One unique aspect of any game that can make or break the onscreen action is character costume design. If the design of the outfit is intriguing and stands out, it can stay in the player's mind and help make the character iconic. Would Mario be as well-remembered if he wasn't wearing his classic red-and-blue outfit? What about Link and his green tunic? Likewise, if your character has a bland, generic uniform, they may not be as recognizable to the average player.
The Soul Calibur series is unique in that most of the characters' costumes change completely from game to game. Though there are a few general guidelines, such as Ivy's purple outfit, most of the costumes from one game don't reappear in the next. So a lot of effort is put into each costume for each character to make them unique and different. For Soul Calibur 5, however, the folks at Namco will be getting some help from the designer of the character Bayonetta.
Namco announced at the Tokyo Game Show that Bayonetta character designer, Mari Shimazaki, would be working alongside the Soul Calibur 5 crew as the "guest costume designer". She's already made a couple of alternate costumes for returning characters Ivy and Tira, as well as new combatant, Leixa.
Have a look for yourselves at the very...unique designs used.
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The outfits certainly seem to match the Bayonetta style. Ivy's in particular looks like a series of white snakes moving up her body and not much else, with a big white feather boa to top it all off. Not exactly combat-efficient, but then again, not many of her outfits are.
Of course, with the character designer of Bayonetta on board, one has to wonder if the character Bayonetta is going to be a guest character. We already know that Ezio of Assassin's Creed fame will appear, and it's been hinted at that there will be more bonus fighters. Sadly for Bayonetta fans, producer Hisaharu Tago claims that while they wanted to include her, they weren't able to get her moveset right for the game, and she had to be taken off the list. Shimazaki does have high hopes that the character will eventually appear, though.
What do you think of the new costume designs? Would you like to see Bayonetta as a guest character?
Soul Calibur 5 will arrive January 31, 2012 for the Xbox 360 and PS3.