Review by Yamcha

Reviewed: 08/28/03

The soul still burns for more

Soul Calibur 2, one of the most anticipated fighting games of the year, is finally here. Was the long wait worth it?
Definitely yes.

Graphics: 10/10
The graphics are crisp, colorful, and clean. The character models have been vastly improved since Soul Calibur (SC1 for future references). Faces now look more realistic than ever. Clothes and fabrics flow with the wind and follow each character's movements.

The scenery is quite nice. Dark dungeons, colorful gardens, and big mansions are all part of the environs.

And to address the slowdown issue...
Yes, slowdown does occur occasionally. But it is barely noticeable and doesn't detract from the game at all.

Music and Sound: 9/10
The orchestral music is back and better than ever. New tracks accompany each stage and set the mood accordingly.
SC2 includes the option of dual voiceovers between English and Japanese. Both are equally good.

Story: 8/10
SC2 picks up four years after the events of SC1. The legendary Soul Edge was thought to be destroyed, but its shards still remain in the world. The different fighters search the world for all the shards. Whether it be for good, evil, or their own purpose.

Gameplay: 10/10
This is where the game truly shines. There are several modes ranging from the standard arcade to the quest-like Weapons Master Mode.

The PS2 home version includes Heihachi of Tekken fame along with newcomer Necrid (a design by Todd McFarlane of Spawn fame). Other console exclusive fighters include Sophitia, Seung Mina, Berserker (Rock), Assassin (Hwang), and Lizardman.

The game is easy for beginners to learn, but it is not button-masher friendly.
Moves are performed by various button combinations which can be even further combined for a combo. It's simple to learn but difficult to perfect. And each fighter has a ton of moves to use. Learning the appropriate move for a given situation adds to the learning curve.

Control: 7/10
The PS2 pad is very awkward to use with SC2. In my opinion, the button layout doesn't work well, and the right analog stick just seems to get in the way. I would highly recommend a joystick or fighting pad.

Replay: 9/10
Tons of unlockables and secrets to keep you busy. Weapons, new fighters, stages, and various other secrets await those with the patience to unlock them. Not to mention learning each fighter's strengths and weaknesses to utilize them to their full potential.

Overall: 9/10
SC2 is a great 3-D fighter that should not be missed. Long term fans owe it to themselves to buy it, and newcomers owe it to themselves to try it.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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