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The Basics of Soul Calibur
The Soul Calibur series is one of those fighting game series that people think is mostly about button-mashing. This is both right and wrong. If you're fighting against someone who doesn't know what they're doing, you can button-mash in a Soul Calibur game and pull off a win. But what if your opponent knows more about the games' mechanics and how to play? What do you do to win a Soul Calibur match? Make note that there hasn't been any differentiating the different games in the series -- this is because all of the games share the same basic mechanics that can be used to your advantage to win. They're also general hints for fighting games.
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The First Tip
First, remember that Soul Calibur is a weapons-based fighter for the PS2 -- each character has their specialized weapon: Mitsurugi has a katana, Kilik has a staff, Nightmare has a zweihander and so on. Each of these weapons has their attacking range, and you would do well to note the overlapping of those ranges and act accordingly. Also note the type of attacks that each Soul Calibur character does with their weapon: for example, Kilik has a lot of long-range poking attacks with his staff. This can make openings for him to rush in and unleash a combo when the opponent is off guard. The same goes for Mitsurugi with his kick/downward slash combo. Always be on the move; you don't want to present an easy target for your opponent. Move in and out of range, keep them guessing what you're going to do next.
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Guard Impacting in Soul Calibur
A note on Guard Impacting: this is a very valuable tool in Soul Calibur games -- if you can pull one off successfully on a regular basis. To do this, it requires that you be able to accurately predict High or Low attacks, which can be difficult without familiarity of the other character's techniques. In this case, simply guarding is better, because you can then try for a grapple.
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The Next Thing To Remember In A Soul Calibur Fight
Don't rush in full tilt at the start of a match -- if you were in a real swordfight, would you do this? No, because more than likely you would be reduced to a shish-kabob. So why do it in the game? Be measured with your approach. Soul Charging is another technique done often in Soul Calibur games. Yes, Soul Charging increases power, but it also leaves you vulnerable. Only do it when there's a good distance between you or when the opponent is knocked down.
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Three-Step Hierarchy Technique
Also, know the three-step hierarchy: Vertical Attack pre-empts Horizontal Attack pre-empts 8-Way Run. It's like a game of rock, paper, scissors. Don't button-mash all the time either -- I once fought someone who used Raphael's three-stab combo ad infinitium. I Guard Impacted as Mitsurugi and on the next attempted strike, countered from Relic.
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Overall Remember The Basics
Want more great Soul Calibur articles here on the Console Channel? Here are some others that you simply cannot miss out on:
Fighting Online in Soul Calibur IV
Soul Calibur 4 Tower of Souls Unlockables for the PS3