SoulCalibur VI, the latest entry from the iconic weapon-based 3D fighting game series, is only two days away and the hype is real. Souls were burning at the Ring Out NYC event for SoulCalibur VI, as fans got to both play the upcoming title as well as watch some professionals duke it out in person. Fans were treated to free SoulCalibur VI shirts, a character art display showcase, and cans of Red Bull to power them through their fights at on-site fighting stations.
Presented by Bandai Namco and sponsored by Razer, Ring Out NYC featured a tournament to settle who is the best of the east coast in SoulCalibur VI. The event featured onsite commentary by Bibulus and Omegaxcn, as well as an appearance from eSports fighting gamer and local Long Island native, LI Joe. The tournament hosted the east coast’s top 8 in SoulCalibur VI, with the entire event streaming live on Twitch. Whether you were there to watch, or there to play, there was plenty of SoulCalibur VI to go around.
Attendees, hopped up on Red Bull came ready to play with their own controllers and fight sticks in tow. We even got to mix it up ourselves for a couple of rounds, as I had to remind myself on how to handle Maxi’s links in the new upcoming title.
Speaking of the title, SoulCalibur VI continues on with the series’ staple of 3D weapon-based combat. Many of the series’ mainstay characters return in this new story that now focuses on Kilik and his closest friends. There are also new characters added to the roster such as Grøh, Azwel, and Geralt, from The Witcher 3. Each character in the game has their own collection of unique moves and styles, as you bash, grab, or juggle your opponents until you either knock them out or send them out of the ring. The game also features a whole set of new vibrant backgrounds and arenas to battle in.
Much of the fighting engine remains consistent with that of the series. Guard Impact is still in play, where you can time an aggressive guarding gesture with your opponent’s attack to stagger them. However, there are also new combat elements added to SoulCalibur VI. Reversal Edge can be used to start a slow motion cinematic event where each fighter has to commit to a move as they try to predict their opponent’s attack. Think of it as a glorified yet slightly more complicated Rock, Paper, Scissor sequence.
Also new to SoulCalibur VI, fighters now have energy meters, allowing them to use the new features: Soul Charge and Critical Edge. Soul Charge amps up your character, unlocking new attack possibilities as well as more powerful versions of attacks. Critical Edge is SoulCalibur VI’s very own “super”, where each character performs an exaggerated animation before attempting to land a single it. Should that attack land on an unblocking opponent, the opponent is automatically punished in a flurry of stylish and brutal attacks, leading to heavy damage. Some characters, like Kilik, even wield a 2nd Critical Edge that can be used while their Soul Charge is active.
At the Ring Out NYC event, we got to see each of these new features used to their fullest. There was plenty of Ivy play amongst the tourney combatants. So, we found ourselves rooting for whomever changed up the flow of fighters, such as with Nightmare, Sophitia, or even the new character Geralt. I personally enjoyed watching the special character animations that would activate only if a fighter with KO’d with a Critical Edge. When Ivy landed her finishing blow via her Critical Edge, she leaned over her opponent dishing out some sass as she continued to stand on top of them.
All in all, the Ring Out NYC event did the game justice in the hype department. We’re definitely even more excited for SoulCalibur VI’s release, this Friday, October 16, 2018.
†Non-watermarked screenshots taken from Bandai Namco’s press site.