SoulCalibur V



Exciting fighting game with lots of modes and 3D scenes.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is a fighting game. Players must defeat opponents using kicks, punches, and weapon attacks. However, you do fight against evil as one of the "good guys" in the story mode.


Positive role models

In the story mode, you play primarily as Patroklos, in search of the legendary Soul Swords, and must defeat evil characters along the way. Because he uses deadly weapons to attack baddies and he taunts them, too, he isn't exactly a great role model.

Ease of play

The game can be quite tough, but like most fighting games, practice makes perfect. There is a training mode; plus characters who lose a battle can have a rematch using an easier difficulty setting. Even so, this game can get quite challenging.


There is no blood or gore, but this is a fighting game through and through, therefore violence is the no. 1 core gameplay component. Players use swords, staffs, nunchuks, knives, and magic to destroy enemies, who often shout or scream in pain when knocked down. That being said, this is a fantasy fighting game with over-the-top, exaggerated combat. Some of the cutscene sequences show violent images, too, such as someone stabbed with a sword (but no blood).


Like most Japanese fighting games, female fighters often wear revealing outfits that show cleavage and parts of their buttocks. When you create a character from scratch you can adjust the size of the female fighter's breasts to make them huge and then zoom in with the camera for a closer look.


There is some profanity in the game, but most are gateway words like "damn," "bitch," "bastard," and "hell."



The game includes a "guest character" from another video game, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know SoulCalibur V is a fighting game. That said, it's clearly a fantasy brawler and there is no blood, but battling against someone else is the name of the game. Along with multiple melee weapons, you can also punch, kick, and stomp on opponents to knock them out (K.O.) and enemies often scream in pain while defeated. Parents should be aware that the game can be played online with open chat so that kids can be conversing with strangers and that exposure is not moderated.

What's it about?

As with its predecessor, SOULCALIBUR V is a weapons-based fantasy fighting game that pits two well-balanced characters against one another. For example, you have the nimble Maxi who uses nunchaku to hit and trip opponents, while Tira slashes a large "ring blade" as her main weapon. You can also create your very own character from scratch –- by playing around with many dozens of variables like gender, body type, weapons, facial features, and clothing. Speaking of characters, just as Darth Vader, Yoda, and the Apprentice from "Star Wars" were playable characters in 2008's SoulCalibur IV, this new disc features Ezio Auditore from Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series as a guest character. Ezio, of course, relies heavily on his Roman longsword, hidden blade, and crossbow, to name a few weapons. The story is a bit tough to follow but proves to be a classic "good-versus-evil" yarn set in a fantasy 17th century Europe.

Is it any good?


SoulCalibur V is an action-packed fantasy brawler with lots to like. There are a number of modes to partake in, including offline battles against a friend or computer-controlled opponent; a multi-tiered training mode; quick-play arcade mode; online play against someone (with support for chatting and tournaments); or the story mode that picks up 17 years after the events of the last game. The story mode becomes more challenging after episode 17, where you'll find yourself on a huge battlefield against characters like Odor and Murk.

Gameplay is fast and furious as you attempt to K.O. opponents before they can do the same to you. The game boasts an 8-way run system (for true 3D movement during matches), multiple offensive and defensive maneuvers (including hits, throws, magic blasts, chained attacks, and blocks), and you can often use the environment to help inflict damage on opponents. Truly, these quick matches will leave your hands sore after a few minutes of play -- and don't expect to get away with random "button mashes" or you'll find yourself face-down on the ground in no time. In short, SOULCALIBUR V might not introduce a ton of new features to the series, but those excited about the return of this coveted fighting game will not be disappointed.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether fighting games are still as appealing today as they were back in their heyday (early '90s).

  • Has Namco Bandai lost the opportunity to advance the genre forward or is this simply what gamers want? What else could the developer do to make SoulCalibur fresh for a new generation of players?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Namco Bandai
Release date:January 31, 2012
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Sports and martial arts, Superheroes, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
ESRB rating:T for Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence

This review of SoulCalibur V was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old October 11, 2012

Not Innapropriate

There is no blood and gore I just think the language is a bit innaproprite as long as they don't use it
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written byceelowegreen September 3, 2014
It's a excellent game to fight one another on screen and the create-a-character is excellent.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Parent Written byasjklas March 5, 2013

Decent fighter; mild violence, language, and suggestive content.

Technically, it's not the greatest fighter in recent years. It's actually quite dated in comparison to other successful fighter franchises. It's not very innovative either. However, it serves up enough multiplayer value and beautiful graphics to recommend it to hardcore gamers. It's only mildly violent, no graphic depictions of blood. Several female fighters appear sexually suggestive, which isn't surprising for this genre, as well as some mild language (Maxi taunts his opponent, Astaroth, by saying "goddamned freak"). So for teens of all ages, it should be fine unless that word really gets under your skin.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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