Review by THAguyINgta3

"GameCube Gets The Best Version Of The Best Fighting Game Ever."

Soul Calibur II is the hit sequel to what used to be called the best game of all time, Soul Calibur for the DreamCast. After a few years, Namco finally pulls out a sequel to the once king of the fighting genre, and now we have Soul Calibur II, which, in my opinion, is ten times as good as the first. Now that it has finally been released, and all of the veterans of the fighting genre have scrambled to stores to ensure they get their own copy, we finally get a taste of fighting game goodness. Soul Calibur II, as far as I’m concerned, has just re-defined the fighting genre.

The controls are very good on the GameCube’s controller. I don’t see how people can say that the GCN controller is bad for fighting games after this was released. Basically, you have a button to block, attack 1, attack 2, kick, the yellow control stick for hard-to-reach moves, buttons to grapple (A + B), and a and button to move. Besides being well set-up, the controls are also very responsive. Overall, the game has very good controls.

The gameplay, to say the least, is simply fantastic. The fighting is as fun as can be. There are more than a few modes of play, which include Team Battle, a mode where you fight in teams (example: 3 on 3, 2 on 2, 1 on 1, etc.), Survival, where you fight a bunch of opponents until you die, Practice, where you just practice your moves with a certain character, arcade, where you fight 7 opponents and then the final boss, Inferno, and Weapon Master Mode, a mode where you play as your character-of-choice and go through a story line (all of the characters have the same one) and you basically do missions and try to make your way to the end. The point of your quest in the Weapon Master Mode is to get the Soul Edge sword and keep it out of the hands of evil. You can also earn more weapons and a third costume (only on some) for your characters in this mode.

Aside from those few modes, there are also a few others like Extra Team Battle, which is just like Team Battle, except you can use your weapons that you got in Weapon Master Mode in it against your opponent; Extra Versus Mode, which is a mode where you fight your friends with weapons from Weapon Master Mode; Extra Arcade Mode, where you go through the Arcade mode, but with weapons from Weapon Master Mode; Extra Practice Mode, where you practice with the new move sets that the weapon you choose gives you from Weapon Master Mode; Extra Survival Mode, where you play Survival mode but with the weapons from Weapon Master Mode; and finally, Extra Time Attack, where you play in Time Attack Mode with weapons from Weapon Master Mode. As you can see, there are a lot of modes and it will take you a long time to conquer and unlock them all.

In Weapon Master Mode, you will play missions that you have to do in order to advance in the story line. After each mission, you will earn experience points like in an RPG, and you will also level up. I’m not too sure, but I think you can level up to level 100 total. You will also earn gold after each mission that you can use to buy weapons (around 10+ per character), a third costume for some characters, more characters, more modes of play, and more levels to play on.

There are around 15 levels in the game where you can fight, and they are all designed really well. Besides draining your opponent’s life until they have no more, you can also beat someone by knocking them out of the fighting ring. This adds a good bit of variety for when you play, too. There are also some levels that are booby-trapped in a way. There are probably around 20 characters in the game that are all very different and all very fun to play with and against. They are also very detailed in their designs. Overall, the characters and levels fit with the game perfectly.

The actual fighting is very fun. The game is pretty difficult all around, so this won’t be a pushover that you will beat in a day or two. The fighting is weapon-based and all characters have a different selection of weapons. There is also a lot of hand-to-hand combat, but mostly kicks are involved. Every character has a different fighting style and the different weapons for each character add more and more moves to the characters’ move set. Overall, the fighting is extremely fun, and the best in any fighting game. Ever.

The replayability is very good. There are a lot of new modes, new costumes, new weapon, new levels, and new characters to unlock. You can also unlock character profiles and a lot of other things. This is one fighting game that will last you a very long time. I see myself playing this for a very long time. The game is just that fun.

The graphics are astounding and look very good on the GameCube. People may say that they look bad compared to the Xbox version, and that the PlayStation 2 version looks even worse, but you can’t really tell a difference. There is a little slow down at times, but not enough for me to bring down the score. The sound is good, too. Overall, great graphics and good sound.

To buy or to rent, you ask? I’m going to have to go with a buy. If you only get one fighting game this year, or in your life for that matter, Soul Calibur II is it. It is the best fighting game of all time and will probably never be outdone by anything but Soul Calibur III, if they make one. The game is utterly amazing and should not be missed by anyone. Rush out to your local game store right now to ensure that you get a copy, because this game is flying off of the shelves like crazy. Go, you!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 08/30/03

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