Soulcalibur V Interview: Sharpening the Blade

38 7
Soulcalibur V Interview: Sharpening the Blade

It’s a tale of souls and swords, eternally retold. And on January 31st, 2012, that tale comes full circle on the PS3 with Soulcalibur V. Set 17 years after the events of Soulcalibur IV, Soulcalibur V is a return to the fast, furious feel that marked earlier entries in the series. I was able to put a pre-release version of Soulcalibur V through its paces to get a feel for the new gameplay tweaks and refinements. After a few intense bouts, I noticed that Soulcalibur V moves at a slightly faster clip than SCIV, and that the Soul Gauge gem has evolved into a full-blown Edge meter that powers Brave Edge attack enhancers and the ultra-damaging Critical Edge finisher. I also spotted new defensive maneuvers, such as the Quick Step evasion and a Just Guard parry. The fighter roster is getting a shakeup as well, with a core group of classic characters being supplemented by a large cast of mysterious new combatants (read more here), headlined by guest character Ezio Auditore from Assassin’s Creed.

After going hands-on with the game, I discussed Soulcalibur V’s gameplay evolution with “Filthy” Rich Bantegui, community manager for Namco Bandai Games and a serious fighting game competitor in his own right. Read on for deeper details on how SCV is carving out its own niche in the crowded console fighting area.

And remember: Leave your questions in the comments!

Soulcalibur V for PS3 - Ezio3

PlayStation.Blog: How did Ezio Auditore from Assassin’s Creed find his way into the Soulcalibur universe?
Rich Bantegui: As far as the story goes, we haven’t revealed anything yet. In terms of his fighting style, his flow, and his weapons, Ezio fits in perfectly. Ezio should’ve been in this series a long, long time ago! In general, I think that guest characters have taken a bit longer to evolve in terms of gameplay; Darth Vader and Yoda took a little more time for players to master in a competitive setting. I don’t think you’ll see that with Ezio. He’s straightforward. You’ll be able to hop right into it, and he’s got one of the easier Brave Edges. And hey, he’s got a crossbow. You can’t beat that!

Our relationship with Ubisoft has been good; I’ve heard that they’re very happy with how he’s turned out. You’ve never seen him at this close a range with this many moves. Controlling him in Soulcalibur V lets you see him in a new light.

PSB: If you had to compare Ezio’s fighting style to an existing Soulcalibur character, who would it be?
RB: He’s very much his own character, but his closest comparison is probably Mitsurugi in terms of his range and his damage. He hits like a dump truck! He’s not a super fast character, though, so he’s not going to stand toe-to-toe with his opponents — you’ll want to space him out. He’s got cool techniques that enable him to sidestep around incoming attacks and manipulate 3D movement to evade his opponents. His ranged crossbow attacks are quite powerful as well.

PSB: Since Soulcalibur IV came out in 2008, there’s been something of a fighting game renaissance. Has SCV taken any cues or inspirations from the new generation of fighters?
RB: Absolutely. Things like Brave Edge and Critical Edge, the comeback system – these are really appealing to people who play fighting games. The fact that Soulcalibur is set on a 3D arena and it’s a weapon-based fighter…Soulcalibur is a game that everybody knows, but now they have all these new tools and more people to play with. We’re trying to keep our hardcore fans happy but also balance it for people who have never played Soulcalibur.

Soulcalibur V for PS3 - Nightmare7

PSB: Speaking of Critical Edge, it seems to have a big impact on the flow of gameplay. How does this uber-attack change your tactics in a fight?
RB: You’re managing all these different things: Your life bar, your opponents’ life bar, and now your Critical Edge meter. You can divvy it up however you want: you can rush in and use half your bar to perform a Brave Edge attack, or save it up for one Critical Edge finisher. Everything that affects the Edge Meter is completely dependent on the player: The Guard Impact, Brave Edge, and Critical Edge all take away from it.

The Critical Edge and Brave Edge add to the diversity of the game. They let you develop habitual defensive patterns for when your opponent notices you’re conserving your Edge meter [in preparation for a Critical Edge or Brave Edge]. I think it’s really healthy for this series, even though it’s different from what Soulcalibur players are used to. But I know they’ll enjoy it because the depth of the game is going to be taken to a new level.

PSB: I noticed a major shift in Guard Impact from Soulcalibur V – the command has changed and it’s harder to perform. What sparked this change?
RB: We really want to test the guys who play these games in and out. You mentioned earlier that you were able to use Guard Impact in Soulcalibur III and SCIV to effortlessly parry blows. The more you play SCV, the more you’ll understand how to use Guard Impact and Just Guard. When you use Just Guard, you just tap block right before you get hit and you’ll parry the attack and you can interrupt your opponent.

The Guard Impact is more intended for somebody who’s newer to Soulcalibur. It’s the same concept, and you get guaranteed damage but it costs a bit of your Edge Meter. I think Guard Impact will help newcomers will work like a stepping stone to get them into the world of Just Guard.

PSB: Soulcalibur V is said to be the fastest game in the series. What inspired the faster speed?
RB: The EVO crowd and hardcore fans tend to prefer the faster pacing of the earlier games, which forced you to play at close range. SCIV played well, but we wanted to turn it up. Speed is only one element: you need to use your brain, too. There’s been a desire to return the pacing to the series’ roots and, with SCV, I’d say that the speed and pacing is closest to Soulcalibur II. But with the new Quick Step maneuvers, it’s its own beast. The Quick Step lets you sneak behind your opponent if you time it correctly, even moves that you can’t normally dodge using the sidestep or eight-way run.

Soulcalibur V for PS3 - Leixia5

PSB: I’m hearing that the Character Creator has gotten a massive overhaul for SCV. How does it enhance what we’ve seen before?
RB: You start by choosing which existing character’s move list you want to work with. You’re able to adjust a ton of new variables, including the size of your character’s limbs, physical height, voice, and gender. But those are just the base configurations in SCV. You can layer details on your character, and even completely change the appearance of items you’ve earned. You can really make your character your own. Even if you and your buddy both used “Pants Type B,” there’s absolutely no way that your pants will look alike.

The character creator is a great way to reach new fans, too, players who want to expand their creative mindset. According to the development team, we’ve increased the character creation options by 130% percent. We hope to see tons of crazy creations online when SCV hits this January!

PSB: There are an awful lot of empty slots on the current character select screen. Can you give us any hints?
RB: Absolutely…not! [laughs] It hurts to see the character list that we have internally and not be able to share. I’m so excited for the character roster that we’ll be releasing as time goes on. There are fan favorites in there but also characters that I don’t think anyone will expect. Stay with us! There’s always a lot of excitement over who will make the final character roster, and we don’t want to detract from that.

That said, we’re all about listening to our community. If you like or don’t like a particular character, we want to hear about it. Don’t push your thoughts under the rug. We’re working hard and we listen to our fans. If you have any suggestions, just let us know!

Comments are closed.


7 Author Replies

  • @Sid

    It says the video is set to private

  • I would be interested in this but your plans for the vita have deterred me. the last I’m gonna buy is the GT5 dlc today. So long sony it’s been a nice 20 years but I will no longer support your company :)

  • @Aeolus
    Quit trolling

  • Ahh SoulCalibur, how I love you so. To have Ezio is a rather kewl guest character :)

    @2 – You’re dumb to post stupid stuff like that on a blog post about SCV.

  • 2012 is certainly an awesome year for fighters:
    Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, Street Fighter X Tekken, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Soul Calibur 5, and others.

  • One thing i did really like about Soul Calibur 3 and 4 is the character creation, can’t wait to create my favorite characters into the Soul Calibur universe.

  • Soul Calibur is one of my favorite franchises, so stoked for this game’s release. Ezio will also make a much better guest character than the Star Wars fellows.

    • I liked the Star Wars characters, but my least favorite element of those guest characters was constantly fighting on the Death Star stages. The music — arghhhhh!

  • Will non-aging characters like Zasalamel and Cervantes be in the roster? How about the then younger fighters like Talim and Yun-Sung? What about Cassandra and Setsuka? Will any of them make the final roster?

    I also read in the previous blog that Natsu was raised by Chie. Not to cause spoilers, But If memory serves me right, Li Long from Soul Blade (or Soul Edge) had a lover named Chie who was pregnant with his child. Could Natsu be actually be the daughter of Li Long

  • any more guest characters coming? (All I need is a yes or no)

  • I like the boxart! guess Ezio does fit.

  • Nooooo!! Not Maxi him and Kalik are my guys you cant touch me once I get those nunchucks spinning again.This will probably be the other fighter game I buy next year

  • Ooops only*.Nothing can match Soul Caliber

  • Slow, but evasive.

    Man, as someone who considers himself familiar with gaming tropes, especially RPG builds, that sounds hella mismatched. But, hey, assassins aren’t necessarily ninjas. You strike hard, you strike quick, and you fade off. Still…feels weird.

  • Please make an option for players to easily share online their character customization, so that they don’t have to spend time copying and paste all the parameters of other players’ creation !

    • I asked about this and Rich told me that the team is very much aware that online play is important and that sharing is what the internet is all about. So take that for what you will! We’ll learn more solid details as time goes on.

  • will character creation have movesets beyond whats in the roster? I love the ninja style from SC3 and was super disappointed when it wasn’t in SC4. In SCIV, I didn’t feel like my character was original, since he/she was bound only by the main roster’s fighting styles.

  • The bad news I took away from this was CAS makes you select an existing move set :( I wish they’d bring back CAS-specific sets so my character doesn’t just feel like a reskin of the main roster.

    Also, any intention by Namco to release Soul Calibur 1 on the PSN? I feel it odd that the game was only released on XBL when SCIV was releasing and then I read earlier in the week that it was going to iOS. PlayStation has seen all the main SC titles (Soul Blade, Soul Calibur 2-5) but SC1.

    Also wondering if Namco is going to do maybe a retro costume pack or something? Give the returning characters a treasure trove of their old costumes and then let the player use them in CAS to mix and match.

  • I cant wait for deeper info and look into create a character.

  • cant wait to test the updated character creation mode :),SC fan till death!

  • Way better than lameass Kratos.

  • I No Natsu Plays Alot Like Taki, But Is It 2 Much To Ask For Taki 2 B Playable As Well ?

    Also Is There A Tag Team Mode ? If Not, That’s A Good Idea 4 SC6

  • Soul Calibur V Oh Yeah! any fighting fan knows this is a Must have!

    And i hear theres a Collector’s Edition! I’d say go for that.

    Jan 31st, WOW an odd date for a game to come out. But Can’t wait!

    Fighting Games FTW!

    By: DCS

  • I love Soul Calibur… Also Is this one gona be more like number 3 for the PS2, cause I really liked that one the best… the last one was ok… Plus I would love to see a free world for Soul Calibur, that would be amazing.

    Also I made this comment as well to test and see if my comments are showing up, seems some in the forums are reporting problems in the MOD forum space saying their Posts are not showing up on the Blog…

  • I love Soul Calibur. Ezio and I will be undefeatable.

  • Sid Shuman…can you ask them if they are going to bring back edge master mode from soul blade?

    P.S…I really enjoyed that mode it was a blast playing through it & unlocking tons of new items!

    Thank You!

  • @dragon_frost:

    This slipped my mind as well. Edge Master Mode would be a nice return for SCV. The lack of it in SCIV was very disappointing.

  • No way NO WAY! Soulcalibur 5? For REAL! I love this game alot, i play all of the games up to now and i can’t wait to add this one to my collection soon.

    @ chemerie i think your right dude, i check it out and this link should help out in way.

    When can we see this awesome game come out and will their be demo for it?

  • Will Custom Character effect hit boxes? This was a major issue in SC4 and resulted in many unfair whiffs and dropped combos! Also PLEASE DO NOT randomly make Viola = Amy because of the rumor. Bring Amy Style back even if it’s only a casual option!

  • Aeolus you are such a troll.
    You keep leaving comments saying you will never buy anything else yet you are always back on the blog to complain again.

  • I hope there are more guest characters such as Kratos, Nariko…maybe even something from Final Fantasy?

  • Sadly I missed out on Soul Calibur’s 3 and 4, but I’m hoping to get back into the series with 5. Ezio looks amazing! Making Ezio a slower and more powerful character seems about right. I was always irritated by how many fast/smaller characters were in Soul Calibur 2.

  • It is hard to believe namco had the nerve to break guard impacts out of the game, this was soul caliburs strong point, the reason it stood out. Replacing it with gimmicky street fighterish garbage is not appealing to anyone but ‘the new players’.

    Ezio may fit, but as far as ive seen hes like a cervantes with a low ranged added.

    Being able to ‘get behind your opponent’ is ‘NOT a good idea.
    This will make every fight on a higher level revolve soley on spamming moves that counter that.

    These things all force a very specific playstyle far away from what made soul calibur soul calibur.

    That and the fact that the taki clone fights nearly exactly like taki, and couldve been taki save for the head doesnt make me ‘hyped for this game in any way.

    The only reason i am still considering getting it, is that voldo is in.. and there is nothing more sexy than a voldo doing his thing.

  • Will the game have the same “Go Go Power ranger” fatality moves soul calibur 4 had to entertain the kids and younger generation or will they go back to their old roots of soul calibur? I noticed they threw in the guy from Assisin Creed to amuse the masses….

  • yes it sadly has the gimmicky cinematic garbage supers that slow the game down rather than make it fast paced like they supposedly wanted it to be.

    They better leave unblockables in, oh wait that can be put under the superbar right?


    I think i need to start looking for a new series again.

  • I’m a huge fan of SC…but please I beg…BRING TAKI BACK…please please I beg.

  • I REALLY look forward to the new Character customisation. It was something that I LOVED in IV, so I was verry happy to hear it’s been overhauled.

  • Namco. i beg you though, please put an optional mode in that will remove supers so the people who dont want to play with these supers can play without them.

    Also do the same with GI’s make an option in the optionmenu that allows oldschool gi’s please.

    Do the above and your game will sell multiple millions more i guarantee it.

  • I am so excited about Soul Calibur V, I can’t wait to see what the character creation will look like ^_^ Will there be a demo when the game comes out or before it comes out? Lastly, I made a video showing some of the characters I created in the other games with items that I would like to see in SCV: Please feel free to check it out NAMCO/Bandi Games :D Also, will players be able to make a second costume of their created characters? That would be cool (To me and any other players).

  • Will the game have the 3d thing?

Please enter your date of birth.