Soul Calibur 2Review
This game is amazingly put together, one cannot improve upon perfection. So, considering that 1999's Soul Calibur for the Dreamcast is widely considered to be a flawless fighting game, maybe that explains why Namco didn't take many risks with the sequel, which has finally hit the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. If you played and enjoyed the original Soul Calibur, chances are good that you'll also enjoy the sequel since it's so much like the first game. That also means Soul Calibur II won't impress you as much as its predecessor, since you've seen most of these characters, their weapons, and their moves before, and the available gameplay modes are nothing out of the ordinary. Nevertheless, on its own terms, Soul Calibur II is by all means a great fighting game, and Namco has done a fine job of making each respective console version equally enticing.
Soul Calibur II is the long-awaited sequel to one of the all-time greatest fighting games.
For the majority of players, the most significant difference between Soul Calibur II and its predecessor will be cosmetic, though the visuals haven't been overhauled completely. The returning characters all look different and the stages are all new, but many of the animations (even for some of the new characters) are recycled from the previous game, as is the flow and feel of a typical match. As before, gameplay involves four buttons, corresponding to your character's horizontal slash, vertical slash, kick, and guard. Using various combinations of these and the directional pad, you can make your characters unleash dozens of different moves. A number of the characters even have alternate fighting stances, which they can readily switch between to vary up their attacks.
There's a two-tiered rock-paper-scissors system here that's more or less identical to the system that worked so well in Soul Calibur: Low attacks hit high-blocking opponents, mid attacks hit low-blocking opponents, and high attacks tend to beat out mid attacks. Additionally, vertical slashes tend to have priority over horizontal slashes but can be dodged laterally, while horizontal slashes can counter an opponent who's sidestepping too often. Add in guard impact moves, which all characters can use to deflect their foes' attacks, and soul charge moves, which all characters can use to power up their attacks, and you've got a deep, tried-and-true combat system. The gameplay has been tweaked since Soul Calibur, to account for some of the issues that highly experienced players of the previous game picked up on. However, most players won't really notice the different properties of crouching or of lateral movement or things like that. Of further note, the game controls well using the default PS2, Xbox, and GameCube controllers. The PS2 controller is best suited, and the GameCube's directional pad is a little small, but all of these are responsive and more than serviceable with the game.
All of the Soul Calibur cast returns either in form or in spirit. From the samurai Mitsurugi to the undead pirate Cervantes, from the nunchaku-wielding Maxi to the female ninja Taki, from the bizarre Voldo to the aptly named Nightmare, most all the old favorites are intact, each with a smattering of new moves. Some have changed more than others, but for the most part, tactics and combos that worked well in Soul Calibur still work well here. There are a number of new characters in the game, though aside from the exclusive character in each console version ofRead full review