Soul Calibur II

-Namco (2003)

-Also on: Xbox, PS2

Summary:

The man, the myth, the legend, Link, embarks on a quest where the localsí souls burn for little pieces of an evil sword.

My Thoughts:

For this review Iím just going to focus on the differences in the Gamecube version. If you want to know all my feelings for Soul Calibur II then read my review for the Xbox version. My feelings remain the same for the Gamecube. The graphics are virtually identical, the sound is of the same high quality, and the endings are the same unsatisfying pictures.

The Gamecube iteration is blessed with Nintendoís heroic Link. I canít think of a better choice for the big Nís version of this fine fighting game. Of course, who else could really be put in the Gamecube game? All of Nintendoís other characters would clash terribly with the Calibur universe, so Link was really their only choice. As Spawn was spattered all over the Xbox, Link is lovingly lavished upon the box art, instruction manual, and has his own little scene in the opening cinema. Although, heís not featured on the game disc as Spawn was. Maybe the disc was just too tiny to accurately portray Linkís epic visage.      

Link is equipped with the mighty Master Sword, bow and arrows, a boomerang, bombs, the Ocarina of Time, and has a couple slightly more comical attacks in his repertoire. Using ranged attacks like the arrows, boomerang, and bombs may seem cheap at first, but theyíre very easy for the other player to avoid. The Ocarina explains how Link was able to get to the Soul Calibur world, though I didnít know it could play a song to reach a parallel universe. Other weapons attainable for Link include some familiar ones from the Zelda games like the Megaton Hammer. A very cool feature is a symphonic battle version of The Legend of Zelda theme, which is something I never thought Iíd hear in a non-Nintendo game.

Using the Gamecube controller may not seem suited for fighting games, which itís not, but for the Soul Calibur II mechanics it actually works out decently. If you are used to using the D-pad for movement youíll want to educate yourself on the analog stick as the D-pad is incredibly tiny, really making it useless for any game. The game puts the yellow C-stick to an interesting use. Pushing the stick up, down, left, and right lets the player access button combos. It will take a little time to learn the intricacies of the weapons based fighting with the Gamecube controller. Some charactersí moves seemed slightly more difficult to pull off while other moves seemed much easier to do. 

Spending another twenty bucks on a game I essentially already own was totally worth it, though. Itís Link in a real fighting game! You donít need another reason than that.   

Score: 9.0        

-Shawn

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