Four PM, four hours of Soul Calibur 4 are about to begin. I'm going to be liveblogging my matches win/lose/draw once is start playing. Before that we're starting off with a speech from Namco Bandai. Apparently, the event has some new trailers and "surprises" perhaps not related to Darth Vader or Yoda.
5:00 – Soul Calibur 4 is coming Summer 2008. Darth Vader is exclusive as a Playstation 3 character. Yoda is an Xbox 360 exclusive.
vs. Namco Bandai staff – I think he went easy on me. I played as Mitsurugi while he used Cassandra. Mitsurugi feels pretty much the same. I rushed in with a jumping double slash attack and used the downwards sword strike for the first win. The second round I lost due to a ring out. The palace level is small. The next match I won by using a throw. Then I won by a ring out. That was a really cheap way to win.
Only the Xbox 360 version was around to play!
vs McWhertor (Kotaku) – I was joking abot challanging McWhertor since I saw him at the event. We both picked Cassandra for the epic battle and the palace stage. The first round I took advantage of Cassandra's longer range horizontal poke and a dashing shield bash to win the round. The second round I got a throw in and discovered Cassandra has a spinning attack where she twirls like a top. The third round I was getting hammered by McWhertor's vertical slashes and jump attacks. He was much more aggressive and rushed into me. The end was close, but he won the round. 2-1 …. and then the game crashed leaving the epic battle as a draw.
There are only three characters in this pre-alpha build I'm playing. Mitsurugi, Taki and Cassandra. The party flyer showed four and Siegfried was one of them. No Siegfried…. I don't know if she has shown up in a trailer, but I can confirm Talim will be in Soul Calibur 4.
vs. David and Ben from The Game ReviewsI tried out Taki for a few rounds when I played with them. These matches were more casual and I didn't take dilligent notes. Taki feels pretty much the same. She has the same spinning top kick combo, which works well for ring outs However, we fought in the jungle and you have to tear the wall down before you can do a ring out. Yes, Soul Calibur 4 has destructable environments. Taki's smoke grenade attack works differently, I don't think it has as much range and you can't quickly throw them in succession for ground damage. After a few rounds I ended up showimg them Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, which they seemed to be pretty impressed by. Be sure to check out their review of it when they get the English build in March.
vs McWhertor (Kotaku) or epic battle take two – After a few hours of practice (maybe it was only actually one hour of playtime) we ended the night with a Mitsurugi vs. Cassandra fight. I chose Cassandra, McWhertor chose Mitsurugi. The first round should have ended early. We fought on the palace level, which is notoriously small with three ring out spots. McWhertor pushed me towards the water and hit me with a jumping slash. For a moment Cassandra was out of the ring, but miraclously she rolled back on the stage as if she jumped on air! The momentary save was for naught, McWhertor won the first round.
The next two rounds were cut down to the wire. Each time I only had on hit left before death. 2-1 and McWhertor put his game face on. He started with Mitsurugi's jumping slash combo. Two mid-air hits knocked a third off my life. But he didn't stop. His relentless sword / kick combos got him a perfect! 2-2. This was it, the final round and probably the last time I would play Soul Calibur 4 until the final version comes out. I started off with a shield bash and sidestepped my way to a victory. It was a close match for sure!
Both of us were getting ready to leave when the director of the game asked our thoughts. I mentioned how I wished I could have played with Hilda since she has a unique fighting style. Instead of horizontal and vertical attacks she has a ranged pole attack and close spatha attacks. We asked him some questions too and he revealed you will be able to customize the Soul Calibur 4 characters to look like KOS-MOS from Xenosaga.
Total side note here to my fellow journalists and bloggers at CES. Ben did you get the e-mail I sent you? I didn't see you there. And Dale what happened? I saw you like two hours before where you said you were coming! Oh and Trina I missed out on fighting you too. When the final game comes out I offically challenge all of you to a match! I say it half jokingly, but I wish I got to put you guys in this piece too.