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The Soul Still Burns!
Soul Calibur (DC)
Member Name: D1A1
Soul Calibur (DC)
Date: 24/09/00, updated on 17/02/01 (271 review reads)
Advantages: Perfect fight 'em up, that no one can disrespect!
Disadvantages: None at all.
Back in 1999, around 6months before the release of Dreamcast I was browsing the web looking for information on Sega’s new wonder console, and I was naturally curious as to what games would be making an appearance on the format, so when I found some screen shots of a game called Soul Calibur I was absolutely stunned! They looked incredible! The background detail and smoothness was sublime, and the actual colour and graphical stance frozen in one single shot! I have to say I was so impressed by what I say that I pre-ordered the game about 10 minutes later! It didn’t arrive with my Dreamcast package (I got the DC + an extra pad, VMU and Sonic Adventure on launch day), but thankfully it was only a couple of weeks until the release of what was to be the greatest fighting game ever made. Soul Calibur did indeed live up to my expectations, and it’s a game that I would never sell again (I lent it to a friend, who then bought it so I had to get it the same day as I sold it – crazy aren’t I!).
As a Sega Saturn owner, I was only treated to fighting games like VF2 and Fighters Megamix, I never really got the chance to play through the likes of Tekken or Soul Blade – both Namco games, but with the Dreamcast I had finally managed to test Namco’s latest. If you are considering getting Soul Calibur, then consider no more – just go out and get it now regardless of price! It’s worth every penny you pay
for it, and will be a game that you can keep on coming back to play again and again. SC has more longevity than any other Dreamcast game in my view, and is certainly unrivalled in today’s ‘fighting’ game genre.
Hand over your £40, £30 or maybe even £20 if you can get it that cheap, and you’ll be treated to the most graphically pleasing Dreamcast game that ever existed, well apart from Shenmue, Le Mans 24 and a few others. The level of detail on each character is superb, you get the overwhelming belief that these virtual fighting people are actually real – they breathe, move, speak (and you can hear them too) and perform some truly astounding fighting moves and techniques. I won’t bore you to death with a description of every character, but there are 19 to choose from, but only 10 are available to select at the start, with a further 9 to be unlocked including the mighty Inferno – the game’s ‘boss’ as it were. Each character has a different weapon, there’s a player to suite everyone. If you like the powerful, but slow types then go for Asteroth, the axe laden monster, or maybe opt for Nightmare – the holder of Soul Edge (the most powerful weapon in SC). I personally think Mitsurugi is the best all round character, although Kilik comes a close second! I’ll tell you the list anyway: Voldo, Taki, Nightmare, Mitsurugi, Kilik, Asteroth, Sophitia, Xianghua, LizardMan, Inferno, Siegfried, Maxi, Yoshimitsu, Hwang, Rock, Ivy, Edge Master, Cervantes and Seung Mina! You’ll have to play through arcade mode to access these characters!
How many modes are in the game? There’s the arcade mode, where you select one character and attempt to win all 8 battles, with the final battle being against Inferno, as I say this is the best mode to gain extra characters. You can select the Survival mode – try to survive for as many fights as possible with one character - some people ca
n get around 100, I managed about 50!! Then there’s the survival extra mode, this is the same principal as the survival mode but you’re going to have to be quick to win as it’s a one hit wins kind of game here! You can play the time attack mode, whereby you have to beat all eight opponents in as little time as possible!
You can play the two player versus mode, or even the team battle where you have to select a number of characters for you team and pit them against you’re mates, or the computers team. Either way, the battles are usually intense, exciting and full of incident – everything is great fun to play and almost as good to watch!
Of course, the game really comes into it’s own with the mission mode – a superb idea brought forward from the predecessor ‘Soul Blade’ on the Playstation. You have to complete hundreds of tasks and missions, train and get taught by the Edge Master, learn and succeed. The missions vary in difficulty – there is a difficulty rating on each so you know how tough it will be, but every time you win a battle you gain money which must be used to purchase the art cards – small drawings and sketches that obviously played a part in the final design of the game. Superb! The mission mode has many surprises and will unlock a few modes in the options, like starting intros and exhibition mode, theatre mode and all sorts of goodness.
The game is set in the past, but is plays so well that you don’t really have time to notice the theme, which adds a lot of atmosphere to Soul Calibur in my view. The backgrounds and level design are amazing – with excellent details and superb textures overlooking the spectacular fighting arena (floor). Every fight offers a visual magnificence that could never be recreated anywhere else, not even on the Playstation 2.
Soul Calibur has the greatest theme, the greatest character and the greatest fighting moves seen
in any video game to date, the only fighting game that comes close is Dead or Alive 2, which is graphically superb also, but lacks the longevity of Namco’s instant classic. It’s easy to learn the moves, but there is stunning array of different moves to perfect, which is why Soul Calibur is such a great game. Had I owned a Playstation 2 and not a Dreamcast I’d have to admit I’d be annoyed that TTT (Tekken Tag Tournament – Namco’s Ps2 game) isn’t quite as good (well, anywhere near as good) as the DC game. Anyway, I thoroughly recommend you purchase SC, as it’s not going to be beating for a long time I can assure you.
Remember, you may have been seriously injured, but you’re Soul will still Burn…
Until next time!