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Soul Calibur (DC)

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      03.09.2009 11:47
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      Magnificent

      Every fighting series had the title that started it all, and whilst a good portion of these games don't get it right on the first try, Soulcalibur on the Dreamcast unequivocably does, and it has even been argued that the numerous sequels (the fourth title most recently coming out last Summer), have, despite vast technological advancement, never lived up to the greatness of the original game, which is among the very few games that IGN have ever given a 10 rating. What made the game so initially popular was the 8-Way Run system, in which players could actually run in 8 directions, whereas previous fighting games, and still the vast majority today, only allow your fighter to move backwards and forwards. This new system added considerable depth to the game, and of course allowed the player a wealth more freedom. As with most fighting games, the plot is a mere gloss to the fighting itself. What I was most impressed with, and as has transpired through to the sequels, is the depth of the characters - they all have firmly rooted back stories that haven't been knocked out in a rush, and each character also has their own very individual look and demeanour. Probably my favourite character is Mitsurugi, an Asian swordsman with a slight gruff beard, pony tail, and a lot of testesterone! He has also appeared in all of the sequels. Like the other games, there's the Arcade Mode, where you fight through seven characters, and on the eighth, you fight the boss. There's also the Mission Mode (which has been hugely expanded in the later games), in which you must battle through various quests, each getting progressively harder. Thus, Soulcalibur is a revolutionary fighting game that really set the standard for games that followed it that, some would argue, has never really been met. The later games in the series have stuck fairly rigidly to this game's formula, and merely enhanced it with better graphics and other technological flashes. Often recalled as the best fighting game of all time, it's no surprise when this level of depth and care has been applied.

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      06.04.2009 19:10
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      a great game

      This has to be one of the best beat'em up games ever made for the dream cast! I played the original game when it vame out on the Playstation and dismissed it as Tekken with weapons. How wrong I was. I got Soul Caliber the first day it was out and haven't regretted the purchase for a single moment. I had always liked the Tekken series of games due to the excellent control system they used, but this game takes its cues from Tekken and just enhances the whole experience. The controls are intuitive and the graphics are unbelievable, with amazing detail and slick animation. This game is great for beginners and beat'em up veterans alike due to its superb learning curve. Beginners can get to grips with it straight away and be pulling of basic special moves within minutes, but there is also the depth that will keep veterans coming back for more. Unlike some beat'em ups where you may just get a couple of characters, Namco has always know that big rewards will keep players coming back for more. So Soul Caliber has new fighters, new costumes, new arenas and also any immensely large art gallery that all have to be earn't by the player. This is like dangling the proverbial carrot in front of the donkey! You just keep going until you have got it all. Great in single player, amazing in multiplayer. If you have a Dreamcast and this is not in your collection, you should be taken out into the street and shot. It really would be that much of a crime to not own this wonderful game! While there are now much better games out on different consoles now, i still have an old dreamcast kicking about somwhere, and i still go on this game occasionally just ot bring back the momories.

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        05.07.2007 17:15
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        Beat 'em up action of the highest calibre

        It’s hardly surprising that, upon eventually getting hold of a second-hand Dreamcast, one of the first games I bought to accompany the beautiful white(ish) machine was the 3D beat ‘em up Soul Calibur. Critically, one of the most highly-rated games ever; one of the strongest technical showcases of its time and massively popular with gamers – by all accounts, it was seen to be the Dreamcast’s magnum-opus. And yet, despite all this, it was with a nervous anticipation that I first sat down to playing the game. You see, even with such praise, I was somewhat sceptical. I had played both its predecessor (Soul Blade) and its successor (Soul Calibur II) and whilst undeniably impressive titles, both suffered from some slightly clumsy controls and a sluggishness that hurt them when compared to other beat ‘em ups. I wondered, how could the game that fitted in between the two chronologically prove to be as incredible as everyone claimed? Well, ye-of-little-faith, it beat the evil monster that is hype and turned just as special as had been touted. Don’t ask me how, but Namco managed it. In fact, it is so good that all memories of the series niggles and qualms (both past and future) are forgotten within a matter of minutes of picking up the pad. The slate has been wiped clean; it’s like a separate game entirely, and in a league of its own. Soul Calibur (SC) is a 3D one-on-one beat ‘em up, adapted from Namco’s arcade game and released as a Dreamcast exclusive in 1999. Want a crude stereotype? It’s like “Tekken with weapons”. There is an element of truth to that – the games have the same developers after all and therefore share near identical modes ‘n’ menus, classy visuals and SC even sees a guest appearance from everyone’s favourite Tekken space-ninja, Yoshimitsu. Beyond that, you have two very different beasts. It’s hard to articulate just how great an achievement SC is; but for its own sequels, it could have been released five years on from its original iteration and would not have seemed out of place on a PlayStation2. It was the best beat ‘em up ever on release, still is today and as a gaming feat in its own time and context, may never be bettered. The plot follows 19 characters from predictably diverse backgrounds, as they seek the alluring, destructively powerful sword known as Soul Edge. Though rarely the primary point of interest in a game of this type, the story is notably darker and more convincing than the Mishima family squabbles that have dominated Tekken for over a decade. Upon completion of the eight stage arcade mode (which culminates in a battle with the evil swords own fiery embodiment, Inferno), you are treated to an ending that shows how your character coped with coming into contact with Soul Edge, and it’s all the more intriguing as many are jarringly downbeat – as the weaker minds surrender to madness or become possessed by the blade. This time around, young knight Siegfried has acquired Soul Edge from the (temporary) corpse of the pirate Cervantes, and in doing so becomes host to the evil weapon. This prompts his aptly-named alter-ego, Nightmare, to embark on a relentless killing spree at the command of the sword, with its seemingly unquenchable thirst for souls continuing unabated. Thus, a motley crew of fighters from around the world seek the legendary sword, each with their own motives. Soul Calibur’s gameplay is near-perfect. The fights are fast-paced and flow beautifully, with controls that are as responsive as you could possibly wish for. A wonderful middle-ground has been struck between accessibility and depth; each character has dozens of moves, a great deal of which require little more than a tap of a button linked with a direction on the D-Pad, and the intuitive input system is complemented by the ease in which you can improvise with combos. In your average Streetfighter or Tekken outing, long combination moves must be carried out in a very specific manner, but SC’s incredible flow of control and animation means you can be relatively creative in your attack-strings, leaving you to concentrate on quick reflexes and cute timing to win battles rather than memorising control configurations. There are, of course, many more sophisticated attacks and special moves to tackle in the long term, but it can be as simple or as complex as you wish it to be, and there is much more to the game than initially meets the eye. Blocking is slightly unusual as you have to do so with the ‘A’ button, rather than stepping away from your opponent. I must admit, this felt slightly out of place to begin with and requires practice to use effectively – but it does have its uses as a well-timed parry of an opponent’s blow can give you the upper hand. All arenas upon which you fight have edges from which you can fall from, causing a ring-out and automatic defeat. The dimension this adds is very much tactical; if the odds are favouring an opponent or you are especially low on health, it can prove a good move to lure your opponent towards the edge – there’s nothing more satisfying than impaling a reckless foe on Cervantes’ blades and hurling them out of the fight entirely. This is brought into play far more effectively than in Soul Blade, thanks to the masterful ‘side-step’ technique. Used many times since but rarely as effectively as in Soul Calibur, this manoeuvre not only allows the player to dodge an attack with good timing, but several different throw moves can be performed by each character depending on where you are standing in relation to your opponent. The 19-strong cast of characters is really good; rather than sticking to one or two figures predominately, you’ll likely alternate between a dozen or more as not only are they totally diverse in their fighting styles, and precisely-judged strengths and weaknesses make different fighters more effective in certain specific circumstances. Among them are Taki; a ninja-assassin with super-speed and vicious kicks; vivaciously-dressed youths Maxi and Seung Mina; the aforementioned Siegfried/Nightmare doppelganger, cleverly selectable as two different characters with subtly different abilities thanks to the ‘memories’ of the Soul Edge weapon; Edge Master, an old guy who has mastered the mimicry of all fighting styles; and eerie, inhuman entities Lizardman and Astaroth, who are a bit rubbish to play as, but at least highlight the games more creative design. Whilst its gameplay is exceptional, Soul Calibur’s most striking facet is undoubtedly its graphics. Every aspect of its visual make-up is utterly astounding – so astounding in fact that the developers didn’t even need FMV sequences – for all the showcases, the in-game graphics engine is deemed sufficient. The fighters move with pure fluidity and are meticulously animated – little things such as facial expressions, clothes and hair billowing in the wind; they set the game apart from the rest. The unlockable Character Profiles allow the player to zoom in and around these incredible models, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. Each character has their own stage, which are epic in design and gorgeously realised. They are amazing without exception; the Shrine of Eurydice stage for example is set on a pedestal high up among the clouds, surrounded by gleaming marble pillars, with a snow-capped mountain as an awesome backdrop. Elsewhere, there are equally grand designs that include a harbour dominated by a giant shipwreck; an ominous fiery temple, and a Roman Colosseum. Another nice touch is the inclusion of some sunset and night versions of stages, which prove just as lovely as their daytime counterparts. It is pure architectural beauty, as in the majority of beat ‘em ups you probably won’t even notice the backgrounds, but such is the variety and elegance of design that you’ll find you can’t help deserve poring over every little detail in the games Museum mode – there’s nothing quite like it. Yet another extremely strong element of the game is its sound. Character lines are convincingly performed and as they are solely in Japanese with subtitles, Namco fortunately haven’t taken the opportunity to ruin the atmosphere with cheesy dubbing. The music is superbly crafted and perfectly tuned to reflect the swashbuckling action; indeed, they are probably the best songs in a beat ‘em up since Streetfighter II. The simplified Mission Battle mode is a big step-forward for the series and adds considerable legs to an already lengthy sole-player experience. Doing away with the weapon collecting business of Soul Blade, SC allows you to tackle more than sixty missions set under a range of conditions, such as fighting in quicksand, or when poisoned, or even with the disadvantage of not being able to see your opponents weapon. The rewards for winning these are points that can be spent on the 300 or so art cards that can be admired thereafter at your leisure. They hold more than aesthetic value however, as buying special ones can open up new missions, character outfits, modes and stages. The difficulty in the early stages is pleasantly gentle, though the latter challenges will keep you occupied for some time – there are some real toughies. And if the 60 or so missions and 19 arcade-mode endings aren’t enough for you, there’s always the beat ‘em up ever-presents such as Time Attack and Survival, as well as an intriguing ‘Extra Survival’ mode, where the first blow landed wins the fight. Then there’s the evergreen two-player mode where Soul Calibur is arguably at its best – playing against a mate especially good fun thanks to the Team Battle setup, as you can have rosters of up to eight brawlers each, mixing things up nicely and its always a great challenge opting for a random selection of fighters. Bottom line is – it will last for ages. Does Soul Calibur live up to its considerable reputation then? Yes, easily. Technologically, years ahead of its time, and fully a generation later, it is still debatable whether there is another beat ‘em up that can rival it for speed and excellence of control. A game that every Dreamcast owner should own, and considering the amount of quality that’s on show, the fact you can buy it for around £2 new on eBay means the value it offers is quite extraordinary. A real classic.

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          06.05.2004 16:54
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          Despite being a proud owner of a Dreamcast I never really saw the attraction to the Soul Calibur brand. After all, Soul Calibur is just Tekken with swords... isn't it? Well that's like saying Bloody Roar is Tekken with the ability to turn into a monster mid-way through the battle. The use of swordplay is the single biggest edition to this brand of fighting game and sets it way apart from the rest. The storyline is the quest for a sword, you buy various weapons for your character, each with their own strengths and weaknesses and the majority of your moves, from throws to kicks, involves your sword in someway. Being a Soul Calibur virgin means that I have yet to really witness one of the most addictive 3D fighters to ever grace the earth and so I am truly blown away. The graphics have a special arcade quality; the detail is so high that every Woman wants to know why their man can?t show them the same level of attention. It moves so smoothly that your game pad literally melts in your hands and seeps through the floor onto your unsuspecting parents. And it is all coupled with hundreds of game modes and perfectly tuned characters, this is truly the greatest beat 'em up ever. The characters are tuned to perfection and all rival titles refuse to leave the shop out of embarrassment. If you are an expert at strong attacks and blocking then Astaroth is your character of choice; on the other hand if it's fast swordplay you're after then opting for the Assassin is probably your safest bet. Each with their own music, sounds, moves and weapons that you can change prior to battle. But you can put your student loan on the fact that 9 out of 10 Nintendo fans will choose Link as their character. Each version of Soul Calibur has a specific character for that console and Gamecube gets the best deal with the console's homegrown hero Link. Complete with his own music, story, weaponry (including the bow, bombs and Master sword) and speci fic abilities. Another massive thumbs up to the Soul Calibur team comes with the inclusion of the Weapons Master mode. You transgress across a huge map in a quest for a legendary sword, that opens up even more after you finish, fighting to gain gold and experience, allowing you to unlock or buy new game modes, costumes, weaponry and the such like. Despite the mass of fights Namco have still managed to keep it fresh, some fights take place on ice, whilst others are against invisible opponents and that?s not to mention the booby trapped games including rings of fire and land mines. The single player is brilliant, Weapons Master aside you get the arcade mode, various survival modes, time attacks and hundreds of unlockable extras. It will keep you coming back for months. And that's not to mention the frankly superb Multiplayer. It is the multiplayer where it really starts up, the game will provoke hours and hours of play during simple arcade missions and there are many other modes to sink your teeth into. Battles are tough and closely fought and nothing beats the feeling of watching your mate charge towards you only to side step him and watch him career off the edge. It has its problems, the music won't have you tapping your feet or humming the tune for days and it is all a bit easy. But it's superb, and that is a good enough reason to whip out your credit card and order it now.

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            24.09.2003 18:06
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            Excellent graphics and flowing gameplay make this an excellent game, probably more playable than Dead or Alive 2 with it's RSI inducing controls. Tons of options means that you won't complete it too fast. Even if you do, two player battles are always enjoyable. Plus, unlocking all the extra characters adds to the mileage you'll get from this game. If you own a Dreamcast you really ought to own this. Probably about its money's worth at full price, it's a bargain if you can find it in the pre-owned section.

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              24.09.2003 05:54

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              • ah

              The dogs - Advantages: Fun, Very rewarding, replay til the disc melts - Disadvantages: er, um, ah

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              14.05.2002 23:05
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              For me, the Dreamcast is a fantastic console, and has probably got the best range of quality titles for the money you pay – everything is a lot less expensive than the PlayStation 2, but in my view the range of games is better and so is the quality. One such title, which will undoubtedly get Tekken fans in a heated fuss, is the “other” mighty Namco fighting machine – Soul Calibur!I have never before playing this game, and indeed to this day, played anything so fresh, so fast and so fantastically well created. The graphics alone will blow your mind, but take your position on the sofa or armchair and let your virtual prowess be unleashed in almighty medieval fighting mayhem. Soul Calibur is a class act, it’s the besting fighting game around and at such a bargain price you would be classed as insane, possibly. As far as gameplay goes, nothing much comes close to Namco’s Dreamcast classic. Based on the PlayStation title ‘Soul Blade’, Namco certainly don’t con you with their sequels, this game is definitely the best fighting game on any console, with only Tekken 4 (not yet released), Virtua Fighter 4 and the eagerly awaited Soul Calibur 2 standing any chance of taking the crown away. A superb control system – you don’t need me to tell you the moves, it’s easy to work out – the word ‘intuitive’ could not be better used to describe a game, as you’ll feel right at home from the very start. More complex moves and combos will take a lot of practice, but you’ll become aware that each character can perform more than just a kick or punch or grab – there’s some truly electrifying movements that take place, be prepared to be amazed. Ok, if you own SC, you should really give it a couple of hours – have some tournaments with a few mates, it’ll still enthral, just like it did on release, way back on November of 1999. So, how can a two-year old (almost) game still be the best fighter, graphically and in gameplay? Well, there hasn’t exactly been an onslaught of top fighting titles out recently, with the only next generation console still classified as alive being the PlayStation 2, we’ve only seen the relatively mediocre nothingness of Tekken Tag and Tecmo’s Dead or Alive 2 making any sort of attempt to become genre leader. We await the X-Box and Game Cube in delirious anticipation… It’s not all about polygons though, and yes Soul Calibur is the most visually spectacular fighting game out there, with some incredible lighting effects and fluid character animation, but it’s about more than just looks. With a 2 player versus mode & Team Battle mode ensuring for multiplayer rivalry, we’ve also been given the standard arcade mode – complete to unlock different characters, a time attack mode – simply beat as many AI opponents in as little time as virtually possible, the survival mode – one fighter, one objective: beat as many people as you can, whilst keeping your life gauge above zero, I’ve managed a survival total of around 75 wins, not too bad I suppose! Extra Survival mode will be unlocked – this is where you have to win as many fights as possible, where the first blow to the body kills the opponent, so you’ll either get really farm or nowhere at all (tip, choose a character with a long weapon). And then there’s the main one player mode, mission mode. Soul Calibur is set in medieval times – it’s home to spectacular arenas, music and also has a rarity known as a storyline. Yep! Soul Calibur could actually make you feel proud, as you complete certain challenges and levels – especially at the end of the arcade mode, you’ll be treated to a brief story of that character. Just a chance for the Namco artists to show off really! Anyway, the mission mode is probably the one that’ll have you coming back for more, time and time again until it’s completion. As you make your way through all the challenges and levels, earning you money in order to unlock the art cards, you’ll be tested even further as the difficulty increases. Each challenge has a difficulty level from 1 to 5 stars, so you’ll know how good you have to be. Character wise, there are 10 to choose from at the start, with 9 waiting to be unlocked as you complete the arcade level with each player. Hint – if you still cannot access the boss Inferno, then complete arcade mode with Xianghwa in her 3rd costume. Everyone has their unique style of fighting – Astoroth is a huge beast like creature with incredible strength and reach: large axe moves and body blows are his speciality, with Nightmare being the guardian of the fabled Soul Edge sword – probably the most powerful player. Ivy has the most intelligent weapon, but if you want the best all rounder then go for either Kilik or Mitsurugi. Inferno is the most impressive looking - after all he is the boss – a firry human shaped constructions of flames. Amazing. Obviously, each to their own, you’ll find the fighter that will suit your style. The arenas are also spectacular with every single one meticulously designed to the very last detail – Dojo buildings in the background, ships, water caves, everything is possible in virtual reality – Soul Calibur is one very plush looking virtual world of fighting. It sounds good too, with some authentic music and an excellent power-boom voice starting up before the fighting. Take the best fighting game you’ve ever played (if for some reason it isn’t Soul Calibur), speed it up, drape with gold and silver and add some unbelievable lighting effects and movements, you’ll come close to Soul Calibur. Everything you ever wanted, and a whole lot more. 10/10, 100%, a faultless game – clear of any bugs, glitches or pop up. This is the benchmark in 128bit fighting, and you owe it to yourself to play such a delightful game.

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                13.03.2002 17:07
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                People always say that games can only get to a certain stage of excellence, the nirvana of home entertainment, and then it's a downward scale from that point on. Playstation owners told us that peak was hit with the tremendous product that was Tekken 3, and we believed them. But, with Soul Calibur, Namco, the company also behind the Tekken series, have rewritten the rule book. This game is a must own, let's get that point across from the off. For fans of beat 'em ups who relished the Tekken series on the original Playstation, this is worth buying a Dreamcast for, simply to play it. For anyone who's not a fan of the genre, pick this up and you'll be converted for life. Graphically, it's amazing, running at a smooth 50 or 60 frames per second with no slowdown whatsoever. The backdrops to the fights are sublime, and the animation on the characters themselves incredible, down to varied facial expressions and a multitude of different fighting stances. Each character in the game carries a weapon with them as opposed to basic hand-to-hand combat, and when these implements collide, you see the sparks flying up as the fighters grimace, and often there's a dazzling display of sound and light to add to the proceedings. Video games in the home have never looked this good. The sound in the game is okay, although the characters speak in Japanese, often with no translation. The music is adequate but the sound effects really add to the tension in a heated battle. However, this would all be worth little if the actual gameplay wasn't top draw, and, being as this game is from the creative minds behind the Tekken series, you know your're not going to be let down. This game teases you in, allowing you to hit simple but satisfying moves just by bashing at the buttons, then grips you as you attempt to learn intricate button combinations to pull off ever more awe-inspiring moves... The game rewards you for being abl e to execute these manoeuvres not just by making them cause huge amounts of damage to your opponent, but by making them look absolutely amazing, having your jaw drop to the floor as you pull of a throw that in itself isn't all that special; but coupled together with the superb sound, the darkening skies and the scintillating beams of light that surround it, becomes incredible. And even a simple kick or hack looks great. Far from being a frustrating game, in which you need to memorise a five button sequence simply to floor your opponent, here you really do feel like an expert from that start...after all, no rookie could make a move look THAT good! The fights are always fast-paced and tactical, as you have to take into account the amount of energy remaining on the health bars of both you and your opponent, the different weapons that you both possess, and the varying strengths and weaknesses of each character. Some fighters have enormous axes that can hit you and take you out from a long way away, but are so cumbersome that they make the bearer of the weapon slow and uncoordinated. Other characters carry knives which may not do much damage, but allow them to be quick and get in with precise attacks, zipping away before the bigger weapons have a chance to hit them. Therein lies the beauty, as you try to work out the best way to see off your opponent, and then set to work, pulling off those gorgeous moves, having a whale of a time. The game never gets frustrating, the characters respond quickly to your commands....I really can't find fault with this product. There are also more game modes here than in most beat 'em ups, ranging from the standard arcade mode, in which you must see off a number of opponents one at a time on your path to glory, to the wonderfully entertaining story mode, in which your character travels the globe in pursuit of the mysterious 'Soul Calibur' sword, fighting various opponents along th e way. In this mode, many battles have special stipulations, such as only allowing you to win the battle by throwing your opponent (as opposed to slashing them with a weapon or punching them) or having to hit your opponent 20 times before they can do the same to you. This keeps the game fresh with each new challenge, and teaches you to master all the different ways of playing. The game rewards you for excelling by unlocking new characters to play with and sometimes even new game modes, leaving you with something different to play for each time.

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                  24.10.2001 09:05
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                  Soul Calibur – the best game on the Dreamcast? Who can say for sure, but this is a very impressive fighting game that would appeal more to the ‘casual’ gamer if there is such a thing, than the likes of Tekken. Don’t get me wrong – Tekken is a great game, but Soul Calibur is probably easier to get into and play – it’s certainly one of the highest rated fighting games, and produced by Namco, you wouldn’t expect anything else! The game has a large one player mission mode which will keep you busy for a while, some tasks are very challenging, and then there’s the arcade mode – chance to unlock lots of great new characters, but the best mode is the 2 player of course! There’s nothing like beating a full of themselves mate at a fighting game, and Soul Calibur is a great way to have tournaments, a winner stays on competition and more. The game is so good for many reasons though – it’s great fun for 2 or more people (take it in turns), the one player mission is a mission, and the graphics and gameplay is excellent. Graphically very advanced, although it may not look as great as some top PS2 games – the detail and smoothness is definitely strong with SC. The moves are easy to learn, and you’ll pick up lots in no time at all. A superb game, that is a little fast a furious, but deserving of your pound coins or credit card number.

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                  15.09.2001 20:57

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                  Soul Calibur – the best game on the Dreamcast? Who can say for sure, but this is a very impressive fighting game that would appeal more to the ‘casual’ gamer if there is such a thing, than the likes of Tekken. Don’t get me wrong – Tekken is a great game, but Soul Calibur is probably easier to get into and play – it’s certainly one of the highest rated fighting games, and produced by Namco, you wouldn’t expect anything else! The game has a large one player mission mode which will keep you busy for a while, some tasks are very challenging, and then there’s the arcade mode – chance to unlock lots of great new characters, but the best mode is the 2 player of course! There’s nothing like beating a full of themselves mate at a fighting game, and Soul Calibur is a great way to have tournaments, a winner stays on competition and more. The game is so good for many reasons though – it’s great fun for 2 or more people (take it in turns), the one player mission is a mission, and the graphics and gameplay is excellent. Graphically very advanced, although it may not look as great as some top PS2 games – the detail and smoothness is definitely strong with SC. The moves are easy to learn, and you’ll pick up lots in no time at all. A superb game, that is a little fast a furious, but deserving of your pound coins or credit card number.

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                  29.08.2001 06:10
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                  Soul Calibur – the best game on the Dreamcast? Who can say for sure, but this is a very impressive fighting game that would appeal more to the ‘casual’ gamer if there is such a thing, than the likes of Tekken. Don’t get me wrong – Tekken is a great game, but Soul Calibur is probably easier to get into and play – it’s certainly one of the highest rated fighting games, and produced by Namco, you wouldn’t expect anything else! The game has a large one player mission mode which will keep you busy for a while, some tasks are very challenging, and then there’s the arcade mode – chance to unlock lots of great new characters, but the best mode is the 2 player of course! There’s nothing like beating a full of themselves mate at a fighting game, and Soul Calibur is a great way to have tournaments, a winner stays on competition and more. The game is so good for many reasons though – it’s great fun for 2 or more people (take it in turns), the one player mission is a mission, and the graphics and gameplay is excellent. Graphically very advanced, although it may not look as great as some top PS2 games – the detail and smoothness is definitely strong with SC. The moves are easy to learn, and you’ll pick up lots in no time at all. A superb game, that is a little fast a furious, but deserving of your pound coins or credit card number.

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                    21.08.2001 22:16
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                    This has to be one of the best beat’em up games ever made! I played the original game when it came out on the Playstation and dismissed it as Tekken with weapons. How wrong I was. I got Soul Caliber the first day it was out and haven’t regretted the purchase for a single moment. I had always liked the Tekken series of games due to the excellent control system they used, but this game takes its cues from Tekken and just enhances the whole experience. The controls are intuitive and the graphics are unbelievable, with amazing detail and slick animation. This game is great for beginners and beat’em up veterans alike due to its superb learning curve. Beginners can get to grips with it straight away and be pulling of basic special moves within minutes, but there is also the depth and sheer variation that will keep veterans coming back for more. Unlike some beat’em ups where you may just get a couple of characters, Namco has always know that big rewards will keep players coming back for more. So Soul Caliber has new fighters, new costumes, new arenas and also any immensely large art gallery that all have to be earn’t by the player. This is the perfect enticement to lure you in and keep you hooked for ages! You just keep going until you have got it all. Great in single player, amazing in multiplayer. If you have a Dreamcast and this is not in your collection, I would definitely recommend that you get it. It really would be that much of a crime to not own this wonderful game! If you don’t have it, go out and buy it now!

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                    20.08.2001 03:01
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                    Oh, let’s see . . . the realtime, editable intro, the loads of art, the katas, minimal load times, the stylish attract screens . . . masterful presentation, though the mission battle mode looks dated. Smooth characters, foxy Seung Mina, incredible animation, sexy Sophitia, mind-boggling lighting, cool environment maps. It will be surpassed soon, but for now, no game on the market look as good. An incredible score, combined with high quality voices and sound effects. I liked some of the voices in Soul Edge better, though; Also, the characters make unrealistic noises against the floor. I miss the breakable weapons and the weapon clashes, but SC bests all other fighters with a refined fighting system & weapons-based combat, and is the most enjoyable fighter I've ever played. Youll keep on coming back, as each time you play, you seem to unlock a new character, new stage, new mode of play, or new piece of artwork. There's never been a fighting game that's lasted this long.

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                      10.08.2001 06:05
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                      As this is an old game, i'm going to make this one short. As usual i'll start with the good. The graphics are simply beautiful to look at. Being a 3D fighter, the animation is smooth as silk. It is also emulates real martial art styles pretty much perfectly. The musical score is full bodied and suits the mood of the game. Gameplay wise, each of the characters holds a unique array of moves, almost too many for casual gamers to memorise and incorporate compitently in battle. This is a good thing however, for it should give depth, which is crucial for a fighting game. Moves are easy to perform and look good which obviously attracts the casual gamer. Fights are fast paced, the new 8-way run/side-step manouvre helps this, as does the extremely fast 'get up' times once you have been knocked down. There are also many characters , the positives for this game are many, as denoted by All the other reviews. I prefer to centre my review around the negative aspects of the game, as it is this that is of importance. All of the seceret characters are alternate versions of the original line up. This is lazy, for exaple; why would one choose lizard man, when his moves are almost exactly the same as sophitia's? Moves damage is not distributed appropriately. For exaple simple slash moves do large amounts of damage, and any character with a sword can chop about a 1/4 or a 1/5 of a life bar off by simply slashing away 2 or 3 times with one button, no special moves required. Basic slashes are also extremely fast and have good range also, thus reducing the need to master and rely on special moves which are only marginaly more powerful, yet much slower in their execution. This game requires far less skill than namco's superior game tekken, for fighters get back on their feet far too quickly, juggle combo's are ineffective due to the strange ability to control the path of flight once knocked up, and the 8-way run makes it far too easy to dodge moves. Parrying in this game are far too easy to do also because a large majority of basic moves (eg a simple slash or kick) for all of the fighters has the same execution length. There is no sense of difference when parrying different opponents. Once the rythm is realised, it becomes effortless to parry a barrage of attacks. The problem is that it is far too easy to be relentless in attack, and similarly far too easy to be relentless in defence. The game appeals to the casual player. It is hyped as the fighting game that will draw in new fans of the genre. It will, simply because it looks great and is easy to pick up and play. Perseverence however reveals that it is an unbalanced game. Mastery of a character is possible, however it wont be evident when playing a casual gamer, for little tactics are required due to the problems listed above. It becomes a race to pull of the quickest moves, a test of reflex, and not neccesarily skill required to be good at fighting games. This may bring gamers together, but it frustrates those who love and persevere with fighting games. There is simply little reward for mastring a character or displaying tactics in a fight. The great thing about games like the streetfighter series or the KoF series is that at a high level, a bout is like a game of chess. one sloppy fireball leaves a window of opportunity for your opponent to punish you accordingly. Applying constant pressure through continuous attack required a complex understanding of the game physics and mastery of all of a characters moves, each integral for success in any given situation. Games like the virtua fighter or tekken series are reveared amongst gamers because of the skill required keep an opponent on the floor, or to juggle them and so on. In great fighting games, there should be scope for individual fighting styles to be adopted. For exaple, when i play 3D fighting games, i attempt to keep my opponent on the floor. Some poeple are random with their attacks and use surprise, some use reflex and manouvrability for a cheap throw based style, the list goes on and on. This isn't present in soul calibur. Unfortunately soul calibur wont be played consistantly for long. For the casual gamer doesn't hold enough interest to persevere, and those who do, will discover little beneath the ocular surface to hold their interest.

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                        30.07.2001 14:47
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                        Ok so Soul Calibur may not be a sega game but we got it first for the DC. Probably the best beat’em up around at present and It would stay like that for a while. This is mainly because of its cool moves and great modes but you will just have to read on… modes; Vs battle mode-Battle it out against friends. Have a brawl with your friends and in a way, this is what the game is all about. Team battle mode-Get into your teams with your favourite characters and Do your thing. You can also play multiplayer teams, which is also a great time with your mates. Practice mode-beat the heck out of a lifeless player. This is an excellent mode to practice your favourite characters moves and fighting style. You will see how powerful and manoeuvrable your player is and really get a feel to them. Time attack mode-this is a one-player mode where you go against the computer to finish it as quickly as possible. You just choose a character and get going. This is a good place to practice finishing off quickly and it will improve your skills of the game, so I suggest you try it. The main game mode for Soul Calibur is the Mission battle mode that is the game really shows of its depth where every other game of this sort seems to lack. You progress through missions like killing two people when you are being poisoned or in quick sand. There is another complex concept to this mode. Cards and points. When you complete a mission you will get some points and if you do swell, sometimes bonus points. With these points you can go to the art gallery and buy cards. These cards open levels unlock modes, give you more cards to buy, just a normal card, make new maps and other various things. IT is usually the expensive cards that open the better options but you have to spend wisely. It is for this reason that I say the game has a lot of depth to it. A good thing for novices in this game is that you can view the command list and go mental with these new stu nts. The characters in this game are superb. They all look fantastic and their moves are beautiful to watch. As the usual beat’emup gives you a load of muscle bound hunks that just wrestle each other to the floor. But soul Calibur gives every character a unique weapon that reflects their personality and the way they fight. Some of them are: A whip/sword, num-chucks, a big stick thing like a pole vault and a dagger. These are just some of the weapons given. But these weapons aren’t just used to bludgeon your opponent to death, lord no. You can pull off moves with them. For instance, one guy can put his opponent onto his hands that are knives and spin them round and round, ewwwww! The backgrounds and scenery for each character is also very original and fun to go to. They make sure that you feel like you are in the real place. Every level has a circle and you can hit people off of it. Like hitting them into a lake and win the match. The gameplay is excellent and definitely one of the smoothest fighting games I have seen for a while… not since streets of rage… The controls are easy to move around and moves are very easy to do as well which makes the game more fun to play than some fiddly, tedious game that we have seen. The graphics are gorgeous and it boasts some of the best on the Dreamcast apart from shenmue maybe. You will look at the arena and get pumped up for an amazing fight in an amazing place which all looks great. Namco haven’t let us down and I am hoping for a sequel to see some more of these graphics. The sound is good with some good music going on and the characters speaking. At the end of every fight they will say something or have a line of text saying something witty. In my views it is the best fighting game around with few games to challenge it. It boasts a combination of graphics, gameplay, sound, originality and some mega modes. We have never seen this kind of Calibur in a game a nd we hope to see another one like it soon. T_W

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