I've played Soul Caliber 2 & 3 extensively over the past few years, and have grow to consider myself a fan of the series. And as such, I was looking forward to this game. Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed.
This game works hard to detach itself from its combat-based roots. So much so, in fact, that it hardly feels like a Soul Caliber game at all. Instead of being a more traditional 1-on-1 fighter like the previous installments, it takes on a 3rd person, quest-based gameplay model. This is a big downer for those of you who hoped for some more of the famous Soul Caliber combat.
Since this is for the Wii, it naturally needs motion-activated controls. This is one of the biggest areas where the game fails. "Fighting" in this game, regardless of whether it's in a 1-player story mode or a 2-player versus mode, involves no skill whatsoever. The way the controls have been mapped means that a fight is very little more than a wiimote-swinging contest. Directions: 1) Swing wiimote wildly; 2) Get lucky and come out alive. This is extremely repetitive and thus quickly grows boring.
The graphics are also a let-down, sometimes looking inferior to the PS2 version of Soul Caliber 2, which is downright inexcusable. The levels you navigate in the games quests are boring and uninspired, gameplay as a whole is repetitive, combat is boring and more about luck than skill, and there are relatively few characters available. Almost every aspect of this game has some issue, and when you put them together, it makes for one big disappointment
The chances that you will genuinely enjoy this game are fairly small. Please, RENT THIS GAME BEFORE YOU BUY IT. This game is hardly Soul Caliber, and the new direction it's being taken in this title is unimpressive. Invest in an XBox 360 or PS3 and get Soul Caliber 4 if you're looking for a real fighter.