SoulCalibur VI is the latest release in the series that offers plenty of characters to accommodate any playstyle as well as options to create your own fighter. There are two rich story modes along with your typical, more quick-play modes, including Arcade and Versus. In case you’re into RPG aspects, there’s even a mode that somewhat accommodates this.
If for whatever reason, none of the characters’ appearances catch your eye, you can opt to create your own or even modify a currently existing one. You can also download custom characters others have created, assuming you have the proper equipment unlocked to accommodate the outfit. There are DLC characters--although the character creation permits endless potential combinations, there’s still a reason to buy new characters for additional fighting styles. Tira is one DLC character, and she was my main in previous releases.
By spending Soul Points (SP), you can purchase new equipment with which to customize your custom characters. Alternatively, you can exchange these SP for lore-related items and concept art in the museum. There are several ways to obtain these points, including completing a character’s story, winning an online ranked match, or exchanging gold for SP in Mission: Libra of Soul. The variety of how to acquire SP ensures that regardless of what you prefer to do in SoulCalibur VI, you’ll be able to unlock the cosmetics and explore the entirety of what the museum has to offer.
In the main story mode, Soul Chronicle...
You can explore individual narratives for each character. In Libra of Soul, you get to create a custom character; you can’t choose a character you’ve created previously to use here. This mode acts like another storyline, but you have some choice in the trajectory of the plot. During certain dialogue scenes, you can choose an action, which tips your character’s Spirit Scales toward either good or evil.
Libra of Soul has RPG elements that utilize this scale system. A weapon might have a preference--if your choices have tipped your scales toward evil, equipping a weapon that aligns with that stance yields an increase in critical rate. After completing a mission, there’s a chance to obtain a weapon. There’s a tendency for a weapon of the same type as what you have equipped to drop; alternatively, you can purchase weapons from the shops in towns. The weapons in shops aren’t usually as powerful as what you can find after missions but at least it’s a sure bet and not relying on RNG to drop a particular type of weapon. You can swap out your weapon at any time to try out another fighting style. Simply purchasing a weapon of a specific style and using it is an excellent way to begin another weapon type if you’ve already progressed some and are facing stronger enemies than what the starting weapons could handle. By providing assistance via completing missions, you might level up a town, increasing the quality of stock that the shops offer for sale and improving its facilities.
Later, you can unlock a way to modify weapons whether by applying materials to grant a bonus to a weapon, so long as it has an open slot for a bonus or by synthesizing weaponry. Bonuses can range from increased health to increased critical damage and more. While your equipped weapon affects damage output, your character level affects how much health you have. If you find enemies dealing too much damage, perhaps it’s time to grind. Alternatively, you could resort to utilizing food or mercenaries. Food grants some perk during a mission and you can hire mercenaries to battle for you but, just like the food, are gone after use.
Previously completed missions only grant gold...
So in case you’re looking to grind, perhaps your best option is exploring the surrounding area. Repeatable quests spring up from time to time and you might meet a foe along the way. Exploration takes gold, however, and the further away your destination is, the more your travel expenses. Environmental factors, such as having to travel by sea, add to the travel cost. Not every expedition will yield a profit, but money is hardly an issue; should it become an issue, there are the past repeatable missions you can complete, but you won’t earn XP for this.
You can also play with friends and strangers online. The connection quality is better than expected--I live in the U.S. and played with a friend from Germany with relatively few issues aside from occasional minor ping spikes. In case no one on your friend’s list is online, and you’re looking to get in a few casual matches with randoms, you won’t necessarily have many rooms from which to choose. I’ve yet to see more than ten rooms available for my region, and about all of these had no more than five people. During the early afternoon, I tend to see only a handful of people on. I imagine most who play online are playing ranked (considering it takes about ten seconds to find a ranked match). Oddly enough, connectivity seemed worse in a ranked match in my region, compared to a match with someone from Germany, even with the connection status parameter set to three bars or higher. The servers were down earlier that day, however, according to a discussion on Steam. In case you’re unable to find a ranked match in a decent amount of time, you may go into Training or the Arcade modes while you wait.
The Verdict: Great
No stuttering, no frame drops, no crashes: SOULCALIBUR VI is rather polished. The story modes are intriguing, and Libra of Soul is likely to hold your interest through its entirety. Perhaps even beyond that, especially if you enjoy RPG elements added to a fighting game. A release to check out, for sure.