SoulCalibur's brilliance is not due to any particularly innovative features--it could legitimately be described as simply Tekken with weapons. It's just that it does everything with more panache and imagination than the rest. Instead of awkward, staccato moves, SoulCalibur offers gloriously flowing, instinctive combos that often leaves you gasping at your own character's athleticism.
Of course beat-'em-ups aren't known for their innovation and SoulCalibur II doesn't really deviate too far from its original premise of 16th century men and women hitting each other with a variety of swords, sticks and other meleé weapons. The whole tactical nature of the battles has been altered, though, to create a deeper game with blocks and counters now far more important and the glorious new animation system able to adapt each move depending on the direction and speed you're moving in.
One point of true innovation in the original game was its unusually complex and rewarding single-player mode and this has been expanded for the sequel as you compete under a variety of different conditions to earn money and buy new weapons, costumes and extras. --David Jenkins
If i had to find a problem with this game is that....erm...uh... its......hard? But arguably difficulty is an asset, (unless you can't stand losing). So i leave you with these 3 wise words: BUY! BUY! BUY!
Openly applauding my human opponent for perfect execution of spine crunching finishing moves probably wasn't the best way to get into the whole spirit of the game...pausing mid-action and asking to be shown power combinations probably wasn't doing me any favours either.
But, it can't be helped. The graphics power and frame-rate flow of the game (XBOX) leave you incapacitated in the finger area...and you look on helplessly as your poor character gets their jaw realigned...again! Meanwhile he/she is peering out at you...hoping that you'll perhaps actually aid them a little in escaping from the severe butt kicking they're currently enjoying.
The finishing moves and fight combinations are devastating to watch and I couldn't help but praise my opponent and immediately enquire as to how I could "...do THAT!!"
Soul Caliber 2 is, quite simply, one of those rare fighting games that demands complete attention. Anything less is merely wasted game time. It's not a "button masher", doing so will only get you so far. It needs effort, you have to learn the nuances of each character carefully and defending becomes almost as important as attacking.
It may not have some of the originality of "Dead or Alive 3" or the continued pedigree of the "Tekken" or "Streetfighter" series...but it's as classy a sequel as we could have hoped for, and so much more.
The 'platform specific' bonus characters are a nice touch if not, ultimately, a little underwhelming.
If this doesn't give you "Nintendo Thumb", as it's known in medical circles...then nothing will. Just keep a plentiful supply of controllers handy...you'll be going through about one a week!
Not this time!! Read more