Review by Derilaan

Reviewed: 11/01/99 | Updated: 11/01/99

Some flaws that were machine-based, but overall just as good as I'd prayed for!

Walking up to a game like Soul Caliber already puts a lot of weight on Namco to provide a good game. I personally loved Soul Edge/Blade, and when I saw the arcade version sitting tucked away in the corner of the arcade I was visiting while on vacation, I ran over and dropped my quarters in.

So, you drop in your money, and the character selection screen comes up, and you hear, “Welcome back, to the stage of history!” Right there I am having a good time. ^_^

First off, as expected the graphics are just amazing. I didn’t notice any awesome animation like the opening for the Playstation Soul Blade, but the actual character’s faces are more molded and look more realistic. The way the characters move and their winning poses are great.

One of the most incredibly annoying things from Soul Edge was Sophitita beating the crap out of someone and then standing over their broken body shouting, “I’m Sorry!” Thank God she has more spunk in this game, even if all she does is stomp her foot and wave her sword in the air. The fact that characters didn’t say lame lines like the above automatically upped my score on this game.

There are some new characters, as well as old. I played with Sophitita, Seung Mina, and a Chinese girl with a short sword (but I’d be hard pressed to spell her name right) I saw Voldo as well as other fan favorites. OK, so far the animation is good, the speech isn’t cheesy and the characters I love are there. Now for some of the bad stuff.

I’m not sure if it was this particular machine but the sound was awful! You could barely hear the background music and with all the clanging I didn’t play as much as I wanted to. I really hope this isn’t part of the game but just some flaw in that particular aracde console.

The buttons on the console weren’t labeled except by letters, and since it had been years since I played Soul Edge in the arcade it took me some time to figure out what did this or that. I would imagine first time players would also have a hard time figuring it out. Another flaw is the whole premise of the Soul Edge series is based on button combinations, not just hacking and waving your weapon around. I could imagine many new players becoming frustrated because the difficulty of even the first couple opponents is very hard.

I was also left wondering if they changed the moves around. While I am usually great with Sophitita or Seung Mina, I just couldn’t get but a few of their moves to execute right. I think perhaps that this was in the end a mixture of my getting used to arcade controls, the controls not being labeled, and whatever new moves they did throw in.

I wish I had gotten more time to try this game, as I’m sure my score would have been higher if I had figured out the controls or at least got past the fourth opponent. What should have been an easy game for me proved to be hard, but this isn’t a complaint. I love the idea of learning new moves instead of just carbon-copying the ones from the previous game, and if this is the case with this game whenever it comes to my town I’ll be playing it for hours straight.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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