I clearly remember the first time I played Soul Calibur II. It was a couple of years ago at a friend’s birthday party and I was playing with Ivy. At the time I didn’t like fighting games that much. I didn’t dislike them; I had played Mortal Combat and Battle Arena Toshinden on the PSone and then Dead Or Alive and Virtua Fighter a lot on the PS2, but that was more about winning from my brother and sister, then really finding it a great, good game. The first thing I noticed of SC was it’s fluidity; the game play was so smooth and graceful. It felt like watching a perfectly choreographed scene from a movie. Then instead of the standard “everybody uses their hands and feet and kicks and punches”, here everybody had a specific weapon: swords, staffs, katanas, etc. So, the first time I was playing I had Ivy. Now, for those of you who don’t know the game, Ivy’s weapon is kind of peculiar. It’s called a snake sword and with the right button the basic sword can actually turn into a whip. Imagine my surprise when that happened the first time!

Soul Calibur II: Ivy vs. Taki

When Soul Calibur III came out, I was amazed again. You could make your own complete characters! Plus their was a RPG-like mode added to it, so you could level up your characters and collect more items (weapons, clothes, extras). I spent hours trying to get further in the game, but alas my gaming skills aren’t that great. At a certain point, I just wasn’t good enough to beat the computer (I know I’ll be able to do it with enough effort and training, but I really don’t have the time for that). Anyhow it remains one of the best “beat your friends”-games (btw, I love Cassandra and Sophitia).

Soul Calibur III: Cassandra and Sophitia

So, why I am I going on about these old games? A new trailer for Soul Calibur IV has come out during CES and it looks extremely wicked. A lot of the regular characters were alreayd confirmed to be back (Astaroth, Cassandra, Ivy, Mitsurugi, Nightmare, Raphael, Siegfried, Sophitia, Taki, Tira and Volvo) and one new character had been revealed, Hilde. The new info though? The PS3 and the Xbox360 both have special (unlockable) characters, namely…drumroll please… Darth Vader and Yoda! Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of the images below (via 1UP.com) or at the trailer. More images here and here.The downside is though that Darth Vader will be only in the PS3 version and Yoda only in the Xbox360 version. So we won’t be having any great Darth Vader vs. Yoda fights. However, 1UP.com is expecting some more surprises:

…we suspect that Namco Bandai still has plenty of stuff up their sleeve. Given their recent Ace Combat 6 shenanigans, we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that additional Star Wars characters are paid-for downloadable content. It’s unlikely that the company would go through all these negotiations with LucasArts to obtain the rights to only two characters, so expect more announcements as we get closer to SCIV’s release date.

Now there’s finally a reason for me to get a PS3!

Soul Calibur IV: Darth Vader Soul Calibur IV: Darth Vader