Soul Calibur V

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The fighting game famous for its oversized weapons is back, and it looks better than ever. Set 17 years after Soul Calibur IV, all the original characters have resisted the ravages of time, looking much the same as they did before with only some minor costume changes and the addition of completely unnecessary, but rather appealing, physics to enhance the more distracting parts of the female characters. The battles have been given some tweaks since the last outing too, with the option of side-step attacks and the ability to block previously un-blockable attacks. The biggest change though is the new Brave Edge and Critical Edge attacks. These special moves, when pulled off correctly, will take huge chunks from an opponent’s health bar.

Ezio from Assassin’s Creed is a visiting playable character for the first time, although fans may be disappointed with his rather lacklustre fighting ability and speed. Other favourites such as the behemoth Astaroth with his giant sword, a nunchuck-wielding Elvis lookalike Maxi, the scantily-clad Ivy and weird S&M enthusiast Voldo are all back. Soul Calibre V has a character suited to every playing style.

There is a single player story you can play through, but any fighter worth their thumb-twitching salt will spend their time in the online battle arena, where you can take on anyone from around the world proving just how adept, or in some reviewers’ cases, how incredibly inept you are.

Soul Calibre V looks great. The cartoon styling and animations flow seamlessly with special moves lighting up the screen with a firework display of colour and texture. This is a worthy sequel to the series with enough changes to the gameplay to make it worth getting if you like either musclebound men with staffs or limber women with blades, and let’s face it, who doesn’t?

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Publisher: Namco Bandai
Format/s: Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Age rating: 16+
Price: £44.99

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