Review by BlueWizard13

"I'm not usually a fan of fighting games, but this game is a real treat."

Just the other day, my brother picked this up from Blockbuster. I looked at it curiously as I had heard so many good things about it, though I’d never been much of a fighter genre fan before. I let him play for a while as I stayed online and did some more looking into the game. Finally, at a loss to whether I’d like it or not, I joined my brother in front of the Cube as we journeyed through the story battles and multiple other battle modes unlocking characters, levels, and weapons, and having a great time.

Graphics: 9/10

The graphics in this game are excellent. Each character, weapon, and level has intricate details in every place. Great care was taken in the design of the levels to make for interesting play, and great care was taken in the design of the characters to give them each their own unique look, appeal, and almost a personality. This section only did not receive a ten because at some points in the game, characters’ body parts will be shown in other characters. For instance, Link’s arm may occupy the same space as Nightmare’s arm for a brief time, however, this does not affect gameplay, this is just a minor flaw that most would simply look over.

Sound: 8/10

The songs are all quite good in this game, none get annoying or repeat after only 20 seconds of play. As for the voice acting, it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. Before battles, you will see a screen showing both characters’ faces, and at that point, you can press A, B, X, Y, or Z to make them say something different. Many characters have a little saying which is interesting and adds personality again to each character, but some, like Link for example, just have awkward screams that are kind of out of place and don’t fit what you would expect. However, for the ones that do have sayings, it makes it interesting. On the other hand, all of the attacks, moves, and grunts from being hit are well timed and fit the occasions well.

Plot: 9/10

For a game like this, Plot is commonly not even included much, but this game is an amazing exception. During the entire Story Mode (or Weapons Master Mode as they call it), There is a new entry into the story to advance it before every battle. Though some of these can get long, and sometimes even aggravating because you feel like you just want to get on with the battle, but don’t want to miss out on the story. This is a great addition to the game as a tale where battles are worked into the story and you try to obtain the Soul Edge.

Gameplay: 50/50

The gameplay, as the bulk of any game, is the best part of this game. As I said before, I am not usually a fan of Fighting games, but this was a load of fun for even me. It comes as a surprise to me that I can’t find much of a single flaw in this part of the game, even though you are simply fighting enemies over and over again, there are different add-ins in each story battle that make it interesting. Some will make you infiltrate an enemy lair going from square to square fighting enemies one by one. Some will utilize specific ways of attacking that work much better than others, so you must focus on one way of attacking to win the battle. And yet again, others will set up a team of enemies that you must defeat in a time limit, and even from here, the list continues. During the Story Mode, you can unlock countless weapons from characters with Gold that you earn. You can also buy costumes, art galleries, and weapon demonstrations for each character. Along the way, you will unlock some weapons by default, others you will have to find the battle to unlock a weapon (in the infiltrate an enemy’s lair battle series). And along with that, there are several characters to unlock as well.

Amazing story mode comes the versus modes. These are fun to play with friends (only up to 2 players though), and with extra characters, stages, and weapons to unlock, you could have hours of fun playing deathmatches against your friend(s) and trying out new weapons/levels/characters.

Replay Value: 15/20

Replay value is one of the most important things a game can have along with a good gameplay, fortunately, this game has a pretty good replay value. Once you’ve unlocked everything, you’re probably not going to want to go back into story mode and keep playing that over and over again, though it will take you quite a long time to unlock everything there is to get anyway. Once you’re done unlocking everything and beating everything in story, you can keep going back with friends to face off in a deathmatch just for kicks.

Overall

Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 8/10
Plot: 9/10
Gameplay: 50/50
Replay Value: 15/20
Total: 91/100 --- 9.1/10 --- 9/10 (for gamefaqs)

This game is spectacular, and the fact that it has Link makes it even better. Being able to play with all of the unique characters that are in Soul Calibur II by itself, and were in the original Soul Calibur, is great on its own, but with Nintendo’s greatest character (my own opinion) along with them, this game becomes a classic. This game is one for anyone, yes, even those who are not usually fans of the Fighting genre. This game is excellent.

Rent or Buy

For those who owned the first Soul Calibur and liked it, this is an amazing game and I’m sure that anyone who loved this original, would love this one even more. For those who are new to the genre or those who have not liked it in the past and are a bit wary about buying it, rent it first. Try it out at least, at the very minimum, it's worth your 5 to 10 dollars to try it out.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/31/03


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