Destinies will clash but so will your thinking tanks in a game of chance. SoulCalibur VI Network Test is upon us which started from the 28th of September @ 8AM PDT running ‘til the 1st of the coming month. The upcoming fighting game developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment which is being produced by Project Soul, an internal production studio within Bamco themselves will be released on the 19th of October for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
It’s a tactical mind-game of sorts following the traditional gameplay elements we know and love. Two weapon-wielding combatants battling it out to the end or punishing with a Spartan kick off the ring. And with the new combat mechanic dubbed as Reversal Edge, it allows players to defend themselves and strike back in slow-mo for maximum effect! Which also does not consume meter. During such scenarios, players get to play a more advanced form of “rock, paper and scissors” with eight options instead of the usual three. From the horizontal attack, vertical attack, kick, sidestep, forward crouch, backstep, guard and guard impact, there’s a lot more thinking that I previously thought. And like the regular game, when players follow the same attack, it will bounce off each other to allow a second and final clash.
They’re noticeable due to red aura and with their own set of ranges and wind-up animations. From a competitive standpoint, (like I know anything about being competitive) it doesn’t really offer much because of the vertical attack pattern which can easily by sidestepped or countered by other means. However as a button-masher myself that has no time to learn about combos or attack-chains, it offers low-level players eye-candy which is always a good thing to watch. Especially when the game is running in Unreal Engine 4 to keep the fast-paced action a moment’s rest.
And like I said, I’m a button-masher, I mash a button and expect a win after a barrage of random attacks. Which more often than not happens but at times (all the time) get obliterated by the Koreans I end up matching with. And while the game fails to include a manual of sorts, Bandai Namco released images showing how it’s done so here it is for both PS4 and Xbox One controllers:
Character-wise, there’s already a lot to choose from, sixteen of them to be exact. The new one, Geralt of Rivia which if I were to guess, only came here for the ladies. Throwing away his rugged and manly look into a younger witcher in the school of the wolf. Because ladies love the smooth and silky skin and snow white facial hair apparently.
Taking place in the 16th century and is a reboot to the series that revisits the first game to uncover hidden truths. Despite the game being more focused on story elements, the network test is not about that and only has ranked matches unlocked. Pick a character, region, and all of that nitpicky stuffs before searching an opponent online. On its own, the game plays like butter, it’s smooth and melting. Combat at times would be very satisfying yet at times get hindered when matched with people with slow connections offering brief slowdowns during games which you can limit yourself to other players by tweaking the search criteria.
Graphics, however, can look dated on some parts but mostly positive. Some character models appear a bit pixelated in the fight screen. However, mid-fight it’s not as noticeable as characters are farther than being zoomed in and with everything that’s happening not to mention all the flashy moves going on. Maps are there, from the old and into the new. Kaer Morhen, for example, is one such place I love to see every time. Having an epic battle with the fortress in the background just brings back good memories of Ciri and Geralt sparring but this time you can kick someone off the edge.
Overall, I’m very much excited to what else Bandai Namco is bringing to the table in the coming days or months after its release. The game itself is far from over since it hasn’t even fully started. (Duh!) More character slots need to be filled and my thirst for blood and glory as a true button-masher has yet to be fully realized!