What’s the story?
Being a fan of fighting games, I usually harp on the pre-order and anxiously await the release date following every possible article that comes out about it until the game is finally in my hands. Where some gamers pass over the genre in lieu of the punch, kick, uppercut stigma, I always found myself drawn into the back story of it all.
For me, reading through the character profiles leads me into choosing who I will start the game off with, solely for the fact that I want to see how their part in the game plays out. I think about the good ol’ Street Fighter games and seeing Blanka as this green dude with orange hair and, wait… he has electricity powers?! Come to find out, he was in the plane crash and was subsequently shocked and mutated — oh now it all makes sense.
The Soul Calibur series has always kept a very tightly knit storyline from the first game, introducing characters that play an important role in the overall universe. In fact, I applaud the Soul series for even killing off fan favorites in respect to the overall storyline. New characters have been purposefully created to keep a steady flow to its history, and nothing seemed unnecessary (except for some of the guest characters… Yoda). Even then they found a connecting tie to the Soul franchise.
However, this time around all my prepping for Soul Calibur V and its bi-weekly introduction to its cast served no purpose, and left me with more questions then I started with. There is literally very little to no explanation on any of the characters involved with the story. What the hell?
If you were looking into the game as a whole, sure it’s a fluid game with tasteful music and a definitive uniqueness to each of the characters who were presented in the line up. This is one of the few fighters out there that don’t make each character feel so carbon copied from another by giving each one their own weapon and move set. The customization of characters is so vast and with DLC so open ended, I have seen some crazy stuff through online matches. Sadly, the one major piece to the whole series is gone though. The story lined arc of all the playable characters in the game. Some characters returned, some are new, and the only question I can ask myself now is “so what?”
There was a time where you could pick a character, fight a few battles, watch a cut scene, fight a distinct last battle to that character and watch an ending that would give you some purpose to selecting that person and making your thumbs bleed. This go around you get a forced story arc that follows two new characters that are brother and sister separated years ago. I’d be ok with this, somewhat, if the characters in question didn’t feel like their long lost relationship wasn’t going to turn incestuous due to horrible localization and voice acting, or if they intertwined the remaining cast throughout hand drawn cut scenes that looked similar to some of the artwork on my fridge my niece gave me.
I’m not bitter, I’m more disappointed.
I feel like this game had an opportunity to go in a positive direction by skipping forward 17 years and giving the game a then-vs.-now story line. Instead we get a wide cast of twenty plus, some original characters, a load of new characters and no explanation as to why they made the cut of Soul Calibur 5. Is Viola really Amy in disguise? I’d still really like to know.
Many would argue that a series that has made it this far in numbers would have a fan base bought in by the game play alone, which is true, but the game play alone doesn’t keep players online forever — eventually it gets stale and the servers get light. You wait a few years until the next one is announced and instantly get ready for whats next for the series, for me however my personal adventure with the Soul series may or may not be “to be continued.”
Tags: Soul Calibur 5
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