Review by Ghost Dog 644

"The greatness continues..."

Gameplay 10/10

The 8-way run system is perhaps one of the greatest 3D Fighter innovations there is. I loved it in on the DC and I love it on the GC. There is really not much else to discuss, unless you've been hiding in a friggin' rock all these years. Soul Calibur is a weapon-based game, excuse me the best weapon based game ever. Better yet, probably one of the best 3D Fighters in the market period.

Now for a minor flaw. The GC controller from what I understand takes a while ''to get used to.'' I'm not really the type who wants to ''get used to'' things in order to make the experience enjoyable (ex: Resident Evil controls). Overall, the GC controller just feels awkward for 3D games or any fighting game in general that wasn't built from the ground up with the GC. The D-pad is too small and rugged for me and the button placement is just weird. That is really my only minor gripe with it. But it's nothing a bunch of $7 Nyko converters can't fix. Anyways, a lot of people have said that the GC controller works fine after a few hours of play, so if you're too cheap to get the Nyko converters, then don't get them, it's only a necessity for lazy people like me.

Anyways, instead of telling you the returning characters, I should just tell you the missing characters. Hwangster, Rocky boy, Inferno, Edgemaster, and Lizardman are all in the dumps. Some people will say Siegs is gone too. Ughhh, God, Nightmare is Siegs… so who the hell cares! I mean Jesus, Nightmare’s 3rd costume even looks EXACTLY like the old Sieg. Nightmare and Sieg were near identical clones of each other in Soul Calibur anyways, so if you were a big Sieg fan you have nothing to cry about, they needed to get rid of clones and they did. OK, moving on. You can play Rock AKA Berserker, Hwang AKA Assassin, and Lizardman in Weapon Master Mode (which I’ll discuss later)- or if you have an Action Replay... Anyways, for some damn reason Namco decided not to include them as legit unlockable characters. I thought Rock was too much of an Astaroth clone and Lizardman too much of a Sophitia clone so I don’t really care about loosing them. Loosing Hwang though, I thought his style was distinct enough from Xianghua that he wasn’t a clone. That’s the only guy I thought they shouldn’t have removed. You still have to face Inferno as the last boss in Arcade, but again he’s not playable. Edgemaster is completely gone. So if you were one of the “mega c00l” people who thought you were so kickass because you could handle any weapon from any character with Edge and Inferno, don’t worry. There’s a new character named Charade who functions just like those two did.

Speaking of the new characters, Charade as I mentioned, functions just like Edge and Inferno. Raphael, his style is completely new, doesn’t really resemble anyone from Soul Calibur. Then there is Cassandra whose style resembles obviously Sophitia. Then there is Yunsung whose style resembles that of Hwang’s. Necrid is the other new one, he is probably the most out of place character our of all the new characters and exclusive console characters included. He has some weird attacks. He’s a combination of a lot of characters. He’s got some Asta moves, a Voldo grab, some Nightmare, etc. He doesn’t have a weapon, what happens is that depending on what move you do with him, his weapon will appear. Ex: when you do one of his moves that looks like Asta, an axe will appear, then disappear when the animation finishes. It’s really weird. Keep in mind, that just because they resemble in style DOES NOT mean they are clones. There are no clones in this game. Although they bear a resemblance to a certain fighting style their fighting mechanics are all completely different from their counterparts. So don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. Oh, yeah, and Talim. Wow… a Filipina in a videogame! Awesome! Finally! Who would’ve thunk it! She also has a new style that wasn’t in Soul Calibur.

The returning characters still have all their move lists intact. So if you whopped ass in Soul Calibur you’ll whop ass in Soul Calibur II. There are minor changes, some characters were downgraded and others upgraded. Just to make the game more balanced basically. And of course, each returning character has a new move here and there. Other than that, everything is still there.

Ahhh, what about Link you ask? Ahhh, yes, Link. The main reason why I am buying/importing this version. Link is badass. Practically all his moves are taken from SSB:M. Seeing Adult Link in motion in a next-gen platform is just pure sweetness. Bah, I’m starting to sound like a fanboy. Link in general doesn’t really fit in though; he looks really out of place amongst the other characters. Maybe it’s just the concept of seeing him outside of a Nintendo-developed game, maybe that’s it. But he’s really badass regardless (and a little bit overpowered to boot). I haven’t played the XBox or PS2 versions, but from what I gather, Spawnie and the H-man ain’t too bad themselves so all you fanboys out there have nothing to worry about. So basically, if you want to get this version simply for Link, you’re not crazy, it’s damn worth every penny.

Audio 10/10

Uhhh, do I really have to say anything about the audio? It's awesome. If you still have vivid memories of the Asian/European-like orchestral sweeping melodic deep music from Soul Calibur, then you know what to expect. Best of all, the voices are in Japanese! One of the other reasons I imported, the American voices just sound God-awful.

There are a few people out there arguing the difference between the 5.1 and Pro Logic. People saying, “Oh, 5.1 is way better…” or “Pro Logic sounds almost exactly like 5.1…”. To be honest, I really don’t care. All I have is my 19” TV with monostereo. The grunts, the weapon clashes, the hits. When it comes out, it sounds great no matter what you’re using, that’s all you need to know.

Video 9/10

Awesome. IMHO, it doesn’t beat VF4E or DOA3, but it’s still awesome. It’s basically Soul Calibur with beefed up everything. More polys, more texture, more color, more detail, just more of everything. Right now, everyone is claiming the XBox version is the cleanest version. I agree based on the screenshots, the XBox version does look cleaner. But are you really going to tell the difference? Maybe between the PS2 and the other consoles, maybe. But I’m going to give the same advice as I did with the audio. Who the hell cares! They look amazing on all 3 versions.

The reason I give it 9/10 is because although everything is beefed up, the jump just isn’t nearly as dramatic as it was on the DC. I mean, you could take the DC version and do a side-by-side comparison of the two and the DC still holds up graphically pretty damn well to this beefed up version. So the jump is nice, but it’s not as HUGE as it was on the DC. But as I’ve stated before, the graphics are still the best out there so don’t worry about it.

Replayability 10/10

Weapon Master Mode returns harkening back to the days of Soul Blade. Mission Battle wasn’t really that bad in Soul Calibur, but Weapon Master Mode just gives the game much more replayability. Collecting the weapons and opening up the other areas will keep you pretty busy for a while. When it comes to Versus mode, then that will make this game replayable to infinity just as it was with Soul Calibur.

To import? Or to not import?

This is a no brainer. Import! Get a measly Freeloader for $20 or better yet an Action Replay for $33. Then get the game on a credible import site for $60-70. It’s worth every penny, literally.

Overall 10/10

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 04/03/03, Updated 04/03/03

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