Soul Calibur review
Namco forever!


Soul Calibur is one of the first Dreamcast games released and is one of the best beat-em-up games in history. In the beginning, I just selected Sonic Adventure as I have my own financial problems at that time. After having a couple of bucks, I shelled out some money and this game is mine. It's actually a fighting game that leads you to a new world, with dozens of missions for you to do and for you to unlock all the playable secret characters.

Graphics – 10
The sleek and beautiful introduction in a form of FMV was astoundingly amazing. This game will show all the characters at once with a rapid, beating music, flashing movements and flawless animations. If you have unlock more secret characters, they will be in the introduction of the game. Cool feature from Namco! While in the game itself, Namco enhanced the graphics from the arcade machine and everything was a simple port with numerous improvements. As this game was superior between the two versions, you'll see the colours are much brighter, powerful internal Namco engines created a new Dreamcast version all together.

The background was simply beautiful and is created in a full 3D form. Indescribable marvelous fully 3D rendered characters followed without any strange looks in them, as in Virtua Fighter 3tb (If you want to look for any examples, just look at Pai and you can see that she looks really strange with her eyes!). Moreover, the light source, is simply cool whenever you attack the enemies. Trails of flashing red will follow together with slashes in a double-quick and smooth animations.

Music – 10
This game has been developed enough and there are simply tons of background music for every stages. There is even the name of the background music when you enter the particular stage. Personally, I simply like the beating music in the background, sort of giving you an adrenaline rush. Of course, once you're engaged in a battle, you won't notice the background music one bit, as all beat-em-up games have been!

Loud sound effects are more than bargained. Example, a slash from Sophitia's sword will result a sound of knife plunging into the enemy and if the enemy protects, you will hear some sort of shield used. The voices are used in quite a big amount of number and they're different for each character. Although it's in Japanese, the almost-transparent subtitles will surely guide you efficiently.

Gameplay – 10
There are simply lots of modes for you to play, especially as there are hidden ones as well. But let's concentrate on the main ones. The Arcade should be a mode that you will play always, after the Mission Battle. Once you completed the Arcade with any character, you will see the ending of the character's quest thus unlock a new character for you to control as. After all through the good parts, the downside is that there are only 8 stages for each character and it's pretty short.

The Mission Battle Mode, on the other hand provides points for you to buy more arts in the Art Gallery. Some of the arts contained hidden secret stages, missions, character's costumes and even new modes for you to play! As the name already suggests, you're in for a mission and a story will follow each time before you play, whether it follows the logic of the character's story or not.

The Museum Mode contains the Art Gallery, together with other modes that you can see. There are certain modes that allow you to view each character's movements automatically as you unlock them in the Mission Battle Mode. The Practice Mode is of course, for you to perfect your character's fighting skills till you're familiar with them. You can even view each character's move lists with the name for each moves too!

Survival Mode is also fun for you to fight against all characters at once to see how far you can go. If you fancy for a multi-player game against your friend or any members of your family, plug in a second controller and head towards the Versus Mode. The Team Battle Mode also works for a two-player game but you can also opt to play against the computer. It allows you to choose characters as a team up to 8 players all together! Playing with friends or playing against computer don't really matter in this game, there are lots of modes for you to be entertained and honestly, you won't feel tired playing even after months!

Controls – 10
Controls are not too bad and they're easy to perform, considering that you're using a Dreamcast controller. You can buy the arcade stick if you like if you feel more comfortable with it. Attacks just needs a combination of buttons and moves and it's incredibly easy that even a five year-old will learn them! Added to that, there are also simply many moves that you can easily perform and that's why you'll mostly get confused if you see the move list!

Replay Value – 10
As this is a fighting game, it will definitely last long, added with Namco's superior reputation together with the familiar internal fighting engines, all from Tekken too! About more than six modes for you to play, more than 10 characters for to explore the moves on and the fancy Mission Battle mode for completely! Especially as there are over 300 Arts for you to buy, ranging higher and higher points all the time.

Overall – 10
Namco's biggest success is definitely the hot-selling Soul Calibur in my opinion and their Playstation successor, the Tekken series should be the second. As Namco has made a wise investment to Dreamcast, you shouldn't be worried about any bugs in it as Namco is a company with good reputation. I'm not trying to exaggerate every categories but honestly, this game is worth ten times that you spend! Shell out some money and grab this game before it's sold out! Now, how about Soul Calibur 2?

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