Namco Bandai have padded the roster aswell ahead as compared to earlier, on 30 characters and also morethat can be created on the robust character creation characteristic.The challenge here is this: If you are on the fifth iteration of yourgame, how do you hold it fresh without fully alienating fans of theseries who have been with you all this time? Thankfully, though therewere a few mis-steps along the way in my opinion, this wasaccomplished on a fairly good result. Let us go into few details.

From a game play perspective, you areafforded a host of normal alternatives. You can play against thecomputer, play against a friend on the couch next to you, or playonline against enemies everything about the world. Heck, you can alsowatch two computer-controlled fighters compete if you would requireto, while I never understood the allure of such a feature. From asingle-player perspective you can go through a storyline mode that Ireally detected rather interesting.

You play primarily as Patroklos or hissister, Pyrrha, as you progress via a well-told tale characterisingthose two conspicuously. The storyline is developed by applying acombination of manga-esque comic panels and in-engine cinematics, andthe result is an effective way to push a surprisingly-deep storyforward although holding things interesting. One gripe I have aboutthis mode is that you basically have to learn one or two charactersímovesets at the offset or else you would not be so successful here. Iwish there was a story-line single-player mode for each character.This is not a huge loss, but it surely is missed from where I sit.

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Here is too much that has gone right inthe game. The graphics are stunning, the music is as epic as onewould require from a Soul Calibur game, and the controls are tightand responsive. I personally create do on merely the analog stick onmy 360 controller, but my friends go on the d-pad, and either way itis not difficult to execute also the more advanced moves. There are,still, few things that were quite confusing for me.

First of all, I can not for the life ofme recognize why they saw fit to do away on an infinite time limitwhen playing a match. When I have a bunch of people over to play aSoul Calibur title, frequent times the matches can go on for sometime with all the defensive guiding and posturing that goes on.Nowadays with Soul Calibur V we have to keep a tight eye on the clockand it has forced a more aggressive play-fashion this time about.This merely does not feel right.

One of the neat things about the SoulCalibur series is how they add bonus characters from outside theirown dealership to many iterations of their games. Having Link, Spawnand Heihachi in Soul Calibur II was a nice treat, and as well whilethey were not loved by all, it certainly was interesting having DarthVader, Yoda and the Apprentice in Soul Calibur IV. Ezio Auditore ofAssassinís Creed fame joins the cast as the bonus character thistime around, and to great effect. He really appears to suit in aswell, which is a bit of a nice change of pace. He is a complexcharacter, on a sword and retractable blade in addition to a crossbowand gun.

The character creation way is deep and broad, withoutbeing overly-complex. I have applied it to make a handful offighters, and handled to make characters that at once feel fullydifferent as compared to one another, in addition to all 30 of theregular roster characters. It is as well not instantly apparent whena character is a created one versus one made by the developer like apart of the main roster. What I mean by this is there is not a hugedichotomy between main roster charactersí appearance and theappearances of made characters. If you have a vision of who you wantto make, and the patience to move all the different sliders andadjusters yet it is exact, you will be able to execute upon thevision that you had.

At the end of the day, when it arrivesto this game, my friends and I are going to have a ton of fun playingit, and playing it for a very long time. There are surely fewhead-scratching design decisions from where we sit, but it remainsthat we can sink hour later hour into the game without also feelingthe time pass. We are all older now and have less chance to get alltogether, but in the times that we do, Soul Calibur V will be at thetop of the list of things we do together.

And while Astaroth is however mynumber-one character to play with, I detected a new fascinatingcharacter with a unique play-style that I am learning and loving. Idetect myself however attempting Astarothís moves and failingmiserably like a result, but I have discovered that I am beginning toembrace this new play-style and can not wait to proceed to improveover time. Welcome to the fold, Viola.