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  • 8.8: Despite being praised from just about every outlet as a true comeback for the series, Adam Rorke of Fandom rated VI a 3/5 for very petty/minor reasons like "the game feels too familiar", "not enough has been changed", "the story is lacking", "the tutorial is not good enough", and "the designs are too sexy" (kind of a hot button topic for some of the fandom). This despite just about everyone else noting that the game is an improvement over V, which had been released almost seven years prior, and in all aspects is a return to form that proves the series isn't dead. Fans who saw this were not pleased.
  • Acceptable Targets: People who hack Inferno into online matches fall into this trope, pulling double duty for 1.) hacking in the first place and 2.) being almost invariably terrible at the game despite having an utterly unbalanced move set by virtue of having no knowledge of playing Nightmare (or, in some cases, fighting games in general). One could probably make a drinking game out of point 2 solely based on how many rounds an Inferno player loses via a Perfect.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • The opening of the main story in Soul Chronicle has the narrator saying that Kilik "ate and slept with the other students", and fans were quick to point out how accidentally dirty that sounds.
    • Using the basic accessories with clever placement in the Create-a-Character mode, it's possible to make a penis and attach it... somewhere. That was not the intention of said accessories.
      • Likewise, using the heart accessory to artificially give female characters much bigger... assets than actually possible.
    • Sophitia's has special line when using throws against Siegfried/Nightmare: "You will know... how I feel." Innuendo comes from one of her throws being a neck snap with her thighs and another a literal Groin Attack. Both involve getting her privates near opponent's face.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Similar to how they view Lars, there have been quite a few Scandinavians who've been less than impressed with newcomer Grøh. The main reason being that unlike the other members of the cast, he draws practically nothing from the culture, and takes more heavily from the Japanese anime archetype (specifically the darker, brooding rival). His design looks completely out of place even in the context of a game full of stylistic designs with his Anime Hair, Impossibly Cool Clothes, and his red Super Mode that basically looks like a Shōnen power-up. Oh, and his name is rather sketchy note . The fact that he's the very first representation of the region in the series doesn't really help.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Soulcalibur VI had an uphill battle from the start, right up to just getting made. After V underperformed and was hit with severe backlash, Namco didn't think the series was worth keeping around for anything more than mobile games and pachinko machines. The series had been out of the limelight for many years, to the point where many refused to believe the possibility that a Soulcalibur VI was anything more than a dream. When the game was announced to much fanfare, Motohiro Okubo stated that if VI didn't perform to expectations, that the series would be dead forever. Because of that, it was widely believed VI would be the last installment. When the game was released, it garnered widespread acclaim, but the sales initially seemed lower, making it look like it would be an Acclaimed Flop and a true Franchise Killer, with a prominent narrative on message boards being that VI failed the series. However, it ended up outpacing V thanks to both physical sales and rising digital sales, and ended up selling over a million units after just a month. In 2019, Namco reported that the launch of the game was indeed successful, and their stock went up in part to it. The game got an easy ticket to EVO 2019 to the sheer delight of the fanbase, and a Content Leak reveals a Season Two in the making — meaning that there is every intention to support the series in the long run. What could have been a Franchise Killer most likely ended up saving it entirely.
  • Author's Saving Throw: AKA the entire point of this reboot.
    • After V's infamous Soft Reboot Time Skip that replaced fan-favorite characters with less-than-stellarly received newcomers, VI dials things back to the original setting with the old favorites back starting with Sophitia, just as many had wanted from Day 1.
    • Speaking of Sophitia, having her be one of the first characters revealed alongside Mitsurugi may have been an attempt to repair the damage caused by the last game. V was where she was cut from the roster for the first time in series history, replaced by the most hated character in the series both gameplay- and narrative-wise (but especially narrative-wise), and ultimately Killed Offscreen to provide the aforementioned Designated Hero Patroklos something to angst about. To say the least, this was considered very mistreating of one of the most beloved icons of Soulcalibur, so Sophitia being front and center for VI was welcomed with open arms.
      • Additionally, after both Taki and Talim topped the popularity poll following their absence in V (Talim disappearing without any explanation, Taki getting replaced with Natsu), VI made sure that they're a part of the roster and have a role to play in the story as well (even if Talim's role is ultimately minor due to her story taking place right before the events of her Soulcalibur II debut).
    • The gameplay changes in V were controversial for taking its cues from Street Fighter, on top of "trimming" movelists and making Guard Impact require a meter. Here, while Limit Breaks do return, it's also clear that the Street Fighter influence isn't nearly as prominent, while the cut moves return and GI no longer needs a meter to pull off, just like the pre-V installments. One particular factor that fans have universally praised is the movement speed, which is much faster than any previous game in the series and has been noted as feeling more fluid and rewarding compared to V.
    • On top of the Replacement Scrappies, V got a lot of crap for trying to be Younger and Hipper by filling what felt like half the roster with teenagers, and even characters that were technically adults like Pyrrha still behaved like children. In the originals, the cast were almost all adults with experience and the young fighters were treated as special exceptions, so V trying to cram in a new generation wasn't something many appreciated. Here, much of the roster consists of adults who behave as such just like the old games, barring Xianghua, Talim, and Amy of course—and even so, the latter two are remarkably mature for their age.
    • Going further, there was a general sense that anime became an all-too-prominent influence with the new cast drawing heavily from anime appearances and archetypes, even having some Wrong Context Magic abilities in the case of Z.W.E.I. and Viola. This was regarded as an unwelcome departure from the styles of the previous games, which drew from history and fantasy more than anime. For VI, they've largely brought back this feel alongside the old cast, as the styles are more of a western-eastern mix and it feels more like High Fantasy mixed with Historical Fiction and Magic Realism rather than Shōnen. Granted, Okubo and the team did indulge themselves once with the anime-type character with newcomer Grøh, who does embody much of the shonen-like characteristics you would find in various anime. But since he's the only character of this kind this time around, fans are more willing to tolerate it, especially since it helps make him more unique from the others in this sense. Furthermore, the story itself (specifically Libra of Soul) offers an explanation for some of the stylistic choices picked for Grøh's design. In short... 
    • One of the biggest criticisms of V among many others was just how bare bones it was in terms of content (the fact that it was rushed was a huge factor). There wasn't much to do besides fights, other than take part in a widely hated storyline or use the Creation feature (the latter being widely seen as the best part of the game). For VI, Okubo has stressed that the game will be absolutely filled to the brim with content to keep players busy. On top of online play and Creation making a return, there's a more in-depth story focusing on characters that are actually liked and retells an iconic game, and that mode also has branching paths to explore and visit further lore. On top of that, there's a second story mode that's described as a "different" way to play the game. Okubo also stated that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and that VI will have the most content out of any game to date. Though, some are a little skeptical on that statement given just how jampacked III was and paid for it by having horribly unbalanced gameplay (which wasn't corrected until Arcade Edition), while later games focused on gameplay at the expense of content.
    • The story in V in general was lambasted for having Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy, as it was very hard to get invested in the world when the protagonist was so hateable, the characters besides him and his sister were Out of Focus, and the potential for good stories were being shafted by newcomers no one asked for. Even those willing to put up with said newcomers were left disappointed that none of the possibly interesting plot threads alluded to in pre-release materials were followed up on, and later revelations that 3/4 of V's story had be left on the cutting room floor due to Executive Meddling did not help matters. In the Soul Chronicle of this game, not only is there a more even dispersal of story and not only are the characters focused on actually liked, but the characters are written with far more depth than compared to V, while using the established lore to better flesh out the world itself, and averting the trope altogether.
    • Much like, ironically, IV, this game offers absolutely no mimic characters at all, not even Edge Master, who was the series' original mimic in the first Calibur yet only appears as an NPC in the story. This is after V provided the most blatant Ditto Fighter oversaturation with 3 of such characters (Edge Master, Kilik, Elysium), which was considered a damning point in V's roster choice.
    • 2B being as customizable as the rest of the main cast seems to be a response to how fans were disappointed with the lack of customizability with Geralt (and before him, the Star Wars characters in IV and Ezio in V).
  • Awesome Art:
    • On top of the game being technically proficient, the art, courtesy of longtime lead character illustrator Takuji Kawano note , is also worthy of praise. While predominantly based on Soulcalibur, the designs expand and improve the visual concepts of that game into a new modernization, even drawing upon elements from across the entire series as an extra flourish. Just compare Nightmare in SCI; the knight in generic blue armor, to Nightmare in VI; the fearsome Azure Knight with the Badass Cape. Giving each character a distinct background motif in their official art is also a nice touch.
    • Outside of Kawano's contributions, mention must also be made of the gorgeous artwork that accompanies the narration and character interactions throughout the Soul Chronicle Story Mode, provided by notable SNK illustrator Hiroaki. It's so true the SC style, yet so unique and distinct to Hiroaki, that it works very well. Hiroaki's art is also a notable step up from the drab, brown and lifeless storyboards of V, what with the use of colors, details, general flow, and having a clear picture that gets everything across while giving audiences something nice to look at. All in all, a standout example of how art can be used as a way to tell a story.
  • Awesome Music: Can be found on the series' Awesome Music page. It's especially refreshing to hear something new after all these years, with many songs taking the best elements of the original game's soundtrack and revamping them with both a familiar and different take. Fans have already called this one of the greats in terms of music.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Groh is very divisive among Soulcalibur players, mostly due to his outfit being unusual and not very nordic in appearance. Not helping is how he resembles a shonen/jrpg character in a game where other characters have some resemblance to their nationality. That said, he does have his fans for his cool fighting style and his Character Development in Libra.
    • Initially a Break Out Character to end all Break Out Characters in Fighting Games, Ivy has since then became divisive due to her Tier-Induced Scrappy status, but even those that don't hate her entirely were not amused by her actions, nor the infamous status of her being a character with an arrogant, toxic playerbase. Of course, older fans still enjoy her status as a clear villain and are more than happy to point out weaknesses in battle to help newer players.
    • Nightmare, for similar reasons to Ivy gameplay wise. Detractors find him overpowered while defenders think he's fine as is. Not helping is that he also has an arrogant, toxic playerbase. There is a middle ground that believe he's strong, but not broken.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The game is widely acclaimed, celebrated and beloved as a true return to form for the series by just about all fans and players, and yet to some people Soulcalibur VI is "that fighting game with boatloads of gratuitous fanservice", in no small due to some websites making long and detailed articles about it. It's been brought to Okubo's attention multiple times in interviews, and his basic response is "We thought it would be cool" and "We wanted to represent the characters as they were intended to be." Hardly new for the series, but this game in particular really got a lot of attention for it.
  • Bragging Rights Option: An interesting example courtesy of Kilik. While he remains an all-arounder whose method of fighting, while not without pizzazz, usually opts for simple yet effective moves, that all goes flying out the window when Kilik enters his Possessed State. Like all other Soul Charge forms in the games, the character becomes extremely flashy and dangerous while it's active, but that isn't all. Kilik's life slowly drains while he's temporarily gone berserk, meaning it's entirely possible for a player to orchestrate their own demise if they're too careless. Furthermore, "Malfested" Kilik possesses one of the most powerful Critical Edges in the game, one that does not disappoint from a visual standpoint either: an unblockable command grab that throws the enemy to the ground and turns his bo staff into a javelin that produces a massive explosion on impact. This means that every time Kilik enters that form, fans are treated to a high-risk, high-reward gamble that may just end with the opponent getting nuked into the Stone Age.
  • Broken Base: Reversal Edge. A neat tool to help newbies deal with aggressive players or an obnoxious system to deal with, that borders on Game-Breaker in lower skill play?
  • Casual/Competitive Conflict: The new Okubo-led Project Soul has been trying to find a perfect balance between pleasing both sides and avoid the conflict. V was a massive victim of this trope, with competitive gamers saying that anything but the gameplay didn't matter and the casual gamers citing the alienation of the consumer with unneeded changes to the roster to be a detriment. The gameplay takes its cues from V (which was easily the most praised aspect of that game) but expands upon them with added mechanics (some new, some old) to make it feel like its own entity with in-depth mechanics and balance. At the same time, VI does its best to fix the problems created by V by being a fresh start themed on the return to the roots with the more iconic series staples (re)taking the place of their Younger and Hipper successors, classic stages, and a retelling of the story from I. That also deserves mention, as one of the complaints about Soulcalibur's storyline is that it has mountains of lore buried in the manual and had arguably become convoluted to a point where Daishi Odashima felt like the Soft Reboot was needed. Here, the goal is to tell the story clearly and finally showcase events that were only referenced in the past, while adding new elements to the mythos.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Beating any of the difficult bosses in general, but one in particular is Azwel in Libra of Soul, considering all the shit he did. You'll likely even utter "How cathartic!" upon seeing your character pull out Soul Calibur or Soul Edge based on your karma to completely destroy him.
    • Due to the game's incredibly flexible Create-a-Character mode, you have all the tools you need to beat up people or characters you hate.
  • Character Rerailment:
    • For Sophitia, in a sense. She was Forced into Evil in IV and Elysium took her image to manipulate her son in V, and Patroklos himself acted as a vengeful murderer in her name while intending to replace her. None of those things ever sat well with her fans, who found it refreshing to see the game remind everyone why she was held as The Paragon to begin with.
    • From a gameplay perspective, there's Kilik. While many were fine with his development into a Edge Master-esque sage in V, seeing it as a natural progression of his upbringing as a monk and mission to maintain balance between the soul swords, you'll find very few people who liked the idea of Kilik as a mimic, especially one in a game with Edge Master himself and another mimic (Elysium) who at least had the benefit of her own Critical Edge. While the numerous changes to his inputs have thrown several dedicated Kilik players for a loop, many are happy that he's back to being the rod-user everyone knew and loved from his debut up to IV.
  • "Common Knowledge": After 2B's announcement, it was claimed by many (most notably, Aris) that this was a result of fan demand with there initially being no plans to bring her in until they saw how popular she was. In actuality, Project Soul was in talks to bring 2B in the game that (according to Kayane) was confirmed in January 2018, just a month after the game's announcement, but they didn't go public with it until October. It's safe to say that she was always on the cards.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Due to his general ease of use, raw power, and appeal as a fearsome evil knight, expect to see Nightmare show up online a lot.
    • Sophitia and Seong Mi-na are also fairly common, the former for her ease of use and reliable mix-up game and the latter for similar reasons, albeit more defensively. Like Nightmare above, they're also visually appealing; Sophitia being a Gorgeous Greek take on The Paladin, while Mi-na has the appeal of being a "Korean Waifu" a la Ahri and D.Va.
    • To the surprise of few, Kilik is another frequently seen character online. As usual, he's a beginner-friendly character with decent speed, strength, and range, and being the protagonist of the main story means players are already likely to be accustomed to the ins and outs of his style before long. To top it all off, he gets a rather unique (if not double-edged) Soul Charge that practically encourages the player to go full ham on their opponent; activating said Soul Charge tends to very quickly turn the current bout into an engaging high-stakes match for spectators. It helps that, for returning Kilik mains, they no longer have to worry about his inexplicable stint as a mimic or being forced to choose Xiba in his stead in order to retain (a rough approximation of) his playstle.
    • 2B is a very popular character online. Even aside from her general appeal aesthetically, a major factor is that her extremely unusual style makes her very different from the others, yet is surprisingly easy to play, as a character who always keep their opponents guessing with her fast combos, mix-ups, unique projectiles and teleportation abilities.
    • While Character Creation allows for 16 races, humans are the most common choice because they're the only ones that can use all armor. The other races fashion choices are limited to specific armor pieces. Human characters can also use Lizardmen, Alien, and Malfested voices, and clever use of stickers, accessories, etc. can make human characters look and sound like the other races. So players have almost no incentive to choose anything else.
  • Complete Monster: Azwel, the main villain of Libra of Soul, was formerly a high-ranking member of the Aval Organization. While a member, Azwel performed terrible experiments that turned people violent and murderous, and at one point during his tenure, Azwel forced a group of ruffians to fight to the death and questioned the survivor, relishing the man's guilt, anguish and conflicting emotions. Eventually leaving Aval, Azwel stole a fragment of both Soul Calibur and Soul Edge and formed the Qualifiers, naming himself the Leader of Humanity. Azwel continued his experiments while searching for Astral Fissures to absorb and strengthen his fragments and create full duplicates of the two swords. His final goal was to use the swords to sacrifice the Conduit and create an "Ultimate Seed" that would wipe out much of humanity while the survivors would ascend with himself in charge. Driven by his fanatical "love" of humanity, Azwel was a madman who saw people as playthings that exist for his amusement.
  • Contested Sequel: While universally agreed to be a step-up from the more divisive Soulcalibur V, owning to its faster-paced combat, return of many beloved veterans, and being more true to the earlier games while adapting to modern standards, there are those that still have issues with VI, namely its lack of single-player content, connectivity issues, the Reversal Edge system, and perceived uninspired stage design.
  • Crossover Ship
    • Ivy/Geralt became popular due to this game, the former being a sexy woman Dressed Like a Dominatrix and the latter being a strong man who Really Gets Around. It helps they both have silver hair.
    • 2B might have been fighting against Ivy in her debut trailer, but people are already shipping her with Azwel (albeit jokingly) since a line like "Glory to humanity" is bound to appeal to someone who calls himself the "Leader of Humanity".
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    D-I 
  • Demonic Spiders: Certain mooks in later maps can become rather frustrating in Libra of Soul, depending on the condition:
    • Enemies immune to damage. To beat these enemies, you have to knock them off the stage. Problem is, you take damage yourself, you aren't immune, and the A.I. is smart enough to avoid the edge.
    • High-level Invaders during Expeditions. Only one round, and if you mess up, you can say goodbye to any funds you spent.
    • Enemies who don't flinch to weaker attacks. Functionally, they work a lot like Havel Knights in a Dark Souls PvP match note , where you have to spam slower, but stronger attacks that launch them or break their poise.
    • Permanently Soul Charged characters. Not only do they have enhanced damage, they also cause chip damage whenever you block and have a tendency to spam Critical Edges.
    • Enemies that must be waited out. This requires patience and a lot of good reflexes in blocking/dodging attacks, and said enemies are even more aggressive. And soul-charging is not allowed since it freezes time.
  • Die for Our Ship: Poor Rothion suffers from this trope yet again. Although he finally gets some meaningful screen time during Sophitia's storyline, his unpopularity hasn't diminished much from previous installments among diehard Sophitia shippers who'd rather see her paired with other characters. The fact that the blossoming and development of their romance is largely glossed over doesn't help matters note ... especially considering she has some wholesome and touching interactions with Siegfried in their respective Chronicles and even a tender moment with Kilik (of all people) during a brief interaction in the main story. Outside of shipping matters, however, Rothion's approval rating among fans is generally more favorable than it was before, thanks in part to him having an actual on-screen appearance and being shown as a concerned, incredibly supportive partner to Sophitia during her journey.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Hwang. The fact that he's (physically) returned in the canon after being shafted since Soulcalibur II in favor of the much more divisive Yun-seong note  yet isn't currently playable, has led many, many fans to hope that he'll be included as DLC and will make his grand return to the series for the first time in over a decade. His relationship with Seong Mi-na also helps.
    • 2B's alt color note  has gained quite the following online inspiring tons of fan art long after it's reveal, with many preferring to use it over her default color. Fans affectionately gave her the name "2P."
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Zasalamel's secret final chapter, which confirms once and for all that Soulcalibur VI is a hard Continuity Reboot rather than a simple retelling of events. Him receiving visions from his future self, which causes him to changes his plans from being a Death Seeker to wanting unite humanity to a glorious new future with the soul swords, has led to speculation as to what it entails. A common theory is that Zasalamel is receiving visions from his future self in the original timeline, causing him to change his plans and alter the future from what V entailed.
    • Azwel having an Adaptation Origin Connection to Amy becoming Viola. A theory is that Viola isn't actually Amy in this timeline, but rather she is Amy's clone. The reasons being that Azwel knows both alchemy and sorcery, his lines referring to Amy could easily be applied to a clone, and beforehand Azwel not only didn't exist, but since V's Time Skip was intended by Odashima to be the status quo, he would've been nigh-impossible to introduce. That, and it would allow Viola to be rebooted in the new timeline without replacing Amy or doing a Time Skip — Viola being easily the most popular of V's newcomers.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Nightmare, as always. He's a fearsome knight wielding a powerful, demonic zweihander singlehandedly, a brings about death to his victims while speaking with a enhanced baritone.
    • Azwel has gained a large following among fans because of this. He's a hammy wizard-like villain who completely owns up to his actions unashamedly, endearing him to fans. The fact that he's a Fountain of Memes with a gameplay style that's just as over-the-top as him is just icing on the cake.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • With this game being a rewind to the era of the original Soulcalibur, we're back to having Ivy (initially) working alongside Nightmare instead of being a morally conflicted Anti-Hero. Not content with keeping Lady Isabella's appearance 100% identical to how it was in that game, Project Soul decided to retain Ivy's enhanced proportions from IV and V along with paring down her Leotard of Power into something just as scanty as what she flaunted in IV.
    • Many agree that this game's interpretation of Tira is her sexiest design to date, with the bad girl-themed outfit and her enhanced assets compared to before, and she's just as much of a Dark Action Girl as ever.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Many fans, especially fans of 2B and NieR: Automata, get really annoyed when someone suggests that 2B only got into the game because of her vocal fanbase, that Okubo had no intention of adding her (and supposedly hating the idea of it), and did so to pander to the audience for more attention and sales. Often, this is done by her anti-fans to try to suggest 2B doesn't "deserve" her place on the roster. It falls flat considering the confirmation from Kayane that 2B was in talks to be a Guest Fighter at least as far back as January of 2018, just after the game was officially announced. Ergo, she was always planned to be in the game, and just happened to have a vocal support beforehand. Also, the part about Okubo "hating the idea" of 2B being in the game never happened. He was just annoyed that Kayane got a bunch of people on Twitter to spam his account with requests for her, nothing more.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • This being a rebooted timeline, it's expected that at some point the series will seriously diverge from the original. How it does has led to all sorts of speculation and fics in the making. This only intensified when neither Soul Chronicle nor Libra of Soul showed any significant changes to the narrative of Soulcalibur, basically keeping the old status quo leading into II intact. That being said, Zasalamel sees a vision in his secret final chapter, possibly from his future self, which motivates him to keep on living before he loses his immortality at all — possibly hinting at the divergence to come.
    • Libra of Soul and the improved CAS featuring the Massive Race Selection in general will likely be a goldmine for those wanting to create their own unique heroes of different races, styles and backstories, and placing them in the world of Soulcalibur.
    • The inclusion of 2B, complete with fighting style and outfits, means people can also create their own YoRHa androids. Similarly, with the help of Geralt's fighting style, people can create their own custom witchers.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: As noted in Die for Our Ship above, quite a few fans prefer to ship Sophitia with Siegfried despite her canon relationship with Rothion. This is nothing new, as Siegfried/Sophitia was one of the flagship fan pairings from the early days of the original continuity (one that didn't see any serious competition until Hilde arrived on the scene in IV) and VI's status as a reboot doesn't seem to have affected its popularity in the slightest.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: How some feel about this game's interpretation of Astaroth's costume. Traditionally a large and imposing golem you don't want to mess with, here he goes for an Obviously Evil design that screams "I'm trying too hard" for certain fans. He has dark and pointy armor, incredibly massive and prominent Spikes of Villainy that have been likened to something out of a 90s comic book, a cobra motif on his chain-belt and around his neck, a barbarian-like loincloth, a mouthpiece resembling a restraint mask (as if to make him look psychotic), and seemingly stony skin with Volcanic Veins to further hammer the "evil" part home. The sheer amount of detail that went into this design comes across as overly complex to some, who point out that the original design it was based on (which was reused with mostly minimal changes up until IV and then drawn upon again to an extent for V) was simplistic yet had better aesthetics. In fact, the most iconic part of Astaroth's design, the open heart on his chest, is there but it's hardly noticeable because it gets lost in all the other details of the costume.
  • Fountain of Memes: Azwel seems to have been designed specifically to induce memes and lulz, given that his expressions, style, appearance, and lines are oft-used for humor posts.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Namco has done Day 1 DLC as a means to unlock characters before, with Soulcalibur V having Dampierre and Tekken 7 having Eliza. Those times, there was practically no backlash (or at least, it was very minimal), mainly because they were niche characters who had their own fans but weren't super prominent, and were not highly popular, highly requested series staples. When VI did their go-around at this, they used Tira, considered the Dark Action Girl of the Soul series and a Breakout Character from III who is likely the most recognizable character created post-II. For many, it felt like using a character as well-liked, requested and iconic to the series as Tira for an incentive to increase revenue was a low blow, and a backlash quick to follow.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: A successful vertical Reversal Edge from Astaroth, either done by the player or someone else, is regarded as comedy gold, to the point where people refer to this as "being yeeted off the stage." Getting hit by said Reversal Edge becomes a lot less funny when you're on the receiving end of it.
  • Game-Breaker: Using certain elements from Create-A-Soul (such as the turle shells) in a specific manner, it is possible to make custom characters whose bodies are almost completely obscured and hidden from view, thus making their moves downright impossible to see coming and much, much harder to react to, which naturally gives them an extremely unfair advantage over "normal" characters. This would be annoying enough, but the fact that it is possible to take these characters in Ranked Mode is what truly drives this into Game-Breaker territory. As a result, numerous players have requested that custom characters be disabled in Ranked matches.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: As before, Soulcalibur VI is at its most popular in western countries in Europe like France and UK, and the United States. In Japan, the sales were lower than V's, and it was the one country where Dead or Alive 6 had better sales, if only barely (Soulcalibur VI selling 24,000 on the first week, Dead or Alive 6 selling 26,000). However... 
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • If Raphael is matched against Amy in a battle, his usually haughty and caustic battle dialogue is all rewritten to be encouraging and complimentary instead; the entire fight is framed as a training session between father and daughter. She's also the only character in the game whose clothes he won't divest after landing a successful Death Throes attack — he's not a sicko, you know?
    • Amy is very vocal of how protective she is of Raphael in this game. When she's in battle, she'll sometimes say phrases like "Don't you dare hurt him."
    • If Amy defeats Raphael in a match, she'll ask Raphael for some hot chocolate. Whether she asks in a joking manner or not is debatable, but it's still a very sweet interaction between Amy and Raphael. She also gives a little smile during her victory animation, which makes the moment all the more sweeter.
  • He Really Can Act: While never outright panned, Mitch Urban as Yoshimitsu (who has portrayed the character all the way since III in 2005) had been derided by some for his melodramatic, high-pitched Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe portrayal that has even garnered comparisons to Mickey Mouse. Here, while he does embody much of the Narm Charm in combat, his portrayal in Soul Chronicle, where he almost loses himself to the ways of evil, is a surprisingly dark story for a normally lighthearted character. His performance in said story, where Urban gets to demonstrate the other side of the character through his venomous, twisted Badass Baritone, sounds outright creepy. Players are likely to be as creeped out by his presence as the other characters in the story. It shows that Urban can fully capture the wide range of a character, if said character allows it.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Cloud Strife was originally considered to be a guest character in Soulcalibur II, but the deal was canceled. Here, Takahiro Sakurai, Cloud's voice actor, voices newcomer Grøh. Even funnier is how Groh's hairstyle in Soul Charge mode resembles Cloud's hair shape-wise.
    • Siegfried's English voice actor went from Roger Craig Smith to Kirk Thornton. Or in other words, he went from Sonic to Shadow. The jokes about Siegfried going edgelord were inevitable.
    • This game has a rather funny reversal of a roster decision from the previous installment. In V, Xiba was introduced as the lone rod user with him inheriting Kilik and Seong Mi-na's moves as a Composite Character, meant to trim the roster of "clones". In VI, Kilik and Seong Mi-na get different moves from Xiba to further differentiate them from each other, thus making Xiba a Decomposite Character instead.
    • Patrick Seitz voiced Scorpion, an undead ninja, back in Mortal Kombat's own reboot. He voices Cervantes, an undead pirate, here. note  For added hilarity, there's the fact that the former is the opposite of the latter beyond just their professions.
    • 2B's inclusion, her title being the Arc Words "Glory to Mankind", and the fact that it's stated as one of her win quotes, takes on a funny new meaning as this is exactly what the new villain Azwel would agree with. Fans didn't fail to notice. This only became more comedic when it turned out that 2B's sole unique pre-match interaction among the cast was with none other than Azwel.
    • With Monster Hunter: World announcing their own crossover with The Witcher, many joked that Geralt was stuck in a phenomenon where he's perpetually being forced to travel to other worlds via portals. The "hilarious" part being that in his Soul Chronicle, Geralt ends up back home with no indication that he traveled again.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • The announcement that Tira is in the game but as Day 1 DLC did not sit well with many. This isn't their first time, as Dampierre in V and Eliza in Tekken 7 were also examples, yet using a popular series staple like Tira as opposed to a more niche character made it look very exploitative. The fact that she was playable in the network test did not help, and the base game only made detractors of the move even more embittered and cynical: Tira is encounterable in her own side mission in Libra of Soul, characters using her style can also be found in Libra of Soul, and it is even possible to fight her in Arcade Mode. To these fans, it's as if Namco is repeatedly rubbing it in their faces that a fan-favorite character like Tira was actually fully programmed into the game, but was then purposely placed behind a paywall to squeeze more money out of them due to her popularity.
    • To a slightly smaller extent, the confirmation that there would be no alternate costumes in the game, only recolors and CAS. This despite every previous game having them, and Okubo's claim that VI would feature the most content of any game. Adding fuel to the fire is a previous comment made by the community manager—in the same room Okubo was in—that 2P and 3P costumes would be in. Fans were more than a little mad. The anger over this has subsided on release, however, given players can fully customize their own sets of costumes for the entire roster (save for Geralt).
    • Rather than have his own fighting style (or just casting him as the game's Ditto Fighter like he was back in the first Soulcalibur), Inferno is merely a Moveset Clone of Nightmare in this game (even using the same Critical Edge, which doesn't look as natural for Inferno), which hasn't gone over too well. Some are more accepting of this development since Inferno's revamped moveset is also based on Night Terror, Nightmare's One-Winged Angel form in Soulcalibur III (which makes some degree of sense for the "true form" of Soul Edge), but seeing as these changes, combined with the return of several of Inferno's trademark attacks and a slew of nasty new tricks, turns Inferno into a SNK Boss capable of flatlining opponents in seconds, not all are as enthusiastic.
    • A smaller one that has cropped up since the game's release is the news that VI has the smallest amount of outfit parts for Character Creation in the franchise, aggravated by the fact that, other than parts coming from the redesigns of the main roster, almost all of them are recycled assets from V and even IV. This has worried many that the 100 extra parts in the season pass are more content that was held back to be sold later, and/or that those will also be recycled content that hasn't been used yet, whether partly or even completely.
    • And of course, the same debate sparked by Tekken 7: single-player content. While the game is rife on content, some players still won't accept anything less than a complete Arcade Mode (as in having character endings). While the individual stories presented in Soul Chronicle are much better than Tekken 7's Character Episodes, players feel that it still doesn't fully solve the content problem created by the previous Soulcalibur game, which gets those players more than a little miffed. Not helping matters is the way Arcade Mode is arranged, with the game's main bosses relegated to the highest difficulties, causing some people to point fingers at Namco for Easy-Mode Mockery. Others also point out that the story easily loses traction once the Soulcalibur portion is solved and it segues into SCII, with the story ending on a big Cliffhanger, something that didn't happen in the original Soulcalibur II.
  • It Was His Sled: Ivy being Cervantes's biological daughter has been common knowledge since at least II, with every installment after calling attention to their relationship, yet this game treats that fact as a major revelation for anyone who isn't Ivy herself.

    J-R 
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
  • Les Yay: The official 2B vs. Ivy artwork is supposed to pit them as rivals, but it looks a lot more suggestive and has fans hoping for it to escalate to its logical conclusion.
  • Love to Hate: Azwel might be the biggest Hypocrite Templar and an irredeemable bastard, but even that doesn't stop fans from loving his hamminess all the same.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Because of his overly-anime design that clashes with the feel of the rest of the game, his personality and demeanor being very brooding and edgy, him often having bad luck that gets him into trouble, and his weapon looking more like something you'd see in a JRPG rather than a fighting game, jokes as the expense of Grøh are common. The fact that he ends up dying during the climax of Libra of Soul doesn't exactly help, though the circumstances leading to that event are often looked upon solemnly by players.
    • Because of her status as a bottom-tier character this time around, everyone loves to exaggerate how useless Tira is.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Not that Voldo wasn't one already, considering his creepy contortion and his... airhumping that works as a Guard Impact and an attack at once, but thanks to being able to add a "penis" to his character model, or a CAS fighter using his style, his fighting style's status skyrocketed as very rapey, no matter the gender.
    • One of Raphael's attacks involves using his sword to strip his opponent bare of their clothing. Note that he can do this to ladies too.
    • Tira has always had traces of this due to several suspect actions during her tenure as a villain, such as her menacing of two successive generations of the Alexandra family (including grooming Pyrrha in a manner that could be seen as Wife Husbandry) and her Critical Finish in IV being a Kiss of Death that her opponent clearly doesn't consent to. Though she still doesn't reach the heights of creepiness Voldo is known for, Project Soul made sure to give Tira another Forceful Kiss as a Reversal Edge follow-up attack and, much like IV, the girl doesn't seem to mind what gender her victim is.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page here.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Seong Mi-na's wide-open expression in her official art has led to jokes about her either being psychotic or being traumatized.
  • Memetic Troll:
    • On the other hand, some people see Raphael as this instead of a Memetic Molester since a lot of people like to spend time in the CAS system, and Raphael can undo all the progress the opposing player made for their character in a match.
    • Xianghua is known for inducing a heavy amount of salt with her Bond One-Liner "Just kidding~! Hehehe!", as if the whole thing was a big joke and they're just rubbing it in to the losing player. Like so. The fact that she has an advanced style of Confusion Fu with low attacks and mix-ups, done in a very girly style while giggling the whole time, only adds to the fact.
  • Moe:
  • Moral Event Horizon: Azwel crosses the line in his and Grøh's character episode with him murdering every member of the Aval Organization when they become too suspicious of him. He then turns Grøh's close friend Curtis into a malfested right in front of him, forcing Grøh to Mercy Kill Curtis.
  • More Popular Replacement:
    • Azwel was created to be the official substitute for II's Necrid, as a character who summons different weapons and moves out of nowhere. However, he instantly became far more popular than Necrid ever was. It helps that Azwel has an appearance that fits the lore, an actual backstory, a well-developed fighting style that isn't just a lazily cobbled together mish-mash of other styles, and a memorable personality.
      • Similarly, Azwel is comparable as Algol's replacement, but since more thought was put into him overall in terms of making him a memorable character with a unique feel, a lot of fans welcome Azwel over the Hero King.
    • Grøh reads a lot like an attempt at redoing Patroklos's story but better, both having a similar style of appearance, a deep-seated hatred towards malfested while being personally affected by their presence note , while gameplay-wise Grøh is a lot like a redone and diversified take on Alpha Patroklos's style. However, because Grøh isn't a total Jerkass who hogs all the spotlight and has a more three-dimensional personality (and isn't replacing any beloved character), he's much easier to like. That's not to say Grøh is universally loved, but compared to Patroklos being the series' biggest Scrappy, Grøh is a Base-Breaking Character at worst.
  • Narm:
    • Libra of Soul can be full of this depending on how you create your character. Moments that can be considered tragic or serious like your character seeing Geralt coming out of a portal or separating from Grøh can be quite silly if they are wearing very little like a bikini or if they happen to look like someone that doesn't fit in the timeframe of the setting like Thanos or John Cena.
    • Soul Chronicle can fall prey to this at times in a different way. At 11 stages total in the base game, VI features the lowest number of arenas in the series, even less than that of Soul Edge (which clocked in at 13) and less than half the number of its immediate predecessor's 27. Unlike the original Soulcalibur, and the entire Soul series by proxy barring IV, VI's already limited selection of stages focuses primarily on the series' European and Mediterranean locales, whereas barely any of the stages are set in Asia. This is despite how most games tend to give each character not only a (usually) unique home stage, but one often set in their country of origin, as well as an official press release by Bandai Namco after VI's announcement mentioning "signature 16th century stages." note  The game usually does a good job of masking the lack of variety in scenery by using three specific stages (Windswept Plains, Sunken Desert Ruins, and Cursed Moonlit Woods) as catch-alls for various locations, but sometimes the illusion falls flat. For example, Voldo's Chronicle opens up with him silencing bandits who snuck into and looted Vercci's Money Pit. However, because there's no actual Money Pit stage in this game, instead of battling in a vault hidden underneath an island in the Mediterranean Sea, you instead wind up in a forest at night note , making it somewhat hard to keep one's sense of immersion intact.
    • Though he's got plenty of reasons to be angsty, Siegfried is so emo in this game that it's really hard to take seriously at times. In particular, his taunt where he yells "WILL I EVER BE SAVED?" is hilarious, as is his victory pose where he melodramatically intones "Ngh... Curse this evil..."
  • Narm Charm:
    • Azwel, when he goes into straight-up villain mode, puts even the second largest ham (Nightmare) to shame and takes his hamminess to ludicrous proportions. At the same time, both his Japanese and English voice actors just put so much enthusiasm into it that you can't help but get invested.
    • Yoshimitsu, when he activates his Soul Charge, will yell "Manji... ninjutsu... secret technique!" before powering up. It sounds more like something you would hear in Naruto rather than Soulcalibur. That said, considering who he is and his larger-than-life nature, it works better for him than it would for most other characters.
  • Newer Than They Think: VI marks the first time in series history that the inaugural incarnation of Nightmare, aka Siegfried, uses the One-Handed Zweihänder style of swordplay that has become associated with the character. While Siegfried is often thought of as the Nightmare due to his prominence within the series and the multi-game character arc depicting his struggle against Soul Edge, to the point that the Project Soul logo in most titles beginning with III is Nightmare as he appears in Soulcalibur II, he did not use what is now a signature element of Nightmare's design until this game via retcon. In his original appearances, Siegfried-as-Nightmare used both his hands to hold Soul Edge, normal and monster. It wasn't until III that the idea of Nightmare only using one hand to swing his sword took shape, but that was Inferno, after Siegfried broke free (which was done in an effort to distinguish the two and justified in-story, even with a completely different host in V, as Soul Edge desiring to emulate Siegfried's swordsmanship through its memories of its former vessel). Essentially, this change could make this interpretation of Siegfried-Nightmare come across as the "perfect, definitive version" of the character as far as gathering the best parts of the different Nightmares into one and using what many might've thought was him, but actually wasn't, until now.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Kratos is a common character recreated in the CAC system, but he actually did make an appearance in the PlayStation Portable game Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny, a somewhat watered-down port of IV. Said game, of course, can be quite obscure compared to other games in the franchise.
    • With Geralt and 2B on the roster, it's thought that this is the first Soulcalibur to have two guests from different franchises playable simultaneously on the same system. Not quite. While Soulcalibur II initially segregated its guests to one per console, the HD Online port of the game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 did in fact bring together Heihachi and Spawn back in 2013. It can, however, lay claim to being the first with two externally owned guests, as Heihachi was already owned by Namco.
    • 2B has raised criticism by some that robots don't belong in a historical fighting game like Soulcalibur. For one, the setting is a Fantasy Kitchen Sink known to sometimes disregard real world history as it sees fit note . Secondly, there are humanoid robots that exist in the lore, called automatons note . These originate from Fygul Cestemus (the same cult responsible for Astaroth and Lizardman), and Ashlotte, a bonus character in IV, actually exists as part of the original timeline canon. Automatons are also a selectable race in this game's CAS.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The Expedition mechanic in Libra of Soul can dip into this. Normally, you get a chance of having a warrior standing in your way, like, say, regular bandits, lizardmen and so on. The paranoia can really kick in when the purple prompt "A mysterious warrior approaches!" appears, meaning you could end up clashing with fully-transformed Malfested. That is, if you're lucky enough to not have a run-in with Taki or Voldo.
  • Periphery Demographic:
    • Due to the game being chock-full of fanservice, and Dead or Alive 6 becoming Tamer and Chaster, some former fans of that game have turned their interest to this.
    • A lot of For Honor fans who never played a traditional fighting game gained interest upon seeing another weapon-based fighter, some even recreating said For Honor characters.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: Soulcalibur VI has a very complex and large story that brings together all of the playable characters and how they're all affected by Soul Edge. Of course, this being an in-depth fighter, it's easy to overlook it.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • When first introduced, Grøh got a ton of hate for his look (due to looking like an anime and/or emo stereotype), but after people actually got the opportunity to play him, his popularity rose quite considerably. While there are still considerable complaints about how he tonally clashes with the atmosphere of the Soul series, it's hard to say he's outright hated anymore. Having great voicework courtesy of Takahiro Sakurai and Xander Mobus certainly helps. He also ends up suffering a rather tragic fate when all's said and done, willingly succumbing to malfestation in a failed effort to stop Azwel and later having to be put down by the player in the final storyline battle of Libra of Soul after you spend quite a bit of time connecting with Grøh and two of his closest allies. (And then you have the option of putting his spirit to rest a second time in the Epilogue.) Very few players, even those among his detractors, can say that they relished being the ones to put him out of his misery.
    • Seong Mi-na had always been fairly popular as a character (even with the longstanding misconception about her "clone" status), but was almost never used due to being perpetually low-tier. VI goes out of its way to give her some much needed buffs and make her a viable pick. Unfortunately, as the metagame developed, it became apparent that Project Soul might've done too well a job at addressing Mi-na's weaknesses, ironically landing her in "too high-tier" territory.

    S-W 
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The fact that custom characters can be used in Ranked Mode. This is an issue because the framework and body build of custom characters tend to be significantly different from their actual counterparts, which can throw off people not accustomed to how weight and height differences can change how a character works, and that's before the fact that accessories can be used to obscure the character's body.
    • On the flip side, characters you have already created in Creation cannot be imported directly to Libra of Soul; you have to rebuild them from scratch. So, unless you take screenshots of your character's specs, you'll spend a lot of time entering and backing out of the menus to rebuild your characters between those modes.
    • Certain conditions in Libra of Soul can be quite annoying, not unlike Weapon Master in II and Tales of Souls in III. One in particular is the slippery map, which makes it very easy to fall off.
    • Invasions in Libra of Soul can be more annoying than difficult if you're traveling a shorter distance. That is, until you hit the higher levels and they instead become Demonic Spiders.
    • Some players view the Reversal Edge system as this. Common criticisms include Reversal Edge being a "get me out of pressure free" button and the ensuing Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors that happens after landing one killing the pace of the match. The same people generally tend to forget that Break Attacks or just plain old sidesteps make short work of a Reversal Edge, and the actual attack that comes out doesn't have super armor (much like Street Fighter IV's Focus Attacks), so it can be interrupted. The other common criticism is that Reversal Edges fill up a pretty decent chunk of the super meter just for blocking things with it (never mind being the one to initiate and/or win the rock-paper-scissors part note ), which is especially notable for characters that can Lag Cancel out of RE during its blocking phase, like Talim and Raphael.
    • How some feel about Armor Break. While the feature has been part of the series since IV, it's just as controversial now as it was then. While V had limited Armor Break to round-ending attacks that were strong enough, and still left their pants on at least, VI brings Armor Break to the way it was in IV with three sections that can be broken mid-battle. The reasoning was that it made fights more appealing and dynamic, as you could get a sense of how powerful an attack was, and it would pop out in the midst of combat (of course, there's another reason for that, too...). To the ones who hate it however, it essentially means that a battle can start with two seasoned warriors fully armored only to end with both of them duking it out in their underwear, which they view as a little ridiculous. While original characters will show legitimate battle damage and still remain clothed (to varying degrees), created characters suffer from it worse as Armor Break will essentially wipe whatever piece that got hit straight out of existence. One could painstakingly make a new design or a lovingly-crafted recreation of a famous character, take it to battle to show to others, only to see it wiped away in a matter of seconds, as it's surprisingly easy to break someone's armor in this game. It's not uncommon to see people who wish Armor Break could be reined in just a little because of this.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: You'll be able to spend hours within the tale of souls and swords playing Soul Chronicle and learning everyone's role and destiny. You'll also be able to spend many more hours playing Libra of Soul, where you guide your Virtual Paper Doll around the world while playing a fighting RPG with leveling stats, going on different paths, sidequests, and forming your party while interacting with the main cast. And of course, CAS itself will likely eat up much of your time just by creating concepts as cool (or as ridiculous) as you can make. Whether anyone will remember that this was made to be a competitive fighting game remains to be seen.
  • Squick: Create-A-Soul lends itself to this, with aspects such as all playable characters' costumes being usable for customization. That means that, should you so choose, you can have the 15-year-old Talim wear Ivy's razor-thin dominatrix outfit, and the results are as uncomfortable as they sound. DLC fighter 2B's outfits didn't make this any better.
  • Superlative Dubbing: The dub as a whole has been praised more than past games, with returning actors showing how far they've come since voicing the character. It also helps that there's far more voice acting this time thanks to Soul Chronicle, giving the actors a chance to display a wider range of emotions compared to the limited confines from before.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: To Soulcalibur V, which was the most polarizing entry due to a lack of content, missing favorites, a widely hated story and protagonist, and an overall alienating feel to casuals, with the general consensus was that it was So Okay, It's Average at best. Soulcalibur VI in comparison has been much better received. With almost all the issues of V addressed (bringing in far more content, the favorites many sorely missed, and having a much more engaging cast of characters that tell a much more investing story) on top of new gameplay improvements that truly make the game feel like its own, it's been said that Soulcalibur is finally at its best and the whole community has been unified as fans of the series once more.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Has its own page here.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • Those who still hate Rothion all these years later will be happy to know he's an opponent you have to beat in Sophitia's Soul Chronicle. You aren't given any restrictions on what moves you can use either, so have fun using a Critical Edge on him. Even in context, Rothion was offering himself as a punching bag for Sophitia to test out the sword he just made for her, so he also endorses.
    • Mi-na/Xianghua fans that were still upset over Ivy humiliating both without repercussions in the original Soulcalibur relished in giving her a taste of her own medicine as Cervantes in his story, and that's before he gave a verbal smackdown worse than any physical one he could have ever delivered.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Siegfried's feelings of remorse and guilt in his Soul Chronicle over having killed his father Frederick and the massacres he committed as Nightmare are truly heartwrenching.
    • The above is only compounded by Nightmare's own Soul Chronicle, the final scene of which shows Siegfried-as-Nightmare being manipulated by Soul Edge—in the guise of Frederick—into amassing more and more souls, genuinely believing the sword will bring his father back to life if he complies with its wishes. The accompanying narration describes Nightmare as a Tragic Monster, and it's hard to disagree.
    • Maxi's Soul Chronicle showcases the close relationship he has with his pirate crew, whom Maxi regards as family. (In fact, Maxi's first mate and sworn brother Kyam is also his adopted brother who he's known since childhood according to this game.) Which makes it all the more tragic when Astaroth slaughters them in the main story. It also puts new context into Maxi's friendship with Kilik in that since his crew brought Kilik onboard their ship as one of their own, Kilik is now all that Maxi has left of his family.
      • To twist the knife further, one other member of Maxi's crew actually did survive: Yagaji, the shipwright who crafted Fatibal for Maxi and was sent back to the Ryukyu Islands due to an injury that ultimately spared him from suffering the same grisly fate. Yagaji would later learn of his family's demise and put down his chisel for good in response; Fatibal was one of his final creations, if not the very last.
  • That One Achievement:
    • "The Hunters Become the Hunted", which requires you to complete 30 Astral Fissure Sealing missions. The problem is that the difficulty of the enemies of these missions varies wildly, from ridiculously easy to full-blown SNK Boss status that make even Kilik in the "Pounding Heart" mission and the Ancients to look like pushovers by comparison... even with a Level 99 fighter. You'll have to fight several cases of the latter to get this achievement. The way to identify these enemies before the match is to see their weapon stats; if they go up to over 700 attack, you're going to have a rough time. However, it's not only their ridiculously high defense and enormous damage output, but also that the enemy clearly reads the controller inputs from the player to block and dodge (making it almost impossible to hit them with anything that is not a counterattack) and can easily pull off ridiculously long combos. The only way to narrow the gap is to get Level 90+ weapons yourself that surpass the enemy's damage output, which forces the A.I. to tone down their cheapness a little and go back to blocking at high but reasonable levels, but even then you'll be in for a torture of a fight. The achievement was finally patched with update 1.20, making these enemies no longer read the player's controller inputs, but still this was a nightmare for early adopters.
    • "Keep Your Eye on the Gold" is another potentially nasty one, particularly for less skilled players, as it requires you to get a gold rating in Arcade Mode. To put things in perspective, getting a gold ranking on Normal requires you to beat all 8 opponents in under 7 minutes and each fight consists of three rounds. And no, you can't change the settings to have a lower number of fights per match. Only certain characters even have a chance of getting this one because the math requires that you win each round in 15 to 18 seconds (essentially necessitating the majority of your wins to be via Ring Out in order to give you enough time to slug it out in the few completely enclosed spaces). Make a single mistake or get an unusually aggressive A.I. opponent against you and your run is fucked. It's basically a Luck-Based Mission personified. Luckily, beating the main story of Soul Chronicle unlocks Inferno, who can be used in Arcade Mode... and he's just as much of a nightmare for your computer-controlled opponents as he is for you when facing him at the end of a Legendary run or in Libra of Soul.
    • The secret achievement "Bull in a China Shop" can also be a tricky one to get. You have to break ALL of your opponent's equipment five times. It cannot be cheesed in Training Mode, so you have to actually fight foes who will put up a fight. Equipment can only be broken from Lethal Hit attacks or by using a hard-hitting attack on a low health opponent. Depending on whose style you use, only certain attacks are Lethal Hits and you have to somehow aim one at your opponent's head, their torso, and their legs in a single match. It's entirely possible you'll play several matches in a row where you've knocked out your opponents long before you can break all their equipment.
  • That One Attack:
    • Ivy's Vile Condemnation, performed with down or down-forward A+G (or 2A+G and 3A+G), is a brand new move introduced in this game where she stabs her sword into the ground and summons a glyph to catch the opponent with. If successful, she suspends the opponent in midair by her sword before thrusting it at them. Under normal circumstances, this is a difficult move to react to, dealing solid damage and posing good Ring Out potential. This move is one of many reasons why Ivy is considered an uphill battle, as it makes her already terrifying long-range combat all the scarier by providing her a simple yet potent mix-up from a distance.
      • Her Critical Edge is another problematic attack of hers. It's long-ranged (natch), it deals respectable damage like any other Critical Edge, and its pushback on block means that punishing it, while very possible, becomes tricky especially for shorter-ranged characters like Maxi and Talim. But the real issue with it is the built-in Guard Impact properties which, unlike other auto-Guard Impact attacks, cover all attack ranges and throws. Recklessly attacking Ivy while she has at least one stock of meter is just asking to be whipped silly.
    • Astaroth's vertical Reversal Edge attack becomes this in a map where there are little to no walls. The reason? It immediately becomes a one-hit KO attack since he swings you off the map, making any progress to beat him all for nothing. Not so funny for the player on the receiving end...
      • Likewise, his Critical Edge. While it does give players a sliver of time to react, said window is rather small and you have to duck in time to not get grabbed. The fact that it has deceptive reach does not help.
    • On the topic of Critical Edges, Zasalamel joins the above-mentioned Astaroth and Ivy for having infuriating Critical Edges. Like Ivy's Critical Edge, his comes packed with auto-Guard Impact properties, so careless offense is a no-no. It also happens to be a Break Attack, rendering Guard Impacts and Reversal Edges useless. Its shorter range and linearity are the only things holding it back, but like with the other Critical Edges mentioned here, it should not be taken lightly.
    • Seong Mi-na's Lightning Fang, done with 1B (down-backwards B) is a much-hated move and is one of many reasons a good Mi-na player is fairly unpopular to fight against. On its own, it looks like just another low-hitting move. However, it hits hard, especially with the sweet-spot activated, has decent tracking for a vertical, comes out fast for how slow she generally is in comparison, and has a solid ring-out potential. Whenever Mi-na goes into Soul Charge, however, is when this attack becomes a true example, as the attack not only gets a huge damage boost, it now becomes a break attack, making well-timed Guard Impacts and Reversal Edges, two of the best things that could counter it, worthless.
    • Sophitia's Cutlass Europa (4AAA, backwards triple A) can be a headache for newer players; the string does HLM (High, Low, Middle) damage, which means all three hitzones are covered by this attack. Being able to predict and guard low is a harder task for said newbies, not helping is that even if they catch on, the last hit will bypass the lower guard due to being middle damage. This is averted in higher level gameplay however, where many Sophitia pros consider it one of her weakest moves.
  • That One Boss: Libra of Soul gives us Azwel in the Chapter 4 mission "The Final Key". Him being permanently Soul Charged is bad enough, but unlike the Kilik example mentioned below, he's mandatory to fight to progress. His A.I., like many examples of this trope in the Soul series, can read button inputs and can (and most likely will) combo into a Critical Edge. Lastly, you need to win 3 out of 5 rather than 2 out of 3.
  • That One Sidequest: Libra of Soul gives us the dreadful "Pounding Heart" side mission late in the game; don't even try to attempt it until you've hit the level cap. Returning to Edge Master's cave, you find yourself facing off against a Level 70 Kilik in a rematch. The problem? Kilik fights you in his now-mastered Superpowered Evil Side, meaning he's permanently Soul Charged to give himself a massive, permanent damage boost. However, rather than suffering from the Cast From Hitpoints limitation this form normally gives him, any damage he deals to you heals him instead and by a lot. He blocks just about any strike with impunity, and anything he doesn't block will be Guard Impacted. He breaks out of any throws you try to pull on him. If you give him any split-second openings, he will trap you in his combos until you're dead. Sure, you can use mercenaries and food to help, but he'll still easily lay their benefits to waste. And finally, you have to win three rounds to beat him. The only saving grace that makes the fight manageable is that you can ring him out if you can get him to the edge, but he can easily turn this around on you too. If you can beat this mission, everything else outside of the various Ancient side missions and maybe "The Fires of Hell: Nightmare" note  will seem piss-easy by comparison.
  • Theiss Titillation Theory: As the design philosophy for the female characters was that they must include at least one instance of over-boob, underboob, sideboob or middle-boob, in a game that features prominent Clothing Damage, the idea of the female fighters suffering a Wardrobe Malfunction is very appealing to certain members of the fanbase.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • While the reaction isn't all that loud or negative, there remains a moderate amount of displeasure with how limited the selection of stages in VI currently is, not just in quantity but also in variety. For the many, many complaints lobbied at V, the wide and diverse array of arenas was not one of those grievances; the game boasted a whopping 27 stages, the highest total in the series to date (By comparison...) , and many of them managed to feel distinct from one another in spite of several stages having some sort of variant or parallel elsewhere. In addition to completely open venues (some of which were deliberate throwbacks to the simpler arenas found in Soul Edge, Soulcalibur, and—to a slight degree—Soulcalibur II), battlegrounds with low/breakable walls, walled/caged stages that could be expanded if a character was slammed into a partition and knocked it down, and completely enclosed areas, V introduced stages with infinite boundaries in the vein of Tekken. Beyond these and a few interesting spins on the other templates, several stages were multi-tiered, either sending fighters to a new area after a Ring Out or undergoing some sort of change in scenery when one combatant was at match point. In one case (Utopia of the Blessed), the stage even "reverts" from an infinite stage to a much smaller one with Ring Out opportunities on all sides of the arena—a novelty among the 3D fighting market. While VI otherwise sticks to the tried-and-true stage design found in the post-Calibur entries, its eschewing of the innovations brought in by V coupled with the low number of stages by default (a meager 11) is seen, ironically enough, as something of a misstep.
    • Also, the online mode has seen several downgrades that have baffled fans. The most notable exclusion being Global Colosseo, one of the only points of complete unanimous praise towards V. The mode, which was a hybrid of a social room where players could chat, meet up, make friends, and, of course, fight, in a massive lobby, was a unique innovation brought on by the game that alienated no one. It was also a perfect middle ground between the more serious Ranked and the more relaxed Casual. So for it be cut without so much as an explanation had even the staunchest of V anti-fans annoyed. Additionally, the ability to chat has also been neutered, as you can't freely speak via text in the Casual lobby. All you can do is choose between pre-selected words and sentences, which basically means a community cannot be formed in Casual. Casual lobbies in general suffer if you're playing on PC or Xbox One, as you can't actually search through room manually (though the PlayStation 4 version at least lets you search). All you can do is select whatever options available and hope it matches you in a room. This combined with a complete inability to talk and form communities means it can feel like forever just to even play a game, thus the vast majority of the online community only plays Ranked as the closest thing a "Quick Play" option there is. As an unfortunate side effect to it all, it seems this was anticipated by the creators, hence you can now play customs in Ranked seemingly to allow you show off your creations, which has become a Scrappy Mechanic in general for a variety of reasons.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • A lot of people have been disappointed that Lizardman isn't part of the base roster, despite having a role in the story as one of the chief Schwarzstrom/Covenant Shield members alongside the fully playable Nightmare, Ivy and Astaroth. This despite him getting a new, revamped look, elements of his moveset lurking around in the NPCs, and being featured in artwork promoting the game. This even bleeds into the main story itself; whereas Ivy, Astaroth and Nightmare were fought each by one of the trio, Lizardman is merely mentioned to have been beaten by them. Even if he should turn up as DLC, as many expect him to be, it feels odd that he got shafted to begin with.
    • To an extent, Zasalamel. Given that he was established as a brilliant Chessmaster with the curse of immortality in his debut, one would be forgiven for expecting the game to make good use of his Adaptational Early Appearance. While Zasalamel does play a role in Libra of Soul as the Conduit's enigmatic informant, his Soul Chronicle—completely devoid of any battles—merely serves as an extended recap of the history of the soul swords leading up to the present, essentially his good Soulcalibur III ending but in reverse order. Outside of that, his only significant actions are dueling Geralt shortly after he arrives at the Replica Kaer Morhen and informing Tira of Nightmare's current whereabouts when she enters Ostrheinsburg Castle after the Azure Knight's defeat. Even for a character known to lurk in the shadows, Zasalamel doesn't do much beyond setting up Sequel Hooks, namely mentioning Algol, a probable Greater-Scope Villain, by name to the player and theorizing that his visions of the timeline might have been memories experienced by his future self before deciding to help guide humanity in his own way.
    • On a lesser scale, nearly every other character from the earlier titles (primarily Soul Edge, Soulcalibur, and Soulcalibur II) that is currently unaccounted for as a full-fledged fighter, especially popular ones like Hwang and Cassandra who are merely relegated to brief cameos in related characters' stories. As covered in the Tainted by the Preview page, the lack of several fan favorites has led to complaints about the limited roster, though many are willing to put up with certain characters being sidelined in the story department due to the lore and most of the original continuity being kept intact by the game's end. That said, a lot of fans hold out hope that they'll eventually get added into the game as DLC as opposed to being Saved for the Sequel.
    • 2B is a lesser example. She's very well-loved due to being true to her game of origin, playing like she did in Automata but updated for a fighting game like Soulcalibur—up in ways that some didn't expect like maintaining her Flash Step and Self-Destruct Mechanism to make her a Mechanically Unusual Fighter. Being a Ms. Fanservice also helps, depending on who you ask. The fact that not only does she come with extra CAS parts and her style be used on others, but 2B herself can be customized (unlike all guests before) is just icing on the cake. That said, there is some grievance over 2B playing no role in Soul Chronicle, unlike Geralt, giving the impression that she's kind of just "there". The possibilities brought on by 2B's presence in the tale of souls and swords simply aren't explored at all; we don't get to see how a Fish out of Temporal Water interacts with the SC crew nor how she views the world around her. In fact, she only has one unique interaction with any other member of the cast (Azwel), and thus feels even less like a true part of the world. Some were hoping to see how 2B would react to the past where she actually meets mankind, and how her advertised rivalry with Ivy would unfold, but ultimately none of it comes into play.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The story of Soul Edge is completely glossed over in the opening narration, despite this being a reboot made to introduce newcomers to the overarching storyline. Instead, only the final battle with Sophitia and Taki against Cervantes is told in a few moments, along with Siegfried subsequently becoming Nightmare, while everything else isn't touched upon before going straight into the story of Soulcalibur. The individual Soul Chronicle stories and Museum profiles for Siegfried, Sophitia, et al. do shed more light on some of these circumstances, but considering how pivotal these moments are to the series lore (as even the narration for Soul Chronicle itself stresses), one would think more time would've been devoted to these points in time.
    • With the revelation that Libra of Soul is indeed canon, one might be disappointed that Azwel fails to unleash the Ultimate Seed on the world, which would've created a timeline that felt legitimately new and gave a better idea of what the future beheld. Instead, VI largely retells the original story, with the changes being more subtle (namely, streamlining the lore told from various points and previously-established retcons are now written as if they've been there from the beginning), and Libra of Soul's impact on the grander scale is rather minimal overall. While some changes are present, a lot of them are minor and easy to miss, which means one is left guessing as to how and when the timeline will truly diverge before the infamous Time Skip of the original.
      • However, it should be noted that a massive divergence, one that could hint at what's to come, happens in Zasalamel's secret final chapter. There, he sees a vision, possibly from his future self, that motivates him to abandon his plan to die before he enacts it at all. Should this be maintained, it's entirely possible that future installments will diverge just like how fans predicted. Even so, there has been some degree of disappointment at Project Soul mostly playing it "safe" this time around in regards to the source material as opposed to taking more risks with the possibilities afforded to them by the game's nature as a reboot.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Has its own page here.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Seong Mi-na's official artwork has her eyes unnaturally widened, giving her a bit of a dead stare that makes her look off. Jokes about Mi-na being not quite right in the head were soon to follow.
    • That's nothing compared to how models appear in Libra of Soul. While most people agree that they look okay in gameplay, the text screens make them... off-putting, to say the least.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: 2B comes with her own unique NieR: Automata-themed stage. Only problem is, if you play Ranked online then you'll never see it, nor does it ever show up in Arcade, and the only way to actually play on the stage is to select it manually in Versus or in a Casual lobby. This stage, City Ruins: Eternal Apocalypse, likely had a lot of time and effort put into in terms of both design and theme, even having a unique Soulcalibur remix of an Automata track to accompany it. Yet, for unknown reasons, the stage hasn't been put in rotation even though the stage number was already very limited, meaning that unless you play Versus or Casual a lot and pick this stage frequently, chances are that you will practically never play on it.
  • Unexpected Character: Albeit, none playable so far, for the most part.
    • It's rather surprising that Fu-Ma ninjas Maki and Geki appear in Taki's Chronicle. For reference, they had only appeared in the non-canon, oft-forgotten, Wii-exclusive Soulcalibur Legends over a decade prior, and were often thought of as being non-canon themselves because of it. Even more surprising for those privy to the existence of Legends is the fact that these two were given completely new designs depicting how they looked pre-malfestation.
    • Meimei makes an appearance in Xianghua's Chronicle. Meimei is Li Long's sister, and other than a bonus character stint in III, Li Long hasn't appeared since Soul Edge, the very first game in the series. Seeing her at all comes out of the blue.
    • Arthur can be found in Libra of Soul. In the original timeline, Arthur was a reskinned Mitsurugi meant for Korean markets (Japanese imagery often being very frowned upon in the '90s due to their ill history), and it wasn't quite clear if he was even canon at all (as Arthur's only appearance after Calibur was as a bonus character in III like Li Long).
    • Yorha No.2 Type B, aka 2B, being announced as an actual playable DLC character, in the same vein as Noctis in Tekken 7, which also crosses over into Hilarious in Hindsight considering how popular 2B was in Character Creation. While a lot of people did request her, many thought she wouldn't really make it in the game for a number of factors such as the opinion that she'd feel out of place in the setting/time period similar to the Star Wars characters in IV or that Okubo hated the idea of her being in (which he never actually said). Her being the first post-launch character announced was a pleasant surprise.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The game looks as spectacular as a game making full use of Unreal Engine 4 and the power of current-gen ought to be, especially when running at 4K. Everything from the detailed character models, the fluid movement and animations, the gorgeous environments that each stage presents, and the effects are all top-notch.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Soulcalibur VI has a T-rating, and is marketed as a general audience fighting game that anyone can enjoy. This despite being packed with so much sexual fanservice that it can even make the M-rated, comparatively niche Dead or Alive series look tame. The fact that its two guest characters, Geralt and 2B, come from M-rated, sexualized, and kid-unfriendly games, may be a good indicator that VI is mainly catering to an older, more mature audience despite the T-rating. Outside the abundant sexuality, the game is still far from kid-friendly with coarse language, violence, mass deaths featured in story mode, and morally complex themes.
  • Win Back the Crowd: This is pretty much an Enforced Trope. Okubo stated that the damage caused by V put the franchise on thin ice; if this game fails, the Soul series will completely fade from the stages of history. Therefore, they're going all out with nothing to lose.
    • From the moment VI was announced, there were already signs that this is in action. Many declared the series to be dead after nearly six years without anything major (apart from free-to-play, mobile, and pachinko machines, but that doesn't count) and the last game itself was polarizing to say the least. Comparatively speaking, the reception to this game's announcement was highly positive, a sentiment that only intensified when it became clear that the game would not follow the largely unpopular Time Skip from V, allowing old favorites to return once again and proving one's love for the series wasn't limited to the days of old.
    • It's clear that this has been Project Soul's goal from Day 1. The game takes the best aspects of past games and does its best to improve and add to them, all while giving a fresh start to the series after a convoluted lore and a derided Time Skip backed the story into a corner. Basically, it's a new starting point and a second chance that many felt the series needed, and many would say that things can only go up from here.
    • Okubo's promise that Soulcalibur VI will look to be a good game first, and an eSport second is also a sign of this. Many haven't been pleased that games lately have skimmed on content or made censorship among other compromises with the excuse being "we want this to be played in professional gaming". While Okubo stated he does have plans to make it accessible to professionals, the plan is to worry about that after the basics are covered.
      • That being said, the tournament crowd is absolutely thrilled with how the game plays so far, stating that it takes what was good about V and improves upon it while adding new ideas to make the game feel more distinct and less like Street Fighter.
    • Libra of Soul finally gives players the sequel to III's Chronicles of the Sword they've been asking for since it was introduced back in 2005. It's expected that this mode will be as addictive as its predecessor, and the reception to finally getting a mode like this again has been very positive.
    • VI getting an easy ticket to the main stage in EVO 2019 came as an absolute joy to the fanbase, as unlike other games, Soulcalibur didn't have to make a single compromise to be enjoyed by all, casual players and professionals alike — it's just that well-made.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Quite a few people were disappointed to learn that Roger Craig Smith won't be reprising Siegfried due to union issues. Instead, Kirk Thornton takes over, and many feel his performance is too nasally to fit Siegfried. Though few have any complaints in regards to Thornton's performance as Nightmare, however, there is some disappointment that the VA change means we won't get to hear what Smith's interpretation of Nightmare would be like.
    • In a similar vein, there's the recasting of Talim from Kate Higgins to Kira Buckland. While few find fault with Buckland's performance, it being a near-perfect mimicry of her predecessor's that fits Talim like a glove yet manages to sound distinct, later news that Higgins is still lending her voice to the game—as Tira's new VA—but not reprising Talim despite a majority of the English voice cast that debuted in III returning for VI raised some eyebrows, especially considering that Higgins is one of the few VAs from III to have been part of every mainline installment since then (she also voiced Natsu in V).
    • A minor case with Ray Chase taking over from Ed Cunningham as Mitsurugi. On its own merit, there's nothing wrong with Chase's portrayal as Mitsurugi and he does capture his personality well. The only problem is that Chase sounds nothing like Cunningham's performance; Chase using a youthful and brash voice and Cunningham favoring a gruff and more experienced portrayal. It makes a rather jarring transition between games, especially if you're accustomed to Cunningham after he portrayed Mitsurugi in three consecutive games. (And this is to say nothing of the fact that, according to the series chronology, Chase's depiction of Mitsurugi is only about four years younger than Cunningham's in III and IV, which can make the contrast seem seem greater still.)
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • How some view the heavy sexualization of the female cast, especially when it would logically be uncomfortable to move in such attire let alone fight in, like Ivy and Seong Mi-na. A case of History Repeats, as this was also a complaint these people had about Soulcalibur IV. However, this game arguably has it worse; VI lacks any alternative costume options outside of customizing characters in Creation, whereas IV gave nearly every female fighter significantly more modest clothing for their 2P attire. Additionally, there's a very noticeable void left by the absence of Hilde, who was specifically designed as a character meant to be visually appealing without showing much skin and was praised for standing out against the surfeit of fanservice found in IV.
    • Speaking of Seong Mi-na, while well-received overall, some have expressed disappointment that her costume here is largely was based on (of all things) her pink bonus costume from the PS1 port of Soul Edge rather than her main costume from Soulcalibur, as is the case with a majority of that game's returning roster. It's been cited as a weird decision that in a throwback to I, she's the only vet to not get an updated costume pertaining in some way to that game and thus stands out.
    • Some also found it a bit of a contradiction that Seong Mi-na's whole persona is that of a Tomboy who hates the restrictions of womanhood, but wears a girly, bright pink costume with a Flower Motif, and a complex and very feminine ponytail (with a ribbon!), for no particular in-universe reason. Of course, the meta reason was to highlight her beauty, but even her past costumes, for as revealing as they are, didn't really contradict her tomboy demeanor and got across her being free-spirited. That said, the complaint does gloss over/ignore the fact that most, if not all these elements of Mi-na's design (bright colors note , the long ponytail, the occasional frilly accessory, etc.) have been present since her debut—though perhaps not as overt as what is seen here.
    • The newcomer Grøh is also a victim of this, with a frequent complaint being how "out of place" he looks compared to the other characters. He's been likened to characters from JRPG series like Final Fantasy and Fire Emblem, and also incurs criticism for being heavily modeled after shonen tropes due to his abilities and Super Mode. It's even been said that he looks a lot like a K-pop idol rather than a skilled warrior, and the fact that he's supposed to be Nordic seems like an afterthought. Another case of History Repeats, as fans found fault with Z.W.E.I. in V for similar reasons.
    • While Voldo is known to have very garish and macabre-looking costumes, a not-uncommon sentiment is that his outfit here is completely devoid of flow and synergy, making him look like an S&M-themed Rummage Sale Reject. (Though to be fair, that description could easily apply to several of his outfits throughout the Soul series.) This may be his weirdest costume to date.
    • Astaroth's new look is found by some to be a little too "busy" in that there's so many details that it doesn't feel coherent, a stark contrast to his original design being relatively simple but effective. To wit, he has dark gray stone/lava skin, massive and numerous Spikes of Villainy that can be hard to take seriously, prominent cobra motifs (including one that wraps around his neck), a loincloth, red markings, and a mask that's far more detailed compared to the original. His signature open heart is still there (which was his most noticeable feature in his Soulcalibur debut and all games thereafter), but it's drowned out by everything else.
    • Raphael's new costume includes what is supposed to be Sexy Spectacles. note  While many agree they look just fine in the artwork, it doesn't fare nearly as well on his in-game model due to it being ported from V. A criticism about the design as a whole is that, while the Raphael in this game is meant to be a depiction of him right before the fall of the Sorel family (and thus it'd make sense for the family head to dress more lavishly, even if Characterization Marches On may come into play where Raph's showiness and pomposity are concerned), there's too much going on in terms of colors and details similar to Astaroth. This partially stems from an issue Raphael has had to deal with for years, as several fans have felt he underwent an identity crisis following his sudden vampirism-via-Soul Edge infection in III and tend to prefer simpler looks like his Noble Fugitive clothing from II or his The Three Musketeers-inspired garb from V compared to more flamboyantly aristocratic looks.


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