Soul Calibur V is by all accounts a good update on the melee-weapon fighting series. If you want to know why to buy it, clicky here
. But Soul Calibur V is also apparently being promoted with a series of ever-more stupid PR stunts that make the game look, frankly, a bit desperate. And the latest one is the worst in quite some time (see below for some even more offensive ones). So here's why not to buy it.
Firstly, there was the announcement that GYMBOX, a fitness centre in Westfield, London, was to get a Soul Calibur V-themed "swordsman" workout. With gamers turning up with a copy of the game having membership fees waived. Secondly, there was the announcement that Soul Calibur V was getting some graffiti art, showing its new cover star Ezio (from Assassin's Creed) across a regular (and often sponsored) graffiti spot in Shoreditch, London. Now...
Now, Namco Bandai have apparently paid to have Soul Calibur V and two of its characters permanently etched into a mountain in Tanum, Sweden as the "world’s hardest" videogame characters. The site, run by company SavedInStone
, is proudly proclaimed to be "close to a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with Bronze Age stone carvings." I can't think of much more distasteful as a games PR stunt than sticking a fairly good fighting game's characters permanently on a mountain side near some genuine Bronze Age stone carvings. SavedInStone say their philosophy is to "Identify what is really worth saving, then save it in the only future-proof format we know of
Here, they're saving two characters from a middle-ground fighting game for thousands of years. Is this really the pinnacle of human communication, worthy to be saved for eternity? And is it really a good idea to stick them next to some Bronze Age carvings? I can think of other games I'd like to leave for future generations to play again, to see the artistry, the emotion, the point of interactive entertainment as it was now. But Soul Calibur V? Hardly. The game doesn't even really have the "hardest" fighting characters around!
In my opinion, this is nearly up there (although not quite), with Sony offering up goat entrails to journalists to promote God Of War 2, the makers of Burnout 2 offering to pay people's speeding tickets and the makers of Shadow Man 2 sponsoring gravestones (and not forgetting Capcom's severed limbs discarded across London Resident Evil 5 jape).