Review by Krichul

"*sigh* Even with a lower price, it's still irritating as hell to play."

When I first bought this game, I bought it from this newly opened store, on the super happy fun feeling that if I didn't like it, I could return it, since it was an all-return shop. I'm glad it was.

Soul Calibur II has some major, major flaws that definitely don't agree with me, or my fighting edge..

Gameplay

The gameplay can vary, due to the fact that it's a fighting game. There's a weapon master mode, otherwise more known as the quest mode, which eventually becomes so hard with opponents having long range.

If you buy it for the Gamecube, Link will be playable. The PS2 version has Heihatchi from the tekken series. Xbox has Spawn. I found this annoying as, I don't own a Gamecube. And I wanted Link.

A problem with the weapon master mode is, once you select a character, and enter a dungeon or such place, you cannot change your character, forcing you to exit and forfeit the previous battles of the dungeon, meaning you'll need to fight them all over again.. what do you get for it? Nothing. No experience points or anything, except gold, which will allow you to buy weapons and unlock/open other modes -- EXCLUDING NEW CHARACTERS.

So, dungeons straight off the bat are a complete waste of time, and rather time consuming. It's debatable if you'll have the patience to lose against long-ranged enemies, mainly ones named Berserkers.

The weapon quest mode is the only thing this game has going for it, because you can only unlock the secret characters in weapon mode, making the arcade mode useless - especially for two players, because it doesn't unlock anything but profiles for characters about the story.. and since there's little story, it's not worth it.

This makes battles such as Taki(The short, small-ranged female) vs. *insert person with long ranged weapon* rather uneven, even for the most skilled of people.

As for the most part, if you've got the time to learn all of the moves, you'd probably enjoy this game. Which is rather hard, considering they refer to the buttons as A & B, which'll have you puzzled if you don't own an xbox, and makes me think this was originally intended for the xbox only, first. Triangle is B, square is A. They could of detailed themselves in a rather better button reference to make it easier for the younger players.

The only decent thing I found with the controls is that, X is block, which is probably the smartest thing I've ever seen done to a fighting game. But, that doesn't compensate for the pathetic storyline - there is none. Period. You all search for the same sword, and you fight eachother trying to find it... that's it? Yeah, that's it.

Graphics

Graphics are reasonable, with the introduction for starters.. it's a non-Squaresoft game, so the CG movies are rather smooth flowing. Character detail has not improved, however. The faces of the characters are still as unrealistic as the first calibur, but that's not a problem for most fighting fans, seeing as they want real fighting, not fancy graphics.

Namco could of done better. Tekken 4's graphical edge is better than this introduction, and a considerable amount of effort has been put into such tekken series.

On the character select screen, you need to wait about 5 seconds after you highlight a character, before you see a picture of them. Square to change the costumes, and you can gain more of them in the weapon master mode.

The stages are nicely done, and you can knock your opponent outside of the ring by doing combos that aren't even recognized as combos... yes, there's no response when doing a combo, unless you're in practice mode - even then, it's not a hits / damage thing, it just tells you the damage of each strike to your opponent.

Sound

The soundtracks are detailed, with names of the stage music just before you enter the battle.

...sigh, the voice acting is horrible. It's worse than Tidus/Yuna in FFX. It's.. here's an example:

Player 1: What! You again? I've had enough of you!
Opponent: You again? Haven't you had enough?!

I mean, sure, it could make.. some sense, but when I read that, it doesn't make sense. This isn't close to those two lines either, it happens with such characters as Kilik and Astaroth, and I didn't even trial this game for too long - hell, I COULDN'T. Repetitive gameplay prevented me from doing so, and I had to pause and completely turn off my PS2 for breaks to regain braincells.

Pressing buttons after character selection, pressing any of the default buttons will make your character say something useless like "How's that" or "HAAAAIII" - another useless secret.

Replay

One player arcade mode isn't the greatest thing if you don't achieve anything but profiles. It's more a two player game, so if you don't have any friends, forget this game.

So, I returned this game to the shop, and got my money back. I'd rather play dead or alive 3, as oppose to this. Dispite its rave reviews, mine isn't. This game looks like a 2 minute job with some try-hard fancy voiceovers that attempt to represent the characters, and reasonable backgrounds.

Though, it does have a nice two player mode. If you've got friends who would love to take a beating, vice versa, etc, then sure. You get about as much two player action as generally any other fighting game.

Overall

If japanese-turned-english 3D fighters with complex fighting systems are you and your friends liking, give it a rent. I wouldn't recommend anymore than renting this as it has some recognizable flaws that others can surely see. I also can't seem to play this game for more than about 1 hour, then I'm sick of it. So, it's your choice, especially if you're looking for an alternative to tekken, however the alternative may not be in the best interest of the gamer.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 07/01/04


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