Shin

Soul Calibur II

Game type: Fighting/Sword Fighting

Developer: Namco

Number of players: 1-2

Languages: Engrish/Japense

Presentation:
85/100

Introduction
90
A rather impressive into to Soul Calibur 2 itself(read Demonstration) AS well as a Weapon Master intro…which would be more impressive if it wasnt full of so many damn kanji.

Demonstration
100
The demonstration is just more Soul Calibur 2, which is making itself very hard to dislike. Typical screen wipes, fun, showing of all characters you have unlocked. Good stuff.

Menu
75
Rather simple and direct, in english for us folks who cant read tons of Kanji. You unlock more features as you go, and new features will of course be highlighted by a “new” flashing next to it next time you go to menu.

Visuals:
100/100

Detail
100
Gotta love Namco,they put attention in everything. You notice it rather offhandly when you play,but when you unlock the Profiles for characters you can see they rendered teeth, and proper jaw movements for all speaking, and it kinda creeps you out when the characters blink at you. There is a ton of costumes/weapon variants…Detail is one thing they have in much abundance. They have so much detail you can see the rendered nipples on a few of Taki’s costumes.(not that i was looking for that or anything…)

Animation
100
Superb. I mentioned how they animate eyes, mouth, etc for speaking. They of course have a awesome detail to character movement(as expected in a 3d game of this…Calibur…) and interaction. Different animations for players, costumes etc is all visually nice and amazing. I noticed nearly zero clipping issues, and no texture but 100 percent quality could be found. Everything was smooth, smooth and triple smooth.

Frame Rate
100
I noticed no slowdown at all, throughout all the game, in all the various modes, and stages. Every game should run this smooth.

Audio:
85/100
The music is fitting as should be, with a few returning tunes, but the major shine in this category is the awesome character sounds. You can unlock sound tests of sort in individual character profiles. Each character has over 100 sounds,from threats, to screams of pain(or other…well ok im a pervert nevermind). You can pick your favorite character, sit in his profile and mimick his catch phrase until you make yourself sick. Use it to mentally screw with your friends while playing.

Playability:
90/100

Controls
75/100
Sadly the only department where the gamecube controls suffer. I would find myself often accidently initiating a soul charge, instead of performing a move when i wanted it, due to the gamecube controllers setup. The buttons are so nice for every othergame,but suffer here. For an awesome experience i would import some fighting sticks. But you wont suffer horribly from the controller. Do expect some whining from friends though.(usually after you beat them…This controller sucks..yeah you suck, bite me)

Single-Player
90
What can you expect from a blockbuster mulitplayer arcade game? Well the Conquest feature prevelant in the arcades was removed, but replaced by Weapon Master mode. You compete in various missions(essentially like Soul Calibur) withobjectives and goals. The only downside is since it is in japanese you often have to kinda flow with the game to see what you have to do.(mostly its beat this and this enemy, sometimes its, use soulcharges, throws, etc, experiement and its not hard to figure out).There is of course Arcade mode, to play through your chsoen characters story. You start with 15 characters, one of which is the random character, sort of like Edgemaster. You unlock the others as you go along and extra stages features, like the 200plus weapons or so,and costumes. You can play Extra Arcade to see the features like new weapons and stages in action.

Multi-Player
100
What can you say. This is what this game WAS MADE FOR…and it absolutely shines. Take everything good about singleplayer, throw in vicious comp, or the best bet a round of your friends, and you have a near perfect evening.(only made perfect by consumption of Liquid and food,perhaps woman)

Loadtime
100
Pfft, what loadtime. A few short seconds between loading matches up from character select, but then its a flawless flurry between fights. The longest loading i recall was in Demo mode, where the computer shows off a characters moves. Perhaps 6-8 seconds if.

Lastability:
100/100

Concept
100
Beating the shit out of anything that stands in your way with a variety of weapons from Giant swords, to Axes, to joke weapons like Pimp canes, and opium pipes.

Story
80
Picks up where the last one left off, with the shards of the Soul Edge flying all over the world. Some of the warriors have these peices and are using them to find the ulitmate sword, Soul Edge and use it for various reasons. Rapheal for instance wants to use it for some nefarious plan back in france. Some characters return to finish what was started, and overall its a fighting game. As the game says..”The Almighty ones(i read that as Namco) have given you a sword…To cut your own path.(i read that as through anything in my way).Plus the abundance of japanese stymies some of my efforts on story.

Addiction
100
Hordes of weapons, characters. New stages and features. The sheer concept of picking up a controller and beating your friends senseless…priceless. If your not a fighter kinda person, you may still enjoy the game for its weapon master mode, and its smooth and detailed animation.
Secrets
100
Unlock the other hidden Characters, multiple costumes and arenas all through various means. Over 200 weapons to get, demonstrations, character profiles and the like. This game will keep you coming back.

Total: 90/100

Final verdict
GOOOODDD, i so wanted to give this a 100, but the slight control screw ups and the lack of me being able to read Kanji(kana i can read, thats fine) detract just a little from it. This is the greatest game spawned from one of the greatest games in fighter history.
If you somehow disagree that Soul Calibur wasnt, then your either Dead, on Crack or living with Gypsies who sell their souls to the dark lords of anti-gaming.
The graphics are improved so much its hard to believe. Soul Calibur blew everyone away visually, and this will do the same. Lil features like being able to slowdown and control the camera allow from some more…finer visualization in this area.(My motto is when two woman fight, everyone wins…My record is 8 seconds of solid panty shot, try and beat that.)
Link is an awesome new character in the game, he of course does seem out of place(and since his ending was in japanese, again i have no idea how they explained him being there). He had trademark moves, weapons and when you win it plays a certain familar theme…
I dont see how the PS2 or X-Box will compare with such shitty characters like HeiHachi(oh i wonder if he have hisdaiper costume variant) and Spawn. Blah

Overall:
Buy this game when it hits stores in America/Europe. You of course will have to deal with the annoying english voice actors(a vice i can never get over), but everything thats good will be present…plus you’ll be able to understand the lil things i couldnt.
(Like what the hell is up with Rapheals ending…DAMN he didnt seem that evil in the game).
IF you can, Import this. Import this now. Its a fighting game, you dont need english to enjoy beating your friends. Mod your GC? Nope. Pick up a copy of the software FreeLoader, which will allow you to play import games much like the DCX did on the Dreamcast. Just put it in, turn it on, then swap out to your Game. You can pick it up anywhere you would import the game from. SO GO!

PS- I so blatantly stole those screenshots, sorry but i didnt feel like picking up thedigital camera in the other room, i was too busy kicking ass.

By Darknight Z0

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Work in progress... not home!
Trying to get all/most of the new code working before I start on the eyecandy.