Jeremy enjoys gaming when not working as a manager at the same college he graduated from.
The classic Soulcalibur series has been with us for generations. In these fighting games, several characters battle to find the legendary Soul Calibur and Soul Edge swords. There have been numerous Soulcalibur titles; the fourth edition isn't the most recent, but it's widely considered to be the best. Soul Calibur 4 featured fast action, customizable characters, and of course, many powerful women.
The girls of Soul Calibur may not wear much armor (gee, I wonder why?), but their combat skills are not to be underestimated. Each fights with a unique style and weapon, and all can be deadly when played well. Today, we'll review and rank the lethal ladies of Soulcalibur 4!
Weapon: Twin Tonfa Blades
Soul of: Purity
The bottom rank goes to the youngest warrior of the series, Talim. At age 15, she has already mastered an agile and versatile combat form. Talim's attacks easily combo, scoring numerous hits, and she's very nimble. However, her extremely low range and power provide drawbacks that make her somewhat hard to use. Despite her drawbacks and peaceful nature, this youthful warrior proves a deadly opponent when angered.
10. Seong Mi-na
Weapon: Naginata, also called a halberd
Soul of: Trust
Next, we have the reliable Seong Mi-na. She's headstrong but kind and confident in her abilities. Seong Mi-na's greatest advantage is the incredible range offered by her weapon. Her attacks sweep over a wide area, and she's good at "spacing" while battling. Still, she's hampered by slow speed and predictable moves. If you prefer long-range characters, Kilik, Siegfried, or Nightmare might suit you better, but give Seong Mi-na a try; perhaps you'll find new ways to overcome her disadvantages.
Weapon: Ring Blade
Soul of: Toment
Ninth place goes to the ruthless Tira. This unpredictable warrior harbors two separate personalities (and fighting styles): "Jolly" and "Gloomy". Both are sadistic and cruel, and Tira can swap between them in the blink of an eye. In both forms, Tira is a fairly balanced warrior with unpredictable attacks. Her Gloomy side uses quicker and more damaging attacks; unfortunately, these strikes also damage herself, somewhat limiting its effectiveness. Still, Tira is a versatile combatant and offers a unique character with a disorder that video games rarely cover.
Weapon: Short Sword and Spear
Soul of: Duty
Up next, we have the—wait, is this woman actually covered in armor? In a series known for some scantily clad ladies (and some men, to be fair), that's pretty rare. Anyway, Hilde is wise, brave, and honorable—a great role model for players across the globe. She uses her spear to fight at range, and her sword to battle up close. Hilde has excellent power but suffers a bit from predictable attacks. Her ranged moves are slow, and she has trouble chaining strikes together. Still, her power and versatility are great, and she's fairly easy for beginners to use. Give her a try to see what you think!
Weapon: Snake Sword (a flexible blade that can function as a whip)
Soul of: Deliverance
Ivy's a fascinating character. She's neither good nor evil; she seeks only freedom and will do whatever it takes to achieve it. In combat, her unique weapon allows her to competently battle at any range with well-rounded speed and power. Switching between her stances offers versatility, but takes a moment; make sure you're suitably far from your opponent. Ivy takes a lot of practice to master, but her interesting style can prove lethal in the right hands.
Weapon: Dual Kodachi
Soul of: Honor
Next comes the dedicated ninja, Taki. A woman who seeks to slay evil, Taki travels the world, purging its sinners. Serious and devoted, yet not emotionless, Taki is certainly a strong woman. She uses an acrobatic combat style and relies less upon her weapon than most fighters in Soul Calibur. Her twin kodachi is useful, but Taki's strong and unpredictable kicks are often the key to overwhelming adversaries. Play as Taki if you seek a warrior who is both fast and strong; just make sure to keep in her close quarters, as her ranged options are limited.
Weapon: Jian (a Chinese blade)
Soul of: Love
Xianghua has been with us since the beginning of Soulcalibur, and her compassion belies her skill. Xianghua's attacks are a bit weak but are easily strung together, quickly racking up damage. Her blade is fast, and she utilizes many feints to deceive enemies. Xianghua is a bit tricky to learn but is definitely a versatile warrior. If you've played a bit of Soulcalibur, you may remember Xianghua as that one crazy chick who says"just kidding" with half her attacks. I swear that girl needs to read a thesaurus.
Weapon: Sword and Shield
Soul of: Truth
Fourth place is awarded to the tragic Sophitia, a woman fate has forced into battle to save her family. Sophitia's tale is long and heart-wrenching, but her combat abilities are praised by most players. Sophitia has almost no ranged attacks; move her in close during battle. Once she's within range, her swift and damaging attacks should make mincemeat of most foes. Sophitia also has unusually strong grapple attacks, so go ahead and throw your opponents. As if that weren't enough, many of her moves incorporate a dodge component, allowing her to nimbly avoid blows, then quickly counterattack.
Weapon: Iaito, a blade concealed within a parasol
Soul of: Devotion
Similarly to Ivy, Setsuka has no true alignment. She's neither good nor evil; she seeks only to avenge her master, who was killed by the samurai Mitsurugi. Her combat prowess is almost unmatched; Setsuka rapidly closes in on opponents and barrages them with swift, powerful, and chainable combos. Additionally, she has strong throws that often set up enemies for further hits. Setsuka takes practice to use well—her short-range and odd moves take some getting used to—but once mastered, she's one of the best characters in the game.
Soul of: Loyalty
The mysterious girl Amy was adopted by the swordsman Raphael, and fights with a similar style. She's calm, devoted, mischievous, and (despite her young age) a fierce warrior. Amy excels in every attribute except power. Her graceful attacks possess a good range and excellent speed. And while they lack strength individually, they easily chain together, rapidly taking large chunks of health from her foes. Amy's low damage may turn some away, but learn to chain her attacks together, and you'll have a formidable fighter.
Weapon: Sword and Shield
Soul of: Courage
Cassandra, the younger sister of Sophitia, is a brave and outspoken girl who fights similarly to her sister. Both use a sword and shield to decimate foes with quick and damaging moves. The sisters also have good combo potential and some attacks that stun targets. Cassandra wins out thanks to her more chaotic style; Sophitia is stronger but easier to anticipate. Defeating an excellent Cassandra player is no easy task; her ever-changing and rapid strikes allow a mighty offensive assault. We each have our own favorites, but few can deny that Cassandra can easily wreak havoc in Soulcalibur.
Soulcalibur 4 is one of the best fighting games available and recommended for its diverse combat and customizable characters. Even years after its numerous sequels have debuted, this classic PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 title sees competitive play.
As we eagerly await the future of Siegfried's battles against Nightmare (and all the girls involved), vote for your favorite SoulCalibur girl and I'll see you at our next gaming countdown!
© 2015 Jeremy Gill