by Michael Moore
Dreamcast may have died, but the soul still burns. That soul being Soul Calibur 2. Finally after 4 years Namco releases a sequel to its much beloved DC fighter, its been a tough 4 years but it was worth it.
Story wise, theres a story, and it picks up where the last one left off except 4 years later. But thats not the important thing; the important thing is the game itself.
The controls are the same as last time. There is a kick button, guard, vertical attack, and horizontal attack. If you have an Xbox or PS2 then you wont have a problem if you had played the DC original. The Gamecube controller is another matter. Because of the GC controllers layout they changed where the different actions are, this is of course by default so you can actually change the layout in the game.
Graphically the game looks a lot like the last one, maybe a little better. Which is probably the only thing I can find bad about the game. Granted it looks better then a lot of games out there, but a more noticeable improvement would have been nice. All the characters look pretty realistic, and the fighting arenas look beautiful. Each very detailed, and each one is laid out very differently from the other.
The sound is as good as the graphics. The games dialogue is in English, but for those who long for the familiar voices of the first SC the game also includes the Japanese dialogue with English subtitles. The music compliments the fighting, you tend not to notice it but when you do it adds to the game.
The game has
a lot of play modes. There is the classic arcade mode, where you follow one of the characters story as you go in search of the Soul Edge. Then there is weapon master mode, which is similar to the adventure mode from the last game where you travel to different locations and try and defeat different opponents with criteria for each battle. Like defeat 3 opponents in a row without regaining health. The reward for playing this mode lets you open up new characters, play modes, costumes, and weapons. The weapons are the really important things here. Each weapon has different stats, some will regain health, others have strong attack but weak defense or vice versa. You can use these weapons in weapon master mode, and also in the Extra game play modes like extra arcade, or extra vs.
There are nine new characters in SC2. Some are very similar to characters from the previous SC, but dont appear in this version (i.e.: Cassandra, Yungsung, Charade, Assassin, and Berserker.) The other four are completely new. Raphael is a fencer, he has a lot of good straight forward attacks, and is quick to go from one attack to another, but isnt a very strong horizontal attacker. Talim is small and fast and can put together big combos, but pretty weak attacker and has a very small reach. Necrid is strong and fast, and big, but he moves are kind of odd in that his weapon changes into the other characters weapons depending on the attack he is doing.
Finally there is Link, from the Legend of Zelda series. His addition to the game is kinda a mixed blessing. Its really cool to play with Link, and he uses a lot of his classic weapons like his bombs, boomerang, and bow and arrow. The problem with Link is that there is too much focus on his characteristic attacks from the Zelda games, and not enough on actually making him a well-balanced character.
Overall it comes down to this in the end, if you like fighting games, youll love SC2. If you loved SC, youll love SC2. I love this game, it's great. Anything I said bad about it was just nitpicking, there honestly isnt anything bad about this game. This is definitely the best fighting game ever made period.