PSU Exclusive Interview: Soul Calibur IV
With Soul Calibur IV being one of the more prominent fighting games within the genre, PSU contacted Namco Bandai Games Director, Katsutoshi Sasaki, to fill us in on a few details concerning the game.
A few things we go over in the interview include; character creation options, online, and destructible armor and clothing.
PSU: How did the collaboration with LucasArts come about?
Katsutoshi Sasaki: From the beginning we wanted to meet the fans’ demand for guest characters. As this is the first Soulcalibur game for next-gen consoles, we wanted to do something special. We thought about which characters are world renowned and ones we would want to play. The Star Wars characters were an obvious choice. So we then approached LucasArts with our idea and the rest is history.
PSU: Many readers are worried about how the new Star Wars characters will fit into the world of Soul Calibur. Can you give us some details on how you plan to intertwine the two universes together in both story and gameplay?
Sasaki: There is definitely an explanation for this. But we don’t want to spoil anything right now so please stay tuned for future announcements.
PSU: To what extent will armor and clothing be destructible, and how will it affect the player when they lose articles of cover?
Sasaki: Destructible armor parts can be found on the top, middle and bottom section of the character. When a character has accumulated enough damage to the same area and the opponent is in the “Soul Crush” state, the character’s armor and clothing can be destroyed. Player’s can strategically take advantage of attacking the destructed parts to inflict more damage.
PSU: The Character Creation option will be back from Soul Calibur III, but with many improvements, correct? What are some of the new features that players will find when creating their characters?
Sasaki: First of all, players will see a huge visual evolution. Not only can they create an original character but also customize their favorite Soulcalibur warrior with practically unlimited costume variations. Also when creating an original character, you can adjust their height, muscle built and voice to suit your tastes.
PSU: How is the PlayStation 3 build running in comparison to the 360 version?
Sasaki: There is no difference. At the first stage of development, the goal was to have no gameplay differences on either hardware and our programmers actually made it come true. Quite frequently, we forget and grab the wrong controller when looking at the screen.
PSU: Soul Calibur III was a great game, but critics cited unbalanced characters as one if its few flaws. Have such criticisms influenced this recent iteration?
Sasaki: With each new version of Soulcalibur, we have consciously tried to meet the player’s demands. I believe the reason Soulcalibur is revered and a popular franchise is because it’s a series that has built upon its previous iteration.
PSU: With the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live playing such a pertinent role in this generation of consoles, what was the thinking in bringing Soul Calibur IV online?
Sasaki: Soulcalibur IV is the first game in the franchise’s history that will allow players to fight online against anyone in the world. I believe many players try to hone their fighting skills in the single player mode but having the environment to battle other players offers new challenges to improve and show off their skills.
PSU: Anything else you’d like to add?
Sasaki: We’ve worked really hard to bring out Soulcalibur IV to fans and new comers to the franchise. We hope that everyone enjoys the game.
We'd like to thank Sasaki again for taking the time to answer our questions. Be sure to check out Soul Calibur IV when it releases, July 29th.