I am not a massive fighting game fan, but Soul Calibur 2 made me pay attention, with each console version having a special character to choose from, with Link showing up for Gamecube and then in Soul Calibur 4, added Yoda and Darth Vader and now 6 adds Geralt, I went hands on with a few rounds at E3.
Fighting games have never been my foray, but there is just something about playing them with a fighting stick, which is how they were set up at the show. The stick was regular sized, but the board was massive, after discovering that X was used for block, I was able to fight back after loosing my first match. The match itself was played against Taki, but I played with the only fighter I knew, Yoshimitsi. Learning what buttons were what attacks helped me secure a second-round win, with a perfect status, meaning I took no damage, the third round, I got beaten again, but as it was a best of five, I ended up winning the next two rounds, to take the win overall.
For the second match, I threw newcomer Geralt of Rivia against Nightmare, which I controlled, this was another best of five, but I won all three of the first rounds, with the first round, being one by a ring out. But even with the fast victory, who can beat Nightmare, I still had fun with the game, perhaps the thing that surprised me, was just how impressive it looked. Early screens from the game have shown a lot of jagged edges and blurry elements, but I was not able to see any of that in the build I played, given that it was an E3 build, I can’t say if that because they smoothed that stuff out for the show, or if that was because the game is polished.
Another aspect of the game, that drew my attention was that the load times were quite small, which again, given that it was an E3 build, was surprising. Usually with almost every E3 build, load times are always a lot higher than when the game is released, but they were super lower at the show, something I hope carries across to the final build. The game looked nice, character animations were smooth and carried well between attacks, how they all look is something to explore when the game releases. One element that was not shown off, was the games story mode, where players will fight again, to control the two swords, given that it is a fighting game, don’t expect anything different in gameplay, just story.
So far Soul Calibur 6 seems to extend on the long running tradition of solid weapon based fighting, how it fairs at release is yet to be seen, but so far it is looking good.