Fighting games were really at its pinnacle about five to ten years ago, with gamers congregating at the arcades getting their fix at great titles like Street Fighter, Virtua Fighter or Tekken. In this generation of consoles we haven’t been seeing the same sort of love for the genre and you can see most of what people have wanted out of fighting games has been done. One of the leaders in the fighting genre is the Soul Calibur series, which is now in its third edition, and could the third continue to charm us? Read our full review of Soul Calibur III from Namco to find out!
The Soul Calibur series is one of the most consistent and finest fighter that the genre has ever seen. The first two games to make its way onto the consoles have really been impressive, with some of the most fluid gameplay and intuitive control schemes that we ever had the privilege of seeing. The series has gathered a steady following, and I can easily say that a lot of people had this game on there most anticipated games of 2005. So can Soul Calibur III live up to all the hype?
With close to thirty players to choose from, the game gives you plenty of variety in that aspect. What separates Soul Calibur III from the others is that all the characters don’t just look different, they also feels and handles differently. So when you play as a bigger character, he/she will feel much slower and different from a smaller character, and the game gives a great deal of unique moves that keeps the whole game feeling very fresh throughout.
The game does have a story mode that is called Tales of Swords, which tries to bring in a whole new idea to the story mode. Now, it has to be said that fighting games have never been known for their engaging storylines, and it is no different here. The game has mini stories for all the characters, but all you get is text. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like a lot of reading in my games. All of the games stories are bland and a lot of the plot devices are used over and over throughout.
The other big addition to Soul Calibur III is actually the Chronicles of the Sword. This is where the developers really tried to give you something new, by bringing some of the basic RTS (real time strategy) elements into the fighting genre. Unfortunately, the whole idea crumbles right away, rendering it a complete mess. The game takes a very simple over the top approach that allows you a few options, and just really fumbles a great opportunity away. The whole mode was an idea that had potential, but ended up being just literally a complete waste of time.
The actual gameplay of Soul Calibur III is going to be a step above where we saw Soul Calibur II, but not by a long margin. When I played Soul Calibur III, I felt like yes there were some significant changes to the formula that make things very smooth, but nothing that takes this game to a new level. Had the single player modes been more exciting, this game would have received a perfect score. Soul Calibur III is still a fantastic game that just doesn’t have enough new ideas to get this game to the absolute top.
Visually Soul Calibur III is just a fantastic looking title, and this just starts out with the amazing character models, which in my opinion are top-notch. For the Playstation 2 being as old as it is, you have to just sit back and admire what developers are still able to do on this platform. The improvements to this game were actually quite strong, and gave me a good sense of all the hard work that was put into this game to really keep it looking attractive.
The game also features some amazing looking environments, which are even more interactive then we saw in the last game. The developers did an amazing job of keeping a high level of detail throughout the game and just making this one of the better looking PS2 games to come out this year. If you though Soul Calibur II looked good, wait tell you see the improvements that were made for Soul Calibur III.
While some of the new game modes didn’t work out for Namco, but even then they did still make a lot of minor improvements to the game. Each character has an extended amount of moves to pull off, and each of the environments is just a lot more enjoyable to sit back and take in. The game feels smoother as well, giving a much more balanced feel that I found to be a very satisfying adventure. And of course the fighting gets even better when another human player jumps on board, and it is here where the game once again shines and remains to be an extremely fun title.
Soul Calibur III may not have perfected some of the new modes, but the ideas were still there and do offer a bit of variety to the normal modes. The same great fighting mechanics have been included in this game with some very nice improvements to make the game feel a lot smoother. Fans of the series are going to really enjoy this game for its smooth gameplay and its extended list of character, which really strengthens the overall experience.
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.