There comes a point while playing Soulcalibur Legends, after fighting the same boss you've already faced five or six times, when you're left wondering if the game will ever end. Yet against all odds, it keeps throwing one quest after another at you, sending you back to the same levels you've visited over and over again. Brevity is not often considered a strong selling point in an action adventure game, but this one would have benefited from a good pruning. As it is, Soulcalibur Legends is a boring, mind-numbingly ugly game that melds monotonous remote-waggling combat and cheap deaths into a single disappointing package.
So that's what she calls them.
The narrative starts off promisingly with a nice cutscene and an interesting tutorial level, and then directly plummets into the depths of Hades. If you are a series fan, you will probably have at least some passing interest in Siegfried's discovery of the sword Soul Edge and his subsequent transformation. But any curiosity will quickly devolve into boredom as you follow an odd handful of adventurers brought together by one implausible twist after another, to the point where you wonder what possible coincidence will usher in the next unlockable character. Dialogue is clichÃ©d and overblown, but at least you will get to ogle Mitsurugi's scowl and Taki's spectacular and peculiarly oval breasts.
Prior to most levels, you can choose which two characters you want to take with you (you only play as one at a time, though you can switch between them at will). Then, you fight a lot of dudes. Some of them are skeletons, some of them are ninjas, and some of them are lizardmen, but for the most part, you run into the same ones time and time again. To fight them, you wriggle the Wii Remote around to swing your weapon. Granted, certain motions result in a more or less equivalent onscreen swing of the sword, so flinging the remote upward will result in a corresponding upward slash, and so on. You can also block using the Nunchuk's Z button and jump with the remote's B button, and once you build up enough power by collecting orbs or defeating baddies, you can hold the C button to execute a charged attack. Yet while late-game battles do benefit some from a firm grasp on well-timed slashes and blocks, you can slice your way through the majority of the campaign by slashing about randomly without much regard for these differences. There's nothing inherently wrong with the control scheme, but there is little subtlety to it. You can string together combos, but it's just as easy to do it at random as it is to do so purposely.
The levels you hack your way through are short (many take just a few minutes to get through) and entirely linear, and you revisit the same ones ad nauseam. Sometimes when you return to one, you may be starting at the opposite side from where you first completed--but apart from a few surprises (a few spacey, alternate-reality levels jump to mind), you will navigate through the same unsightly ice caverns, narrow grassy paths, and ugly brown corridors time and time again. A typical level consists of entering a small area enclosed by doors or force fields and pounding on a bunch of respawning enemies until you slay enough for the door that leads you to the next area to automatically open. It's a common gaming convention to be sure, but in Soulcalibur Legends, it happens many times in almost every level--even the shortest ones--and is one of many examples of the game's complete lack of imagination.