Soul Calibur II

Also Known As: SC2
Genre: 3D Fighter
Platform(s): PS2/X-Box/GC/Arcade
Allegiance: Namco
Vintage: 2003
Rating: T
Intelligence Agency Report by: Dave K
Four years have passed since the evil sword Soul Edge was defeated by the spirit sword Soul Calibur. However, now the shattered fragments of the Soul Edge are being gathered together. Once again, the search is on for the mystical swords.

Weapons Expert Report by: Dave K 
Overall 8.25
(not an average)
Version Reviewed: X-Box 

Fighting games for the most part have a pretty bad story, and Soul Calibur II is definitely one of them. The continuity is really hard to follow and for most of the characters the story is incredibly weak. There are probably a thousands ways that this part of the game could be done better but lets not get into that. 

Regardless of how poorly it may play out story wise, Soul Calibur II definitely has an interesting single player game to play through nonetheless. With multiple modes including Arcade Mode, Time Attack Mode and Weapon Master Mode, Soul Calibur II offers dozens of reasons to replay the game. Also there are tons of unlockable arenas, characters, costumes and weapons which only get unlocked by playing the game more. An excellent incentive to play. 

Soul Calibur II plays very similar to its original game Soul Calibur. The controls are pretty straight forward and easy to understand, however learning every character is different as they all have a different weapon and style. For the most part Soul Calibur II plays out fairly realistically. There are a few unrealistic aspects such as Cervantes’ incredibly high leaps or some of the moves Kilik pulls off with his staff. But generally they’re all things that at the very least look cool and that’s all that really matters. Also each system has its own unique character, PS2 has Heihachi from Tekken. GameCube has the ever popular Link; and X-Box has the incomparable Spawn, there is no special character for the Arcade version. None of these characters fit in with the storyline at all, with Spawn being most likely to fit in. They’re just included for a difference with each game to make people go out and play all three. An excellent ploy by Namco I must say. 

Visually, Soul Calibur 2 is definitely a step up from Soul Calibur. However, how well the graphics look depends upon which system you use. The X-Box provides the best, followed by the GameCube and lastly the PS2, although the difference is pretty minimal. The dubbing of Soul Calibur II is comparable to the dubbing of the popular Dragonball series. However Soul Calibur II has a few redeeming factors to this, or rather one in Yunsung who is rather amusing. For the most part people just switch over to the Japanese soundtrack, where it’s hard to tell if it’s half as corny as it’s usually not a native language. The OST is not bad. Personally I wouldn’t want to sit and listen to the OST, on its own. However it fits in with the fast paced game play and sets the mood for the short little ending scripts. The only thing I dislike is the Victory/New Feature Unlocked Music which is just a brief little trumpet fanfare that gets annoying pretty quickly. Good thing it is brief. 

Overall Soul Calibur II is a decent game. While it’s not very original or innovative it takes a rather successful game and makes it better with out taking anything away, a difficult feat in this day and age of game development. So if you own any one of the next-generation systems, Soul Calibur II is one game that you should definitely own.