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« Gallery - Second Batch of Soul Calibur 6 Gameplay Screenshots | Main | BOOMcast #9 with Rip, Aris, Sajam and MYK »

Bandai Namco Level Up Winter 2017 Media Coverage

A press event took place this past weekend to showcase and let people try out the new Soul Calibur 6 game which was announced this past month. The embargo lifted early today so here are all the latest footage, news and interviews to come from Bandai Namco's Level Up Winter event. I won't be posting everything on the one page below but here are quote snippets and links to different sources citing new info on Soul Calibur 6.


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Sharpen your swords, put on your armor, and get ready to fight. Soulcalibur, the game that defined weapon-based 3D fighting games, is back!

Two decades after its first iteration, Soulcalibur VI returns to its roots while bringing brand-new gameplay features to the fight. Travel through the signature 16th century stages and experience the struggle for the two legendary swords using a complete roster of returning Soulcalibur characters, along with some newcomers!

Soulcalibur has never looked more dynamic or dramatic, intensified with eye-popping graphics powered by Unreal Engine 4.

Key Features

  • Dynamic fights enhanced by cinematic-styled combat.
  • State of the art graphics powered by Unreal Engine 4.
  • An epic story mode of the struggle for the two swords.
  • A complete roster of returning characters and newcomers.

Revamped Gameplay Mechanics for the Intense Showdowns

  • The Supreme Defense: Reversal Edge – Read the opponent’s move and deliver a counterattack while guarding, and take control of the battle by quickly proceeding into derivative moves.The Supreme Attack: Critical Edge – A trademark of each character capable of delivering damage to his opponent.
  • A Chance to Turn the Tables: Soul Charge – A temporary power-up taking place after pushing away the opponent with a shockwave.
  • Proof of Proficiency: Lethal Hit – A special effect which destroys your opponent’s equipment parts when fulfilling set conditions of a move.

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I played Soulcalibur VI and here are my humble thoughts


Snippet: (Read in full at the URL.)

The demo build of the game features two playable characters; steely-eyed Yojimbo-lite Mitsurugi and the benevolent-yet-valiant warrior Sophitia, both of whom have been poster-kids for the franchise since its 1995 debut. The two characters could be chosen from a screen that had twenty portrait placeholders, and though there was some definite "dead-eyes" syndrome going on with the faces, Mitsurugi and Sophitia's models look slick, if slightly low-res in texture -- possibly to keep the framerate sharp on a series that prides itself on intricate detailing.

Two stages were playable. "The Shrine of Eurydice" has the warriors battling under statues and architecture of Greek gods past, while "Snow-Capped Showdown" sees them fight on an icy shore next to a lake. Neat little features bring the arenas to life, such as the shrine's mosaic flooring crumbling underfoot and the colours transitioning under a warm, orange sunset as the fight continued.As with classic Caliburs past, basic strings come from repetitive or alternating slash buttons, with motions or double-taps of the D-pad added to unleash more powerful attacks. These strikes often lead to damaging combos, juggles, or high-low mixups to throw off your opponent's defensive game. The Soul Charge mechanic returns -- burning meter to boost your fighter's specials -- and Lethal Hits, landed cleanly, will cause blowback and can even destroy an opponent's armour, revealing Sophitia's delightful ankles, or Mitsurugi's ferocious nipples.

Altogether, the combat in Soulcalibur VI has a satisfying visual/aural aesthetic, with strikes chaining together smoothly and gracefully, making extended combos and refined defensive play look like a dance. A DEATH DANCE.

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SoulCalibur 6 Adds New Mechanics But Still Feels Easy And Fun To Play


Snippet: (Read in full at the URL.)

The biggest new addition is Reversal Edge, which is executed by simply pressing and holding one button, at which point the character winds-up an attack that is slower than most others. During this they're open to attack, but Reversal Edge has a small amount of armour and so it will nullify one incoming attack. After a brief startup, the character will use their Reversal Edge attack and, if it lands, the game seamlessly enters a cinematic sequence where the camera swoops in and time slows.

At this point it becomes a game of rock-paper-scissors where you have a split second to take in what the opponent is doing, consider whether they will attack you--and if so whether it will be with a horizontal, vertical, or kick attack--or move, and act accordingly to counter. At a higher level, fights in SoulCalibur become about momentum, and it can often be difficult to steal some of that from a good player. Someone who knows what they're doing can often parlay a single knockdown or launch into a stream of inescapable combos and setups until they've won. Reversal Edge provides the opportunity to slow the pace down and reset the situation by creating breathing room, but it does so without tipping the scales too far. To regain steady footing you'll still need to make the correct judgement call and hope that the other player isn't already one step ahead.

When asked about the decision to introduce Reversal Edge, producer Motohiro Okubo said the system was designed to place emphasis on mind games involved in understanding and exploiting the way another player tends to behave, but without overwhelming casual players by making it a single button press. Since the version we played didn't have a proper explanation for the system, it was difficult to gauge how to fully take advantage of Reversal Edge and the advantage won by whoever comes out on top after a clash. On a few occasions a correct guess led to a special; this stunned the victim very briefly, which created a very small window to do extra damage. For the most part, it was a dependable way to ease pressure, take stock, and maneuver into a neutral position, which will certainly be handy against skilled opponents.

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Soulcalibur 6 is a blast from the past with an accessible twist


Snippet: (Read in full at the URL.)

I used to play Soulcalibur 2 religiously if not that skilfully in my university bar and, after a few false starts, soon found myself dishing out juggles and ankle chops like I had a couple of pounds riding on the outcome. But not everything is familiar. The Reversal System combines a nod to guard-locking from the original Soul Blade in 1995 with a nod to Street Fighter 4's signature flow-breaking Focus attacks. Mapped to R1, it sees your character raising their blade vertically to block a single strike before launching a fiery overhand swipe. If the blow connects, it triggers a florid, cutaway sequence and window of slow motion in which each combatant can perform a single move. It's a round of rock-paper-scissors, in essence, though you aren't limited to three options, and the effect is to create a little breathing room while showcasing the loveliness of the game's models and animations.

It's clearly an addition made with casuals and converts in mind rather than returning pros and Okubo is, to his credit, entirely upfront about this. "My hope is that with Reversal Edge, any player, beginner or pro, can fight on the same level in that moment, and feel like they could be a master fighter," he told me. "Advanced players may not find it fun to stop the flow of the fighting, but we think as players advance in the game, there will be less use of reversals." The system is hardly idiot-proof, in any case - the long vertical wind-up animation makes it easy to avoid and punish, and the developer is obviously still tweaking it. "We always knew there was a risk of pro players not appreciating Reversal Edge, but we are carefully adjusting as we go."

▌Metro UK
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SoulCalibur VI hands-on preview and interview – ‘we want to realise the feel good factor’


Snippet: (Read in full at the URL.)

GC: SoulCalibur actually has a number of unique factors: the use of weapons, the strong single-player, and the very distinctive characters. Is that what you see as the three most important pillars?

MO: Yes, I think so. As you said, SoulCalibur is unique in the sense that it uses swords. But also, I think that the uniqueness of SoulCalibur comes from its view of the world – it’s these 16th century stories and the design of the characters that is very unique, and also the backbone of SoulCalibur.

GC: The guest characters are also a major selling point, but it did seem as if they’d begun to overshadow the series.

MO: I do understand that the guest characters presence is quite big in the previous SoulCaliburs. In that sense I’m hoping to be able to introduce guest characters in this game, and to be able to surprise everyone… but I cannot say any more. [laughs]

GC: Can you say whether the guest characters will be different for each format?

MO: [in English:] Sorry, I can’t say that! [laughs]

GC: Is there any chance of a Switch version, so we can have Link again? [Link was the guest character in the GameCube version of SoulCalibur II – GC]

MO: SoulCalibur VI development started more than three years ago. And nobody knew anything about Switch back then. So, as a matter of fact we are not working on Switch, as of now. But of course, personally, I’m interested in the platform. So if the Unreal Engine can adapt to Switch, and evolve itself, then maybe the possibility will be more.

GC: Can you say anything about the single-player?

MO: As I said earlier, the character design and the usage of swords are the big points of SoulCalibur. But of course, I understand that the previous versions’ appeal came from not just the design, but having a story. And what is going to happen in this new version? You’ll have to wait and see! [laughs]

GC: I know you can’t talk about other characters in the game, but the design and attire of a character like Ivy – whether she’s in the new one or not – are a lot more problematic today than they were when the series began. Is that something you intend to address?

MO: [long pause] I understand that there are different opinions about such characters. So I think what’s most important is how you want to express and design such characters, and not just the female characters. But I still want to keep the body shape and the atmosphere of each character to be the backbone of each character.

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▌Further Gameplay Videos
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