SoulCalibur V is the latest release in the popular fighting series. It came out in early 2012. The game can be bit difficult for newcomers since it is a 3D fighting game. This means that along with moving forward and backward, you can move side to side, strafing your opponent, which allows for a lot of new strategies and things to consider. For instance, vertical attacks can now be dodged by strafing. This strafing is called the 8 way run.
So you want to play SoulCalibur V. However, you don’t know how. All you know how to do is mash buttons, which never ends up working out well against anyone who has even a basic knowledge of a character. The following is going to teach you how to effectively play with Raphael, a balanced character who can be pretty challenging to use well.
(Note: The control schemes are going to assume that you are playing on the Xbox 360. If you are playing on something else you will need to simply adjust the “X”, “Y”, “B”, or “A” button to match the controller you’re using.)
(Note: To denote directional stick movement, I’m going to use arrows, except for diagonal inputs, which I will use a slash for. /=down and back, \=down and forward. Two arrows will mean to tap it twice or hold it (as in, running attacks). ← is away from the opponent, and → is towards the opponent.)
First off, Raphael is not the best player in this game. Without even looking at the tier lists (which are pretty hard to find), it’s pretty easy to tell. However, that doesn’t make him a bad character. He has mix ups to help get through the opponent’s guard and, like Maxi, has the ability to stay on the offensive constantly.
A lot of Raphael’s strength comes from his preparation stance, which can be entered from many of his moves. I’ve found that two of the most useful ones are \Y and ←Y. By holding either of these two attack buttons, Raphael will enter his preparation stance at the end of the move. \Y leads into Y,Y,Y well. I’ve found that ←Y followed by X+Y works well. Another combo to think about, if your opponent attacks a lot or doesn’t guard very much, is to enter the preparation stance with any move, then press ↓ which will dodge any high attacks, or perhaps the enemy will try to attack. Then press Y. This attack will stun the opponent and deal more damage if you get them on a counter hit. Then, you have to be fast, but hit them with ↓\→Y. This move does a lot of damage. This move can be used by itself, particularly at the beginning of the match as it has a lot of range and is extremely fast.
Raphael has an incredibly powerful brave edge from the preparation stance. While in it, press B, RT. This will perform two kicks, and the second one will do massive damage. It’s a fast move, so if you see an opening use this move to punish the opponent. Raphael has other tricks from this stance, but these are the most useful moves.
Use low attacks with Raphael. His //B or //Y,Y are very hard to block and the damage can add up when you add them at the end of attacks that knocked the opponent to the ground. These also work well when followed by ↓\→Y. I use this move a lot because it’s one of Raphael’s best. It is weak to strafing, but it’s so fast that it will be very hard for a player to strafe it as long as you don’t become predictable. I would suggest being more careful with it against higher level computers.
You just have to remember to keep the pressure up with Raphael. Always attack and overwhelm the enemy defense. He has a powerful command throw →→X+A. Use this if you’re having trouble breaking through the enemy’s guard. This move knocks the opponent to the ground, allowing for follow ups from //B or //Y,Y. You do have to be careful of strafing. Most of Raphael’s powerful moves are Y attacks, which leaves him weak to strafing opponents. Just stay mobile and offensive though and you should be alright, and of course don’t forget to guard!
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