Review by Auron255
"GC owners get the real deal..."
I have played all three versions of this game, and by far this game goes straight to the top of the list when comparing them. THe fact that Link is a playable character is reason enough to buy this game, but dont' fret there is still a ton of cool stuff inside this game.
As far as fighting games go, this actually has a worthy story. As small and minimalized as it is, it is still the best story, any recent fighting game has to offer. Each individual character has their own ambitions for claiming the soul edge (the blade which the game revolves around), and there is nothing complicated about that. Not to mention that there are small personal stories that are interlocked between characters, which adds a lot more depth to what would be a plain arcade fighter, than if the game had no story. In the case of the Fighter genre, stories can't be complicated, because it takes away from the action. In the case of Soul Calibur 2, a short literated vignette explains a sort of background to each character as you enter their respective stages. There is nothing better than actually hearing why you are fighting your opponent, rather than just going head-to-head, mano-a-mano, for no reason what so ever.
The Graphics of all three games (to me) all look pretty similiar. There isn't a drastic difference in the GC and PS2 versions, but the Xbox version does have a lot more polish. You can see every detail of every piece of armour to every weapon each character owns. The graphics are top notch, and don't compare to the graphics of other fighting games.
Unlike the PS2 version, the GC version can actually be picked by anyone who decides to play this game. There is always one key thing that developer have to do in order to please all audiences and that is make the game playable for all people, including the casual gamer. There are so many modes of play, just like in the other versions, there is plenty of replayability to this game. THere are 10 weapons for each character to unlock, and a plethora of costumes. There are also several MODES to unlock in the extras menu, where you can unlock other delicious goodies like extra stages. Certainly Namco knew what they were doing when they were developing this game.
This game certainly sports the best controls of the three versions. ALthough the PS2 controller is more comfortable for this game, the GC control setup is far more simple and extensively easier to use, not to mention the controls are very responsive. I've noticed in the PS2 version that the controls lag and become unresponsive, making you die, die, die, die. But the GC controls are so well placed, that its so easy to pull off any combo in the command list. For some reason in the PS2 version, there can be 7 or 8 button combos that only do 3 or 4 hits, but the GC controls allow for minimum button pressage. If you enter two or three buttons for a combo, it usually does 3 or 4 hits. I don't know why there is such a drastic difference in the control schemes, but the GC's is certainly the best, and simplest, which is a good thing, because no one likes complicated button combos.
Replay Value 10/10
There is so much to unlock in this game, it could take you weeks of straight playing to unlock them all. There are several costumes for each character (24 in total), 10 different weapons for the primary characters (21), not to mention you have to unlock a lot of those characters, a Weapon Master mode that allows you to track down new weapons by earning gold and experience, and a myriad of new and interesting game modes that allow for the unlocking of hidden stages and other treasures.
THis game is jam packed with extras, and any more, and this game would explode. The fact that this game is so fun to play adds so much extra replay value.
Final Score 10/10
This game is the perfect depiction of what a fighting game should be. Nintendo and Namco got it right this time, and we now have a game that towers over all other fighting games to date. The fact that there is so much to this game, and that it is so in depth, not to mention a hell of a lot of fun to play, this game will go to the top of anyones list of fighting game, even if they only have the slightest interest in fighters. You really need to pick this game up, you won't be disappointed.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 08/29/03
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