Why do they keep doing it? Why do they think that we want to see our favourite fighting game characters crudely stuffed into third-person action games? It didn't do Namco any favours the last time they blundered down this road, with the laughably inept Tekken spin-off Death By Degrees earning a measly 3/10 back in 2005, and Midway tried to turn Mortal Kombat into an action-adventure three times before they decided that fans would probably rather make Sub Zero punch Batman in the sweetmeats than suffer through another shonky mess like Mortal Kombat: Special Forces.
So now it's Soulcalibur's turn to be disgraced by an ill-advised exercise in genre-hopping. Telling the tale of how the brave knight Siegfried succumbed to the lure of a dark power and became the monstrous villain Nightmare, the debt to the Star Wars prequels couldn't be more obvious if you were constantly followed around by a gay robot and a jive-talking frog creature. Not that the story really matters, since it's told almost entirely through the sort of long-winded static subtitled scenes that'll soon have you instinctively hammering the A button to close each dialogue window as soon as it appears.
Even then, it's an arduous task. One particularly irritating story scene demanded fifty nine button presses to get through and, yes, I counted. The only moment when the impossibly dense plot comes to life is when our merry band of bickering swordsmiths teams up with Leonardo DaVinci. It's almost worth it just for the scene where DaVinci exclaims, "Of course I'm excited, my weapons are going to kill a dragon!" Even then, it doesn't make a whole lot sense - DaVinci's dragon-slaying weapons are just crossbows that shoot flaming arrows. Hardly the sort of thing you'd need a genius intellect to come up with.