Today I had the pleasure of being at an event where they finally let the public play an early build of Soul Calibur 4. The event was held at the Wynn Hotel and Casino here in CES at the Blush nightclub. The Soul Calibur series has been around since 1997 as Soul Blade on the original PlayStation so it's been a good 10+ years for the series. Soul Calibur 4 will feature high definition graphics, a new battle mode, and enhanced customization that you can take online. The big news though, as shown in a few pictures below from the video, is that Yoda and Darth Vader will be playable characters in the series. You'd think lightsabers would just go through normal weapons but we'll forgo that for the game.
The build I played was on the Xbox 360 and had three playable characters: Mitsurugi, Taki, and Cassandra. A place holder of 32 spots was shown and I asked if that was indeed the number of characters that were going to be available in the final build. The response I got was that they were aiming for around that many characters. The feel of the early game is dead on and I had no problems picking up the controller and taking Taki out for an ass kicking. All the familiar moves are there but I didn't find any new ones. The pseudo-3D gameplay is there of course so you can rotate your character around but it's a primary 2D fighter. The character details were top notch and the game's heading into a new territory as Taki's new enlarged "assets" were unnaturally bouncy as she moved around. While you expect that from DOA, Soul Calibur has stayed away from making the girls bustier but the fourth game seems like they're trying to make up for the past three missing the well endowed women. There's the great dynamic lighting effects from the weapons as the colored glow from the weapons hightlighted your opponent. The environments were pretty detailed as the one I played primary was set in a jungle type area with a stone floor. When I got hit and fell hard, pieces of rubble bounced up around me.
My wife was nice enough to take these pictures while I had a look at the game. The pictures below really doesn't do the game justice and the footage of Yoda moving around and using the force on Astaroth received a great reaction from the crowd. Namco Bandai really put out a great event with Darth Vader and some Stormtroopers showing up to watch us play. The game's due out in 2008 sometime on the 360 and PS3 and I can't wait to play the final build of the game.
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