Monthly Archives: October 2018

Soul Calibur 6 (XBOXONE)

soul calibur 6Yes, the rumours are real. Soul Calibur just released the sixth installment in the series! I immediately jumped up on the couch, then pounced the battleworn XBOX One controller, thirsting for a quick match of bloody fighting to the death!

Per tradition, fighting games don’t have much of a plot going for them. Plot is second to combat, gore and crazy martial arts. Most games know this all too well, and treat gamers with lovely, hilarious tongue-in-cheeck nuggets of story. Not Soul Calibur 6 though. I get the impression that the game wants to compete with plotheavy games of other genres, and takes itself way too seriously. It treats me to a contrived, multi-perspectived polished turd of a plot, that was so contrived, I gave up after a mere two minutes. Trying to remember all the character’s names, trying to keep up with the perspective-shifting madness and tons of dialogue was a little too headache-inducing. Clicking away all plot never seemed more inviting…

Behind the plot, hides a brilliant game though. One with loads of playable characters, with unique moves, techniques and weapons. Fighting goes smoothly, and the controls react quickly and accurately, just as they should. I’m having a blast.

soul calibur 6

The heaps of plot I skip so vigorously also hide that the singleplayer campaign is completed rather quickly. The end credits start rolling before you can frustratedly throw your controller at the final boss. Before I started crying, I noticed I could now replay the campaign with each of the playable characters. What I’d just completed was only the overarching storyline, each character also has its own playable plot that fits into that overarching plot. Suddenly, the game got so much more content.

Players not satisfied with that, can also start building a custom character and play a whole new campaign with that creation. And creating goes really deep. Not only can gender or race be picked, but also dress, weapons and even the character’s voice! One can even increase or decrease bust size of a female character, should one be so inclined (I swear I only did it as a test for this review, I swear!).

soul calibur 6

Fans of the genre will undoubtedly love this. Fans of Soul Calibur should cancel all plans for the rest of the year, as they’ll be up into their necks in content. Me, I’m still trying to decide if the nonsensical heaps of plot and loading times warrant a quick punching match…

Jan

Vertical Drop Heroes (Switch)

vdhcovVertical Drop Heroes dropped onto Switch recently. What once began as an in-game Flash minigame, now got upgraded and extended for consoles. But who was rooting for that to happen?

 In Vertical Drop Heroes players, take on the role of a randomly generated hero, with randomly generated stats. His nobel goal: heroically fight his way through ten monster-filled dungeons and pick up some treasure along the way. Each level is a deep dark pit. At the bottom there’s a portal, leading to the next level. Contrary to what the game’s name might want to make you think, letting yourself drop freefall to the bottom isn’t the way to go. There are simply too many goodies, sidequests, keys and captured heroes to be missed on the way down.

vertical drop heroes

Vertical Drop Heroes’ greatest feat is its randomness. Yes, there are ten levels, but they are randomly generated every time players replay them. The same goes for the heroes: once you die, it’s permadeath, but a choice of three new randomly generated heroes is eagerly awaiting to carry on. Theoretically, this benefits the replay value hugely! Alas, practice proves to be something else entirely.

vertical drop heroes

 I had a ball playing through the first level. Jumping from ledge to ledge, trying to solve all sidequests and free all captured heroes. From the second level on, however, boredom struck once I realized I don’t have to play it safe. Sure, I die, but I don’t have to start over from the first level. And while my hero is perma-dead, there’s a new one ready and waiting. And quite frankly: starting with a new hero doesn’t really bother me, seeing as the different classes don’t differ much playing-wise.

While ten levels seemed short at first, I now think they’re more than enough. They may be in different settings and populated with different baddies, they still look and feel alike.

vertical drop heroes

I wouldn’t recommend this really. I’d call it a nice time-waster for about ten minutes at a time, tops. Despite the makeover and the upgrade, Vertical Drop Heroes can’t really shake its roots as mini web-based Flash game…

Jan