Preview: Soul Calibur VI (PS4)

When your PS4 lets everyone know you took a screenshot?

While I was hyped for Tekken 7 last year, I at first did not think much about Soul Calibur VI. My best days with the latter were during undergrad; I remember bringing a 13″ TV and my PS2 to play Soul Calibur III in the recovery room after my first-born came into the world almost thirteen years ago. I tried Soul Calibur IV years later, but I felt that the game lacked…soul. I enjoy playing fighting games for the stories, and with every iteration, the franchise moves further away from the robust Edge Master mode found in Soul Blade on the PSX. I did not even bother with Soul Calibur V, which replaced almost the entire roster with “clone” characters.

Because the FGC (fighting game community) commonly cycles through multiple fighting games, while on a Tekken discord channel, I discovered that Bandai Namco would be hosting a network test for the upcoming Soul Calibur VI. Ok, a free demonstration is of no risk to me; all I had to do was humble myself enough to play on PS4 or Xbox One instead of PC. I chose the former, temporarily revoking my Glorious PC Gaming Race membership.

My first SC match many many years later. 

Unlike Tekken 7, which has a massive learning curve and required hours and hours of practice despite my vast experience, jumping into Soul Calibur VI was like riding a bike. As readers (and viewers) will see, a lot of people I played against make poor usage of SC‘s “eight way run” system as I would run circles around them. This is a 3D game folks, so play like it!

Yoshi players do weird Yoshi things.

Since the last time I played SC, Namco Project Soul has added a few mechanics that required some adjustment. Typically, SC games are button-mash friendly, but advanced players will take advantage of Guard Impact (GI; a universal parry) to turn the tables. I ate more than a few Critical Edges (CE), the SC equivalent of Rage Arts in Tekken, to the point where my characters’ clothes and armor were knocked off in battle damage. This is activated with the R2 button, which I only discovered after a couple dozen matches.

I could only find three people all weekend who could beat me (a Kilik, a Geralt, and a laggy Nightmare). Once I figured out how to use CEs it simply was not fair for anyone.

The R1 button is mapped for Reversal Edges, which strike me as a mechanic similar to GI, except that it initiates players entering into a rock-paper-scissors sequence that reminds me of DBZ Budokai, where one must guess the button to press to hit or evade their opponent. I used this only after discovering that success is the fastest way to charge the Soul Gauge. Typically, I avoid “defensive” techniques, but SC strongly encourages them.

Yes, I am also a Voldo player. I mean, he is like, one of my mains. Nothing like spiked nipples, spiked codpiece, and high-damage pelvic thrusts to make your opponent feel uncomfortable. Mind games, yo!

Namco Bandai made a fantastic decision to test the netcode. I typically play on 3+ connections, but that took forever to find a match. There were many “Wi-Fi Warriors” out there, and I had to expand my search to any region, any connection to find players. I will say that I experienced decent connections in most matches, but a few were slideshows. I believe that is on the player rather than Namco Bandai (Those playing with consoles online should be ashamed of not using a Power Link. ASHAMED!!!). With a larger player pool at official launch, I am confident that this issue will be non-existent

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As a Witcher fan, I absolutely MUST become a Geralt main. 

There are other mechanics such as Soul Charges and Lethal Hits which I do not understand, so I cannot speak to them at this moment. I will be sure to lab them when Soul Calibur VI launches on October 19, 2018. Be sure to look out for our review around that time; several of our staff are already chomping at the bit to get this game into their hands. I know I am…now.

Peace out!

Maurice Pogue

Since picking up an NES controller in 1985 at the age of 2, Maurice and video games have been inseparable. While most children aspired to be lawyers, doctors, or engineers (at the behest of their parents), he aspired to write for publications such as EGM, PC Gamer, PC Accelerator, and Edge. After achieving ABD status in English at MSU, Maurice left academia and dedicated his writing to his lifelong passion. He is currently the Video Game Editor at Geeks Under Grace.

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