I don’t know about you guys, but the SoulCalibur series is one of my favorite fighting game franchises. I threw loads of money away on this game back when arcades were a thing that mattered, and it’s easily my favorite series of 3-D fighters.
The game premiered on consoles as a launch title with the beloved Dreamcast, and has since been ported to the Xbox LIVE Arcade, and now your iOS device! It’s a high quality port of the game, with the excellent HD visuals of the XBLA edition, though it is missing a couple modes as well as any kind of multiplayer.
The biggest question with any iOS port of a console and arcade fighter is usually “how well does it control?” The controls aren’t perfect, but they’re just as manageable as Street Fighter IV Volt or King of Fighters-i. The button positions and opacity can be customized as well, which is always appreciated. The game almost always ran smoothly, with a few uncommon cases of slowdown, and the combat is just as fluid as ever. Each character’s unique choice of weapons always made this one of the most diverse fighters out there in my eyes. There’s a character for everyone whether you want to be the swift and nimble Kilik, the slow and lumbering Astaroth, or the exceedingly freaky Voldo.
The game includes most of the necessary modes, from your standard arcade mode, to time attack, survival, extra survival and practice. Mission mode is unfortunately absent, as is any kind of online multiplayer, although online multiplayer has yet to be implemented in any edition of this game as far as I know. You can still be competitive with friends thanks to a few Game Center leaderboards, and there are several achievements to nab as well. Hopefully multiplayer will be implemented in the future.
The graphics are dated, sure, but they still look just as good as ever, and the sound is top notch as well. The interface could have really used a revamp though, as most menus are way too small to navigate easily. Half of the game’s 19 characters need to be unlocked to use, and despite the lack of multiplayer, there is plenty to do in this game. Unfortunately, it’s quite clearly at the higher end of the App Store pricing spectrum, at twelve dollars. Shockingly enough, that is an introductory price that’s been reduced by twenty percent. Whether or not you’ll find the game worth such a price depends entirely on how much you love the series and whether you can deal with the lack of multiplayer. You could always get the Xbox LIVE Arcade version for ten dollars if you don’t care to take the game with you wherever you go. In the end, this is a high quality port that does almost everything right. Now who’s pumped for SoulCalibur V?