As a fan ever since the original Soul Caliber, I can say that the evolution of soul caliber has been brilliant thus far. After hearing the brilliant and lovely story telling, I just couldn't wait to hear the end of the story.
Unfortunatly, if you are looking in the story department, then you will be sadly dissapointed. Its been happening since the first one to the second to the third and now its rock bottom on the fourth. There is a story mode, but it gives you a nicely written intro to the character, then almost nothing, until the end. Only a few character seemed to remain in character while others just had shoddy stories seemingly thrown together for them. And after fighting through, five seemingly easy and short lived battles, which only hold story value if you know the past stories, you come to an ending scene, that is usually only thirty seconds to one minute long, and a short quote. Most of these are either cheesy or don't belong a darn bit in the game, therefore as far as story goes I give this game a three.
Now then, the part that killed me, and saved the game altogether. Character Creation, you have not seen a character creator anywhere near as detailed as this, while at first it is dissapointing, once you unlock all the characters and make your way through the Tower of Sword (SC4's alright challenge mode) you unlock incredible potential. There are no longer any custom sets for characters, but that's not a problem, you simply slap your favorite characters skill set on them. There are so many different people you can make, and surely anything you can put in your head, can come out through this creator.
A new feature is the skill system which (based on your character creation items) allows you to assign different innated abilities, such as increasing your attack power, poisoning your victims, preventing ring outs, and even turning invisible.
So though there is lack in story, I still highly reccomend Soul Caliber 4 for fans, but not new players.
I liked this game. The graphics and gameplay are exactly what i expected as i have played previous Soul Caliber titles. Single player gameplay was fine however the online mode wouldnt work for me. I worked well playing against friends i knew but when i tried to find a random match up it kept saying session was full. When i created my own session about 10 seconds after doing so it would sign me out of playstation network. I reset my settings as well as checked my other games and they were all fine yet Soul Caliber kept doing this. So gameplay a 9 but online a 0.
Don't let the title fool you. Even though this game is primarily button mashing it is a great game. The graphics are stellar and the gameplay is fast and fun. The learning curve is not all that steep so you can jump online almost right away and at least compete. I experienced only a few moments of lag while playing online. Definitely worth playing and probably deserves a spot in your collection.