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Soul Calibur IV: Holding You Over Until Christmas

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Screenshot courtesy of Namco/Bandai

Earlier last month, LAist got to head over to E3 to check out the latest and greatest that the video game world had to offer. Sure we got to get our hands on some great demos like Little Big Planet and Mirror’s Edge, but it is in this blogger’s opinion that 2008 is the year of the fighting game. While the Internets have been abuzz with videos and screen caps of Street Fighter IV (the first Street Fighter to come out in about 10 years), there’s one little title that burst on to the scene during the Dreamcast era that pretty much revolutionized the combat-genre. Courtesy of our cool friends at Namco/Bandai, LAist received a copy of the latest installment of Soul Calibur, arguably the most in depth fighting game on the market.

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Besides its glorious graphics, character animations, and fluidity of movement, it’s the depth of SCIV that really gets you the bang you so sorely need these days for your buck. While the online and versus mode lets you get your ass kicked by some of the best players on the planet, the story and arcade mode allows players to become truly immersed in character development (of over 30 characters to choose from) and plot. While the story mode lasts only a disappointing 5 rounds, the speed at which you play through each character allows for more unlockable features, which generally translates into more achievements for those that love to ramp up gamer points.

The Tower of Lost Souls is yet another mode of single-play that allows players to basically fight tournament style, ascending or descending through a series of opponents with up to four at a time. Sticking with your characters through the whole ordeal, you can tag your two fighters in and out, gaining achievements and unlockables at various points throughout the tournament. Once you find yourself with enough points, the Character Creation mode becomes the focal point of the game. With customizable features down to the fist cuffs, Character Creation mode is almost as entertaining as the actual battle mode. While we imagine that the core demographic of SCIV players (read: 15 year old boys) leave their female characters with a simple bikini and a Trojan helmet, you can trust that there’s plenty more to add on.

SCIV is available on both Xbox360 and PS3, and for those of you lucky enough to have both, we would recommend getting the PS3 version simply based on the ergonomics of the Sixaxis controller. Also, don’t forget to take into consideration the crossover characters courtesy of Star Wars production company LucasArts. Providing the Xbox 360 version with a playable version of Yoda and the PS3 version with Darth Vader, geeks can salivate over the ability to pit their light-sabered heroes against the Soul Edge in an epic battle to confirm who’s is actually bigger. And after the E3 lull that has been thankfully reinvigorated by Soul Calibur IV, its safe to say that it’ll take at least another four months to figure out that age-old question.

Screenshots courtesy of Namco/Bandai