Review by ninja443
"A solid fighter with few flaws"
Soul Caliber 2 is a the official sequel to the first Soul Caliber. The sequel is a better version than the first. Soul Caliber 2 is a polished fighting game. A very polished fighting game. It has very few flaws. It is one of the best fighting games around. It has tons of characters including special add-on characters from each console. Game cube gamers get Link from the Zelda series, Play station gamers get Heihachi from Tekkan. And X-box gamers get Spawn. I prefer Link because i'm a long time Zelda fan. He's also a well balanced character. The game even has a deep story mode. More on that in the review.
These graphics are top notch. Half of the time playing this I was wondering how the frame rate was kept so high during the battles. Every character is very well animated. Most of the weapons are well animated. But some have more detail than others. You can tell the developers put a lot of time into the backgrounds however. The backgrounds are brilliant and have lots of detail. And when I say lots of detail. I mean lots of detail. Those backgrounds are sweet! All the fighting animations were very smooth. As smooth as can be. The frame rate almost never drops. Though the graphics of this game are not as good as Resident Evil 4. The games graphics are still very high quality compared to most games. There is almost nothing wrong with the graphics in the game. If you want me to be really picky though Then I have to say the only low quality graphics in this game are the title screen and the menu. Though that's not saying much, since not many games have good graphics in the menu and title screens.
Five words. The best game intro ever! This intro is simply the best. Its so good you should have to pay to see it. I swear its that good! Its pure upbeat action. The only lame part is in the game cube version when it shows Link. He looks a little out of place. Though that's the only bad thing I can say about this part. The intro is awesome! It belongs on the big screen. If it was a movie it would win the Oscars!
Game play 9/10
Please so not kill me for not giving this a 10/10. I can explain. Extensive play leads to the uncovering of flaws. Though I'll save them until later. First I have to tell you how awesome this game is. I don't even like fighting games and I was addicted from the first time I played it. It never fells like a button masher. It always feels like you have to beat the enemy with skill. On hard mode you have to plan your attacks very wisely. There are tons of modes to prove your skill. Now let me explain how to defeat an enemy. You can deplete his energy bar by attacking him. Or knock him back all the way out of the ring. Though sometimes in story mode there are certain things you have to do to defeat your enemy. Some times you have to hit your enemy a certain number of times before the timer runs out. Sometimes you have to build a team and crush your enemy one at a time.Sometimes you have to hit him out of the rings. Or sometimes you have to give your enemy a bomb that will explode him when the timer runs out. Whatever the objective is. Its bound to be fun. Sometimes you have to go in a dungeon and fight a ton of battles to get to the boss. No fighting game is as fun as this one. This game is fun for a casual player and a seasoned player. This fighting game is for everyone. Though it does have some flaws. Some characters can strike while the other player is down. And some characters with long weapons can attack from a safe distance not even giving the other gamer a chance to attack. This removes some of the skill element. I have no problem with the long range items such as the bow and the bombs though. Another flaw I found is that the ring-outs can be too much of an easy way-out than a strategic way to defeat an opponent. I have not found any glitches though. The game play of this game could be perfect if I wasn't for those flaws. Though take note that you will only notice the flaws with extensive play.
There is a story to this game found in the Weapon master mode. It is well written. Although you have no control on what your character does before the battle. It doesn't really matter since the battles are so fun. I still wish you could gain the Soul Edge in an evil way though. Your character is too nice!
Variety of Characters 10/10
There are many characters in this game. They all have a unique fighting style. They all have multiple costumes. This game did a very good job with the characters. Some characters have a repeating move thats impossible to guard. Such as Raphael. Though not many other characters have that problem. Some characters are big and slow. Some characters are medium and some are small and fast. It all depends on your fighting style.
There is tons of modes of play in this game. There's a mode called weapon master where you go through a story and buy weapons that can be used in other modes also. There's also a versus mode. A survivor mode. A practice mode and even a classic Arcade mode. And that's just naming a few. There's many more modes to play. Those add on to an already huge play-time. There is also modes that add-on to others such as extra practice mode.
The difficulty of the game is very balanced. On normal mode in Weapon Master there's a pretty good difficulty curve. In hard mode Weapon Master. Its very hard. When you fight multiple enemies for more gold the difficulty gets higher and higher. Making it more of a challenge.
Extras to unlock
There's tons of stuff to unlock. You can unlock characters and weapons and even more game play modes. There's so much stuff to unlock you'll be playing this for hours. Backgrounds vary from many settings including a harbor, Windmill and an evil wasteland!
There's tons of songs that can potentially be played during a battle. Its almost always different. The songs are very good too. The music played during the intro is also very nice as well. Every stage has its own song to add to the variety. There's no songs that are low quality.
Replay Value 10/10
There's tons of things to do. Tons of things to fight. Unless you played this game for two months straight non-stop I don't see how you can have nothing to do in it!
Rent or Buy?
I recommend that you buy this game. Though if you don't play many fighting games then you might want to rent. Although this game appeals to a wide audience. You can probably beat the story mode in a week though. But there's stuff like Arcade to keep you busy. Don't buy it if you despise fighting games though.
Soul Caliber 2 is a very balanced game for everyone. It is the best fighting game around. I would recommend that you buy this game even if your not used to fighting games. This game is a treat. A very good treat for that matter. As good as a ice cream sandwich. Except better! Darn! Now i'm hungry! But instead of eating I'll play Soul Caliber 2.
Thanks to sugar and caffeine for helping me write this review. And I'd like to thank all other motivators which kept me from sleeping instead of writing this.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 06/23/05
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