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In a Bonus Minigame, Astaroth Pilots a B-Wing

I love the Soul Caliber games. No other fighting game has such a perfect mix of "if I press all the buttons in an aggressive enough manner, I stand a good chance of winning" and "if I master this combo, I will become a lithe, fluid incarnation of Death itself."

So honestly, I'll be buying Soul Caliber IV no matter what bizarre crossover characters they put in it. I'd happily play as a barrel-hurling Donkey Kong, Soccer ball-kicking Pele, or Mace-wielding Mike Huckabee.

But, that doesn’t mean I can let something like the insertion of Star Wars characters into the franchise go by unmentioned. Spawn and Link were bad enough, but putting Darth Vader and Yoda into the game as playable characters is like leaving the Lucasarts truck they used to deliver the giant mountain of cash parked in front of your house. We know it exists, but do you have to rub it in our faces?

To those who think this isn’t such a bad idea, I present an exhaustive list of Darth Vader’s Soul Caliber IV control scheme and moves list:

Control: Press XMove: Force ChokeDescription: Darth chokes opponent to death with his mind.

The end. You’re done. Shut the fuck up Killik; your fucking stick can’t outreach the FORCE.

And yes, they could strategically remove Yoda/Vader’s powers to make them mesh with the Soul Caliber universe, but that’s going to be equally annoying. I mean, do you really want to play a fighting game where your lightsaber hums cleanly through the rapidly ionizing atmosphere, only to be parried by Maxi’s nunchucks?

No; you’re going to whine and moan about how it “isn’t true to the spirit of the character.” Well, you are if you’re an insufferable nerd, which unfortunately describes myself and most of my close friends to a T.

So if you’re reading this Namco Bandai, may I suggest a sensible alternative to the Dark One and his Green Counterpart: PacMan. He’s a classic gaming icon, sure to come bundled with some sweet crossover ad revenue, and is perfectly balanced against the other Soul Caliber characters.

His ability to hover and move in any direction make him defensively strong, while his lack of any attack other than ramming his head against things makes him far from too powerful. Pit him against Ivy, give him some power pills, and let’s leave the crazy franchise mashups to Super Smash Bros.

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Michael Swaim

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