Rating Soul Calibur’s Best Character’s Costumes: Yoshimitsu

Did you think I forgot? Soul Calibur is also home to one of the greatest fighting game characters of all time, and while he’s technically an entirely separate character (both literally as a person and in terms of moveset), he’s still one of the most stylish figures in the cast. How good are the costumes for his other 3D fighting game counterpart?

Similar to some of my stipulations for the Tekken version of this post, I will be rating the costumes game by game and excluding side titles such as Broken Destiny. I will also be excluding simple color swaps, which is only really applicable to Soul Calibur 6 but should be noted anyway.

Soul Calibur

So… I chalk this one up to just being a product of the times. Not even the higher-resolution renders do either of these much favor. They’re certainly in character with a demon-masked character, but neither go for anything much further than that. We haven’t quite reached the experimental phase of Yoshimitsu yet in this series. Both get a 3 out of 10 from me here.

Soul Calibur II

This is where we start to see a bit more development on Yoshimitsu as a character and evolving the core concept in visually interesting ways. Rather than simply give him ninja/samurai armor pieces, both give the player more to look at regarding who he is: P1 gets to see a costume more Japanese and oni-inspired with his mechanical arm much more pronounced (with moving parts and everything!), P2 sees a bit more of an animalistic inspiration given his three-faced mask, intricate snake-adorned silken garments, and a golden antler crown. Not the greatest yet, either, but the evolution has taken a new shift and allowed so much for visual flair that simply wasn’t there before. Both of these get a 7 out of 10.

Soul Calibur III

Clarity: these were the two best non-screenshot images I could find and they are of the edited colors. Sorry. Anyway, we’re clearly evolving the concept further by sort of… mashing the two philosophies together- one is focusing on his mechanical arm again, while one is focusing more on being a kraken. The amount of detailing is pretty similar to Soul Calibur II, but does it really advance anything other than changing the physical components and animal inspirations? Not much. In general, Soul Calibur III was kind of stuck in an odd spot, so perhaps the development cycle is represented in his design. 7 out of 10.

Soul Calibur IV

This might be an unpopular opinion, but Soul Calibur IV feels like Tekken 6 in a lot of respects to me. Gameplay is largely forgettable, load times are ridiculous, and the new mechanics don’t do much of anything. Despite the higher resolutions, I actually think Yoshimitsu’s designs have gone a bit awry here. New inclusions to his costume looks kind of vapid in comparison to almost all his older designs, and it just somewhat feels as though the design team relying on a beetle for his P1 costume was sort of taking inspiration from Tekken 4? I definitely prefer his P2 costume but the 2-color scheme and lack of intricate detailing outside of the headpiece don’t really bring it up to par. His P1 costume gets a 5 and his P2 costume gets a 6 out of 10 here.

Soul Calibur V

Okay, now try to ignore the gameplay of this game entirely. I have many problems with the gameplay of Soul Calibur V. That doesn’t stop these costumes from simply being fucking great. His P1 costume is a tad monochromatic, but the mask detailing (and mask-within-a-mask concept) make up for it, and the detailing on his armor and silks really stand out in a great way. Then we can focus on his P2 costume, which is one of the weirdest he’s had in this series so far, and taken from an inspiration we haven’t quite seen yet with explicit Buddhist elements woven into the design. In a way, since SCV Yoshimitsu is actually a new Yoshimitsu who succeeded his predecessor, it should make sense that these two costumes are more distinct from his previous incarnations and would therefore bring a lot of new to the table. It’s all weird, and perhaps a bit more macabre than many of his previous costumes, and it’s all great. Both easily get a 9 out of 10 for me.

Soul Calibur VIyoshisc6ch1
So, I’ll go ahead and say it. This is one of my favorite Yoshimitsu costumes of all time. This eyes on the front and back of the armor, the demon lion shoulder plating, the black/green/red color tones with white mask are a perfect contrast, and glowing eyes just do everything to tick my boxes. Since this game is a sort of timeline reset, it makes sense to go back and revisit the original concepts of Yoshimitsu instead of attempt to further evolve his character. There’s no better way to reinvent a character than to take their fundamentals and polish them to a mirror shine. 10 out of 10.

Once again, what’s the point of all this? That you absolutely should be playing Yoshimitsu. Just look at him.

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