Review by VGFIL
"A tale of swords and souls, eternally retold."
I have played the GameCube and PS2 versions of this game, and I have found few differences between the two besides the special characters. This game is simply amazing; it became my favorite fighting game ever after a few hours of playing it. I will try and cover as much of the game as I can, and I hope you find this review useful.
Gameplay is the most important thing about a video game. The only way to describe Soul Calibur II's gameplay is ''perfect.'' Each fighter can use four types of attacks. There are horizontal hits, which have somewhat less force behind them than the vertical attacks, but will hit foes who side-step. There are kicks, which are quicker than weapon attacks but also much weaker. Finally, there are throws, which will do varying damage and have different launching abilities depending on where you throw your enemy from and which button you use. Throws can also be escaped by using the same button as the throw. There are a huge number of combos to perform, and the game tells you all of them in the command list in the pause menu. A very nice feature. Characters can also use the ''Guard Impact,'' a move where they stun the enemy with a forceful block. Great for beating button-mashers. The game is topped off with a cornucopia of modes, including Arcade, VS, Team Battle, VS Team Battle, Survival, Time Attack, and Weapon Master Mode. They are all self-explanatory except for Weapon Master Mode. Think of it as a mission-based mode with a story. You'll read up on what's going on, and then fight a battle, usually with special conditions. It is very addictive, and you will earn gold for each match you win. You can use this to buy new weapons, costumes, artwork, and more. Overall, this game will keep you playing for a while.
This game is beautiful. Everything from the backgrounds to the character designs looks flawless. Everything is very detailed, and the special unblockable weapon attacks look especially astounding. There isn't much to say about the graphics except for 'wow.'
I love the music in this game. For most of the stages, it is wonderfully done, and will stick with you even when you're not playing. This game as excellent music, period. The sound effects are also great, you will hear amazing clinks as swords collide, and superb slashes as blade meets flesh. Another victory for Namco.
Although Weapon Master Mode won't last as long as you would think, and Arcade and the other modes don't take long to get through, this game will have you playing for a long time. There are a wide selection of difficulty levels, and Team VS Mode will keep you playing with your friends for hours. Overall, the game is very strong here.
This is where the PS2 version shines. The Dual Shock 2 is the best controller for any fighting game, no contest. The GameCube controller is still very usable, but takes a while to get used to. Still, the button setup is great and very easy to learn and use.
The character selection in this game is pretty good. It features twenty main fighters, one who is just a copy of any of the other characters. There are three super-secret characters that don't have any extra weapons and you can't use them in Arcade or Weapon Master Mode, but you can use them in VS mode. Also, the special characters (Heihachi, Link or Spawn) may seem out of place at first, but soon they blend in and you treat them like any of the other characters.
Overall, this game is a classic and you should look into it, even if you don't like fighting games. I would recommend renting it if you don't like fighting games, because this game could change your mind. If you do like fighting games, don't hesitate to buy this amazing game.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/02/03
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