By Paul Kainoa Vigil / May 6th, 2015
Bandai Namco’s Project Soul development team is holding a character popularity poll for the Soul series on their Soul Calibur Facebook Page. The survey is being conducted through a Facebook app, so a Facebook account is required to participate in the voting process. One vote is allowed for each account. Desktop users can participate using this link, while mobile users can participate by visiting this link.
Barring guest characters (something of a tradition for the series that dates back to Soul Calibur II,) all named Soul characters can receive votes. This also includes “overlapping” entries like both Lizardman and Aeon, or Viola and Amy (*ahem*). There are some noteworthy qualities of this poll – in Soul Calibur V, Kilik functioned as a clone that randomly cycled through male character movesets. Yet, he is depicted in the poll using his Soul Calibur IV artwork. It’s probably because Kilik, like Ivy, Siegfried, Mitsurugi and others, is incredibly popular, and Kilik’s newest change in the franchise (alongside his “replacement” character, Xiba) was mostly unwelcome with fans.
Soul Calibur V is a game with a bit of a troubled development history. It exists as a result of a strong internal push within Bandai Namco, as Soul Calibur IV almost ended the franchise. Soul Calibur V was also rushed through the later stages of development to quickly hit stores. All things considered, while sales were lower than the fourth entry, the game did have some respectable commercial success, especially since it came during a time when plenty of fighting games were available. While some elements of the game, such as its netcode or system mechanics (different features welcomed to varying degrees), have typically been praised, other parts, like the story mode and the roster, elicited disappointment.
The story mode was a victim of truncated development, resulting in its disproportionate focus on new characters Patroklos and Pyrrha. The roster was perceived as problematic for a number of reasons: it removed characters with unique weapons (Talim, Zasalamel), it replaced users of certain weapons with other characters (this is perhaps most egregious with Setsuka being replaced by Alpha Patroklos, especially since this produces two “varieties” of Patroklos in the game, and Setsuka’s absence is generally rather tenuous) and, additionally, most of the new characters that replaced older characters were disliked (Leixia replacing Xianghua, Natsu replacing Taki.) While plenty of legacy Soul characters returned for Soul Calibur V, a lack of palatable replacements for some characters probably left many wanting for the previous characters.
Voting closes on May 31. Be sure to get in your votes before then. Bandai Namco specifies that this information is not specifically being used for the free-to-play game Soul Calibur: Lost Swords but for the Soul franchise in general. They also tease that “Project Soul is probably preparing something huge.” I am personally convinced that Soul Calibur VI is going to happen, but let’s wait and see.
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