Hot hot hot Soul Calibur 2 arcade version impressions!
Soul Calibur 2 is out and about in arcades in the U.S., Japan, and elsewhere - these are impressions on the arcade version only. Support your local arcade!
Upon putting in your credits, you get the choice of the following: Time attack, arcade, survival, training.
- Arcade mode is the standard mode - you fight six opponents, and then a 7th specific one particular to the storyline, and then the final battle with Inferno. Battling inferno is different, this time - he has one lifebar, and changes forms twice. Inferno's lifebar lasts three times as long, though, and yours doesn't!
- Time attack lets you fight through the seven opponents plus boss for the best time ranking.
- In Survival, you battle one-lifebar fights until you lose. It gets gradually gets tougher.
- At last, an arcade fighter has Training! You get four minutes or so to try out anything you want on a dummy.
Of course, a second player can always challenge for the place on the machine. If they win, they can pick whatever mode they want and play from the beginning. If the original player wins, they resume at where they left. (Note: If they switched characters, they will switch back for their arcade or ranking mode.)
The graphics in Soul Calibur aren't insanely good like the first on Dreamcast was, but they do just fine. They look about the same as Tekken 4. I have to wonder how much they'll shine it up for the home version. There's a similarly lovely orchestrated soundtrack, too. The characters all have English voices, which is nice. The voice actors are good, too.
"Hey funhat! I want to hear about how the game plays, durngummit!"
Er, very well then - the initial impression, is, well, it's just too similiar to the original. There aren't any major fundamental changes to the game. This is a definite letdown, I think.
The controls are exactly the same ; A, B, Kick, Guard. Side stepping is just the same, but there seem to be more moves which use the sidestep specifically, especially with Nightmare. Guard impacts are a bit easier, if anything - forward and guard parries mid and high, back and guard parries mid and low.
There aren't a ton of arenas - they're very detailed, though. Some have walls covering up to three sides. Ring outs rarely happen anymore, and generally have to be pretty diliberate.
Impressions of the characters I've played and played against: Kilik, Taki and Astaroth seem to be about the same - Nightmare has all his old stuff plus some nasty new sidestep moves. Ivy is quite a bit different, with lots of spin-and-whip moves. Mitsurugi scrubs can't depend on their forward-B nonsense anymore. Raphael is fun to beat up on - his moves come out fairly fast. Talim is fast and can stay low, and has a huge air combo that will ring out easily, so watch out.
The button mashing Eddie Gordo Maxi is still around for some reason. Ugh. I haven't seen many other fighters played much, yet.
There's also an internet ranking for survival and time attack modes.
And before anybody bugs me about it, there's no Link to be seen.
Last updated: 10/20/2001 by Max Lake
We’ve got a few new developments on Soul Calibur 2, so it’s time to tell ya about them! Following the game’s appearance at the Tokyo Game Show, a rumor emerged that the game was exclusive to the Cube. After multiple readers contacted us asking about it, we took it upon ourselves to get official word from Namco, which reiterated SC2 would appear across consoles in 2002. There is some indication that the game may appear on GameCube first, though this remains to be seen and no release dates have been issued for any system.
Other new info clarifies that the new character Tarim (or Talim, we’re not sure how it will be spelled for the U.S. release) is definitely not the guy with tonfas. In fact, it’s not a guy at all. According to Magic Box, Tarim is the maiden of Wind Shrine, who sensed dishonesty from the wind and decided to go out to correct its cause. Tarim is armed with two daggers.
Bigger news is that the mystery of whether SC2 made its first appearance on arcade or GameCube may have just been solved. There has been recent word of Namco and Nintendo to develop GameCube-based arcade hardware and that this is what Soul Calibur 2 was shown running on at SpaceWorld. It’s an exciting development but completely unconfirmed.
PGC’s soul continues to burn for Soul Calibur 2, so stay tuned for more details as we get ‘em.
Last updated: 09/24/2001 by Max Lake
We have some additional info on Soul Calibur 2’s lineup, particularly regarding 3 of the new characters, courtesy of GameSpot. It seems that two of the newcomers will have ties to Soul Calibur characters not returning. The female character we suspected might be Sophitia’s daughter that was featured in initial screenshots is actually her younger sister, Cassandra. One of the new male characters is named Hong Yung Sung and serves in the Coastal Defense Force, where Hwang Sung Kyung is his commanding officer. GameSpot also mentioned another new fellow, named Talim but offered no details about him. Could Talim be the warrior seen using tonfa?
New screenshots have appeared and are listed as specifically running off the system 246 arcade version of the game. Whether SC2’s SpaceWorld debut was on system 246 or GameCube still hasn’t been resolved. With Namco announcing SC2 for multiple consoles and the game still far from complete, it’s likely no home version has been fully optimized yet.
Last updated: 09/11/2001 by Max Lake
While we’re currently counting down the days until Japanese GameCube launch, few new details soul burning have emerged thanks to this Core Magazine report, perfect for a preview update.
Along with Ridge Racer Next, Namco is planning to bring the latest chapter in their weapon based fighting series 'Soul Calibur' to several platforms including the GameCube, Xbox and PlayStation 2. Development on the game reportedly began last November; presumably work on the GameCube was started around this time.
Currently, Soul Calibur 2 is approximately 30% complete. Knowing the series, the time being spent is certainly to ensure quality every step of the way. Speaking of quality, the team responsible for translating the original Soul Calibur to the Dreamcast is handling development on the sequel. While a definitive release date remains undisclosed, Namco has expressed interest in releasing the game across platforms simultaneously in 2002.
Last updated: 08/27/2001 by Max Lake
Thanks to Homer76767, we have some information from Electronic Gaming Monthly that confirms many Soul Calibur favorites will be returning in the new game. The October issue of EGM lists the following characters making a comeback in SC2:
And 5 new characters
In the final version there will reportedly be 16 - 20 characters, which is about the same as in SC1 (19 characters).
Sophitia is not named as a confirmed character in the EGM report, but is visible in one of the screens that hit the net just before SpaceWorld. She does seem to have shorter hair… Could this be Sophitia’s daughter, who is born during one of the SC endings and “inherits” her mother’s ability to hear the gods? With so many other original characters returning, maybe not…
One of the new characters can be glimpsed in action in the SpaceWorld footage; a young male warrior wielding Japanese Tonfa, which are similar in appearance to police billy clubs. We don’t know his name yet, but he definitely looks like he can hold his own.
More info as we can get it!
Last updated: 08/25/2001
Several years back, Namco released its unique 3D weapons fighter Soul Edge to the arcades. The game was brought to PSX as Soul Blade (thanks to ReallyBadJosh for clarification!), and acquired many fans. However, it was not until the game’s sequel, Soul Calibur and its subsequent transition to Dreamcast that the series gained widespread appreciation. It darn near left gamers speechless.
Soul Calibur displayed everything a good game should be. The graphics were amazing, both in the characters’ facial features and costumes, and in the awe-inspiring detail put forth in the arenas & background. The music sounded professionally composed and highly complimentary to the game. The gameplay is similar to Namco’s other popular fighter Tekken, but also simultaneously more accessible and more intricate. Newcomers can easily pick up and play it, even win by calculated button mashing, though it has a very deep battle-system that allows mastery, or prolonged sword fights / martial combat duels, with colored swoosh trails created every attack. The full scale of Soul Calibur’s weapon fighting arguably exceeds the fighting experience offered by Tekken and the overall presentation is undeniably masterful.
In usual Namco fashion, Soul Calibur’s transition from arcade to Dreamcast displayed many improvements, including improved graphics, new characters and several extras that were unlocked through a world quest mode, with challenges of increasing difficulty presenting numerous variations on the standard fighting game.
To this day, Soul Calibur remains one of the best reasons to own and play a Sega Dreamcast.
As with all popular games, a Soul Calibur sequel has been highly anticipated and confirmed to be in development by Namco for some time. Up until recently, there was every indication that the game was being made for Playstation 2. At E3 2001, Billy was told in a nudge, nudge, wink-wink sorta way that Soul Calibur 2 and Tekken 4 had a good chance of making it to the GameCube. After the shows, PGC spies were singing the same song and our colleagues at IGNCube seemed to be bursting to tell the very same secret themselves. Just before SpaceWorld, they broke the silence and let it be known the Namco would announce the game at SpaceWorld. Within 24 hours, Namco confirmed this to IGN, specifying that footage from the arcade game would be shown.
Sure enough, just before SpaceWorld, screenshots of SC2 were discovered and spread across the ‘net. Hours later, footage of the game was shown to the crowd at SpaceWorld. According to Perrin Kaplan and Jim Merrick, the footage was probably actually most likely taken from the GameCube version…
"I have to assume it's the GameCube version, just knowing where Namco is right now [on the game]," noted Merrick.
Kaplan added: "I'm pretty sure that's what NCL would choose to use."
Indeed it would make sense. Every other in-motion footage of games from third-parties was of the GameCube versions.
There has been no definitive answer, though but it makes sense that SpaceWorld attendees were indeed witnessing the GameCube version in action. Despite the GameCube announcement, Soul Calibur 2 will still most likely appear on other systems. Regardless, the fact this action-packed fighter is coming to GameCube is very exciting and PGC has been told that this is only the start of Namco support for Nintendo systems.
The “Soul Blade” series revolves involves a wicked sword, called the Soul Edge.
Warriors from all over the map, plucked from legends and history, all compete for the blade, whether to liberate the land of its evil or to claim it for themselves. In first game, Cervantes, a pirate who had returned from the grave, possessed the sword. In Soul Calibur, a knight named Siegfried obtained the blade and was transformed into the evil Nightmare.
It is likely the series will continue picking up where the last left off. No characters have been confirmed, though in the screenshots released series mainstay Sophitia is visible, and Siegfried wielding the Soul Blade, along with other familiar characters engaged in combat.
There has been no release date for Soul Calibur 2 on NGC, but we’re just happy to be able to start our preview of the game.