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Secret Apprentice for Soulcalibur IV

Vader's student for both 360 and PS3.

Namco Bandai has decided to include the Secret Apprentice from The Force Unleashed in its upcoming fighter Soulcalibur IV.

That means you will be able to clash lightsabers with either mentor Darth Vader (exclusive to PS3) or light side leader Yoda (exclusive to Xbox 360) on the Imperial Battlecruiser stage accompanied by the John Williams Star Wars theme.

Not that you would want to fight Yoda, mind you; we had a chance to play as and against him at the recent UbiDays event, and soon learned he was too small to either grab or hit with high attacks.

Apparently his weakness is his short reach, but he, like Vader, has a Force meter to produce fancy jumps with - in the hands of an expert he can stay air-bound for quite some time.

Vader fought a little more traditionally, which is presumably the way his apprentice will. And both will sport red lightsabers, which is very much the in-colour this season.

The demo we played had characters Hilde with her spear and short-sword, Siegfried with his enormous blade, and Mitsurugi with his samurai powers - plus the two Star Wars additions.

Soulcalibur IV is absolutely gorgeous and behaves as gracefully as previous games in the series, albeit with the fresh Critical Finisher and destructible armour features to make things a little less defensive.

Critical Finishers can be activated after you pummel a defending enemy enough to turn their Soul Gauge black. It only changes for the briefest of moments, but if you can press all four face buttons in a particular order in that time, you unleash a killing move, regardless of how much health your enemy has.

Vader throws his opponents up in the air and then launches his lightsaber after them to spin around and generally chops them up. His was among the weakest of the bunch we saw.

Soulcalibur IV is due out for Xbox 360 and PS3 on 31st July, catch the latest trailer, featuring the Secret Apprentice reveal, over on EGTV.