reserved for the gutting of the classic roster -- an ill-conceived design notion that wouldn't have been salvaged anyway had they just removed the story mode altogether.

Single-player story modes are not at all what brought this series down. Rather, numerous oversights in the coding quality control side of things (SCIII); inexplicably limiting platform availability (SCIII); unappealing and tonally incongruent art direction (SCIV and SCV); a philosophy in game design of limited gameplay modes (SCIV); crappy online matchmaking quality (SCIV); and lack of reverence for the foundation of the series (SCV) are what brought it down.

if anything, SCV's story mode and CAS are damn near its only saving graces. For SCVI to have gone back to SCIV's design philosophy on single-player modes would not have been a confidence booster towards bringing the series back to a state of grace.

Harp all you want that there was only so much budget to go around and it was misdirected -- I for one ain't buying it. That just means the people who make Namco's funding decisions need to understand their products more and what can be done to maximize their potential.

Frankly, it's shameful for the executives of beloved franchises such as Namco's to not have any understanding of what makes them special and how to bring out the best in them. Imagine if the executives over Marvel Studios were like that.
 
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Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
@Rusted Blade...but I feel your contempt for stories in fighters heavily clouds your own ability to assess. God knows what you must think of the "Dissidia Final Fantasy" games. =P
I don't see how--my post begins and ends with agreeing with Dante's conclusions about whether such a game eschewing story/single-player as a priority is likely, so clearly I'm not predicating my forecasting or expectations upon what I, as an idiosyncratic matter, would prefer. I'm simply pointing out that the market factors controlling the likely outcome are currently in a bit of a state of transition; that things could change and what she and I both view as the most likely outcome were the decisions on the next game made today could turn out differently in a few years time. Beyond that, my comments are mostly about why I think, from a design perspective, the story of a game like Soulcalibur is always going to fighting its own constraints too much to produce anything that can be taken too seriously--and how that's fine, because it's ultimately all in service to the gameplay in any event. I stand by that assessment, particularly regarding the specific issues that I discussed in my post above.

As to Dissidia, I've never played any of the games in that series, though from a story perspective, much as I've enjoyed some FF games, compressing them together into one narrative strikes me as something that would only ever feel like a sad cash grab fan service narrative. I mean, by all means, do what you have to do to justify getting those characters together--after-all, there's nothing bad in principle about a final fantasy fighter. But I just wouldn't expect much out a story that awkwardly smashes together fourteen separate narrative universes. I also don't look to Smash Brothers for any high drama for the same reason.
For real, though, homie. In one breath you say it's unlikely to see SCVII focus as much on story as SCVI, but in the next you say that the "irrational perspective"/"shortsightedness" (your choice of words) of most gamers will almost definitely require Project Soul to "waste" (your wording again) most of their resources. So which is it?
I think that will make more sense if you re-read my preface to those points: there's two questions here: 1) Is Dante's impression that a Soulcalibur Arena game is highly unlikely as the next game essentially correct (yes, I think it is), and 2) Is this more the result of necessary design objectives or is it something arbitrary currently being impressed by the consumer base? And here I don't just mean Soulcalibur fans, but game consumers in general, who demand this standard for all manner of games, often to the detriment of themselves, the devs, the publishers, and innovation in the industry generally, particularly as regards new models for getting more people the experience they want.
I certainly don't recall that being the primary point of consternation.
Well, I can only suggest that you trust me: that was (and indeed, remains) a very, very, very common complaint about the game. I am by no means implying it was the only problem with the game. You touch upon some of the obvious ones, and there are many more besides. There's a reason why it is very likely the least well-remembered mainline game in the franchise, though personally it grew on me with time--it's near the bottom of my hierarchy too, but if you asked me to come up with fifteen things I did like about it, I'd have no problem populating that list without having to pause to think about it much.

But getting back to the story/single player modes, the supposed shallowness of that content was a huuuuuge complaint, and definitely something the SCVI team was responding to. Personally, I think SCV gets a bum rap in this respect: I think as storytelling goes, it actually is a step up from any game that came before it in the franchise. Nothing particularly griping mind you, but based against the foregoing standard, definitely something more substantial. SCV was the first time a game in the franchise tried to tell a story instead of just telling a bunch of story by way of background and context, if you see my distinction.

And although the massive time-jump and the roster mix-up (and the specific choices made as to who would stay and who would go) were not by any means the right decision for SCV as a game, it did serve the story in a couple of ways I don't think are typically appreciated. For one thing, SCV was the first game to kinda-sorta introduce a hint of mortality to the cast. For the first time in the history of the series, some of the traditional cast had met permanent ends between the ending of the SCIV and the beginning of SCV. And the plot during the story mode had momentum and actually moved somewhere, even if the characters were still a little one-dimensional and difficult to relate to. There's even a kind of resolution to the whole saga of the swords and when the credits roll on that mode, you feel a little relief for the characters (including several families) caught up in that nightmare for so long. Again, it's no elevated storytelling against a broader standard, but for Soulcalibur, I thought it was an improvement.

SCVI demands easily ten times as many hours to work through its story modes and yet doesn't accomplish a fraction as much. A classic case of more is less, simply because of the quality and flow of the storytelling. There may be more detail in SCVI than ever before, but it's still a clumsy step backwards, imo. Not that you can do much with a story in this format, but SCV I think showed that you can do at least a little more if you are focused first upon the needs of the narrative, rather than doing a bit of fan service for each character as an isolated element.
...unappealing and tonally incongruent art direction (SCIV and SCV)...
A) Fact: SCIV was the high-water mark for visuals in the franchise, representing the best balance of the classic aesthetic of the series, inspired art design (particularly for the stages) and graphical fidelity; other games are better in perhaps one of these areas, but SCIV is the best looking game in the aggregate, for my money. B) SCIV was also pretty congruent with the two games that came before it. SCV was really the one that look a hard left turn on the style, in both visual and sound design.
...a philosophy in game design of limited gameplay modes (SCIV)...
Except, not really? SCIV had more single-player content than any other game before it, except SCIII, and as you just pointed out, the lack of quality control for that game (itself the result of their trying to throw more into the game than they could reasonably polish for the console release, which for the for the first time in franchise history came before the arcade release) is what brought that game down. Of course they did less for story modes with SCIV. It was a smart and practical decision; they would have been fools to not have learned from their experience in the last game and thrown the net so wide that the resulting product was broken and bugged once again. But people have fickle memories, particularly where value is concerned: all they remembered was that they got MORE with SCIII, without considering the price they (and the franchise and the competitive community) paid as a result.

There's more than a little cognitive dissonance there, really, because the same people who complain about how "sparse" the single player modes of SCIV was will still tell you (and this is accurate as far as I am concerned) that SCIII:AE is the superior version of SCIII, even though it has no single player content. And yet when they judge the single player offerings of SCIV, they are comparing it against SCIII:CE (they'd have to be, in order to reach the conclusion that SCIV is lacking, since SCIV dwarfs SCI and SCII in terms of single player content) without considering the downside--which I think is a profoundly irrational way of judging the game.
...crappy online matchmaking quality (SCIV)...
Yeah, I have to give you that one, though once again in SCIV's defense, it was the first online game in the series.
Harp all you want that there was only so much budget to go around and it was misdirected -- I for one ain't buying it. That just means the people who make Namco's funding decisions need to understand their products more and what can be done to maximize their potential.
Personally I don't see how there's anything to "buy" here: it's a simple financial reality that any development team has limited resources, and this one in particular was design on a budget--the hundreds of hours of (tedious, mediocre) story-based single-player content definetly cost in other areas, and we can plainly see what they are: base game roster size; stage selection and design quality; amount of CaS offerings (not just in base game but even after first two creation packs); the online experience, offerings, and netcode; non-story single player modes--to name just the ones that concern me most.
Frankly, it's shameful for the executives of beloved franchises such as Namco's to not have any understanding of what makes them special and how to bring out the best in them. Imagine if the executives over Marvel Studios were like that.
I think they are doing the best they can within the constraints they are working with. I defiently am not the hugest fan of SCVI, but I do think it's more a a step in the right direction than not. I mean the huge gap in between two fans like us--both easily described as hardcore devotees of the franchise and yet with priorities that are in many respects diametrically opposed, shows the complexity of their task. Would I have rather had Soul Calibur Arena? Damn right. Can I live with SCVI until the next game? Yeah, though honestly I'm sinking not very much time into it--much like SCV, I am slowly learning to accept it on its own terms, but I still long for the return to true greatness of the series.
 
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Heniek

[10] Knight
Personally I am totally on board with character specific alternative endings. I loved it in SCIII (especially since most if not all character had at least two of them) and liked it in SCIV. In SCIII they also had many different tones, some of them were serious, some of them were goofy but they were really making every character feel like they actually mean something.
 

REPROBEAN_CHILD

[14] Master
Why would guests matter regardless? We can get new characters that actually will continue to contribute to this series rather than having a one night stand with 2B. That's how I see it, I'd rather this series see's guest characters once in a while rather than making it an ongoing attraction. The devs should be building hype around their own characters not someone else. I understand it acts as free promotion but I don't like the idea of it becoming a reliant behavior they act upon, which so far it feels as though it has. SC2 was fine but after that they pushed it endlessly.

People want the veterans of course, but its just no matter how you put it we waste time with guests rather than someone new to SC who can contribute for years to come. Sometimes guests may have some part of their moves or ideas implemented elsewhere but it still means more work when we could have just a new SC character who already did that and the devs would have it easier too.
To be fair, just because they add a new character, doesn't mean they'll continuously contribute to the series. Some characters can become one-shot "one-night stands," like guests. For instance, I doubt we'll be seeing ZWEI, Viola, or Aeon (SCV) anytime soon. I'm also not sure if we'll be seeing Groh and Azwel in the next SoulCalibur game either
 

Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
To be fair, just because they add a new character, doesn't mean they'll continuously contribute to the series. Some characters can become one-shot "one-night stands," like guests. For instance, I doubt we'll be seeing ZWEI, Viola, or Aeon (SCV) anytime soon. I'm also not sure if we'll be seeing Groh and Azwel in the next SoulCalibur game either
Likewise the replacement characters of V (Leixia, Natsu, Patroklos, Pyrrha, Xiba, and Elysium), as well as previous one-time wonders Necrid, Han-Myeong, and all of the SCIII bonus characters who had previously not featured in the series lore, who were all dropped like hot potatoes--though a couple of them did pop up as re-skins in SCVI's Libra of Soul mode, that's hardly a more significant ongoing presence than any other CaS character.

Personally, the hyper-fan in me would like to see a game where virtually every style returns, but I know such a game is unlikely, so I'm hoping that Groh and Zwei in particular do not return, because those styles really would steal spots that I think would be better reserved for something more deserving--including any number of potential guests.
 

artard4321

[10] Knight
Unpopular opinion: No more guests.
Strong disagree that we'll get another guest. Edge Master, perhaps, but not another guest. And I don’t even believe that we’ll get Edge Master.
Same. I really don't want another guest. Don't want it to be injustice or mortal kombat and have far too many guests that i don't even want.
If it was up to me, I would much rather see a Season Pass full of returning characters, but let's try to be real here: expect to see a guest character since it's more likely than not that it will be featured. A guest character isn't added to fulfill the desires of a veteran or returning player, it is a publicity stunt to draw in new players into the game. The guest character is practically an advertisement for both SoulCalibur and its source material. There's a reason Geese and Noctis made it to Tekken 7 before Lei Wulong and Anna despite the latter two being a Tekken mainstay: simply because it makes headlines.

Personally I would rather SoulCalibur VI Season Pass 2 characters be Hwang, Setsuka, Rock, Hilde, Aeon, and Yun-Seong but one of them is likely to be outed in favor of a guest character (probably Yun-Seong). That guest character is a big question mark but if I was a betting man I would assume that guest to be a Samurai Shodown character (probably Nakoruru) based on that little banter Bandai Namco had with the game in Twitter. Other likely candidates are Sekiro since the game was a success and Dante from Devil May Cry 5 since Bandai Namco has a good relationship with Capcom.

All of this is just my prediction however, and I personally hope I'm wrong about the guest character.
 

Starringrole

[05] Battler
Considering the track record with guest characters over the last decade, I think it's pretty clear that having a template in the form of an outside character design and moveset very frequently results in something that compares quite favourably against what the Project Soul character designers come up with on their own; for example (and from both an aesthetic and gameplay standard) Geralt and 2B > Groh and Azwel--it's not even a contest.
Oh no, not that guests are awful as individuals but I think long term the brand is not as recognized for its own characters as it is for having one night stand guests that yet again will not contribute in the future. I don't literally hate the guests as individuals but I do quite frankly think they are wastes of time when their chances of return are quite frankly unlikely. Rather than spending time on a guest we could have got a new character who already did something along the lines of what the potential guest would have, thus we already start with character that we'll get to see again (including move sets).
So while you may prefer Geralt and 2B's movesets over Azwel and Groh my point isn't that, its that they could have already been mainstays had they not been those people and SC original characters. It even means peace of mind for the fans who want that to stay. In essence, my point has been made. An unhealthy reliance on guests.

Though alternatively I will say one thing, I do personally feel as though Groh's moveset isn't bad, I certainly think its more entertaining than 2B and Geralt. As for Groh's design you have no counter argument from me. From the moment I saw him I thought he looked like a mess.

I honestly don't think there are any hard and fast rules--the equation works out differently in each game--but I do think reserving a sport or two (or even three) per game for guests does help the variety of gameplay, and I'm never too terribly concerned whether they return since the reality at this point in time is that the palette of movesets available to PS as a starting point for any future game is always going to be broader than the number they can realistically accommodate in any event.
But why on earth do we need guests for "variety"? We could be seeing new characters that can fill for these guests in the first place and be returning characters in different entries, we are not going to see Geralt or 2B again in a long time and we know this. You not being concerned or not for their return is not what I'm getting at, the point is these characters practically can't return since its became one of this games reliant marketing tools when we could have had a character already adapted to doing these things who now has the right to return essentially, whereas with guests its just "Marketing" mostly. Then the wasted resources on re purposing these characters into proper ones is also a circumstance when we could have just had it from the beginning. Its just a waste.

That's not necessarily true, and impossible to know for certain, short of quizzing the senior developers/Namco management personnel: it's equally as likely that those characters were budgeted for on the understanding of the increased revenue it was anticipated they would bring in. To the extent these characters are seen as beneficial to the bottom line and thus increase sales and thus increase budgets and/or post release continuing support, it's probably fair to judge that in general they do not replace anybody; rather, a budget is set out with dev hopes on which characters to include in the base game and as DLC, and a couple of spots are anticipated for a couple of guests, who are valuable for promotion and thus contribute to the budget,
These guests no matter how you put it can't contribute to this "budget" for eternity, that's a problem. They may certainly be good at attracting attention but I frankly have a hard time thinking it will be forever. Its important this game retains its identity but more and more it appears to me this game's identity has simply became "the fighter with cas and guests". Back then (and yes fighters were generally speaking more popular I acknowledge this) but subjecting yourself to being that is pretty terrible. SC5 proved generally speaking that their decisions and survival was relying on everything already established pretty much. While you may think I'm making my point in the wrong form I do feel rather confident that guests will and are becoming more of a reliance and even detrimental as time passes.

I'm willing to admit perhaps guests really are paying for their stay, perhaps I'm wrong. But that its became something of a reliance that could end badly I think as well, and its my top concern at this point. After what SC3 was, guests have been in for a long time and it feels more like they've never been confident in their own franchise which is a problem in every sense. Especially if people aren't liking series characters or newcomers, that is something to be concerned with, which yet again I do think SC5's mere existence has proved my point a fair bit. I'm not surprised in the slightest that SC6 has garnered more attention because its solely relying what has been established for the most part.

I'm sure that's true of just about any of us here. I'd not only buy a Soul Calibur TB variant with all the main roster styles from SCI-SCVI, absent guests charracters, I'd pay $200 for it easy, provided it had a decent classic stage selection and a fairly comprehensive CaS system. But as features go, guests characters have never in any sense turned me away from a SC game, or even been a negative in any sense. Other than the Yoda obnoxiousness (mostly an artefact of how they decided to address his height), I can't think of a single guest character who was more a problem than a boon to the game.
The problem here is far from me feeling pushed away because of guests, its more about how I think they've mishandled something that could have just ended up better in every sense and long term will hurt the franchise. I understand disagreeing with me on this, but I honestly wont be able to change my perspective, I've witnessed far too many cases of people only caring about CAS and guests to think otherwise, it genuinely concerns me.
That being said SCIV's guests has to be my least favorite bunch personally.

I wouldn't bold my breath as to either. The continuing support looks likely to give us not much more than another six characters. A lot more would be needed before we got to a game worthy of being labelled as SC's first equivalent of a TB game.
You're not wrong. My hope comes from developer comments however, such as when it was said there was chance for SCV returns. If they went that far then we probably would be headed in a large direction for something along those lines, that being said I understand and agree with you that it perhaps is only a dream.

TLDR: Your points about the budget and guests paying for themselves are completely valid, but I can't help but think its harming the franchises recognition and demoting it to simple things such as "Guests and CAS" which a while from now will make it hard to make everything else promotion worthy as the big reliance seems to be on guests. I'm not about hating guests, I personally don't like their presence but my point is not about hating them, I just think long term it will be detrimental to this brand in many ways. We should be able to get new and innovative characters without them just being guests.


To be fair, just because they add a new character, doesn't mean they'll continuously contribute to the series. Some characters can become one-shot "one-night stands," like guests. For instance, I doubt we'll be seeing ZWEI, Viola, or Aeon (SCV) anytime soon. I'm also not sure if we'll be seeing Groh and Azwel in the next SoulCalibur game either
One game of absence isn't much of a point. My point is we are not going to see the same guests ever as consistently as someone along the lines of Viola who has her place in the franchise now. 2B will never have that, and I mean never.

Viola already has had lasting influence as she and Amy now share even more moves. She is certainly not a good example to use, as with how they seem to be taking the story direction we will also be seeing her return eventually. Regardless her character has already been used. So she is not one you can say isn't going to contribute. With Viola's return Zwei can very easily follow too.

Aeon is just Lizardman, I imagine most people want Lizardman to get the Aeon moveset. That would just be the developers being silly if Aeon didn't happen. So even if it doesn't, its just an unfortunate circumstance in my eyes. We don't know yet, but regardless I do see Lizardman getting some of Aeons move and in that Aeon would have already done something to have a lasting influence and addition to the franchise.
I may be wrong, correct me if I am but I believe Aeon is one of the only cases a guest had continuing impact with it being Kratos. I believe the general idea and some moves were taken from him. I will still stand by it being a waste when it could have happened earlier and been focused on Lizardman however. But this is a case where I would at least say a guest did something.


The characters you mentioned are all bound to do something, Viola already being done in some capacity. Zwei is the least likely of those three I would say, but even then him being an actual addition unlike practically everyone in SC5 gives me the impression he would eventually become a priority addition in some form. So long as these return and contribute in some capacity then they've most likely played their part.
Amy didn't take just 1 move from Viola, she took about 3+ at the very least, and there's definitely more.

SC5 is not an example I would choose however, SC5 is a game that is bound to have the most cuts from the series going forward but those three happen to be what we can be most confident about returning in some capacity from that game. I don't think we will be seeing Xiba over Zwei for example.
 

Ian

[10] Knight
Unpopular opinion: We'll get Lizardman and Edgemaster as freebies. Central slot is just begging for Edge Master.
 

Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
If it was up to me, I would much rather see a Season Pass full of returning characters, but let's try to be real here: expect to see a guest character since it's more likely than not that it will be featured. A guest character isn't added to fulfill the desires of a veteran or returning player, it is a publicity stunt to draw in new players into the game. The guest character is practically an advertisement for both SoulCalibur and its source material. There's a reason Geese and Noctis made it to Tekken 7 before Lei Wulong and Anna despite the latter two being a Tekken mainstay: simply because it makes headlines.
You know, six or seven months ago when I was anticipating the second season pass to have four characters, I probably would have agreed, but since we now know that it will be six characters strong, I think that changes the analysis some: six characters would be exactly what is necessary to complete a "classic" roster of every main selectable character available in Soul Edge through Soulcalibur III (the games whose original rosters have contributed characters to SCVI so far, and whose plot lines overlap, to greater or lesser extent, with SCVI's rebooted narrative). It just seems very unlikely to me that they would come within one character of constituting that classic uber-roster and then pull short of that stylistic achievement, especially when this game is all about feeding nostalgia. This seems to be supported by the fact that the six "leaked" (I don't think it was a real leak so much as clever viral marketing) code names would seem to align with those same six characters.

Now, all of that said, you're quite right about the purpose and value of guest characters, so I wouldn't rule out a guest altogether, but right now I have a fair degree of confidence that S2 is giving us Aeon/Lizardman, Hwang, Li Long, Rock, Setsuka, and Yun-seong. And yeah, it's a little odd that both of the dao wielders would pop in during the same pack, and if someone is likely to be dropped, it probably is one of them, but I still think odds are that those are our six.

@Starringrole I think this point might have gotten buried in my jumbo post: I just don't think present-day Project Soul is very good at character design. At all. If they were making the roster today from scratch, Mitsurugi would have spiky blond anime-emo hair and a sword with five prongs and three hilts. At least the guest characters keep them a little focused on designs made by people who don't apparently go to work high on psychotropics after binging Bleach episodes all night.

As to returnability potential for new faces, I'm just not sold on the idea that this is a vital trait for any character: we have a deep enough cast that no future game (outside the hypothetical Soulcalibur Arena game we were discussing above) will be able to accommodate all of them, so actually, adding more of these new clumsy designs is arguably very undesirable, since it could begin to lead to situations where great classic characters get bumped in order to allow some dumb new design to be introduced or have a second at-bat. Hwang has been absent since SCIII:AE, Setsuka since IV, Talim was absent from V even though she would have been the most appropriate returning character, age wise--the list goes on and on and on.

So I actually think that the roster is about as big as we want it. I do hope that each further mainline game adds one or two new characters, but only because I think that's essential for the evolution of any fighter. Any further spots not going to legacy characters I am happy to see awarded to guests. I think you want two new original characters per game, one guest character in the base game, and then an additional number of guests characters based on how long continuing post-release DLC support lasts. Basically, what they have done with this game. I don't need a second emo catastrophe with a ridiculous weapon that could never be used effectively as designed (ZWEI, Groh) or another 1950's stage-magician who looks like he is wanted for sex offenses in four jurisdictions (Azwel): one each of those per game is plenty enough.
Unpopular opinion: We'll get Lizardman and Edgemaster as freebies. Central slot is just begging for Edge Master.
I don't think the Edge Master as freebie is at all an unpopular notion. People have been predicting that for about eight or nine months (who was the guy who first suggested that? I think his name started with an 'R'--well, anyway... :) and most people have agreed it makes a certain degree of sense. Whether or not PS decide that creating a free model and the minimal code for a mimic style is a worthwhile use of their limited resources remains to be seen, but I think it should be viewed as a no-brainer: Drop him into a random patch and you generate a lot of community good will for very little production cost.

Lizardman, there's just no way--that's a complete moveset that needs constructing and obviously they are already more than half way through that process with the 'lesser lizardman' style already in the game, but they are still going to want to get something for that content when it comes to a fully realized character. Plus 'Reptile' is one of the codenames for season 2: Lizardman is almost certainly making a return through that route, should the season come to pass. But addressing other discussion about him above, I do think his moveset is likely to reflect different elements throughout his evolution in the previous games--so, an Aeon/Lizardman hybrid in terms of moveset, but probably no wings or dragon breath (though with Soul Charge, who knows?). I'd even wager that they are likely to call him Aeon from the beginning in this rebooted narrative.
 
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artard4321

[10] Knight
SoulCalibur VI should have been the Tag game, if they were going to make one. It doesn’t make sense for them to do it for SoulCalibur VII, now that they’ve set up this new narrative premise and left us hanging.
If anything, SoulCalibur V should have actually been the Tag game since it's after a major story arc and is based on an existing engine in SoulCalibur IV. So far, the Tekken Tag Tournament series have all used an existing game as a base such as Tekken Tag Tournament being based on Tekken 3 while Tekken Tag Tournament 2 being based on Tekken 6.

But I do agree, if Bandai Namco is going to create a SoulCalibur Tag Tournament then it would likely be after SoulCalibur VII when they create a better base game with better graphics. SoulCalibur VI honestly doesn't feel like it improved a lot from SoulCalibur IV and SoulCalibur V despite being a next-gen console game. It definitely isn't like the change we saw from SoulCalibur I to SoulCalibur II or from SoulCalibur III to SoulCalibur IV. A SoulCalibur Tag Tournament featuring ray-tracing technology would be insane!

Unpopular opinion: We'll get Lizardman and Edgemaster as freebies. Central slot is just begging for Edge Master.
Whenever the SoulCalibur Twitter page tweets asking for feedback in their site, I always asked for Edge Master as a free character lol. I always asked for him to be added in the top left corner and for Inferno to be moved to the center where he can disappear in online play. As for Lizardman or Aeon, he will most likely be a paid character and deserves to be a paid character since I'm sure he will have a unique moveset that is different than the Lesser Lizardman we see in story mode.