Soul Calibur 2
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  • Namco
  • Namco
  • Action - Fighting/Brawler (example - Street Fighter)
  • August 2003
  • 2
  • hard drive/memory card
  • 1
  • $8.00
  • ?
10  |  Soul Calibur II Review (XBox)
larsoncc , 9/4/2003 8:45:47 AM

pretty lady

"Hi, I'm hot and I'm totally going to kick your ass as soon as you press Start...."

I picked up the phone.  A woman on the other end spoke, and it was immediately obvious that she was far too busy to spend more than a few seconds talking to me.  That didn't matter - I knew why she was calling, and it was like a 1-900 call in reverse.  

"Hey baby, I got what you want..." 
"Your copy of Soul Cal...  CAL....  Cali-BUR!  It's right HERE, baby!"
"....Yeah, baby, YEAH!"
"You can pick it up..."
"Yeah - MORE!  Say you'll deliver it to my house!  GIVE IT TO ME BABY!!!"

OK, it didn't go down quite like that.  Hell, the girl on the other end could've looked like Broom Hilda for all I know (which also makes this experience like a 1-900 call, but I digress).  Soul Calibur II was here, and my long wait was finally over. 

In what has to be the most retarded move I've ever made, I reserved this puppy EIGHT MONTHS IN ADVANCE.  Seriously, I had to be insane.  The day it came out, there were so many copies floating around that homeless people took to constructing rudimentary shelters out of the extra copies.  There was absolutely zero need to reserve the game at ALL.  By the time I finally got the game, I'm betting that Software Etc made about $50 in interest from the deposit that I put down.  The way I figure it, they owe me a Coke.

I'm sure everyone on the planet is just waiting with baited breath to see what I think of this game.  Because, you know, it's not like 59,200 people haven't already reviewed it.  Add to that the punks that took a Dremmel to their systems (how COULD you!) so they could play the game three months early, and you have this: the most pointless review ever.

But I've never been one to adhere to the tenets of common sense.  I'm one to press on, regardless of cost or wisdom.  It's also important to me to act like a jackass in front of as many people as possible.  What better way to do that than to be a hopeless Soul Calibur fan boy?  Right, I can't think of a better way, either.

Soul Calibur II fills the void in my life like Doritos fills the void in your stomach.  It's wonderful, it makes you thirsty for more, and I shouldn't be allowed anywhere near it.  I should do the smart thing, and swear off it forever...  But....  Just one more.  Come on, it's a party.  I've been drinking.  It doesn't count when I've been drinking.  I'M SO HUNGRY.  

Where was I?

the soul still burnsAh yes, the graphics.  Little rays of sunshine emanated from my TV, and I was happy to be alive once again.  OK, this is getting ridiculous.  One REAL sentence into it, and I can already tell you that there's no point in writing a review like that.  So, I'll fast forward to the good stuff, and leave out the long-winded explanation of every feature that the game has. 

Soul Calibur II is one of the premier fighting games for any system.  It's easy for anyone to pick up and play - and I do mean for both men and women.  My biggest challenge in this game is fighting one-on-one with my wife, rather than against the computerized opponents.  Calibur has many features that make playing it an adventure more than "just a game".  The "Weapon Master" mode tells a story and drives you to be better at the game.  It's also very rewarding to play; every time you beat an area, you're given access to another feature in the game.  

It makes sense then that people approach Soul Calibur as less of a game, and more as an obsession.  It is one of the few fighting games out there that provides the immediacy of button mashing with the intricacies of strategy.  Virtua Fighter 4 doesn't do that - no novice can take a pro in that game.  Tekken doesn't do that, because there's no such thing as a novice in that game - there's no strategy.  Soul Calibur II (as well as the original, for the Dreamcast) has it all; attacks at different ranges, a control system that anyone can pick up, strategy that allows for combos and other move variations, a very deep character roster, varied environments that have different strategic approaches, and more.  It is among the "perfect fighting games" - it is one to beat.

I am certain that others will find Virtua Fighter to be a "better" game.  And indeed, it's probably great for the die hard fighter fans out there that really want a deep experience with a great game.  But I think that Soul Calibur II wins the day because of its accessibility, powerful presentation, and extended play. I give it a perfect score.  Soul Calibur II earns a 10/10.

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