Shifting Genres

Okay, so I bought Soul Calibur III the other day, and it really got me thinking. I had similar thoughts to these while playing through SCII, and now they are especially grating on me with the changes of SCIII.

SCIII introduces a vast amount of RPG elements, even moreso than its predecessors. So much so that they dominate the game. A huuuge variety of weapons and armor for your characters, actual shops at which to purchase them, a story mode that, though totally sh*tty in the grander part of its execution, at least makes an attempt when compared to that of any other game in the genre… The game is loaded, absolutely filled to overflowing, with various RPG elements.

So, this just keeps fueling my hopes.

In the same vein that a series of shooter titles could be transformed into a unique and classic RPG (obviously, I refer to Panzer Dragoon Saga), I believe that the developers of the Soul Calibur series are more than capable of a similar feat.

In all honestly, it seems very likely to me. The RPG elements are somewhat unpolished in SCIII, but are numerous: this leads me to believe that with these elments, they quite possibly could have been “testing the waters”, so to speak. Getting themselves acclimated to the idea before tackling the task proper.

They also had a bit of a strategy mode, character creation, etc, etc. All of these elements seem to me as though they may very well be thinking about it, but wanted to try it out in limitation first.

Honestly, if they did this, I would freak out in the best possible way. Honestly, the “storyline” of Soul Calibur is well-suited to the realm of an RPG. Obviously, as a fighting game, the story is told absolutely pathetically so far, but if you actually just go into the Museum mode and read the profile for Siegfried, well… His story alone is the stuff of RPG legend, rife with incredible drama and twists, and if paid proper attention (say, the attention that a quality RPG would require) it could trounce nearly anything else out there.

And if the SC-team needed help in making the transition, it’s not as though Namco lacks RPG-talent (Tales teams and Monolith, anyone?).

So overall, I think it would be the best possible direction of the series. The series has been gaining an ever-increasing number of RPG elements, the storyline is greatly-suited to an RPG universe, it already has phenomenal art design and music… the reasons are numerous. Not to mention that the Tales series has gotten RPG fans more used to a fighter-styled system of play.

I think it would be the best possible idea, and I hope that the SC series can follow in the footsteps of the PD series!

What do you all think?

Also, off of the topic of the SC series, what series’ would you like to see “shifting genres”, from their current into another?

I’ll throw this one out there: a true Castlevania RPG. Please Konami, please. There’s another series that could quite possibly be an absolute classic in RPG from, if paid proper attention and given the right amount of care.

There’s no grand story I’d wanna see that much coming from SC. It’s just a mix match of myths and legends for the background story of each fighter.

I don’t think they were testing the waters for anything either. It’s just another quest mode like they’ve been doing since Soul Blade and they simply expanded on it with more depth, maybe because they know it was great in Soul Blade but then just got old, at least in Soul Calibur where you didn’t even have weapons to take. I can’t speak for the next parts of the series as I never played them. So I guess they went back to making it more rewarding than Soul Blade rather than less. It’s a good thing, but I don’t care to see an RPG from them.

I don’t care to see game series shift genres to an RPG unless they already offer great storylines or at least hint at great storylines and worlds like PDZwei did. Maybe companies will do it and I’ll like it but I can’t say I want them to go out and do it asap. I can’t really think of a series I really love their storyline either at the moment… Maybe because I’m sleepy but maybe because there’s nothing that interesting out there that can work as an RPG… Sure I’ve enjoyed storylines of various games but that’s probably because they weren’t RPGs so I didn’t mind the lesser quality as it was good for their genre. Either that or they were one-shot things I loved for exactly what they were and don’t care to see someone try to expand on it. Meh, off to sleep.

I think the story of the ‘Soul’ series stands out only for the genre in the first place. As an RPG, well it would fit right in with any number of other JRPG’s I guess, but I don’t think it would stand out at all then. The established plurality of heroes could add a cool dimension to an RPG, if they actually kept that aspect intact, but I can’t say as I believe it’s likely if a straight RPG was made on the franchise.

Now if a Soul Calibur MMO was announced… that could be a whole different story of Souls and Swords…

The story of Soul Calibur may simply be a bunch of different back stories for each character, but nearly all of those intermingle with one another creating a sense of a real world behind the scenes that most fighting games don’t have. It’s not the most brilliant story ever, but I think it could work quite well as an RPG.

For example, you might play as Kilik (just an example), and characters such as Xianghua and Maxi might join your party as you search for the Soul Edge. Along the way you’d meet other characters such as Hwang and Nightmare, which you might perform quests for, or have to fight.

I actually like Heretic’s idea of a MMO, which would presumably have gameplay similar to Soul Calibur. Imagine being able to create the look of your character based around the existing SC character fighting styles and then placing it in a massive world where you would be one of many who knew that “class” of fighting. It could prove very fun, especially if there was more to it than just combat (a huge map to explore, etc).

And then your carefully timed guard impact fails due to lag. =D And if it was quasi-turn based it wouldn’t be Soul Edge/Calibur either.