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On Running Feuds
From Soul Calibur to Soulcalibur
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on June 15, 2009   |   Episode 163 (Show Archive)  


SoulCalibur: The least violent sword and axe game ever!
You would think that fighting game fans have it made. Capcom recently released not one, but two Street Fighter games, there's a Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is hitting the Wii this holiday, there's a new King of Fighters game, and Namco Bandai has announced a number of new Tekken games. Fighting game fans would be idiots to complain about such a vast library of solid, triple-A fighting games. Well, call me an idiot, because I have something to complain about. While I should be content to just sit back and play my favorite fighters online, I'm haunted by the fact that nobody knows how to spell "Soul Calibur."

For years games journalists referred to Namco's popular weapons-based fighter as "Soul Calibur," two words. However, in the run up to the fourth installment (fifth if you take into account the original Soul Edge/Blade), magazines, websites and blogs started calling it "Soulcalibur," one word. Part of the reason for

Yes, I'm one of those people who considers Soul Edge to be the very first Soul Calibur!
this has to do with Namco Bandai. After typing the game's title one way, the game maker's PR department decided to change the spelling out of the blue. This sent some of our favorite video game websites into turmoil, often using both spellings and confusing their readers.

Here we are almost a year later and game journalists are still confused. With the announcement of Broken Destiny for the PSP, Namco Bandai is again testing our patience by spelling it as one word. So this got me thinking, I wonder how the biggest magazines and websites are reacting to this. Just how inconsistent are they, or have they been able to get their spelling of the name in line?

I focused my attention on six popular game publications - GameSpot, Eurogamer, Game Informer, IGN, Electronic Gaming Monthly (1up) and GamePro. Even though I knew what I was getting myself into, I was

I don't care how good the game is, the moment you start filling the roster with Star Wars characters I tune out!
surprised by how many different ways a magazine can spell a simple name. And I have a hunch you will, too.

I decided to start my adventure at GameSpot, if for no other reason than it's been a long time since I've gone after CNET. While I expected that GameSpot had used the two word "Soul Calibur" spelling in the text of their first three reviews, I was shocked to learn that the site had retroactively changed the spelling to "SoulCalibur." But wait ... when it came to the site's launch center for the fourth game, they spelled it "Soulcalibur IV." And if that wasn't confusing enough, they are back to the "SoulCalibur" approach when talking about Broken Destiny. Which is it guys?

On this cover EGM bucks tradition and spells it a fourth way, "SOULCALIBUR"!
Game Informer had similar problems. They spelled the first three games by using the traditional "Soul Calibur" way, but then opted for the one word "Soulcalibur" approach when talking about the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 release. Unlike GameSpot, Game Informer has continued spelling it the new way, even when it comes to Broken Destiny. It's also worth noting that IGN did the exact same thing, only they retroactively changed some of the text for the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 reviews.

Interestingly, Electronic Gaming Monthly (or, more specifically, 1up) never changed the spelling. Regardless of whether it's the first, second, third or even fourth installment, 1up spells it exactly the same way. Even as other websites and magazines were using two and three spellings, EGM stuck with the two word version, "Soul Calibur." They

Even though it looks like it should be spelled Soulblade, GamePro spelled it with two words!
even use that spelling when talking about Broken Destiny and the third-person action game for the Nintendo Wii. It's clear that the 1up network was not fazed by all of the renaming turmoil.

GamePro decided to take a slightly different approach. The magazine that once said that "everybody can agree that Soul Calibur II was disappointing," started out by calling the first two games "Soul Calibur." However, this is where it gets confusing. For whatever reason, GamePro deviated from their spelling and called the third game, "Soulcalibur III." Best I can tell, they are the only publication that used that spelling for the third game. What's more, GamePro went back to the two word spelling when reviewing Soul Calibur IV. That's almost as confusing as GameSpot.

Sadly, it's not just the Americans that are confused by the

If we're going to fight over it, then at least show up in character!
proper spelling of this franchise. I went across the pond to see if Eurogamer would fall into the same trap as the rest of the world. They did. When it came to the third game, they went for the traditional two word spelling. However, for part four they decided to take the shotgun approach. Not only did they spell the game "Soulcalibur IV," but in their reviews they also spell it "SoulCalibur IV." These two spellings can be found on the very same page, which goes to show that no matter where you live in this big world, nobody has a clue how to properly spell the name of this series.

So, how should it be spelled? If you look at the box art it looks like its spelled "SoulCalibur." However, when I reviewed the game last September I had no problem calling it "Soul Calibur IV." The Konami PR says that it's "Soulcalibur," even though that's inconsistent with what they used to say. All I know is that there is no right way to spell this title. So why don't we settle this like men; we battle it out on a small platform with large, heavy axes. Oh yes, the soul still burns.


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