Wes: Ah, the racial bigotry knows no bounds with the children. So, speaking of, how's the online play on the PS3 version? XBox 360 is a mixed bag, I've had some absolutely flawless games, but I've also run into games with nearly five second lag. It's the nature of the beast, I suppose.
Tyler: I've only really come across lag when I'm waiting around and watching someone else's match. And even then I'm playing wirelessly with my laptop and another computer using the same connection. In the online matches I've had, I've never encountered much lag. I'd love to blame my loses on it, but I'm really just that awful. I find that as a more casual player, it's best to stick to the Standard Versus online mode, as it doesn't allow players to bring along their tweaked out custom fighters. You can still have them be all goofy looking, but they don't bring along the attributes of their new armour and weapons. As much as I tend to think of unranked play as a haven for people like me, I found it much easier to find matches that way. You're provided with a lot more games to join in the ranked mode, and I can usually find someone close to my level that way anyways. As for Quick Play, the game could never provide me with a match, which struck me as odd. If you do venture into the Special Versus mode, be prepared to face off against some truly gifted people. Even though victory slipped through my fingers on many occassions, I still had a ton of fun, which is most important. If I can have a good time playing folks who've been fans since the Soul Edge days, anyone can.
Wes: I agree, online's very tiered, but anyone can hop in and enjoy. Saying that, though, Yoda's a toolbag. You can't throw him? C'mon now. Why include a character in a game if he's immune to a key tactic? That's like saying that this car in Gran Turismo is rocket-propelled and never goes off-track. It's unncesseary and adds challenge that shouldn't be there. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Star Wars fan, but including the characters in this was grasping for straws. People that use Yoda online strike me as people that are scared to lose, so I hardly try on those matches. They're the same people that use Oddjob in Goldeneye.
Tyler: Since I'm not the most proficient guy with fighters, the issue of character balance is one that I won't have a better understanding of until a few months down the road. But I have given each character their fair shake, and I have to say that while I prefer some and not others, I never felt any deficiencies with any particular fighter. The inclusion of Force Powers and a specific gauge for pulling them off is pretty odd, but like anything else, they cannot be abused. As far as Vader goes, he's pretty fun. He's pretty slow, and his more powerful moves take a bit to pull off, but he does make sense as a fighter within the game. As a character, he is a bit screwy in the Soulcalibur universe, but he's certainly no Necrid.
Wes: Right, right. The nightmares of Necrid are coming back now, ass. Thanks Todd McFarlene! When you're not learning the ropes with the default crew, what's your take on the Create A Fighter?
Tyler: I was surprised by how deep it was, actually. You can really let your imagination go wild, but to create a good fighter, you have to limit yourself from recreating the skimpier outfits of other fighters. It was cool to be able to fiddle around with your characters stats, and I hope that there's no winning combination out there for insta-win characters. What's funny is that these custom fighters will look more like characters ripped from a Mortal Kombat clone than a combatant within Soulcalibur.
Wes: I think the Create A Fighter is a huge step up from Soul Calibur III, and I couldn't be happier with it. I still think that the decision to tie your character's movelist with the weapon they equip is a smart one, as it rewards dedicated play with a single character.