Zero Punctuation: Soul Calibur IV

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I'm suprised the Escapist let him get away with showing him smoking a joint.




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.

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.

That's not necessarily true, man. Most fighting games these days punish you for button-mashing, not just the well-designed ones. In fact, when you use the same attack over and over, like a Kick attack, you will eventually get penalized for it. Although the second you guard / use another attack in SCIV, the damage counter is reset.

Oh, and another thing. The game is horridly broken in some parts. Example: Mitsurugi. You can do an infinite juggle with his Down+Fwd Kick attack for an easy KO (or Ring Out).

Man Yahtzee even hates the cream of Fighting Games, the Soul Calibur Series.. Maybe he'll uderstand the babes of Dead or Alive slightly better?

Also SC means splintercell

Man Yahtzee even hates the cream of Fighting Games, the Soul Calibur Series.. Maybe he'll uderstand the babes of Dead or Alive slightly better?

Sorry for the double post, but I hope that is a joke.
I can't beleive anyone with any moral fibre would buy dead or alive.

Ooh, a fighting game? Well, okay, you did Smash Bros. Brawl, and that was like an evening with the Marquis De Sade in his private basement, with the Spanish Inquisition as the supporting act, but that was a done deal from the start - crappy game.

But I've managed to play Soul Calibur IV without wanting to shove hot badgers in my eyes, possibly because I was almost certaintly pissed to the point of blindness/incontience/both, and possibly because at the time, I just wanted to indulge in some mindless violence, and didn't have a copy of Dead Rising to hand.

It was by no means great, hell, I've still got a soft spot for my old Street Fighter SNES cartridge, it was still heartwarming to see the fine traditions of hyperactive fist, foot and sword-fighting being passed down, often with difficulty, prising them from the cold, dead fingers of the predecessor.

But I'll agree, Soul Calibut does take things to an extreme - the tits, the seemingly wimpy weaponry, the one-size-fits-all-attack-button, the addition of otherwise pointless extras.

I think you really hit this one on the head - Soul Calibur may be 'fun', under specific conditions, but there's no real element of it which makes it a good game.

Oh, and once again, on good form. Nice one.

I like putting cats in tumble dryers.

Oh sure, they eventally die and the blood is a pain to clean out, especially since it's half baked on, but dammit, it's fun.

Obviously, needing skill isn't on Yahtzee's list of things that make a game fun.

I have SC2 and if he really wants the game to not be readily beatable by spamming the throw button, then he needs to play on one of the hardest settings and stop playing EVERYTHING on normal. >_>

Normal mode isn't meant to be hard, nor is it for any other game. Of COURSE it's going to be easy; you're telling it to be.

Of course Yahtzee won't actually stop playing everything on normal, though. It's just that I can't take a review seriously if the person's playing on easy or normal the whole time and then decides he wants to complain about how easy something is.

It's like that guy on the (now dead) NSider who used a strategy guide for every Zelda game in existence, and then proceeded to cry that all the Zelda games are easy. :/

I think this is the biggest problems I have with Yahtzee's reviews.

I don't get the lightsaber debate. The movies aren't even that consistent. There have been a lot of Star Wars games and in none of them have lightsabers done devastating damage like in the original trilogy. Episode III, Jedi Knight, etc. KOTOR is considered cannon by most fanboys and even the generic Sith baddies can take quite the saber lashing before tapping out. I assume in Force Unleashed you won't be able to slice enemies in half with one hit either.
Soul Calibur 4 is fun. I agree that the recycled movesets are lame. The developers must have either run out of time or gotten lazy on that one. Other than that, this one is probably the best of the series so far. Yahtzee hates everything except Portal. It wouldn't be funny if he didn't.

If you're going to include certain elements in a game, they must all be placed on the same quality and emphasis on all aspects. You cannot excuse some aspects of a game for the greatness of others (ie: Teh Halo Syndrome)

I consider myself to be a gamer of a wide pallette (pallet?); FPS, racing, RPG, RTS, Adventure, FPS puzzzle (AKA Portal). Yet I feel now real draw towards fighting games apart from the occasional rental. I definently don't feel draw enough to them to play effing $60 US for one.

This is a another game by fans, for fans. It's no wonder that if normal people game casually, they aren't taken seriously because they don't (or can't) take the games they play seriously; or atleast as seriously as us video game enthusiasts do. I'm happy for games like LBP, w00t!

I gotta think that any game that lets you win by spamming a single move, on any difficulty, is fucked. In any case, while I don't know if I agree with his diagnosis here, he certainly provides enough good arguments to make his position defensible.

To counteract Woe is You's post from earlier about bad stories in FPS: Everyone keeps mentioning "crowbarring" in more features, no stories in FPS? Half-Life Series,
Red Faction 1, Time Splitters Series (even though the last one is just shenanigans in time and space travel, it was still fun and new)

Even then, it's not like fighting games stories aren't overused. When you have 16-20 different characters, you can have as many different plots as you effing want!

Black yeoman:
Also SC means splintercell

and starcraft, but does it really matter as long as its clear what we are talking about?

That review was depressingly laugh free. And shifted right into "Well since I don't find it fun, it's logically only fun to morons."

I mean, I don't play Madden or Gran Turismo because I just don't find them fun, but I'm not going to begrudge the gigantic fanbase.

I hate to say it, but if Yahtzee just keeps spending every week being angry and ranting and not also being *funny*, I may have to stop watching. And that would be a shame. This should have been an awesome review, and it just isn't. It's like watching a guy on Fox News describe all the porn in Mass Effect.

Black yeoman:
Also SC means splintercell

No it doesn't. Same as with God Of War, Splinter Cell is, by default, SpC.


Black yeoman:
Also SC means splintercell

and starcraft, but does it really matter as long as its clear what we are talking about?

Actually man, by a month, Soul Calibur was the first series.

The most fun I had out of a SC game was the character creation and playing with other people.

What other time in your life will you see Optimus Prime fight Jesus Christ?

Quoth a random from our crowd: "Do you know why Jesus lost? Because he doesn't exist, that's why."

Clearly this game is a community-oriented thing, which is why Yahtzee might not "get" it. You either like fighting games, or you don't.

SC is Starcraft, nubs.

Soul Calibur shall be abbreviated as "Soul", and Splinter Cell shall not be abbreviated at all because it's Not A Very Good Game.

Jokes. Never played Splinter Cell so for all I know it could be a perfectly good game in spite of Tom Clancy's name being on the box.


Fighting games are my favourite genre. Anyone who berates them for bad plot or anything else unrelated to the combat mechanics is intentionally missing the point.

And anyone who thinks they can beat a good player by button bashing has never played a 'good' player.

There's plenty of good reasons to bitch about Soul4 though. Star Wars aids, shitty online mode, shitty tower of lost souls mode... but all that stuff is just sort of secondary. Fighting system is as good as it ever was. Soul4's combat is like a super hot chick, and all you guys are sitting around saying you wouldn't fuck her because she happens to be dressed in last season's fashion and hanging out with some pretty poor company. If you just saw her naked and without the little green man you so fucking would though.

Greatest metaphor ever.

There are a few things to put out there before I write this comment: I have always been a fan of Yahtzee's videos; I do not like Soul Calibur, generally.

With that out of the way, I must say that I am terribly terribly disappointed with this video. In the past when Yahtzee were to say things that I found untrue or arbitrary about a game I liked, they were usually funny, and it was ok. However, this video was nothing more than an amateurish verbal display that underlined his ignorance in a very specific game genre. It also was not funny, so I was unable to overlook his obvious missing of the point. It is not a problem if you do not like fighting games, or if you don't understand them, but as was mentioned before, just because YOU don't understand them, that does not mean they are steaming piles of shit.

Actually, most of what I wanted to type has been fleshed out pretty well in previous posts, but I am so irked, that I feel the need to post anyway.

Yahtzee, somebody who hates multiplayer and hates competitive gaming generally, has no real business reviewing, or criticizing, or video blogging about a fighting game. That is like a 6 year old trying to say helpful or interesting things about Citizen Kane. Sure, they can have an opinion, but it is not valid as said 6 year old does not have the proper frame of reference or experience. In order for Yahtzee to accurately blog about this game, he should have had like 4 friends over, 2 of which who are very good, 1 who is average, and a beginner. That way, he could notice the different levels of play, and how they interact with each other, as well as experiencing a fighting game in the way it was meant to be played; with other people. Here is another simile for you all: Playing a fighting game by yourself is like buying a watergun, with nobody to play with. It is just not the way it was meant to be.

However, I need to repeat that I am not a fan of the Soul Calibur series. The fact that somebody called them the cream of fighting games almost made me fall out of my chair. Soul Calibur is the most random, most button mashing friendly game I have played in a while, and is just a bit better than the Dead or Alive series. However, it is not nearly as shallow as Yahtzee makes out, and the points he uses to extend his opinions to all fighting games are in no way valid.

I am a hardcore fighting game player. I buy large arcade style sticks because they allow me to perform certain things more easily. I spend lots of time in practice mode to etch out what works and what does not work. I have fighting game marathons at my house whenever I can get enough people. As was said before, if somebody were to only throw, or only low kick, especially if said low kick is known to be broken, or the game mechanics make it difficult to evade throws, then that person would be shunned, and would have to make the trip of shame to the store to get more beer, or pizza. But good players playing well made games usually can handle such tactics easily. And button mashers in games like Tekken, or Street Fighter are absolutely no trouble at all. Fighting games ARE like a competitive dance, where flash, skill, timing, response under pressure, creativity, adaptability, unpredictability, and ability to predict will gain you respect in my house. There is a certain flow to well made fighting games, and the best players are the ones who utilize that flow the best.

And to reply to some of the earlier posts:

I do believe that memorizing long combo strings takes skill. Not only because you need to memorize more than one, as well as execute them at the right times, but you also have to do them sometimes under lots of pressure. Handling pressure in fighting game is a show of skill and experience.

In games that were primarily made to be played in versus mode, story is not important. True, this may turn people off, and that is ok. However, that simply is the nature of these games. Knocking a fighting game's story is simply useless.

Character design is important, and does help to keep a fighting gamer interested, but comes WAY after the fighting engine and game play. WAY WAY after.

Now I know that most people who are commenting here won't feel the same way that I do about fighting games as it is true that hardcore fighting game play is a niche, and a dying niche as well. But it is a farce to rip something you don't understand.

I suggest you don't read the above wall of text. I regret even reading the first few paragraphs.

SC is Starcraft, nubs.

Soul Calibur shall be abbreviated as "Soul", and Splinter Cell shall not be abbreviated at all because it's Not A Very Good Game.

Soul Calibur was released before StarCraft, so that doesn't work.

'I suggest you don't read the above wall of text. I regret even reading the first few paragraphs.'

Fair enough, to each his own, I guess. And I will admit, it is a little bloated. Probably why I don't usually write in forums.

Am I 'that guy'? Probably. But I don't really care. Calling somebody 'that guy' is a defense that people usually use when they suck at stuff.

Heh, 100% correct about the throw button.

Personally I get the apprentice, wander over to the edge and wait, then throw people out the ring. Instant win!

Do people really think SC is a series filled with tons of over sized weapons. The only characters I ever notice having huge weapons are Siegfried and Nightmare and their swords are magical weapons that aren't even all that big. The games aren't even filled with Japanese characters, it's mostly Europeans.

I like Soul Calibre4. But the customation part needs some tweaking, and the critical move thing is a lot of bullshit because i figure out how it works.

'I suggest you don't read the above wall of text. I regret even reading the first few paragraphs.'

Fair enough, to each his own, I guess. And I will admit, it is a little bloated. Probably why I don't usually write in forums.

Am I 'that guy'? Probably. But I don't really care. Calling somebody 'that guy' is a defense that people usually use when they suck at stuff.

You really are "that guy" but your giant post is a well reasoned argument and sums up the majority of the pro-fighting game stances. So I suggest that anyone who actually wants to see the two sides of the debate should read the wall of text.

I do want to say this though, just to show that objective views will only help make the genre better and help others understand our mysterious nerd ways. Memorization is necessary and button strings are important to learn. As I said before, fighting games have an absurd learning curve and there's no getting around that. Which is why it is a niche genre, just like turn based strategy games.

I do feel though that back in the says of Street Fighter 2, it wasn't as much looked at with unwary eyes. I think its because even though there were still a ton of moves you needed to remember, it was still only about 5 or so per character. The rest of it was simply knowing how to combo up the varying degrees of regular attacks. Just a thought, since that alone would lower the estranging curve by several degrees.

This seems to be another area where Yahtzee and I disagree. Though I understand the fact that if he doesn't get a game he can hardly stretch himself for a review he seems to have a direct hate to fan base ratio in his reviews that shows here. He also seems more arrogant then usual by using his own lack of connection with the genre to claim that it is no fun for anyone where others who actively enjoy the genre have prased it as a complete fighting experience. I will however conceed the point concerning the story in that I've never taken it too seriously where Soul Calibur is concenred and in general it never seems as "serious" a series as Mortal Kombat or Tekken. To finish I say MK V DC looks awesome.

P.S If anyone has a problem with the inclusion of Yoda, Darth Vader or the Apprentice it can be solved with two very easy words "non cannon"

Dude, it's obvious that you have no clue what you're talking about because yahtzee puts a negative spin on about every review he does. Don't knitpick everything he says about the game apart because if you haven't already figured it out (which it's pretty obvious you haven't) yahtzee points out every negative aspect of the game, and that's what makes if funny. This is not the place to come looking for a legitimate, serious game review, and there are plenty of games he has reviewed (and hated), which i happened to like, but I still found the review hilarious.

And you have to admit, almost everything he says about the games is true.

Oh Yahtzee, there is a lot more to it then that. Once you really understand fighting games, there is a lot of potential that really goes unnoticed by most other gamers, including you. The best of this genre play out like real time chess except everyone has there own unique pieces. Understanding game mechanics, good strategy, knowing key points in a match, character strengths and weaknesses, and understanding your opponent are your keys to victory and it takes skill, dedication, and effortful practice to get there. It is sort of annoying being a fighting game tournament pro and having the genre I have dedicated myself to being trashed for almost all of the wrong reasons. It was inevitable that I would write this, but i was hoping to defend a much better game (like Guilty Gear XX AC, or Street fighter 2). But it's the genre that is on defense so here we go.
One: Treat it as a game only, something based on rules and how it is played not as a medium to deliver a story. a Ludologist stand point if you will. Criticizing a fighting game for havening a bad story or having poor character development is like criticizing chess, Go, or Scrabble for the same reason. I have still to find anyone that still plays chess or fighting games (on my level) because of a moving story or the chemistry between certain characters. There are some fighting games that don't even have a story, and are still really good as a game (Marvel vs Capcom 2 comes to mind).
Two: Play it strategically instead of button mashing. This might throw you off first generally because you have mentioned the futility of learning how to play the game because mashing the buttons works just as well. But button mashers can be put at a quick end by simple planning. Knowing how the game works, knowing character strengths and weaknesses, and adapting and anticipating what to your opponent will help you more then simply pressing the buttons more then your opponent does. I can say with great confidence that I haven't lost to a button masher for about 10 years, and I have only been truly serious (going to tournaments and such) for about 4 so the likelihood of me loosing to a button masher is about as likely as me catching madcow from drinking Dr. Pepper. With the right idea about how the game should work, button mashers will eternally be your bitch.
Three: Play against people. People are a lot more creative in this genre then most others (if they use their brain more then their fingers), and the only way to get good at fighting games is to play people that are good as well. People (over a long enough time) tend to find all the strange, and borderline broken tactics then can, and then exploit them like 5 year old Chinese sweatshop workers. Whereas Computers are set to two modes. Lose or win. Computers in all fighting games are horrendously flawed in one way or another and they only real way to get the feel for the game is to play another person. Either they are too easy for the wrong reason (never countering obvious throw attempts in your case), or too hard for the wrong reason (getting every poke dragon punched because the computer can read the inputs before the 4 frames that it will come out in after the buttons is pressed, so you will be hit out of it before a move is even executed). Playing a computer is much more likely cause you to develop bad habits in the game then teaching you how to play. For example, you simply go for the throw since it decimates the computerized opponent, even though there is a whiff animation if miss. An adaptive player can just keep constantly side stepping with the 8-way run and hit you when you miss and punish you for being predictable. Or just zone you with a character with long reach and get widdled down by pokes. You wouldn't have learned the counters to your strategy because it didn't matter at the time. And when you play against people, play to win, not just to simply waste time.
Four: Play a good fighting game for God's sake! Soul Calibur 4 is shit, buggy, annoying and is selling out to whatever franchise it can get its hands on (Spawn, Tekken, Zelda now Star Wars!). Play something Like Guilty Gear XX Accent Core, Street Fighter 3: 3rd strike, Virtual Fighter 5, Marvel vs Capcom 2 or Capcom vs snk 2. Games with great fighting engines, a wealth of unique characters (except VF5), in depth strategies and endless ways to play that complement any playing style. Aggressives, turtles, obsessives, planners, adapters, or how ever you want to play. Just play to your own style and play to win and improve yourself and you might actually like fighting games (most likely you will never read this or care to take in anything said). But for this game, you choose the winning move, and that was not to play.

It's not really a good idea to review a fighting game based entirely on the single player mode, but whatever. The actual opinions don't really seem to be the point of Zero Punctuation.

Also, shameless plug goes here:

Ben is a Single-Player gamer.

that much has been clear since day one.

About the single-player aspect of the game, he's spot on. I laughed at everything he said about the singleplayer aspect of this game, because it's exactly what I think about it.

That being said, I think Ben is probably missing the big picture with Soul Calibur 4, just because he doesn't review games for their multiplayer aspect, which is where this game shines.. or at least is the least dull. If he fought against a player with enough skill to deal with throw spammers, or even against a computer opponent with Nullify Throw S (cheap bastards), he'd probably find the game a little more difficult, and probably get better at it/enjoy it more.

@ Kurt Horsting and Panayjon

I edited my mammoth text because I thought it was out of place here, but it seems that the fighting game crew is coming out from under rocks. I wish I had not edited it now.

My entry is still super long, just... not quite as long.

I think that Soul Calibur is actually doing the genre an injustice. They feel the need to attract non-fighting game players with pretty graphics and tits, and don't do enough to evolve the actual engine. This may give the new comers a false idea of the fighting game world.

The real test of a fighting game (which really should be judged differently than just a singl player game)? If high level players find it interesting and deep enough to devote hours of practice to.

Honestly I don't know why you would review a game that is of the genre you don't like in the first place. Seems like it would waste your time and the outcome was already visible before you started.

I personally don't care, but you know people are going to be butthurt about it. *looks up at above posts* Yep. (Oh and I thought it was funny, especially the random "Herbal Bath" picture that kept popping up. LOL good stuff.)

Oh and for the record I was hyped about this game because I loved SC2. Bought it, played it for a week, and then got so bored with it I felt like I wasted my money.



Black yeoman:
Also SC means splintercell

and starcraft, but does it really matter as long as its clear what we are talking about?

Actually man, by a month, Soul Calibur was the first series.

Soul Calibur arcade release: July 30, 1998 (according to Wikipedia, GameFAQs has July 1998.)
StarCraft release: March 31, 1998 (according to Wikipedia, GameFAQs places it at April 1st.)

But Super Cobra was released in 1981 for the Atari 2600, so that'll probably be more entitled to the SC acronym than any of these others, if we're going by this stupid assumption that you can only have one game with a certain acronym.

I find myself actually creating an account to reply to not only this video but to the amount of people that seem to worship yahtzee and want to kiss his feet for such a success in the video game review industry. You people reply with such poor language and, ironically, punctuation to his reviews and he still listens to your thoughts, maybe you should put more thought into your replies rather than wanting to be there first to congratulate and kiss up to him. I have taken time to listen to the review and, as I have got the game, I find that I do not, unlike a lot if people, take what yhatzee says to heart.

I'd LOVE to face Yahtzee at this game! He seems like the biggest scrub ever, what with the throw-spamming and all.

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