SoulCalibur 2 - GameCube

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Also for: PS2, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Namco Soft. Co.: Namco
Publishers: Namco (JP)
Nintendo (GB)
Released: 26 Sept 2003 (GB)
27 Mar 2003 (JP)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
Accessories: Memory Card


We've been waiting for this game for a long time. The original Soul Calibur on Dreamcast set the standard for weapons-based beat-em-ups and, in many people's eyes, remains undisputed to this day. So it's fairly understandable why Soul Calibur 2 should be one of the most anticipated titles of its genre ever. Welcome back to the stage of history indeed!

As before, the central plot that brings all the game's characters together is based around the mythical sword Soul Edge. Known by many as the "Sword of Heroes", Soul Edge is a phantom blade that possesses immeasurable power of the spirits, such as the key to eternal youth, treasure without equal, and an ability to cure all illness. Each of the game's 20 characters is in pursuit of this legend and is willing to fight for it to the death.

The main action in Soul Calibur 2 can be found in the Arcade mode, in which you guide your chosen character through an assortment of tension-packed battles, ultimately coming face-to-face with boss character Inferno. As usual, also to be found are the self-explanatory Team Attack and Time Attack, but, as with all fighting games, most of the fun to be had is in the Vs mode, where you can square off against your mates and show 'em who's boss.

The healthy roster of characters features a host of favourites from the original, plus a number of new ones and, exclusively in this GameCube version, Link from the Legend of Zelda series. Returning luminaries include the likes of Astaroth, Mitsurugi, staff-wielding Kilik, and the lovely Sophitia, while the register of new entrants features Cassandra, Raphael, Talim, and Yunsung. Each character has at least two outfits and a staggering 11 unique weapons that can be unlocked with heavy playing.

Which brings us to the Weapon Master mode. As with the original Soul Calibur and, indeed, Soul Edge/Blade before it, the feature that instils the game's longevity is the Weapon Master mode. This sees players traversing a map and completing missions with various different objectives, which in turn reward them with gold that can be used to buy/unlock absolutely loads of stuff. This is definitely the reason you'll be returning to Soul Calibur 2 (apart from Vs mode, of course) as well as the game's most notable element.

To describe Soul Calibur 2 as merely 'more of the same' is to do it a severe disservice but, at the end of the day, that's all it is. It is basically Soul Calibur but with more thrown in for good measure: more characters, more weapons and more overall substance. The original was an excellent title, though, and this sequel is equally deserving of that particular adjective, if not more so. And it's on GameCube. And Link's in it.