Daishi’s Twitter – Round 12

Week 14 – 26/03/11 – 01/04/11

All I can say for now is the main character for the new game will not be Siegfried. Keep it a secret!

The main character cant be revealed yet so use your imagination for now 😛 All I can say is he/she will be deeply involved with the 2 swords

They warned me “it’s too early to tell” but I told them “we have to tell the fans something”.

On seeing this post I had a very brief moment of I-told-you-so. Very brief.

Superficially, this looks like the first bit of “real” news Daishi has let slip. But as Daishi pointed out himself last week, many people are unclear on who the main characters for the last 4 Soulcalibur games were, and in the best circumstances being the main character of a fighting game isn’t that big of a deal.

Let’s do a quick examination of something as obvious as a game’s box art to compare “main characters.”

According to Daishi and his informal poll, Soul Edge or Blade’s main character is Mitsurugi. The European box art is Voldo, Mitsurugi got the North American Soul Blade cover, and the Japanese box art. There were valid reasons to keep Mitsurugi off the cover in some places, and 2 out of 3 isn’t bad.

Soulcalibur is supposed to be Xianghua’s game. She get’s on the Dreamcast cover, but is not the focus of it at all. Soulcalibur was, in a lot of ways, about the trio of Kilik, Xianghua, and Maxi, so that’s close enough.

Soulcalibur 2 is where Nightmare took centre stage. Well, he managed to get 1 quarter of the Xbox cover, while the guest characters get top billing on the rest.

Is Soulcalibur 3 Siegfried’s game? If it is, nobody bothered to tell Namco. Zasalamel get’s the spotlight, with Ivy and Mitsurugi riding along, and Nightmare making up the Project Soul logo.

Finally, Soulcalibur 4 and Broken Destiny. Siegfried? He’s 1/3 of one of the covers. Hilde gets on there with him, but Algol is nowhere to be seen. As for Broken Destiny, who even knows. They put Kratos on the cover, but don’t bother to promote the new character, Dampierre, on the front.

As we can see, being the supposed main character of a Soulcalibur game doesn’t guarantee a whole lot. Even being a new character doesn’t guarantee someone a spot on the front cover. It looks like Namco is more focused on a general core of characters who can share the limelight, and guest characters, over a single protagonist for any of the games.

More than likely what Daishi is saying means there will be a new character in the next game. Which isn’t exactly a surprise.

Of course, it’s possible that one of the other characters could step up. Xianghua, Kilik, the Sisters, almost every character in the game has a strong connection to the swords that could be used as a focal point for a new story. In fact, almost every character in the game has a story that is “deeply involved” with the swords, but most of them don’t become canon endings; the basic premise of Soulcalibur is that everyone is looking for the swords.

I’m temped to decide that a 3rd sword is now out of the question, but I’m not going to throw that away just yet.

True, the player is probably be the main character for Broken Destiny. The Gauntlet Mode was a challenge for us, something different for SC

Some people said the Gauntlet Mode was too hard and it’s hard to say that the mode was a success…

Which is a shame, because the Gauntlet Mode was at least an attempt to give players a way to learn the game while they played. Having every mission book-ended by pages of boring text was not the best idea, but giving players goals and challenges that might, just might, give them a better idea of what they should be doing, was a step in the right direction. Of course, releasing a game that’s primarily a glorified training mode is helped by then releasing something that lets the players use what they’ve learned. If the Broken Destiny console port had ever happened, the game would be seen in a different light.

I’ve said this before but I want the new game to have better tempo and better pacing.

Judged by his earlier stances on pacing, and I guess tempo as well, this is obviously meant to read “faster, stronger.” And that’s not a bad thing.

All the hints made about gameplay mean little until we get an idea of the new systems Daishi has in mind.

My recent work is to get a higher budget for the game from the company!

Good news and bad news. It’s his job to work on the company on behalf of his team, and it would be nice for them to get every bit of cash they need to make the game they want, but a cynic could say that an even more cynical Namco might be looking for a quick buck, and will use guest characters as a crutch to make sales.

As I’ve said before, Namco needs Soulcalibur to make money for them. But Soulcalibur — and Tekken as well — doesn’t sell on the strength of solid balance, competitive play, and good netcode. It sells because it has a character editor, flashy moves, guest characters, and looks really nice, on top of a story and single-player modes of dubious quality.

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