Soulcalibur 3 is a game that, on the face of it, is pretty great. It's got some fantastic visuals, but is undeniably plagued by some gameplay flaws and a highly irritating glitch that resulted in a lot of people sending their copies back to the shops because it erased their game save.
Visually, though, this is a doozy - the graphics certainly are able to compete with the likes of God of War, Metal Gear Solid 3 and Resident Evil 4, and it also runs at a very fluid 60FPS. The character models are extremely well rendered, and most will probably be amused at the physics engine devoted to the breasts of the female characters, notably Taki. It's also a nice touch that they've reworked a lot of the classic Soulcalibur tunes for the hardcore fans.
The premise is the same as before - you can play any number of characters who attempt to get rid of the big bad etc. The game's main mode is called "Tales of Soul", and has you picking a fighter and then going through 10 stages, where you can choose to take any route you like, but they ultimately all wind up near enough the same, giving the impression that Namco are trying to themselves give the impression of choice, when in fact it's just a bit cheeky really. I will credit it as being legitimately quite difficult, but it's also irritating having to play through the same campaign so many times to unlock everything, when the cut-scenes just interchanged fighters most of the time without any other change. There is finally a create a fighter mode, but sadly it's not very comprehensive at all, and your fighters look like something you'd see in a wrestling game - campy and laughable.
To its credit, despite some overbearing flaws, it does boast immaculate visuals, and your favourite fighters have never looked better. Still, it's hard to look at this as an improvement, and instead it seems as though Namco have been cutting corners to churn out a visually impressive but otherwise quite empty sequel. Also, the difficulty is quite steep for casual gamers, so it's difficult to recommend over, say, the Tekken games. Oh, and you might want to back your memory card up before playing this, because the first print run of the game can delete all your saves.
Soul Calibur 3 like the previous titles is your button mash game on crack. It's got lots of combos and the pace is quick so it's easy to pick up and start having fun right away, and as you play and learn new moves, the fun only accumulates.
The make your own character feature introduced in this version is a pretty awesome feature. My friend and I made the most hilarious and then most awesome people we could and duked it out for hours. The only complaint I really have about this is I felt the sickle and chain weapon was a bit overpowered for the button masher. it seems like pressing any combination of buttons performs this massive wide spread attacks that make it impossible to get near.
My friend and I found a way to beat this eventually but it was definitely one of the more interesting weapons around.
Lots of playable characters, each with their own moves which was quite amazing, some new faces from the second *like the angel, so sweet looking, but too damn slow)
Was worth the money, lots of fun.
In my heart no fighting game will ever top Soul Calibur 3! Even with the release of Soul Calibur 4, Soul Calibur 3 is still a masterpiece and although there are improvements made in SC4 they take nothing away from this game.
The storyline of the game revolves around the idea of two powerfull swords, Soul Edge and Soul Calibur and as always the cast of characters are all fighting to destroy or gain pocession of the swords. All the favourites (apart from Heichachi are back) and graphics are pushed to the max, a great way to end the series on the PS2 before its transition to PS3.
What i loved most about this game is the longetivity of it, there is so much to see and do and fighting games can get boring quickly if the gamer isn't given a lot to work with. At first I was irritated by the amount to do but having played SC4, which I found both repetitive and short, I now really do appreciate SC3.
Firstly the story mode is great because your character can choose differnt paths, this leads to different enemies being fought allowing you to unlcok new characters and new weapons. I have to admit sometimes it was frustratingly difficult to defeat the extra enemies but well-worth the reward as a good fighting game should have plenty of characters.
The stages are varied and all look fun with interesting twists such as a windmill that spins round and can blow the cahracters towards one direction. The cut-scenes and the fighting look great and are all fluid. Soul Calibur is renowned for its 8-way-movement system and for the fact that you can use weapons. The game really challenges you and its not a case of button bashing. You need to time carefully to perform guard breaks and counters to win a battle.
The old characters like Kilik and Misturugi maintain their unique and awesome fighting stlyes but there are plenty of new and interesting characters, especially Tira who fights with some sort of metal disk and Setsuka whose sword is contatined in an umbrella!
SC3 was the first game that allows the create-a-character mode which really lets you customize every element of your character with huge variety of outfits for each part of the body. Also there is an extensive pallet for you to chose the colour of each item, clothing or body.
Unlike SC4 which makes you model the character on one of the already exisiting arcade players SC3 really lets you make your own creation and you can find online some interesting creations including Ada from Resident Evil. Also you can choose the fighting style of a character by giving them a type e.g. monk or dancer.
Another challenging mode is a sort of mission mode that requires the gamer to perform tasks in a time limits, such as collect a certain number of coins when fighting an enemy etc. This challenge begins with an easy mode progressing to a hard mode, which should be renamed impossible!
My favourite mode is the Chronicles of the sword mode. Some argue the addition is worthless but in my opinion it gave you something more to do in the game. Using your created character you employ your forces in a tactical manor to go an defeat the enemy army. Your character levels up as you progress and although the levels seem repetitive there is a basic story to keep the game going and most of all it just varied the fighting experience.
Lastly, I don't pay much attention to it but the sound in the game was terrific, the voice acting isn't oscar winning but it doesn't affect my enjoyment of the game. The only thing SC3 lacks is a stronger story like Tekken where things are developin rather then repeating themselves.
Overall this game, for me at least, has everything, terrific graphics, sound and most importantly gameplay and longetivity. Definitely a must have!!!
We're back with some more 3D fighting action here with Soul Calibur 3. I remember playing the very first Soul Calibur game on the SEGA Dreamcast. The difference between this and many other fighting beat-em-ups is of course that here you get some nasty sword action mixed in with the usual 3D Combat!
Another interesting part of the game is the innovation of creating your own fighter, fully customizing him or her and then taking to stage to fight.
The graphics are awesome and I'm not sure if the fighters moves have been motion captured or not but the animation of each move and each characters movement.
Each fighter that you choose has a different story or path to go down so when you play the "Chronicles of the Sword" mode you'll be back to play it time and time again with so many different variants to see. This adds majorly to the longevity of the game.
The music is dependant on what fighter you choose which is a nice little touch, there's a decent array of little tunes, all of which really add to the atmosphere of the game and the setting.
All in all this is a fantastic fighting game and really gives the likes of Tekken a real run for it's money, many fans of the game would prefer this even to Tekken which is probably the biggest compliment it could get. Thumbs way up in the air and swords very much at the ready!
Soul Calibur 3 is unsurprisingly part of the series of Soul Calibur games, which are essentially 1-1 fighting games where you fight enemies one at a time in best of 3 round fights. As with most Fighting games each character has their own story for why they are in the game in this case they revolve around the sword Soul Calibur which is a holy sword created to battle another sword called Soul Edge (its an evil sword). This game follows on from Soul Calibur 2 and continues the story of Siegfried in his quest to destroy Soul Edge, however in this chapter there is another character who is controlling Siegfrieds progress and wants the sword for his own reasons. There are also many other characters who have their own reasons for getting involved and hunting the sword. Each story is told when using that character to complete the arcade mode of the game.
Arcade Mode This is the basic mode where you simply select a character and fight your way through about 11 battles (this depends on who you choose, which route you take and how well you do). You work your way around the world and face battles with many different landscapes. Such as a volcano, a pirate ship, a cage, a platform suspended in mid-air and a river. When you get to the end you will battle Zasalamel who is the character that has been controlling your progress and wants the swords to break his curse of not being able to die (he keeps reincarnating, though I think only as himself, not as a butterfly or a spider). You then fight Abyss who is Zasalamel after he has absorbed the power of both swords. He is much harder to kill than Zasalamel and takes a while to get the better of as he has some very hard attacks that wipe out your health very quickly. Once you defeat Abyss you see the end of your characters story and about half way through have to press a random button that will allow you to see a different version of the ending.
VS Mode This is simply the mode that allows you to fight your mates. Simply pick a character each (or let the game design one for you, a combination of other characters), then pick an arena and get fighting.
Chronicles of the Sword This makes a nice change from the usual type of fighting game although there is still a lot of fighting in this. The idea is that you make up your own character based on some pre-designed characters, you can make them look how you like though. You basically are fighting for the Grandall empire and are fighting other empires for control of their territory. There are 20 battles in all and each has its own separate level. There are a number of outposts and one main base. You have a few characters in your team who you meet along the way and usually the task is to take control of the main base, though you almost always need to take out the outposts first. Randomly scattered around are characters from the game who are level 60 (very hard), sometimes youll even find 2 in one place. Most of the other enemy characters are fairly weak or similar levels to your character. When you encounter an enemy you can either battle on the game screen or take them into a fight. You will sometimes have multiple characters on either side and need to defeat the enemy without losing all of your characters. If at any point this happens you will lose the level, however provided you have one character still alive your other characters will heal and rejoin the battle.
Tournaments There is also a World Competition mode where you fight in a variety of tournaments and have to win as many as you can in a row.
There are 42 characters in this game so Im not going to go through them all so Ill just write about my favourite characters:
Siegfried Easily the best character in the game for sheer ability to wipe out an opponent with a few hard slaps of his sword. Theres a long biography of Siegfried on Wikipedia but essentially hes a bit of a nutter. Having inadvertently slaughtered his own Dad he wandered into the forest and gradually went crazy, he heard about Soul Edge (the evil sword) and made a deal with it (its alive). However the sword tricked him and turned him into his alter-ego, Nightmare. But as usual good wins through and Siegfried gets himself sorted out and now wants to destroy Soul Edge, reclaim his body, and go home for some hot cocoa. His moves are really powerful and even a total beginner can beat almost anyone just by pressing lots of buttons. The only thing is he is quite slow compared to many of the characters.
Mitsurugi He is a Samuri, quick with his sword and very strong. He initially wanted Soul Edge in order to defeat riflemen (Soul Calibur is set in the 16th century) but he soon realises that he is rock hard and doesnt need it. So he goes in hunt of Nightmare who he is told could kick his ass with one hand tied behind his back. He has a lot of good moves that combine together to make a very good character.
Cervantes Hes a pirate who did someone a favour and went looking for Soul Edge. He found it and went on a murderous rampage for 20 years, he was defeated by inadvertently resurrected. He then for some reason decided to go searching for Soul Edge again, despite the fact it had caused him to kill his family and all his home town He is another character with great moves and is another one who is very good with a sword. These seem to be the characters I like.
Ivy - The last one who Ive again realised has a sword is Ivy, she was raised in London by rich folk, although apparently she was adopted. She created her own weapon which although it is a sword breaks quickly into sections to allow her to make long attacks. She wants to destroy Soul Edge. I like Ivy mainly because of her ability to do the long attacks as it means you have much more control over the fight.
There is an Armour shop, Weapons shop and Items shop. Items are unlocked by progressing through the game, completing it with all the different characters, also completing the Chronicles of the Sword mode. The items can be bought with gold that you acquire throughout the game. The weapons are generally more powerful varieties of the characters standard weapons. The armour and items are generally more use in the Chronicles mode as they are items that you use to improve your character. You can also unlock many different faces and outfits, videos and artwork.
Graphics + Sound
The Graphics are excellent and there is a lot of attention to detail on many of the locations. Each level is quite large and there is good background scenary all around. The game runs quickly and doesn't seem to suffer and slow down even when there are lots of visually complex attacks going on in quick succession. Also, the edges of the levels are well defined and you need to be careful near the edge as it's easy to get knocked off.
The sound is good too and there are quite a few cut scenes where each of the characters has a few lines. Each character of course also has their own little sayings, these are the usual, "I will crush you", "You cannot defeat me", "I won't stop until my quest is complete", "Strike me down and I will be become more powerful than you can possibly image".
All in all its an excellent game, with really good graphics and a decently set difficultly level. Ive found the chronicles hard going and have had a break to play God of War but will go back to it soon and try and finish it. The multiplayer is really good too and is always good for a lazy Sunday afternoon with a few mates.
You can pick this game up cheaply (under £10) pre-owned. Or new on HMV for £15.
Namco Presents...SOUL CALIBUR 3.
This time Soul Caliber has come exclusively to PS2 which will dissapoint fans who has only got an Xbox or Gamecube and brought Soul Caliber 2. But if you got SC2 for PS2 then you won't be dissapointed.
The controls are a quite simple. You have a Vertical Slash (Square), a Vertical Slash (Triangle) and a Kick Button (Circle) plus a Guard Button (X) to protect yourself. You won't struggle with them.
Many modes have been added since SC2 including Tales Of Souls, Chronicles Of The Sword and Soul Arena...
TALES OF SOULS-Tales of souls is like arcade mode. You pick a character and play along their tale. Some choices you make change the direction of the tale but the final battle will always be the same. This mode is quite repetitve as you will proberly see 1 scene every time you play. But some of the cutscenes you have to interact with. Like some one attacks you and you have to press Guard to protect yourself but if you don't you'll be hurt and lose some health for the next battle but if you lose and try again your health will be back to normal. So you might wan't to skip Tales Of Souls Mode unless you want to unlock more characters.
CHRONICLES OF THE SWORD-Chronicles Of The Sword is a strategy type mode set in a war-torn age. You must create a character to be the main character but you can only play as him in this mode. You are training to be a commander in The City of Grandall. Once you've trained you will be a commander and must take over over Countries Terrain. You can play as any people on your team. It is a great mode and very long (To be precise 20 Chronicles, each lasting about 15 minutes). So this is very long and fun.
SOUL ARENA-Soul Arena Is a set of challenges with Three difficulties each. At first there are only Three challenges at first but as you Play them challenges and Chronicles Of The Sword Mode to unlock more challenges. Or if you win a certain amount of matches they will be able to be brought. It is fun but too short to keep you busy. And it can get boring playing the same challenge 3 times on three difficulties
There is a museum in SC3 to view Cutscenes and Endings In Tales Of Souls Mode, Pictures and Drawings of Characters, Movies and weapons demonstrations by the owners and Profiles of the Fighters. There is lots to unlock in the museum and will take up lots of time.
There are over 20 characters featuring new fighters like Tira and Zasalamel plus classic characters like Voldo and Rock. They all look stunning and you can change the colour of them using the same mode as the Create-A-Character Mode. The graphics look amazing. The finest of PS2 and the arenas look beautiful. All of them look Beautiful. They will make you cry. The songs suits the arena they belong to and they sound beautiful.
The Create-A-Character Mode is very simple. You pick the Gender of the character then you pick their job. Jobs include Monk, Barbarian and Dancer plus there more Jobs to unlock. Then you customize their apperance from their head to their feet. After you've customize their apperance you can change the colour. You can choose 1 colour for all the clothes or you can colour the appearence individualy. The only problem is that when you create a Fighter away from the Chronicles Of The Sword Mode you can only use them in Soul Arena Mode which is kind of useless so theress not much point in creating a character for Soul Arena.
You'll love Soul Caliber 3 even if you didn't like SC2 or even if you don't like fighting games. This will be well worth your purchase.
It is always preferable t review a good game rather than a bad one and fortunately Soul Calibur 3 continues the tradition of quality games from this franchise.
For those that have not come across it before it is a one on one fighting game just like Tekken or Mortal Combat however in Soul Calibur (SC3 from now on) you get to fight with different weapons instead of just fists and feet.
The format to the game has not really changed over the years with each new game bringing with it a few extra characters and some slight changes on the periphery. In SC3 you get a total of 30 fighters to battle with however at the outset quite a few of these are locked away. What makes this game stand out from the rest in my opinion is the great game play that it provides and the excellent fighting simulation. The controls are easy to operate with four basic commands however it is when you combine these with the directional buttons you can come up with some great attacking moves. The other thing that makes this game so much fun is the fact that the moves are similar for all characters so you can swap around easily and set up lots of different fights.
What I have noticed is that while all of the old moves are still pretty much there each character does have a number of new moves and combo attacks so there is certainly some value in getting this game for those who have played earlier versions as there is just enough new stuff to hold your interest.
One extra feature I do like is the ability to create your own character from a series of options available to you. The only downside to this is that all the moves are pre-set and to be honest the end product never looks as good as the existing characters in SC3.
The great thing about this game is the fact that it has a long playing life, the action never gets boring and there are enough fighters to keep you going for a good few months especially as you unlock new fighters as you progress through the game. The detail on the fighters and the fight arenas is as detailed as ever with the added benefit that some of the scenery in the fight arenas can be smashed up if you hit an opponent hard enough.
I would certainly recommend this game and it is worth every penny of the £29.99 it will cost to purchase it from Play.com.
A definate 9 out of ten from me.