What's within your soul?
If you're a fan of the first three Soul Calibur versions (and who isn't?) and you're ready for another action-packed fighting game with glorious visuals, new attacks and customizable characters, you'll want to add this infinitely re-playable game to your collection. (You can, by the way, chose an easy or tough road through the bosses in single-mode play, so there is a campaign challenge for those who want it.)
For those familiar with the earlier versions of Soul Calibur, you won't be disappointed. New in this latest edition to the winning franchise: in addition to the standard I-fight-because-I-have-something-to-prove characters with their built-in storylines, you can also play, in the Xbox 360 version, as Yoda of Star Wars fame. Get the game for PS3, and instead of Yoda you'll fight as the Dark Lord himself, Darth Vader. Playing under arcade mode as either of the two lets you earn the right to unlock "The Apprentice," a sith-in-training who uses Force Lightning to shock his opponents in battle.
As fun as the fighting in the game in, let's face it, the best part of fighting games is facing off against online opponents and kicking some serious butt. Once you've worked your way through the bosses in Soul Calibur IV, you can start making your own guys (and girls), customizing their looks and choosing their style of attacks until at last you have created the perfect fighting machine, thus effectively smashing your enemies into a bloody pulp.
In practice, it's not so easy to create one winning fighter. In online battle, it's not uncommon for a player who loses pathetically in one match to then find supreme victory in his very next fight. And more than one match is won by a judicious use of a grapple for a surprising Ring Out just when the battle seems lost.
In fact, that's where the real fun comes in. It's not all about brawn. Winning takes some brains, or at least some strategy. Designing your own army of characters with vastly different fighting tactics and then matching them appropriately to your opponent's fighter is the key to emerging triumphant in fight after fight.
Or you can be cheap, choose Cervantes or Algol and just teleport all over the place.