Review by DarthHomer

"The Best Fighter on PS2..."

Namco have always been at the forefront of 3D fighting games, essentially, they are the best fighting game company out there (admit it, they are) and we are lucky enough to be blessed with one of the greatest fighting games that I have ever played, Soul Calibur 2. OK, this is going to annoy some people, but SC2 (as it's going to be referred to for now) is my first true Soul game. I've played Soul Edge (or Soul Blade) only very briefly, and I've played both versions of Soul Calibur, the latter more than Soul Edge.

OK, in case your wondering, this game is a Weapons Only fighter, although you can kick your opponents, the majority of your moves are using your unique weapon (some of which include Tonfa, Kunai, Katanas, Staffs, and so on) The game also uses a unique way of movement called the 8-Way Run, meaning that you can't just simply press the up button to jump, you must press up and the guard button to jump. Failure to do so will result in your character moving sideways from your opponent, which is also very useful. Another great innovation for a PS2 fighter is the use of the analogue stick, which allows easy movements and easiness of pulling off moves. Also, it gives the feeling that you are using a stick to move around, like in the arcades, so there might not be a need to spend extra money on a arcade stick.

The games graphics are some of the best I've seen in any fighting game, in fact, this game is possibly, the best looking fighter on PS2. Sparks go flying when you block, the ethereal glow of the Soul Charge (a powering up move) and the facial animations are stunning. There are also 3 different modes to view the game, and if you have a great TV, you are going to see some beautiful visuals.And there is only one game that actually comes close to looking better than this game...

The game also sounds pretty great also, with epic music playing in the background, it's not LOTR epic, but it's still a great soundtrack. The voices are also pretty good as well, speaking at the start and end of a round, and always sounding really good and clear.

Every great fighting game has to have great gameplay to back it up, Soul Calibur delivers on this, and more. The big thing about it is the fact that SC2 has a unique character for each console, and the PS2 version has Heihachi Mishima from the Tekken games. Most people disagree with this choice, but I think that it's pretty good, consider all of his moves from previous Tekken games are with him, even Yoshimitsu is in it! And his moveset is the same as his Tekken moves. Meaning that Tekken fans trying to get into SC2 will feel right at home with this version, and making the jump from Tekken to SC2 isn't a large one, as it takes out one button from a characters arsenal.

The games main mode is Weapon Master, which sees you playing unique challenges (defeating a character using Air Combos, defeating characters while your health is being drained etc.) while earning stuff like new characters, costumes and weapons. This is also a weak-point of the game, because WM features dungeons, which apart from randomly pitting you against opponents, can be long and sometimes pointless.Theres also the standard Arcade, Time Trial, Team Battle, but each has a Extra mode, meaning that you can use unlocked Weapons from Weapon Master! Making the game easier or harder (depending on skill). Also, this game is a must-have for any party, as it's sure to draw a crowd!

In short, get this game if you love fighting games, get this game if you don't, get this game if you want a compelling and addictive experience. This game deserves the play time of everyone...

+Best Looking Fighter on PS2
+Great Characters
+Great Controls
+Great Voice-Overs
+Great for Parties

-Perhaps too much to unlock?
-Dungeons can be long...

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 12/17/04

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