Soul Calibur V : First impressions of the demo !
I thank Hayato, the french Namco community manager for
his support !
Namco wishes to patch Soul Calibur 5 from time to time, to balance the game when needed.
They are very open-minded to players’ opinions, they are all important and will help them to create the best Soul Calibur ever made. So do not hesitate to say what you think!
They also wish to help the community and events organized around the game.
Soul Calibur V is faster than Soul Calibur IV. Making the game as fast as Soul Calibur II would have been even more appreciated by the development team, but they considered it would have been too much of a radical change for those who have not played the second opus and switch from SC4 to SC5.
I think the OST has a different atmosphere compared to the other Soul Calibur, it’s far more epic (except for Tira’s and Voldo’s themes of course lol XD, but it suits them well!).
From now on, you can chose the stage AND the music that you wish to hear before beginning a match.
You will have the choice between the characters music theme or the stages music (Ex: Pyrrha’s theme, Colisseum’s theme…).
Personally, my favourites are Hilde’s and Ivy’s! You can hear the Ivy theme in the EVO Natsu vs Ivy match
Hilde’s theme is really epic!! ! It suits her perfectly! It gives the impression to be in a medieval movie, it’s really my favourite! I love it!!!!
There were only 3 stages available on the demo. But they are wonderful !
Some players complained saying Soul Calibur stages don’t have enough animations, but i think they won’t be disappointed this time.
In one of those stages, we can see in the background, some people and golems trying to destroy a door. On the other side, you can see a fight between soldiers and archers. And on another side, you can see a beautiful river.
The stage without ring out makes me think a lot of the Tekken 5 stage : Moonlight Wilderness, very beautiful !
There will now be a replay between each round… Some players were asking for that.
The way Armor works
You probably have noticed the life bar could blink with different colors, without really knowing why.
It’s very similar to the system of SC4’s Critical Finish, except that you don’t directly win the round, you just have the opportunity to deal some good damage.
The more you hit your opponent’s Guard, the more his armor has a risk to break. So the different colors blinking are used to warn the player ( so you know when it starts blinking yellow, then red, you have to watch out).
When you break his armor, the opposing character does the same animation as in SC4 before he can do the Critical Finish, there is a big slowdown.
You then have the time to do a Critical Edge or a big combo, and so on…
You just have to do 2,2 or 8,8 fastly. It’s a very fast step, but I can’t say more about it, i wonder how we will use that in game.
The Soul Gauge
It charges while attacking (even if you don’t touch), while defending from hits, while tech throw. Although, it doesn’t charge when you throw.
It can be used for: Guard Impact, Brave Edge (improved attacks), Critical Edge
The Guard Impact
Le Guard Impact like in all the previous Soul Calibur: 4G or 6G doesn’t work anymore.
Now it is : 4 RT (A+B+K) only.
I tried to do 1 RT and 3 RT but no crouch GI comes out…so I suppose we cannot GI the lows anymore. Or it’s another command ?
To do a GI is not free anymore : it will cost you a part of the Soul Gauge. But don’t forget you have several ways to charge the Soul Gauge, it’s simple and fast.
The Just Guard
So as GI, it must be done just at the moment the hit touches you (or just a little before) by pressing G. The timing is not that hard, though somewhat a bit more strict than the GI I think.
If you press G (Guard) when you want to make a Just Guard, but that it didn’t work because you did it too early, you could still protect yourself from the hit by maintaining the G button pressed. (Unless you have pressed G too late in which case you take the blow)
It is also possible to JG lows by doing 1G, too.
And the more the hit you’ve Just Guard is slow and takes time to recovery (it seems), the better you can punish afterwards.
With Natsu, I JG the second hit of Pyrrhas’ BB, and I punish with garanteed AA, but I cannot punish with BB though.
When I JG Pyrrhas’ 3B, I can punish with BB. (Because the blow +slow, +unsafe…)
Yes, it can seem completely crazy to JG a BB! : I protect myself from the first B and I JG the second (meaning I had to release my guard between the first and second B, to press G at the right time on the second B).
A little risky, but not so much if you are trained…
But then you have to be very careful to JG hits as swift as BB, because while being too careful and reactive, mind games can take place.
A player too careful about pressing G to JG after he has seen a B, would be surprised to see his opponent stop after the first B and throw next or make a low …
So, we’ll see how this is going to turn out at high level…I’m impatient!!
Brave Edge: not tested
To make Critical Edge, you need to have « 1 » or « 2 » in the Soul Gauge. A CE uses one gauge bar.
You can have 2 gauge bars maximum, so you can make 2 CE maximum if you have the gauge at max.
Every CE has the same command for the moment : 236 236 RT (A+B+K)
Be careful with random CE, it’s going to be like Street Fighter, it has priority to regular hits…Well, sometimes CE could be interrupted by double contact though, I don’t know exactly how you can interrupt it then ? But most of the time, if I’m doing a move and the opponent CE, he touches me.
So if you have the bad idea of hitting while your opponent makes a random CE…^___^’…You’ll have to stay calm ! Haha! It’s ok, I already started to get used to it with Street Fighter XD.
For several characters, they are placed during Combos.
For example after a basic launcher (3B) from Pyrrha and Patroklos, you can chain with their CE.
For Natsu, it is possible to do it after the 2A+B (the bomb) or the 4A+B. Her CE being pretty slow to come out, it is not possible to do it after a simple 3B.
Far Ivy, her CE is a throw, and what a throw! Completely godlike ! It only requires being close to the opponent to do it, and it’s impossible to escape. If you are lucky and ducked before she does her CE, then make sure to hang on to your low guard lol!
And seeing all the life that it tears off, I think the developers will have to do something to make it less cracked.
For any pressure characters, an Ivy that can CE is really dissuasive!
Characters with a 236 like Patroklos and Pyrrha are quite lucky, as they are considered in TC, they avoid Ivy’s CE. 236 is a good way to come close to Ivy in this case.
For the other characters, I don’t know at which moment they can do there a guaranteed CE.
I have two preferred characters in the demo version …and that I’d love to see in action at high level: Natsu and ZWEI.
Natsu is the character I like the most among the currently presented characters. She’s really super stylish !!! I love her illusions !
The fact that she makes illusions in her Possession stance, and in many of her moves too, makes of her a character really nice to see.
As you have maybe seen in the EVO video (Natsu VS Ivy), Natsu can do PO and move forward.
All there is to do is: 214, 6. You can do 6 several times to move forward.
I believe that Natsu will be based on her mix-up games thanks to the Possession stance (PO) and her Illusions game.
For her mix-ups, you have the choice in PO stance :
214, 8 (she jumps and can chain several times like 214,6 ; meaning you never know if she’s on the ground or in the air with the illusions…)
214, B (guard crush then priority)
214, 2 RT (a quick low kick like Taki) : if she hits, she does a back flip. If the opponent protects himself, she’s on ground.
When Natsu does 214, 8: she also has the possibility of mix-ups with A, B, K…
Natsu can switch to PO stance after many moves like 6A+B (corresponding to Taki’s 3bK), 214.
She also has another way to switch to this stance after certain moves by simply doing “4”:
For example with 66B, 4: After 66B, Natsu quickly disappears and reappears a little further in PO stance. (During her disappearance, she must have moved back one or two steps, allowing her to move away from her opponent)
Same thing with 66A, B…and probably with other moves too.
WS B, B does not exist anymore, only WS B and in counter, 1A is guaranteed.
She can feint with the 4A+B with 4A+B, A.
4A+B, 6 allows her to switch to PO stance after a forward dash.
After the bomb 2A+B, A+K then air throw still possible.
Small note: the WS 2A+B: Natsu’s throwing Shurikens on the floor.
ZWEI is for me the most interesting character: His game play is innovative, and worth to check out in-depth! I believe that ZWEI has potential, but requires a lot of work to go far in tournaments. I would be curious to see him in the hands of a good player.
To use his strength at best, you will very often fight with EIN at your side I think. So you use the moves where you can summon him. Once EIN summoned to attack, ZWEI is free to move and attack too. So it’s like having two enemies (Even if EIN only shortly appears each time).
He has some moves where he doesn’t need time to summon EIN, but some other moves he’s doing an animation while summoning him so it takes time, and ZWEI is vulnerable at this moment.
EIN can perform different attacks, of different ranges. I often saw mid attacks.
ZWEI is not a quick character like Natsu, but his pressings with EIN can be very…oppressing.
If I told you that you could be hit at the same time in mid and low, and whatever your guard is you would be hit, well like me you would certainly be …very surprised!
With Zwei, it’s possible!
In fact, when you summon EIN, he hits generally in mid (of what I have tested, I don’t know if it’s the case all the time). But you can move close to the opponent to do a low, and if you know well EIN’s timing, and hit at the same time, your opponent will have to protect from a mid and a low hit at the same time ! Impossible! So yes, if you chose the standing guard, you take ZWEI’s low.
I didn’t test though if EIN’s move can be special mid (meaning you can protect it by crouch guard too), it would be interesting to test though.
Even if it’s special mid, I think it still can be tricky and make pressure.
It is possible to « control » EIN, but for this you need to charge. There is a maximum charge time of about 3 seconds. Once the time passed, EIN attacks. Some of you are already used to charge with Hilde.
I have a concrete example, but it will be difficult to visualize it. I will try anyway:
6B+K: EIN hits twice, once near ZWEI , and the other a few seconds later much further from ZWEI.
What can happen:
You summon EIN by doing 6 [B+K] (you keep pressing B+K to charge), EIN will perform his first move but will wait for you for the second… (Until the max charge time) In the meantime, he stays near ZWEI… (Personally his EIN puts pressure on me when I see him nearby, because I know he’ll attack me soon XD without knowing when exactly and without knowing what will ZWEI do, Haha).
So, when you want him to attack, you just have to release B+K.
As you are the one deciding when EIN attacks, it will be easy for you to hit with ZWEI at the same time with a low… so that the opponent can’t protect from both.
So imagine when this kind of pressing is permanent with a playing mastering charge times and the diverse possibilities to summon EIN…
It’s a character, for which it requires the knowledge of all summoning possibilities in order to beat him, or else we’ll be easily hit by EIN, and we can’t always see him coming.
Other use case for EIN:
ZWEI’s A throw: He performs a head butt that doesn’t deal much damage (Somewhat like Sophitia’s knee strike throw) but you then have priority.
Well, you can prior summon EIN and charge, A throw, and during the throw animation, EIN attacks and it’s guaranteed. Which means your throw will do convenient damage thanks to EIN.
Other things about ZWEI:
He has an Auto GI: 6A+B
I’m not 100% sure, but it seems that it Auto GI the mids. I saw that it Auto GI a move in B and in K.
He has a stance: 214
After 214 B, he guard crushes and has the advantage (He breaks Pyrrhas’ AA by doing BB for example).
Hilde: Namco is very aware of the problems that Hilde has brought in Soul Calibur IV tournaments. They still decided to include the character in SC5 anyway, showing the players that they have well learned from SC4 mistakes and that they really have the will to make the game balanced. She is completely different from the 4th opus. Her gameplay is not anymore based on her charges like in Soul Calibur IV. She still have them, but their strength and use are much reduced.
Her command list has been reviewed: A lot of new moves, and former moves do not have the same command anymore. Some moves completely disappeared.
Her charges :
Her charge C2B, B: It sends the opponent behind her, it is then possible to do C2A, A in BT (from the back) for it to make a combo. So it has really been downgraded a lot, to prevent her from going through the whole ring with this simple combo.
C3A does not make you fall anymore.
C4B and C4A still exist.
Her game play will come to dealing with distances, preventing the opponent to come close.
She is mostly the same as in the current Soul Calibur IV.
She still has the stances Jolly and Gloomy, her two personalities. It is still random and she still loses life. Her provocation still allows changing her personality.
Some of her moves have changed commands. She has granted a few new moves.
HOWEVER, I asked if they were going to change, deepen her stances…But they said they just had included the character in the Demo, so she’s far from being the final Tira, and things can change.
For example, I spoke of the fact it would be nice that she no longer lost life in Gloomy stance, or that there was a way to chose between Jolly or Gloomy stance to gain a better control of the character. Tago-san answered me that they are still in the stage of creation of the character, so all ideas from the community to improve the character are welcome! You can express any changes that you would like to see to the producers, especially regarding the random use of stances, the loss of life, and similar issues.
Similar to SC4, I’ve not seen any new move. I think he has not yet been reconsidered.
Just like Tira, you will have to express your suggestions to the producers about the character game play.
He has a new low : 1A : It’s fast, I think just as Xianghua’s 1A and around the same damages (around 20?) and that makes him automatically in BT. (Back Turn)
1B doesn’t make the opponent stand up anymore.
6B, B doesn’t exist anymore: 6B only.
I’ve not found the way to get her to whip stance, all her moves when she takes out the whip come back to sword at the end of the animation.
So I couldn’t test the whip stance. Maybe it’s because it’s still in development.
She has a new move: 9A+B where she jumps with her whip around her; I don’t yet see how useful it is.
After 22K, she can’t make the another kick guaranteed.
Some of her moves changed of commands.
The character seems to be a mix of Sophitia and Cassandra.
Her 3A = 66A from Sophitia with a lesser range.
Her 66A looks like a move from Cassandra.
She has a lot of launcher moves to allow her to place her CE. I believe that characters that can easily place their CE like her will be good characters. She moves quickly, so she’ll be able to dodge, launch and make a CE to deal good damage.
She has an auto-gi.
The 236 B can be done in just frame, and with the flames! 😀
He seems to me like a good character.
A brand new style but like his sister Pyrrha, the fact that he could easily use his CE after a simple launcher will ensure that he won’t have difficulties in doing good damage.
He also has an Auto GI like his sister, and a good 236. If I remember well, 236 B is an auto-gi in same time.
Siegfried: A copy of SC4, no big change to announce.
Although…His 3B looks faster than in SC4.
He doesn’t have B, B, B, anymore, just B, B. Or maybe for the 3rd hit, it just changed of command.
Unfortunately I can’t tell you much about him. The EVO video will teach you more than me. XD
I only know he has a 1A even slower than the one he has in SC4.
And that the B of his 2K, B has changed command. It doesn’t do
anything if you just do B after 2K, but I don’t know the new command for that move.
The launcher B during the Mist Stance seems to have disappear, or maybe it has change of command.
My personnal opinion
I took a great pleasure to play Soul Calibur V !!!!
It is incomparable to the previous versions. If someone asks me « To which Soul Calibur it makes you think the most? » I would answer « None of them ».
Although it has been 12-13 years now that I’ve been playing with this saga.
But there are so many changes and news in the game play (Soul Gauge, Critical Edge, Brave Edge, Just Guard, Guard Impact, Armor) that we’ll have to review many of our habits if we are a veteran player of Soul Calibur…And it’s a good thing! I will take a lot of pleasure to discover the game with other ways to think. And I hope that the players beginning with Soul Calibur V will also take a lot of pleasure to discover this game, which I already like a lot.
I think there will be more mind game than before with all these changes, better reflexes to have and more consequential decisions to make (In particular with the Gauge, where you have to save it and use it wisely to ensure your victory). I’m even more impatient now!!!!!!
All the Project Soul team, that I had the chance to meet, really wishes that this SC5 becomes a success and suits the players at best.
Your opinion really counts for them, and I realized to what extend when discussing with them. They have an even higher motivation when they see the players feedback when there are news on the game, aso… They like to see you enthusiastic about the game and it’s a genuine pleasure for them.
So above all, feel free to speak your mind and give suggestions on Daishi Odashima’s twitter, the producer of Soul Calibur V, and show your enthusiasm everywhere on the net and for real!
Thanks of you reading me, and see you very soon to talk about Soul Calibur V again!!! 😉