Monday, April 21, 2008

The Soul Still Burns

In this week's "Gaming Treasures" is the Soul Edge / Calibur series.

Soul Edge (origins)
Soul Calibur - Aftermath
Soul Calibur II - The War has begun
Soul Calibur III - SC 2.5
Soul Calibur IV - SC 3

Now a fellow fan may began to ask, "hey wait, but it goes this way". There is no denying it, that this series is kind of difficult to gather. But it really did begin with the PSX entry.

Soul Edge - A campaign of 8 warriors strive to defend their lands, until a sword of unknown power taints everything sacred. Some live, some die, and leave a legacy. *Cervantes is the main villain

Soul Calibur - Generations later, new warriors take up the fight; where others left off. The war has begun across Europe & Asia, only one will stand defiant. Thus the multitude of new faces, and a few familiars from the first venture.
-Character Elements
New faces join the fight, and legends return. However more of the these faces relate to one another. Many of them work together to protect their lands, before a huge war takes their people apart. Very few stand defiant and win, while others stand alone to take back what is rightfully there's.

-Conquest campaign
Each fighter has their own legacy, with weapon in hand; going across the globe to find the swords. Even though with a campaign, it still doesn't clarify whom actually obtain the true sword. (since the sword is already attained to everyone) But Siegfried is the actual wielder of Soul Edge, due to its corruption of him.

Soul Calibur II - Few years after the first battle, the sword has gained its powers (thus splitting into more pieces).
-Character elements
Siegfried has fought the sword at the end of SC, now awakening his true spirit. (thus him and the enigma of the sword split = Nightmare is its own entity). Maxi returns from the dead? Ivy's soul is now attached to her sword forever. Killik is cleansed from his staff, and joins Xianghua to defend her homeland. Cassandra defends her family, and takes the mantle for her sister.

-Tales of the Sword II
Actually a revamped version of SCI's extra campaign. In addition, each weapon has more different characteristics than the original. It begs to even question, what is the true weapon?
Also depending on your character of choice, their rival will be unique.

Soul Calibur III - (director's cut?)
Only set a few months after II, the war has begun; the lands are in turmoil. Nightmare now is its own entity, taking other warriors at the helm; not for souls but conquest. Siegfried & his alliances form together to take back their homelands once and for all.
(only one problem.. is this a prelude of 4?)

- Elements
*Since this is only a few months later, nothing's too different. The only exception are a few additional characters.

- Tales of the Sword III
A more advanced campaign, new tweaks; same design. Except it has more of the Tekken limits to balance out the game as if you're playing online? (SC III was going to be online, but the dev team admitted they weren't quite ready yet)

Soul Calibur IV (Final War)
During the final battle, more friends & foes unite one last time. That about sums it up..
- Elements
New faces, old friends (and some characters with less clothing)
Weapon damage, and some new minor tweaks

- Tales of the Lightsaber IV (er i mean sword)
Online! But will it change the in-game campaign?

- Weapons of Choice
The most defining part of the Soul series is the multitude of weapons. Depending on whom you play, you are given options by their fighting style / def / off/ and spirit. No matter whom joins this roster, everyone is connected in some way or another. In addition, many of the weapons have a firm root in history; adding a bit of novelty.

- How will Soul Calibur define next gen?
1) Finally going online
2) Why limit guest characters to a console?
3) More characters? the roster is over 30+
4) Bigger campaign? Maybe take on friends to influence gameplay?
5) Will finally add some closure (hopefully)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Gaming Treasures - P.N.03

-Gaming Treasures is a gaming article segment that I feel glad to share about, regarding some neat treasures in my gaming collection. This is the first article for this new part of my gaming blog. Hope you enjoy.

(this is a work in progress article, screenshots to come later)

- P.N.03 (Product Number 03)
PN03 was a game under the "Production Studio 4" or "Big 5" from Capcom's inside studios. Various producers in the industry took part (fathers of Devil May Cry, to Resident Evil; and many more). At the time, the helm was actually severed, and only a few of the projects remained in tact; one of these was PN03.

-"Dancing Shooter"
What began as a concept for Devil May Cry, actually was a test game for another system. Using the same engine, gave SM (Shinji Mikami) & his team a different perspective with the Nintendo GameCube. *footnote: Hideki Kamiya was @ the helm of his own project, named Viewtiful Joe (Mikami & Kamiya also co-directed Resident Evil & other Capcom titles in the past)

Also directly known as a "Robot War Shooter", but Mikami's view wasn't settled. Codename "Jaguar" was looked over as the main femme' fatale was catlike in her way of design. Vanessa Z. Schneider, is the woman behind this game, with moves that are swift, sexy, and graceful. Taking you on a mission to stop renegade A.I. from causing more chaos to outside forces (and some revenge for wrongdoings in her "past").

(PN03 is also somewhat of a nod to Metroid), Mikami liked the idea of playing a character aside from male, thus a female one was chosen instead. *including some designs from one of the team members, an illustrator who also agreed for a female lead. **Vanessa is not modeled after anyone in particular, she' s an original character.. but she does look alot like Resident Evil's - Jill Valentine.

- You're not the boss of me
Set within a far off planet, as Vanessa you clean up what's been left behind. In a facility not manned by humans, but A.I. *in spirit, a a bit reminiscent of "Ghost in the Shell's - Motoko Kusanagi". Along the way you gain new suits + functionality (new abilities). The gameplay design is reminiscent of a classic shmup but with added "spirit" & "energy" behind it from start to finish.

In addition, it also resembles a bit of Devil May Cry, with a lock-on feature enabled. But instead of using a sword or gun (*this was to be an additional weapon, but was later dropped); you used concussive blasts encapsulated within your very suit. With that said, every motion, attack, or fluidity, is all in your control. But like DMC, this game can be a bit challenging, moreso its a fun diversion from what's out there.

- You Look Devine
Make no mistake, music is a driving force behind any game. With this one, its your motivation, when you go to the beat, Vanessa's reaction will be in-step. Just follow through, and you'll see something diverse to keep up with. PN03's soundtrack is composed by Shusaku Uchiyama, & Makoto Tomozawa (V. Tomozoh) *both composers have been behind some of the most well known Capcom game soundtracks, from Megaman to Resident Evil.

- One More Beat
When I first picked up this game, I wasn't sure what to expect. At the time, I was thirsting for something new; so I glanced over and found this game. Only to find out that its something of a "hidden treasure". I haven't seen anything quite like it, and not sure if I will again. It is definitely a humbling game, for those who enjoy Devil May Cry's archetype design, they will get a kick out of this game.

What did I enjoy most? Seriously, the game overall is a neat part of my library. Although I haven't unlocked all of the suits, it is simply fun to watch Vanessa move so swiftly (*while avoiding laser fire, or insane traps). For the most part, its an original title with a bit of spunk. I really wish this game would be brought back, but sadly its one of those titles alot of gamers looked over.

(*Nintendo's Seal of Quality) - Now this is something worth seeing on a game package like this. Gamers that have grown up with fun titles since day one, know it meant something. But during the past couple of years, its been a struggle. And I say this with heart, this game is like a hug you've been wanting for a long time. I sincerely hope that anyone that reads this, considers picking up this game. Whether it be used, or new, you will find something here. And who knows, it may show up again someday.

Links you may want to check out: