Last month Namco Bandai treated us to an excellent iOS port of the original SoulCalibur [$14.99]. It was based off of the superior Dreamcast version (or more accurately, the high resolution XBLA remake) rather than the arcade version, and came equipped with just about everything that made it a classic back then, barring a couple of significant things.

First was the baffling lack of any sort of multiplayer, as well as a few missing modes that had been in previous versions. The second big thing was the frame rate. See, one of the things that was so memorable about SoulCalibur on the Dreamcast was just how crazy smooth everything moved. The frame rate rocked a solid 60fps, and it elevated the visuals way beyond anything that was on current consoles, and rivaled much of what was popular in arcades at the time.

In our review of SoulCalibur, I definitely found the game quite attractive. The high resolution art assets popped on Retina and iPad displays, but the frame rate wasn't quite there. Don't get me wrong, it still ran really smooth, but it was probably only halfway to the coveted 60fps mark. But that changes today, as Namco has released an update that will lock the game at 60fps on iPhone 4S and iPad 2 devices. And let me tell you, the difference is dramatic.

When I saw this update, I played through the game a couple of times real quick before updating so it would be fresh in my mind for comparison. After quickly syncing the update I jumped right back into the game and was blown away by what a difference the increased frame rate makes. It was totally the thing that was missing from SoulCalibur on iOS that really completes the nostalgia trip for owners of the Dreamcast version like myself.

It may sound like a minor thing, but the 60fps was a key element of SoulCalibur and I'm happy Namco Bandai took the time to add it in to the iOS version. Now I can focus all my attention on bugging them for some sort of multiplayer mode, but if you have an iPhone 4S or iPad 2 make sure to check out the ultra smooth new update to SoulCalibur.

  • http://twitter.com/BulkSlash BulkSlash

    It's definitely smoother on my iPhone 4 too. It's not 60fps but the lag on certain stages like Cervantes, Siegfried or Astaroth/Lizardman is much better than it was before. It used to be so bad that sometimes the buttons just wouldn't respond!

  • Anonymous

    Is there anyone else who wishes that these fighting games had iCade support?

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely. I hope that while the author is "bugging them" about multiplayer, they could throw in a mention of iCade, which honestly to me is more important (I've never played Soul Calibur with an arcade stick, so it's the only reason I'd make a purchase).

      Namco's supported iCade before, so it's not even that odd a request.

      • Anonymous

        The only problem I can foresee with iCade support is the fact that the stick movement is confined to four sides. Sometimes it feels like a d-pad with a stick. I assume that a fighting game would be better suited to 8-way movement over 4-way.

      • Anonymous

        I disagree. I've been a fan of fighting games since One Must Fall 2097 in DOS on a keyboard, and down-downforward-forward punch is just as natural to me as a quarter circle.

        But the iCade's stick abstracts it to a point where I don't think you'd notice much difference anyway.

    • http://twitter.com/CharronKJ Chris Trejo

      Blutrol works great with if you are jailbroken. I wish it would work with shmups like CAVE's.  :(

      I agree though, every fighting game and shmup should have iCade support.

  • Anonymous

    I got a chance to try to game and while I like it, It's a little steep in price.  I played this game countless times on my Dreamcast.  Namco is pretty good about sales so I'll wait a bit.  I have yet to see the 60FPS version.  I bet it runs really great on an iphone 4S.

  • http://www.facebook.com/endre.grunzo Endre Grunzo

    60 fps is NEVER a minor thing.

  • Hnf Szy

    I'm sure the A5 SoC can push WAY beyond 60fps close to around 100FPS, just pack in 20+ shaders and you can get the best visual experience + 60FPS locked,

  • http://twitter.com/stellarola Ben Bradley

    I was hoping something like this would come out. Shame on the reviewers out there for playing down the sluggish framerate in earlier builds. I expected more from Namco and they delivered.