Soul Calibur II

Soul Calibur II

Overview

Making a sequel for a hit game can never be an easy task no matter what kind of game it is. Soul Calibur for the Dreamcast was considered to be one of the best fighting title of all time. Now Namco has brought Soul Calibur to all three major consoles. Will it live up to all the hype and the publicity it has received, or will it fail miserably?

Gameplay

The fighting genre has had its fair share of excellent series, from the Street Fighter series, to the Tekken series, and now the Soul Calibur series has made its way onto the next generation consoles in stunning fashion.

There are so many modes that you start off with, and a lot more that you can unlock as you go farther and farther throughout the game you will be getting more characters, more levels, and plenty more of extras for the game. So before I even get into the actual review you will see that there are so many things you can get by playing through the game to further the replay value.

There are plenty of game modes to choose from in the game such as Arcade, Vs Battle, Time Attack, Survival, Team Battle, Vs Battle, Practice, and Weapon Master. That is a laundry list of game modes if I have ever seen them, and you get extra game modes as you progress through the basic game modes.

In fighting games, learning the way of the controls is always a crucial aspect of how you will do in the actual game itself. The practice mode is pretty solid and allows you to really get the hang of the way Soul Calibur II works on the PS2. As you progress in the practice mode you start to learn combos and special maneuvers, which will be essential in later stages of the game.

The main mode of Soul Calibur II is the weapon master mode, where you go around the globe collecting a ton of weapons and completing various missions. Basically the whole premises behind the mode are to collect all of your opponent’s weapons in a pretty straightforward manner. There is a story line for each character but it really doesn’t have much impact on the level, and basically is just there to say that there is a storyline.

The rest of the game modes in the game are pretty self-explanatory. You have your normal Arcade mode, as well as a Team and normal Vs Battle Mode. This all makes for some excellent single and multiplayer action that gives you something to play outside of the main Weapons mode.

There are some fighters that we would consider "tactical" and others we would consider "button mashers", and this is one that I would have to rate somewhere in between. In some ways Soul Calibur II can be a game where you could just end up pressing buttons and get through most of the game. Although in other cases against more skilled opponents you will have to use strategy, along with knowing the controls in order to be successful. Knowing your characters will also be beneficial because as you learn your characters special abilities you will be able to take advantage of those abilities against other fighters.

There is just so much good stuff in Soul Calibur II that it will take a lot to take it all in and realize what a solid fighter this game has turned out to be. The game modes have a great balance between tactical and arcade style fighting, which is really just a blast to play.

Graphics

When talking about the visuals in Soul Calibur II, there are two sides to it. The linear fighting style makes it hard to realize what beautiful character models have been made for this game. When you compare Soul Calibur II to the first one you can really see a nice update on all the parts of the game, but was the update big enough?

There is a lot about Soul Calibur II that looks good, like the already mentioned character models, along with the environments in which you will play. There are just little things that you wish we could see cleared up to make this a perfect looking fighting title.

Overall the graphics of Soul Calibur II are some of the best fighting game graphics on the market today. The animation is fluid, the character models and the environments are heavily detailed, and for the most part everything looks really good throughout the game.

Fun Factor

Some of the games I find most fun for console games have always been in the fighting genre. They seem to make for some of the best multiplayer experiences and this one is no different. The game really seems as though it has everything on the right track to be one of the best fighting series of all time. I mentioned this once already, but Soul Calibur II does a great job of combining the arcade feeling with a great tactical experience, which makes for a very solid title.

Overall

Soul Calibur II is one of those games that if you like fighting games, you definitely need to go pick this one up. With the numerous game modes for both single and multiplayer, and the solid graphics, you’re in for one heck of a time. If you haven’t already go try this one out it is definitely worth it.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.