Jump to content

Soulcalibur IV

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Soulcalibur IV
Premium Edition case art depicting Siegfried and Nightmare
Developer(s)Project Soul
Publisher(s)Namco Bandai Games[a]
Director(s)Katsutoshi Sasaki
Katsuhiro Harada
Daishi Odashima
Producer(s)Hiroaki Yotoriyama
Mitsuo Kashiwagi
Masashi Tommy
Designer(s)Noriyuki Hiyama
Programmer(s)Masaaki Hoshino
Artist(s)Masashi Kubo
Yasuyuki Kobori
Hideo Yoshie
Writer(s)Yoshihiro Nakagawa
Sohhei Kamada
Composer(s)Junichi Nakatsuru
Keiki Kobayashi
Hiroyuki Fujita
Masaharu Iwata
Star Wars music composed by John Williams
Platform(s)PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • NA: July 29, 2008
  • JP: July 31, 2008
  • AU: July 31, 2008
  • EU: July 31, 2008[1]
  • UK: August 1, 2008[2]
  • NZL: August 1, 2008
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Soulcalibur IV[b] is a 2008 fighting video game developed by Project Soul and published by Namco Bandai Games for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is the fifth installment in the Soulcalibur series, featuring greatly improved visuals over its predecessor and three playable guest characters from the Star Wars franchise. It is also the first Soulcalibur game to not receive an arcade version.

A spin-off, Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny, was released for the PlayStation Portable in 2009.


Soulcalibur IV features Story, Arcade, Training, and Museum modes. A new mode, Tower of Lost Souls, requires the player to win battles in order to gain rewards.[3] The game runs in HD resolution with 5.1 channel surround sound on both platforms.

The Character Creation mode from Soulcalibur III returns in Soulcalibur IV. However, instead of including original weapon styles for use with certain classes of fighters, Soulcalibur IV only allows players to choose which character from the series they would like to have their created character mimic. This differs from Soulcalibur III, where there were many unique styles such as "Grieve Edge". The styles of Algol, the bonus characters and the Star Wars guest characters cannot be used by player-created characters. A wide array of new pieces of equipment are available for use in Soulcalibur IV's Character Creation mode, and new options include a wider range of character voices and the ability to change their pitch. The player may also change a character's general physique and muscularity.

In addition, equipped items now also affect a character's statistics. Armor, weapons, and accessories may increase health, attack, or defense; they may also grant skill points that allow the character to equip special traits that affect the character's playstyle.[4] These traits may include automatically triggered guard impacts, the ability to cause damage against a blocking opponent, or even a statistic increase based on parameters such as an opponent's alignment or gender. Standard characters may also be modified in this manner, albeit only modestly, allowing custom costumes and skill sets to be used in Special VS. mode. Custom characters may still be used in Standard VS. mode, but without any of the special abilities gained through equipment or weapon choice. One profile is allowed for Offline VS. mode, meaning that only one profile's created characters can be loaded at any one time.

Multi-fighter battles in Soulcalibur IV use a different structure from its predecessors, nicknamed Active Matching Battle (AMB). Similar to the tag system of games such as The King of Fighters 2003, the AMB system allows players to switch to other members of a party of fighters mid battle. Instead of starting a new round for each opponent defeated, new opponents simply run into the battle immediately after a K.O., with the exception of certain combatants. Matches utilizing the AMB system only appear in the Story and Tower of Lost Souls modes.

Soulcalibur IV features an all-new Critical Finish system. Next to a player's health meter is a colored gem: the Soul Gauge. The gem changes color when the player blocks an attack or has his or her own attack blocked by a Guard Impact. The color gradually changes from blue to green, then to red and eventually flashing red. The player's own Soul Gauge regenerates if he or she makes an attack and hits the opponent, guarding or otherwise. If the character manages to empty out the opponent's Soul Gauge, the enemy is destroying a piece of armor (characters now show permanent signs of visual damage such as broken and torn clothing) and producing a short stun during which the character can perform a powerful Critical Finish move, which is able to defeat the opponent instantly, by pressing all four face buttons at the same time. Each character has his or her own personal Critical Finish move. Namco developed the Soul Gauge to decrease the benefits from constant guarding, thus giving the game a faster tempo and making the matches more offensive.[5]

The Star Wars guest characters, Darth Vader, Yoda and the Apprentice, utilize unique attacks using the Force. Darth Vader is able to utilize Force-based blasts, punches, and chokes; Yoda can use the Force to launch himself into the air for complex aerial attacks; finally, the Apprentice is able to use Force lightning and other dark-side moves. These moves drain a special Force Meter, which recharges gradually when not in use. If the Force Meter is depleted, the player momentarily loses control of the character.

For the first time in the series, Soulcalibur IV includes an online multiplayer option. Versus modes available in online battles are Standard VS (for classic matches) and Special VS (for customized characters).[3] Created characters are playable in the online multiplayer mode.[6] A player's wins and losses are recorded and used to establish a ranking level, which reflects online skill.[3]


Soulcalibur IV contains a roster of 34 fighters. Many characters from the Soul series returning, with two newcomers and three guest characters from The Star Wars franchise (Darth Vader, Yoda and The Apprentice). Initially, Darth Vader appeared on the PlayStation 3, and Yoda appeared on the Xbox 360 full game download; Namco later made both characters downloadable content on the opposite platform for a fee. The Apprentice, the main protagonist of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, is playable on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions.

Revenant,[7] Frederick Schtauffen[8][9] and several other minor Soul series characters make an appearance in battle, and most can be made in Character Creation mode. Several bonus characters designed by manga artists (Angol Fear, Ashlotte, Kamikirimusi, Scheherazade, and Shura) are also playable in the game, and use the fighting styles of returning characters. They are designed by Mine Yoshizaki, Ito Ōgure, Hirokazu Hisayuki, Yutaka Izubuchi and Hiroya Oku respectively.

^a Guest character
^b Unlockable
^c Bonus unlockable characters
^d Newcomers


The story of Soulcalibur IV, told via in-game written profiles and movies, centers around the appearance of the ancient king Algol, his tower, and his connection to the origin of the spirit sword named Soulcalibur. Every character's motivation and relationship to the other characters is diagrammed in a mode called Chain of Souls. As usual, none of the individual endings from the previous game are considered canonical events, and most of the characters' motivations from that game remain unresolved. However, a small number of characters did experience important events associated with universal Soulcalibur III events. Siegfried has died and been resurrected by the Soulcalibur sword. Sophitia's daughter Pyrrha has been kidnapped by Tira and malfested by Soul Edge, leaving Sophitia to fight for the side of evil in defense of her now-corrupted daughter. Tira is now suffering from a split-personality disorder. Most characters are still motivated by a desire to either obtain, destroy, or defend one or both of the legendary swords now carried by Siegfried and Nightmare, and most characters face Algol as the final boss of Story mode. All characters feature animated ending movies.


The Premium Edition of Soulcalibur IV included a 48-page softcover art/comic book illustrated in full color, an XL 100% cotton T-shirt, and a tournament chart that allowed "fans the opportunity to document the battle amongst friends." The reverse side of the chart was a poster. It was packaged in a metal case and was released on the same date as the regular edition, along with exclusive access to extra customization content in this version.[10] This extra content was the automatic unlocking of the most powerful weapons and joke weapons for each character, as well as clothing items to create a schoolboy or schoolgirl character. In New Zealand, Australia, and Europe there was a steelbook case edition instead, including a bonus DVD containing four trailers in HD, four wallpapers, exclusive concept art, and an exclusive booklet with character biographies.

Shortly after the initial release, various pieces of paid downloadable content were made available including music tracks from the original Soulcalibur, customization equipment,[11] and weapon packs. On October 23, 2008, the options to play as Yoda in the PS3 version of the game and Darth Vader in the Xbox 360 version were made available via paid downloadable content.[12][13] However, both DLC were later removed from PSN and XBL due to licensing from the purchase of Star Wars by Disney. [citation needed]


Soulcalibur IV received mostly positive reviews from media outlets. In 2014, six years after its initial release, it held an average Metacritic score of 85 for both its PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions.[23] The game was praised for its polished graphics, deep Character Creation mode, and its long-awaited online play capability. Reviewers also noted that the gameplay was accessible for newcomers and beginners but still had plenty of depth and technicality for veterans and experienced players, including an abundance of single player challenges in Tower of Lost Souls mode.[24][25] The music was also praised,[21] and Gaming Revolution summarised the game as "some of the best weapons-based fighting action in town".[18]

Certain criticisms were directed towards the guest characters from the Star Wars franchise, with several critics maintaining that their presence was unnatural and that Yoda and the Apprentice in particular were "broken" (a reference to a perceived imbalance in fighting games that gives some characters a vastly unfair advantage over other characters in gameplay) and "absurd," respectively. Yoda's smaller size (and thus his immunity to grab attacks) is mentioned as one such design problem.[26] At the same time, Yoda's short range and low damage output were deemed problematic, making him both overpowered and underpowered at the same time.

Soulcalibur IV topped the UK sales charts for several weeks on both the PS3[27] and Xbox 360.[28] As of March 31, 2009, the game had sold 2.3 million copies worldwide.[29]

Awards and accolades[edit]

During the 12th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences nominated Soulcalibur IV for "Fighting Game of the Year".[34] In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.[35]


Project Soul (the development team of the Soul series) had always given the impression that Soulcalibur IV would be their last installment as the team was rumored to have disbanded. However, Katsuhiro Harada (producer of the Tekken series) said he would seriously consider a sequel if there was sufficient interest and informed fans that he was willing to accept opinions and requests through Twitter, asking for the messages to be short and simple due to his poor English skills. While the possibility of a sequel was stronger than ever, Namco had not made any statement to solidify their commitment for the game. Fans were encouraged to maintain support and show interest to secure development of Soulcalibur V.[36] On May 11, 2011, Namco Bandai officially announced the new game, which was released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on January 31, 2012.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Released under the Namco label outside North America.
  2. ^ Japanese: ソウルキャリバーIV, Hepburn: Sōrukyaribā Fō



  1. ^ Orry, James (April 18, 2008). "Soulcalibur IV to launch in Europe on July 31". VideoGamer. Retrieved May 24, 2024.
  2. ^ Orry, James (May 21, 2008). "SoulCalibur 4 confirmed for August 1". VideoGamer. Retrieved May 24, 2024.
  3. ^ a b c Namco Bandai Games America Archived December 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Soulcalibur IV Hands-On Preview". Psu.com. 2008-04-28. Archived from the original on 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  5. ^ Torres, Ricardo (2008-04-15). "Soulcalibur IV Updated Hands-On". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2009-02-22. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  6. ^ "Soulcalibur IV Goes Online at 1UP.com". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
  7. ^ "Revenant". Archived from the original on 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  8. ^ "Frederick Schtauffen". Archived from the original on 2012-02-24. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  9. ^ ""Soulcalibur IV Character Spotlight: Siegfried" via". 1up.com. 2008-07-29. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  10. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (2008-04-15). "IV Premium Edition Details at GameSpot". Gamespot.com. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  11. ^ "Soulcalibur IV Gets DLC at 1UP.com". Archived from the original on 2008-08-09. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
  12. ^ Plunkett, Luke (20 October 2010). "Vader, Yoda Cross Soul Calibur IV Versions On October 23". Kotaku. Gizmodo Media Group. Archived from the original on 3 November 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Joystiq.com Soulcalibur IV getting Vader and Yoda DLC". Archived from the original on 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2008-10-18.
  14. ^ "SoulCalibur IV for PlayStation 3 - GameRankings". www.gamerankings.com. Archived from the original on 2017-01-09. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  15. ^ "SoulCalibur IV". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2015-01-18. Retrieved 2014-11-08.
  16. ^ "Soul Calibur 4 (Xbox 360)". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2008-07-29.
  17. ^ "SoulCalibur IV for Xbox 360". GameRankings. 2008-07-29. Archived from the original on 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  18. ^ a b "Soul Calibur IV Review - GameRevolution". Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  19. ^ "Soulcalibur IV Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
  20. ^ "Gamespy: Soulcalibur IV Review". Archived from the original on 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  21. ^ a b "IGN: Soulcalibur IV Review". 28 July 2008. Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2008.
  22. ^ "X-Play Soul Calibur 4 review". Archived from the original on 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  23. ^ "Soulcalibur IV for PS3 reviews". Metacritic. 2008-07-31. Archived from the original on 2015-01-18. Retrieved 2014-11-07.
  24. ^ Mielke, James (2008-07-31). "SoulCalibur IV Review for PS3, 360 from". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  25. ^ Calvert, Justin (2008-07-30). "Soulcalibur IV Review". GameSpot.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-04. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  26. ^ Clements, Ryan. "IGN Review, p.2". IGN. Archived from the original on 6 August 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
  27. ^ "GFK Chart-Track". www.chart-track.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2018-02-23. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  28. ^ "GFK Chart-Track". www.chart-track.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2018-02-23. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  29. ^ "NAMCO BANDAI Holdings Inc.: Financial Highlights for the Fiscal Year Ended March 2009" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  30. ^ "IGN Xbox 360: Best Fighting Game 2008". Bestof.ign.com. Archived from the original on December 22, 2008. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  31. ^ "2011 Spike TV Video Game Awards, Nominees, Winners, TV Schedule". Chiff.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  32. ^ Brudvig, Erik (9 January 2009). "Top 20 Most Popular Xbox 360 Games of 2008". IGN. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  33. ^ "SoulCalibur IV (Xbox 360/PS3) - The top 20 beat 'em-ups of all time - Games". Virgin Media. Archived from the original on 2015-06-11. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  34. ^ "D.I.C.E. Awards By Video Game Details Soul Calibur IV". interactive.org. Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 16 November 2023.
  35. ^ Mott, Tony (2010). 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. London: Quintessence Editions Ltd. p. 823. ISBN 978-1-74173-076-0.
  36. ^ "Katsuhiro Harada Confirms Soulcalibur V Discussion! | 8WayRun.Com - Soulcalibur". 8WayRun.Com. 21 August 2010. Archived from the original on 2020-09-28. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  37. ^ Butler, Tom (11 May 2011). "Soul Calibur V Announced". IGN. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.

External links[edit]