Look what’s back! We got another iteration of fighting game sequels. Today we’re going to be looking at Soul Caliber 5 and Rise of The Robots 2.
Soulcaliber 5 was developed and released by Namco Bandai Games. It is a follow up to Soulcaliber 4 and retains the weapon based combat characterized by the series, but follows a new protagonist, Patroklos, who aims to rid his sister of a curse brought upon her by an ancient weapon.
While the game was heavily praised for its game play, atmosphere, and character creation, it was equally criticized for it’s removal of fan favorite characters, the characterization of Patroklos, and it’s lackluster story mode. It’s an interesting result considering how the game came about being made.
A petition for Soulcaliber 5 was posted on facebook. The petition caught the eye of Katsuhiro Harada, producer of Namco’s Tekken series. He accepted suggestions and promised to lobby on behalf of fans for the creation of a new Soulcaliber game.
The lobbying efforts proved fruitful as the was teased as early as 2010, when game directo Daishi Odashima tweeted “SC is back!” On Christmas day 2010, the game was announced to be underway. The game was officially announced on May 11, 2011. One would think this Christmas miracle of a game would be everything a fan could ever want, however that wasn’t the case.
The storymode, the most commonly criticized element of SC 5, was outsourced to CyberConnect2, developers of the Capcom game Asura’s Wrath. The storymode for SC5 was seens as lack luster most notably for its length.
Odashima told The Train2Game Blog,
“Our first plan on the storyboard was that we had every characters story, and actually we do have it in the studio, but time-wise, man power-wise we weren’t able to do it and only one foruth of what we planned to do is in the game.”
He added that many of the other planned stories got full voice-overs during SC 5′ development, but there has been no decision on how to use them yet. This fact alone has left a bitter taste in the mouth of many SC fans as they felt they were cheated out of full game. Of course, this doesn’t end here.
Among the complaints about story mode was the fact that SC 5 didn’t include the series’ stalwart characters , Sophitia, Talim, Cassandra, Taki, and Seong Mi-na. While one might argue that shouldn’t be a big deal, they apparently haven’t seen the rage surrounding Capcom’s decision to include 5 new characters in season 2 instead of adding old ones.
Now while Soulcaliber 5 managed to miss the mark on the story mode and putting in fan favorite characters, it was still a decent game. The vast majority of reviews were positive. Now we will look at a game which pretty much made the first game seem like god like.
If you remember the first Rise of The Robots, which if you don’t I’m gonna write about Rise of The Robots later this week, It was this odd looking 3d fighting game with a sick sound track, kinda cool robots, and really ass game mechanics. Well, this game received terrible reviews and was pretty much known as a crap fest. That bad press didn’t stop Mirage, the developer of Rise of the Robots, from making a second one.
Rise 2: Resurrection was published by Acclaim Entertainment, yes the same acclaim that published Mortal Kombat, in 1996. This sequel improves on the first game’s graphics, rendering and animation. One of the cool things was hits gave off metal scraps and electrical arcs progressively run over the bodies of damaged robots.
Unlike the dope sound track in the first Rise of the Robots game, the sequel decided to add some edge and feature hard- rock themed music by Tom Grimshaw at Mirage, and a theme by Queen’s guitarist Brian May entitled “Cyborg”.
So funny thing about Rise 2. They actually allow the player to pick any robot they like. In the first game only player 2 could pick any robot they wanted while player one was stuck playing the cyborg protagonist. Talk about being forced to learn the match up. In addition to that, players could also choose from 256 different palette rotations for each robot which roughly translates to 5 for each robot. But they weren’t done.
Rise 2 also featured a far broader fighting experience than its predecessor. Each robot had its own original moves and Mortal Kombat- inspired death moves called EXECUTED…I dunno who edited the wiki article I got this from but apparently that’s right. Kinda sounds too edgy for my taste.
Anyway, in Rise 2 the player was given the ability to steal and use a defeated robot’s projectile, which is kinda cool, and a devastating super move that can be used when the power bar is full. Basically like a super move in SF or now in SFV Critical art.
So with all of these new additions to Rise 2 we can successfully say that it shattered records and was the most highly rated game in the 90s right? Well…not really. Rise 2: Resurrection was met with generally negative reviews.
IGN, gave the Playstation version, because it came out on PC, Playstation, and The Sega Saturn (I don’t even know why), a 2/10 declaring the following.
“The original 16-bit Rise of The Robots was possibly one of the worst fighters ever made. That is, until Rise 2 was released.”
Talk about a sick burn, but it has some validity to it. The IGN review cited the game’s poor controls and outdated graphics as reason for this statement. GameSpot gave the PC version a 5.1/10 saying the graphics, music, sound effects, variety of characters, and overall atmospheres of the game are all excellent, but the moves are awkward and difficult to perform. making the game no more than “an expensive screensaver”. So suffice to say, Rise 2 was a even worse game than its predecessor.
So what did we learn? Well, fighting game developers should definitely consider adding classic characters to their game. If they aren’t gonna add them all, at least go by a most popular basis. If a FG developer is gonna includes a story mode…I don’t even know what to put here. I thought the SFV story mode was awesome but I’m in the minority. I guess do your best and just remember the same people who play your game will give you shit no matter what you do.
At the same time, don’t make a shitty game even shittier by adding edgy finishers and rock music that totally counters the cyber vibe you had going in your previous game. I guess if you want to at least make sure the game is playable. You don’t want an unplayable game which adds on top of all the crap that makes little to no sense.