Application Review: Soul Calibur

It has stood the test of time and lives on. It is regarded as one of the best, all-time fighting games. It is timeless. This is Soulcalibur. 12 years ago, Namco developed and released the first installment of Soulcalibur as a sequel to Soul Edge to continue the long, ever-lasting story. Since then, the game has received quite a few ports to newer devices including Dreamcast and Xbox. However, it wasn’t until January that it has iOS seen its port. Soulcalibur allows players to relive, once again, the great aspects of the legendary fighting game.  Read on for the full review: 


Soulcalibur is a 3D, arcade fighter. Offering 5 total modes of gameplay, it gives players multiple ways to warp into their nostalgic past:

  • Arcade: Customize your rules in the settings and fight. Users set the amount of rounds, time, and other options in the options menu.
  • Time Trial: Best of three rounds, and as the name suggests, this mode is timed allowing only 40 seconds to defeat your opponent. After winning a set of fights, you fight a new opponent until you lose a set of fights.
  • Survival: You have one life per battle. After defeating your opponent, you are matched up with another to fight.
  • Extreme Survival: Just like survival with a twist, one hit and you’re dead.
  • Practice: Practice your fighting skills.

Complete your combo to inflict the most damage to your opponent, but don’t let them do it to you.

The gameplay becomes more strategic since character having his, or her, own strengths. Along with those come their own unique combos. Using your character’s strengths and avoiding their weaknesses is as important to executing the most powerful combos to winning a battle. The fights are fast paced and can become quite the addition.

Choose your character wisely as they each have their strengths and weaknesses.

Like all Namco ports, this game uses a virtual D-pad and on-screen buttons. Normally, I hate the controls on a Namco game, in this case however, the controls do feel natural and simply disappear. Customization plays key roles here allowing players to add buttons to the screen, move elements around, and adjust transparency.

Although I’m not normally one to like Namco’s control scheme, this does work well for this game.

Gameplay: ★★★★★


We saw with GTA3 that porting a really old game can result in damaged graphics for older devices. This is entirely not the case with Soulcalibur. Although they don’t quite reach the levels of an Unreal-powered game, the graphics themselves do hold their own. The entire game has the arcade feel to it. Improving from its 12 year old predecessor Soulcalibur offers greater details, clarity, and frame rates. Even on my jailbroken iPod Touch, this game runs smoothly and quickly.

With improvements on clarity and detail, this game doesn’t end up looking as 1990’s.

I did however, run into one small caveat on the menus. Some of the menu buttons were extremely difficult to navigate. They were too small, and too sensitive. I would constantly push buttons I wasn’t intending to when navigating through options.

Big fingers? Have fun navigating menus, I had trouble with my small fingers.

Graphics: ★★★★½


Music and sound effects in this game give away that it’s an arcade fighter. The fast paced, electronic music plays to keep people in an energetic state. Once the fight starts, however, this music dissipates into thin air and you get slammed with sound effects. Footsteps, swords, slashes, blocks, special attacks can all be heard along with grunts that can be quite the annoyance.

Audio: ★★★★½


Soulcalibur is all replay; nothing else. There really is no main story in sight for this arcade fighter. With 5 modes of play, this game offers non-stop gameplay that is sure to keep anyone busy for hours. Soulcalibur also has a great deal of addictiveness to it as well which is sure to keep players hooked once they start playing. However, being a multiplayer-based game, Namco should have at least included some form of multiplayer that would let you team up or fight another actual person.

Achievements only bring you so far, multiplayer is what would make this game truly amazing.

Replay: ★★★★½


For the price of Soulcalibur, you can almost buy 2 full Gameloft games. I’m not talking about the cheap dollar games, I’m talking 6 dollar games. For 12 bucks, this is quite an expensive game, and for any old-school gamer who wants to go back in time, this is a must have. With a good amount of quality, the game does have some worth to it, but for 12 dollars, it’s still quite expensive. Also note that this 12 dollars is a sale, expect this game to jump up in price 2-3 dollars. Owning a piece of the past is expensive, but still worth it if you’re the right kind of person.

Value: ★★★★

Final Thoughts

Namco did a great job bringing back a classic to recreate another instant classic for iOS. This fighting game is the real deal; however, the price is also the real deal. Although high quality, the price may hinder some players from making the purchase to gain this great game; the lack of multiplayer doesn’t help either.


Overall Score

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
All accessories, applications, themes, tweaks, or other products were purchased by iFans at their respective prices unless stated otherwise.
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