Night At The Museum

Originally Published: 10 July 2008

So, Soul Calibur has recently landed on Xbox Live Arcade. This was a game I was definitely looking forward to getting, not because of the upcoming Soul Calibur 4, but because I remember spending a lot of time on the Dreamcast bashing buttons to my hearts content.

So, last Wednesday, I downloaded and played. And I was, well, disappointed. I have assembled a list of Soul Calibur features then and now to help illustrate my disappointment.

Soul Calibur Then
* I only knew a few moves
* I was pretty crap with every character except Yoshimitsu
* I got through it mainly with button bashing
* I loved collecting the points through mission mode and unlocking everything in the museum

Soul Calibur Now
* I only know a few moves, possibly less than I used to
* I’m pretty crap with every character except Yoshimitsu
* I got through it mainly with button bashing
* Everything in the museum is unlocked from the start

So, yeah, I felt a little bit cheated when I played the game. When I got to the menu, I remember thinking “hmm, there’s a game mode where I can collect points to unlock artwork and the like”. I hunted for it. I couldn’t, at the time, remember what it was called but I knew it wasn’t any of the ones on offer. So I want to the museum section to see if that would shed any light on it and discovered a plethora of ready-to-view artwork the likes of which I hadn’t seen since I sat up all night playing the original Soul Calibur back when it first came out.

It’s still a fun game to play, and I still suck as much as I did back then, I just don’t feel as rewarded for it. I don’t feel the need to have “one more go” so I can try and get a few more points to unlock a picture of a scantily clad lady with a gravity-defying cleavage, because I can just go and view that cleavage in the museum whenever I want. Those boobs were a reward for my hard work and perseverance, but with the Arcade release I feel like I’m queuing up for my job-seekers allowance and someone with blouse-busting nunga-nungas has just flashed me.

Normally, with Arcade titles there are boasts of added replayability and other gamey buzzwords because they’ve taken an old game and put a bit of co-op or adversarial play in to spice it up. Soul Calibur has come along and sucked out a large part of the replayability by removing the museum or the need to unlock any characters. Maybe it’s all part of the big plan to get people into the series by giving them everything straight away, but it just seems like a cop-out to me.