Review by Jaisen Laviero

"GameCube brings some soul into Soul Calibur II"

In the last couple of years, two fighting games have hit the scene and innovated the fighter genre forever. The games were Soul Edge and Soul Calibur. Now, the highly anticipated threequal, Soul Calibur II has finally arrived for all platforms and arcade. The special part about the console versions is that it has a special character(Todd McFarlane's Necrid) and each console has a special character that really 'describes' the system(PS2 has Tekken oldbie Heihachi, XBOX has demonic SPAWN from the famous comic books, and Nintendo has The Legend of Zelda's Link). Along with these specials are about 20 other characters to play as and unlock. So, did Soul Calibur II meet the expectations it's older siblings put out for it? Two words can sum it up.

HELL. YES.

Soul Calibur II redefines everything SC1 and SE put down. It beats the pants off of every fighting game in the market as of now. And now that I have played all 3 versions, I can easily say that the GameCube version is the best of all the version. I can only say this because of Link, who has better moves and weapons than both Heihachi and Spawn. Not only this, but all versions have a...

Plot: 10
Yes. Soul Calibur II has an awesome plot. Each individual character has their own unique reasons for looking for the ultimate weapon(Soul Edge), but they know it is evil, and the only thing that has stopped it in the past is the SoulCalibur. The fact that a fighting game actually has a decent plot makes my jaw drop. But made me drool was the fact this game had a good plot. I won't go into the plots of every character, but let's just say they all like swords...

GamePlay: 10
As would be expected, this game is the definition of Gameplay. Not only are the controls smooth and moves fluent, but there is alot of collectibility in this game in Weapons Mode. Each character has unique moves which takes days to master. Then when you get new weapons you have to learn to utilize all of them. There are also many modes of play in this game, from Arcade (back-to-back fights with life refills) Survival (back-to-back no refills) 1 player team (two lives but with a different character) and Weapons Mode (Story Mode). Each is incredibly fun.

Graphics: 10
Oh my... the games graphics are beautiful. Absolutely stunning. The framerate is very high, and each character and level is very highly decorated to the finest detail. Each move is fluent, and some are very flashy. The camera is also very, very good, especially in one move where it does a 'Matrix' camera move, where it circles the victim while the victim is stabbed several times. All in all, the graphics are outstanding.

Sound: 10
Ah...metal clanging, dying breaths, the occasional *WHACK* and the announcer...the sounds are very life-like and used very appropriately. In Arcade, before you fight an opponent, the announcer tells a sentence about the opponent, which I really liked. Each character has a winning taunt, which is vocal or not. The announcer can become a tad bit annoying sometimes, but it isn't bad enough to lower the score.

Replayability: 10
This game has so much to unlock, the replayability is insane. There are over 100 weapons to unlock, several arena's, about 10 characters, countless modes and levels, and even some other things... So, yeah, you'll be glued to this for a while.

Buy/Rent?
BUY. NO QUESTION.
The game is a definite masterpiece. You will play this one for hours and hours, and even still you won't unlock everything within a renting period. Besides, don't YOU wanna kick some Nightmare butt with trusty 'ole Link?

Also, if you have the dilemma with which version to buy the game for, buy it for Gamecube. Heihachi and Spawn can't even compare to the versatility of Link.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/31/03


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