''The long anticipated return of one of the greatest fighting game franchises has finally come true. Soul Calibur IV has finally arrived and it aims to impress. Hours will be spent refining gameplay styles, and many more will be spent acquiring new gear. The latest in the long-running series is its next-gen debut and the visuals aren't the only things that have been given an extra coat of polish.
The first thing that pops about Soul Calibur IV is how gorgeous it is. The bright, vibrant colors and fluid animations bring a much needed breath of fresh air to the dark grays and browns in the new world of gaming. Every character model has been updated with much better textures, fabrics, and armor sets. One of the many new features on this outing is that now everyone's armor deteriorates and breaks apart over time to add more realism and strategic depth to the game. It all happens in real time as well, with individual pieces falling off corresponding to where the attack came from. Along with the characters, the stages and backgrounds also earned a new level of quality with their interactivity and appeal. Each stage has its own unique personality and visual design choices that make it fun to see and play every time. While it is clear that Namco/Bandai spent plenty of time on making their game look good, they also dedicated that same devotion to making it sound good too.
The sound and audio in Soul Calibur IV is done very well with each stage receiving its own theme. Veterans of the franchise will recognize many of the songs and pieces, but there are a few new songs to mix things up a bit. The ending music and themes for each character are also performed nicely with each piece fitting with every character's personality. All of the songs are instrumental pieces that add to the world in new ways and find a way to get stuck in your head for many days afterward.''