Review by Jaton
Best fighting game of 2005? Maybe.
First off, let me say this; I'm a big fan of 3D fighting games, DOA series in particular. I'm quite a bit harsh on some of the ones I think are sub-par. (see: Tekken 5) Now, that being said, let's move on for the review.
You know the story of the Soul Calibur series. Soul Edge is an evil blade, Soul Calibur has the power to stop it. Much of the same here, with some new additions here and there. Overall, nothing here should surprise you. Still, for a fighter, it's story is STILL better than most.
Once again, Namco doesn't fail to deliver with great graphics. The characters have improved models, and overall the game is better polished than it's predecessor. It still moves very fluidly, and it's absolutely BEAUTIFUL when you enable progressive scan, for those of you who have capable TVs. It loses a point here because of the created character models. The textures for those are just rather bland and don't seem to fit in with the other characters.
Compelling soundtrack to the game, as expected. The announcer voice is still the same, which I think really sets the flow of the game. Not much else to say here.
Now here's where the game really shines. As far as actual combat, there's not much really new. Everything is pretty much the same here. 8-way run, guard impacts, etc. Now for story-mode, everything changes. Rather than the traditional arcade style take-on-everyone-for-apparently-no-reason type of single player, they've decided to go with a branching story mode. You choose your path with various decisions, like either continue to look for the soul edge, or stay and fight x fighter. Not only that, but it's not just limited to the playable characters. At some point during the first 20 minutes of my game, I had to fight a giant statue, that I was about 1/20th the size of. Yes. A statue.
The new characters really fit in with the game, unlike a certain series which will be playing host to a Halo character. (cough) The create a fighter mode is definitely a welcomed addition to an already complete game. Also for the first time in the series, you can change the default characters costume colors.
Infinite possibilities in this game. From the branching story modes, the tournament battles, create-a-fighter..there's just so much to do. It will definitely keep the single player interested, and for those who actually have friends it'll keep a strong hold on you for a good while as well. The only real drawback to it is the lack of online support, which would've definitely made this the absolute PERFECT game.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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