Zero Punctuation: Soul Calibur IV

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great idea-if you like fighting games with eight moves, (roles eyes).
Why should we all suffer because you don't posses basic motor skills?

Most of the important points have been made but I only see about 2-3 people defending fighting games so I thought I'd pitch my opinion in:

Skill is involved... if you are getting hit with the same move/combo repeatedly and can't think around it, then you deserve to get pounded into the ground. Since this is a SC4 thread I'll expound on that game (even though I don't think highly of it). You see if someone starts throwing you more than once or twice then its time to use kick. The point of kick in the SC4 series has always been to disrupt your opponent with a quick but weak move. If they start blocking, then you throw. If someone spams a certain vertical move over and over, you sidestep. If they're doing horizontal attacks then you duck or block. For advanced players, parry, in which timing is so critical its not even funny.

What if they're mashing buttons like a moron but can still pose a challenge because their character is busted as hell? Well, even if you haven't played the game extensively it should become clear after a little while when certain swings leave the opponent open. In which you run up to them and pound their face in.

I've had a lot of fun with Tekken 3 and Mortal Kombat 1 and 2 back in the days. But I hear what Yahtzee is saying about them and I agree. I've always longed for more games along the lines of Double Dragon, where you're actually doing something more than just participating in ultra violent kickboxing.

There was a game called Fighting Force released once. It was criminally short, and had it's fair share of flaws I suppose. But it was still quite fun. I loved kicking them in the groin as they were down on the ground. :p

Anyway, the common fighting games are just for casual gamers IMO. Something you throw on when you got a buddy over or sausage party and don't need to impress girls with how cool you are. Which is also why the medium is virtually dead on the PC.

I have always enjoyed a love hate relationship with the fighting genre. I was in heaven after beating one of my friends 50 times in a row on Mortal Kombat 3, then I was in the depths of despair when I was unable to defeat the 2nd fighter in Dead or Alive 4.

My inability to do anything useful in Streetfighter 2 has led me to believe that I suck at fighting games and therefore should no longer go near them.

I don't care what your adoring fans think, I thought this review was barely good enough to be considered mediocre.

You mash the throw button all the time, well no wonder you weren't having fun that's the cheap way out of the game, although I'm not sure what game you're playing, in my game if you do the same crap over and over the AI catches on.

What really irks me is that you prove that the game can't be fun for anyone. Of course some people will find it fun and some people (like me) like it enough that no amount of complaining from some 3rd party will change our minds (and why should it?).

You want the appeal of fighting games it's mostly you vs. your friends in a large nubmer of fights where enough can be achieved by button mashing and using the same set of 5-6 moves so that it's not always a slaughterfest. In other words unless you're REALLY obsessive you don't become 'that guy' and if you obsess too much over one character you can just pick a character you never play as and then you're back to the basics. Plus the moves look cool, it's violent and satisfying. Oh and if you play against a decent player they'll catch on that all they need to do is duck a lot and the throw becomes usless.

What confuses me is that in one game you refused to use a 'skip feature' thing probably because of some sense of pride and here you have no problem using some of the cheapest tactics in the entire game. What are your standards?

Anyway it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the story is rotten darth vader in fan service etc.

fighting games are weird unless they have a good story mode that makes them more like regular games (usually adventure games). It takes a while to get used to, but if you play for awhile, you can begin to think of fighting games as sport. That's when they become really fun.

Brief trite comment, because it will be overlooked........(giant ellipsis haha) I have actually attempted to not play fighting games after the painful dead or alive series , this mockery of a real game was no better than its predecessors. I'm content with the notion yahtzee also dislikes the terrible progression arcade games have taken into wastes of money.

i wrote this to Yahtzee, ended up being longer than I had planned. I thought I might as well post it twice, since I put some effort into it and god knows if he'll ever read it.

"I do realize that you never asked me, but here is a better reply to the question of why -or rather when-- fighting games are fun.

Fighting games offer you what many games these days, especially rpgs, don't: an extremely robust, well-balanced mechanic of interacting with another player. It's an arena that lets people develop, and show off, a high level of skill. They are not single-player games. They are social games. No fighting game has ever been, will ever be, or SHOULD ever be about the story mode, or about playing against a computer opponent. This is because a fighting game isn't really a fight, or at least it's actually not about the spectacle of the violence. That's just fluff, the eye candy that draws people in. A fighting game is really more like a dance competition, or a debate. You learn a very specific language, and the person who uses that language to better effect, more spectacularly, more gracefully, is the winner. You can't play a fighting game like a single player game. You are not fighting against the game's mechanics, as you are in an rpg or a linear story game. You are using the supplied mechanics to fight against another (ideally intelligent) human being. It's not pinball, but chess.

Some of my best memories of gaming time with my little brother include playing tekken 3, each of us skilled to the point where we could do combo after combo, grab after grab, without touching each other. We'd duck and break the hold, and parry the strike over and over again for minutes at a time, each of us grinning and enjoying ourselves immensely. Why? No one was winning, but it was a pleasure to keep on outsmarting and being outsmarted. It was a pleasure to just be _good_ at it, and to be fighting with someone who was good at it.

This dynamic would come to the forefront immediately if you tried to play a fighting game at an arcade, or in any other social setting. No one cares if you can win using only the throw command. That's not really playing the game. It's not engaging the game's potential. Nobody would play with you at a party if you showed yourself to be that kind of player. It's like the bad guy in Karate Kid who breaks your kneecap instead of out-karate-ing you. Who cares if you can beat someone like that? Who cares if you can pull out a shotgun and blow off Bruce Lee's head? No one respects that kind of "play". No one respects that kind of unqualified "win".

If you think about it, it is bringing a single-player attitude to a social game that creates all of the assholes in the multiplayer world, the same ones you complain about encountering in the mmorpgs. These people are in the game to "win", as though it were a single player game. They will grind, and exploit bugs, and kill people indiscriminately to increase their stats, their possessions, or whatever perks the game offers, at the expense of their relationships with other real people. But there are other people who are using the game's mechanics in order to have a relationship with other people, and I would argue that these people are probably having more fun. Or at least, they are having their fun and helping other people to have more fun too, rather than having fun at the expense of other people, aka being a total cock. These attitudes apply just as well to real life.

When you play a fighting game as it's meant to be played, using all of its subtle grabs, escapes, parries, jabs, and reversals, against an opponent who is interested in engaging the fight as fully as you do, that's what really makes a fighting game fun, both to play and to watch. Not the violence, not the win, and for gods sakes not the story mode. It's about the skill, the memory, the quick thinking, the intelligence and cleverness of yourself and your opponent."

cheers,
flynn

I played Soul Calibur 1 and loved it, I played Soul Calibur 2 and thought it sucked, it really dumbed down the fighting engine and made an already simple game into basically a button-masher at it's finest.

Soul Calibur 3 was worse and I can only assume that SC4 has followed suit.

...

That being said, I enjoyed the review, I'm glad Yahtzee is reviewing *games* again, that's what he should stick to doing.

I was disappointed with the EXTREMELY massive sell-out path that the soul calibur developers took with the gigantic breasts and focus on boobtacular gameplay, along with Yoda and Vader to just try and sell, without addressing any of the already glaring and retardedly game breaking issues.

Oh well, it will sell a lot and I guess that's what matters.

PS:
The tekken series has always been garbage.

Aginor27:
This has been bugging me for awhile, whenever Yahtzee says "anybody" or something along those lines, it shows the same picture of a man. Who is that man.

I don't know who it is, but it's the picture he uses to depict "average". He used in in his Halo 3 review and he uses it here as the result of the mathematical formula to calculate the average.

image

image

He's talking more slowly...
Yahtzee's feeling his age it seems.

In my house we call that chicken fighting. Backing the opponent into a wall and performing the same move or repeatedly doing any move over and over again just because it works, vs. human or cpu, is just plain wrong in the true fighting game player's book of morals.

I call it Uno-Move style myself. :)

I'm giving the Soulcalibur series a pass this time around. I've given Namco my money twice now for essentially the same game, and if I really want to play Astaroth again I can just drudge up my old copies of II and III to slam around some chump. (Especially if they've nerfed him beyond belief, which is what happened to Ivy between II and III.) That, and I'm sick to freaking death of Star Wars.

It's hard to disagree with Yahtzee about the character creation in fighting games. MK: Armageddon gave us like what; 60 players, and I find myself putzing around more often with the dreaded wicker-hatted claw-handed cyber-ninja WARBASKET- Master of Stab Fu! But that was an excellent creation engine; hell the only thing it needed (and how hard would this have been) was a color pallette for the special moves. I'm not asking for individual special moves, I just want to make the Shadow Kick purple instead of green, so it feels more like mine and not Johnny Cage's.

I've always been attracted to fighting games for the large sprites/characters filling up our screens and/or the crazy amounts of excessive violence. And I love Mortal Kombat for this, because I'd much rather see ninjas throw each other into spiky rock crushers than bear witness to chirpy teenage twerps telling me how they "zinged" my skewered corpse.

And as for my opinion on merging licenses...

Pot Meet Kettle

I for one am a fan of fighting games, but these days games like the soul calibur series just sort of ruin the genre. a fighting game has to be perfect like the street fighter series (that's 1,2,3 and hopefully 4 I don't count alpha or beta or whatever the hell they are).

Oh yeah and for the record, MK vs. DC does look retarded, it makes me think that developers asked each other that old question "who would win in a fight?" and they came up with this crap, but I'll still play it just because I wanna see some DC characters get their heads ripped off DC COMICS SUCK!

*Sigh*

I'm sorry. But notonly did I not find this very funny, I also disagree with a few points.

Number one: I'd prefer to play as canon characters than Vader or my own custom characters. The few times I do play as my custom characters it's either to test them out or in versus.

Number two: Stats and armor effects do make a hell of a difference. Let me put it this way-

Level 9 guy with my favorite moveset

Level 3 guy with a crappy moveset

The level 3 guy has his weapon and armor set up in just the perfect way that he is the most powerful character in the whole. Fucking. Game. And the best part? HE WAS AN ACCIDENT.

Personally I like the story, but if you don't that's ok.

Here's a random idea you've only done once, and by accident - Review something you like. I want to see you try to redeem something rather than bashing it. You've lost the ability to see the good side in gaming, this game has ALOT of upsides- The first time when pressing the same button over and over is bad- The first time button mashing randomly is bad (Try it. You will die.) and the first time an enemy has given me an actual challenge without being a boss. (AKA: The motherfucking apprentice.)

Last but not least- DC vrs MC looks fucking retarded.

Once again, you do thrash the game fans with the the truths they've been overlooking or trying to ignore. Well done. And the 'Technical Difficulties' screen was amusing.

Irysa:

JakobLogan:

Shinkada:
I like Soul Calibur/er but I can't defend it.

I can defend the general fighting genre, though.

They're only just behind FPS games when it comes to a pure match of skill, so those who like actual competition are the ones most drawn to it.

Are you kidding me? Fighting games are pretty far away from games of pure matches of skill

You clearly have never played a proper fighting game.

Indeed.
3D Fighters have a tendency to buttonmashing, but some games do it right (DoA, for example, if you look past the T&A).

2D Fighters are a lot less about buttonmashing, and Guilty Gear even "punishes" you for it: Using the same move over and over will weaken it with each successive use (e.g. if you used the Punch command 5 times in a row, the damage will get tinier with each hit). Then you can Roman Cancel out of a combo (in the middle of it), break someone else's combo with a Burst, use Dead Angle Attacks, simply guard or guard with faultless defense, etc. etc...

... be back later, I'm off to play some GGX2:#Reload.

This game is not in my buy list..no offense to people who have payed good money to play.

I shall be renting it soon tho... I Shall post further opinion sometime in the future.

Wow, no-one has been banned as a result of this thread. I am almost missing the person who say "FIRST" without waiting to actually watch the video.

The main difference that fighting games have from other multiplayer genres is that FG's are meant to be more personal. A 5v5 team match on Halo is fun, but at the end of the day it's just 9 random people playing with you. In a FG, it's 1 person. A friend, family member, or a person who just walked up to the 2P side of the arcade machine you were playing at. This invariably creates relationships, and since the game is the common thread in those relationships, talking will lead to discussion about the game and its intricacies. If we can assume that the two players continually strive to improve, this will make both players' skill levels increase (and by skill I mean knowledge of the game coupled with adaptivity and consistent execution of difficult moves).

The problem is, FG's actually require a work ethic before you get anywhere, and that's why you hear a lot of "this game takes no skill/button mashing is all you need/X or Y is broken/etc." Granted, not every FG is balanced well, but then again very few games in any multiplayer genre are. If you keep an open mind and assume that you DON'T know a lot about the game, then you will learn more from the internet, your friends, and the rest of your FG community.

But yeah, I don't like SC4 yet because it hasn't proven to be as deep as SF2 yet. maybe later.

Balmung7:
Once again, you do thrash the game fans with the the truths they've been overlooking or trying to ignore. Well done. And the 'Technical Difficulties' screen was amusing.

Such as? He's bashed fighting games before you know.

Oh and yes about the story, this reminds me a quote I heard a LONG time ago (as in last generation or maybe the one before that).

Stories in video games are like stories in porn. You expect it to be there but nobody actually cares about them.

That really cheered me up.

Thankyou Mr. Croshaw.

Why does the video player laugh in my face when I hit Play?

How to beat a throw:

Duck or do a quick attack because throws only working on people standing and guarding.

There.

I'd try to reply to the many other pieces of ignorance in this comments section but there's so much that I'd have to write the bible and nobody would read it anyway so it's pointless.

I'm a huge fan of Yahtzee Croshaw but I will never understand why he bothered with this review. He made it clear in his Brawl review that he didn't care for fighting games, even longer ago that he doesn't care for multiplayer in general and I'm sure that he's less likely into competitive gaming than he is into JRPGs.

To answer the original question in the review, it's "A complex video game fist fighting equivalent of chess." The various subtle details enable an expert to be better than a button masher. The button masher will just never know them because it's more complicated than simply pointing and shooting somebody and these things are never described in the manual because the developers know that 85% of people wouldn't read them.

The only thing I'll agree with in the review is I don't understand people who will buy these games just to button mash against computer AI (namely himself). These games weren't designed for your audience.

Imagine me reading this aloud, quickly, doing my interpretation of a witty English bloke.

The world isn't perfect. Fighting for an imaginary utopian state is a noble thing, especially when you can attach your name to such a soap box rant with less integrity than Gamespot at a Metallica concert. Or not. But after returning to the real world one can recognize the inherent good qualities of a less than perfect creation.

Take stories in fighting games. Anyone who dissects a fighting game seeking a meaningful story would have a better time finding a video game blogger who doesn't have THE NEXT GREAT IDEA, which is ultimately as innovative as Halo 3. Since karate champ, designers of fighting games tend to focus on the mechanics of play and deliver the same emotional depth of the recent Jackie Chan film. Who watches Jackie Chan films expecting depth?

The trend in biting video game commentary has spiraled out of control. When failed writers like Chic can carve an audience out of the same herd who borrow mom's cam to make youtube diary entries, it is clear the trend must die. Adam Cesspooler and Morgan Manjaw killed the horse years ago.

Yahtzee's micro-machines-commercial speed spitting style commentary with Family Guy inspired random penis humor is squeezing out the very last bits of milk. As much as we enjoy laughing with you at the quirks of games, developed in an industry you'll remain a bitter fan, on the outside of, attacking Soul Calibur 4 for story and useless customization shows you're winding down.

Perhaps its time you get back to flipping my burgers, cause I'm one of the folks who remember Old Man Murray...and you sir, are no Old Man Murray.

(Hey look, I can write run on sentences in 5 minutes too! If only I could animate tired clip art figures, I would be fam0u5!)

I never overly liked fighting games much to ever bother purchasing them. Renting / goofing off at a friend's house seems as far as they can last.

Yoshimitzu's dialouge tends to be funny, that's about it.

drawthreecards:
The main difference that fighting games have from other multiplayer genres is that FG's are meant to be more personal. A 5v5 team match on Halo is fun, but at the end of the day it's just 9 random people playing with you. In a FG, it's 1 person. A friend, family member, or a person who just walked up to the 2P side of the arcade machine you were playing at. This invariably creates relationships, and since the game is the common thread in those relationships, talking will lead to discussion about the game and its intricacies. If we can assume that the two players continually strive to improve, this will make both players' skill levels increase (and by skill I mean knowledge of the game coupled with adaptivity and consistent execution of difficult moves).

The problem is, FG's actually require a work ethic before you get anywhere, and that's why you hear a lot of "this game takes no skill/button mashing is all you need/X or Y is broken/etc." Granted, not every FG is balanced well, but then again very few games in any multiplayer genre are. If you keep an open mind and assume that you DON'T know a lot about the game, then you will learn more from the internet, your friends, and the rest of your FG community.

But yeah, I don't like SC4 yet because it hasn't proven to be as deep as SF2 yet. maybe later.

I'll ignore that your name reminds me of Ancestral Recall, which is the last thing in all of gaming that should be talking about balance. Instead I'll just say this. Games. Work. Two words that should not be in the same sentence. Fighting games have a steep learning curve. To call it a lack of work ethic might be going too far, since a good game should be fun from start to end. I'm resigned to say that fighting games are a niche appeal.

At any rate I actually wanted to bring an idea to the table about balance. Now that consoles are hooked up to the internet and all, how about patches and updates? I feel as if fighting games would benefit greatly from this, so that once an abuse/glitch is found it can killed off. Whereas currently people will find something to abuse and then abuse it. Also... what's up with all the characters in fighting games. Ken from SF has always been top tier for instance, but why are there tiers of characters? Shouldn't a good game be balanced? Rather than having a whole slew of characters that are great and others that comparatively suck?

Note that this is simply the observations of someone who likes fighting games. Recognizing and fixing these issues would help alleviate the genre from its limited appeal.

Panayjon:
Also... what's up with all the characters in fighting games. Ken from SF has always been top tier for instance, but why are there tiers of characters? Shouldn't a good game be balanced? Rather than having a whole slew of characters that are great and others that comparatively suck?

I always assumed it was for those guys that like to go, "Hurr hurr, I beat you with Worthless Guy A when you were Supreme Diety X! You are teh sux!!"

For a fighting game it is actually alright... for a fighting game! I don't really see the point of adding a storyline into SC4 if it is going to be short and repetitive. I loved Soul Calibur 3; note: Soul Calibur 3 was the only Soul Series that I have played; since it had a DECENT story mood in it and Chronicles of the Sword! They should have added that back in the game!

Despite loving Yahtzee's videos, I also have a deep seated love for the Soul Calibur series, and that hasn't changed with the fourth. I understand that fighting games are his thing, just like point and clicks aren't mine.

But hey, atleast I always kill those asswipes who button mash and spam grabs.

I love you Mitsurugi. Promise you'll never leave me?

Also, there's nothing more fun to me than making a created character named "Super Pope X" and "Lt. Cumswap" (an exact replica of Major Raikov/Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 3 after he falls out of the locker in only banana hammock) and destroying my competition with ease.

Also, you don't want to fuck with my character "The Fanny Bandit". Undefeated.

I don't play fighting games for the story mode or anything like that. It's not a depth thing, I'm just good at them and I like to fuck people up on them. I'm not insulted by him insulting the story because Soul Calibur has a very crazy ass story that no one should really be paying attention to. Look at the pretty graphics and people sword fighting. Cool.

Heroic One:

Panayjon:
Also... what's up with all the characters in fighting games. Ken from SF has always been top tier for instance, but why are there tiers of characters? Shouldn't a good game be balanced? Rather than having a whole slew of characters that are great and others that comparatively suck?

I always assumed it was for those guys that like to go, "Hurr hurr, I beat you with Worthless Guy A when you were Supreme Diety X! You are teh sux!!"

Yeah, good point. However, that's not always inherently apparent. Way to alienate even more people from the genre as cries of busted and broken ring throughout the room.

Huh.
If he felt this way already, why didn't he review something he might have liked, like Siren : Blood Curse?

We seem to be fogeting a couple of points:
1: if a game is fun, its a good game (no matter how japanise).
2: Yahtzee seems to stretch his opinions for humor, I wish people would stop calling the videos "reviews".

AlissaX70:

I do have to say, seeing Yahtzee with boobs is rather... how can I say it? Disturbing? Mind-burning? ...Vaguely erotic?

You should try him with a dress as well! *points at avatar*

Once again, nice work by Yahtzee.

I'd also like to mention that as a resident of Canberra with a 13 year old sibling, I can safely say that I am better at randomly smashing buttons than a 13 year old.

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