[PS2] Soul Calibur II

posted 5 Jan 2011, 00:46 by Thomas Vale   [ updated 5 Jan 2011, 00:46 ]
I loved the Soul Edge/Calibur series from the outset, so I apologise if this seems a little fanatical, but I love this game.
The graphics are top notch, taking the high standard set by Soul Calibur to the next level. Soul Calibur now has proper 3d rendered stages rather than a 2 or 3 poly stage set to a static backdrop. Everything is 3d rendered barring the sky. If a stage has tiles, the tiles are properly beveled, they aren't just textured that way. The characters look even more lofelike than before, there are sparks as the weapons clash. It all runs as a beautiful framerate, with a couple of 
minor slowdowns from time to time when there are lots of effects happening simoultaneously, but overall I can't see any fault to the graphics
The music is more of hte same from the first two with Junichi Nakatsuru composign a magnificent orchestral score that fits tightly into the style of the game. The sound effects themselves can't really be faulted, being high guality samples. The voices... ahh the voices. I love the Japanese voices provided for this game. They all fit well with the characters and don't seem out of place like the English voices did in SC1 on the Dreamcast. Only flaw I would put to them is that some can seem a little out of place when they are facing each other....
The plot is irrelevant really, as I mentioned in one of my previous reviews, the plot for a fighting game has no real bearance on it's final score. That said, each character has a seperate 'mid-boss' with a little scene when they meet up before fighting the last boss, much like Street fighter Alpha 3 in that respect.
The characters are all different and have different personalities. It's not like back in the days of Street Fighter 2 where Ken/Ryu were identical. Even Kilik and Seung Mina who essentialy fight with the same weapon have different fighting styles. Admittedly they share some moves, but a seasoned Kilik player will feel out of place if he suddenly switches to her.
This game will last as long as you have friends. Yes there is the Weapon Master mode, but as that can be completed in a couple of days, and there are some 
really boring bits in it, it's all about the VS play, much like any fighting game
This game doesn't really bring anything astoundingly new to the 3d fighting genre, but it brings everying good in the genre together with such finess, there is no better 3d fighter out today. DoA is an insignificant bg next to the quality of this game.