Console fighting title SoulCalibur joins the App Store this week

Jan 17, 2012
Games

Another big name in the console video gaming world is making its way to Apple’s iOS platform this week, and it’s sure to drive mobile gamers on a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane once again. Thursday will see the release of Namco’s SoulCalibur, a fighting game with a storied history and a little controversy thrown […]

Another big name in the console video gaming world is making its way to Apple’s iOS platform this week, and it’s sure to drive mobile gamers on a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane once again.

Thursday will see the release of Namco’s SoulCalibur, a fighting game with a storied history and a little controversy thrown in for good measure. The title features a group of characters taking part in a one-on-one fighting tournament in 3-D arenas. Most of the fighting takes place on a 2-D plane, but with the ability to roll or step sideways to avoid incoming attacks from your enemies. Characters also carry weapons, and each player gets his or her own unique weapons and special abilities because of them.

The version we’re seeing come to iOS on Thursday was released in 2008 on Xbox LIVE Arcade, Microsoft’s online download portal for its Xbox 360 version. It’s a slightly updated version of the same game that first appeared on the SEGA Dreamcast way back in 1999. Despite being a decade old, however, SoulCalibur still stands as a great entry in the fighting game world.

We don’t know too much about the iOS version just yet, but if the Xbox LIVE version is the template for this new port, we can make some inferences. For example, in the original Dreamcast version of SoulCalibur, there was quite a bit of content that had to be unlocked through gameplay – like alternate costumes for characters, additional hidden characters and the like. The Xbox LIVE version, on the other hand, had all of this content unlocked upon purchase, so it’s possible that the iOS version will also have everything unlocked at the start. Another item for consideration: Neither the Dreamcast nor the Xbox LIVE versions support online play, so it’s somewhat doubtful that the iOS version will include multiplayer support either.

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As more and more console games move to iOS – even older ones, like SoulCalibur – the platform becomes a stronger haven for “hardcore” gamers. One of the troubles that mobile gaming seems to have among the video gaming community is that playing games on a smartphone like the iPhone isn’t up to the same caliber as playing on a true, dedicated handheld system, like Sony’s upcoming PlayStation Vita or Nintendo’s newly released 3DS. Casual titles, such as Angry Birds or iOS ports of Facebook games like FarmVille, cause some players to view the platform as one that’s not for serious gamers.

The nice thing about developers bringing big console games to iOS is that they’re definitely for serious gamers, and the gaming community is starting to take them more seriously. Capcom’s Street Fighter IV, recently ported from iOS to Google’s Android platform, was the focus of a mobile gaming tournament last weekend in Los Angeles that pitted some of the best players in the world against each other – on smartphones.

Of course, there are some fairly hardcore titles available on iOS – games like Infinity Blade II and Anomaly: Warzone Earth – but games such as SoulCalibur and Street Fighter IV definitely help the case for making the larger gaming community take mobile gaming seriously. More gamers looking to take their play on the road with smartphones means more quality titles, like SoulCalibur, making their way to the platform.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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