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Developer: NamcoBandai Games Inc.

Price: $11.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

On the one hand, SOULCALIBUR is a 3D fighting game and has really great graphics, fast action, and a high polygon count. On the other hand, SOULCALIBUR is a 3D fighting game and is a complex game system with complex controls. Being what it is, this game controls fairly well on iOS. The touch controls are responsive enough, but the complexity of fighting in three dimensions is just too much for simple touch controls to surmount. The amount of buttons and button combinations needed for high level play in SOULCALIBUR simply don’t fit in a useable way on the screen. That said, it seems that the difficulty of this game has either been rebalanced for this iOS port, or was originally easy enough that it remains playable even with limited control.

The iOS version of SOULCALIBUR is an updated version of the original SOULCALIBUR game that released in arcades in 1998 and a year later on the SEGA Dreamcast. The original gameplay is intact and the visuals have received a slight update. Players can select from 19 different characters (a few of them are unlocked by playing the game) and use these characters in the various game modes. There is a standard arcade mode where players fight their way through a handful of levels to the final boss. There are also several other modes including a time attack mode where players defeat as many opponents as they can in a limited time, a survival mode where players defeat as many opponents as they can with a limited amount of life, and super simple but fun extra survival mode where players try to defeat as many opponents as they can with one hit. Add all this to the museum mode where players watch the characters in an exhibition type setting and the practice mode where they can hone their skill and it’s plain to see that SOULCALIBUR has tons of content.

All that content doesn’t come cheap though. At launch, SOULCALIBUR has a fairly hefty price tag. The game does boast lots of characters, lots of content, and lots of different difficulty levels to try out, but the there doesn’t seem to be much noticeable difference from one difficulty to the next. Overall it’s a very enjoyable and satisfying game, and it’s probably one of the very few compitent 3D fighters available on the platform right now. Still players that want it will have to pay a premium. At least the game will work for both iPhone (iPhone 4 and later only) and iPad.

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