Namco’s Soul Calibur, the sequel to the critically acclaimed SoulEdge (Arcade version) and SoulBlade (PlayStation version), has made its way from the Arcades to the Dreamcast as one of Sega’s initial launch titles.
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Namco's Soul Calibur, the sequel to the critically acclaimed SoulEdge (Arcade version) and SoulBlade (PlayStation version), has made its way from the Arcades to the Dreamcast as one of Sega's initial launch titles.
The premise remains the same as the original -- pick a fighter and enter a grueling tournament for possession of the Soul Edge, a mighty sword of unprecedented power. Each character (10 initial fighters to choose from) carries a weapon; the bizarre Voldo wields two Katar blades (attached to his hands) and Astaroth bludgeons his enemies with a giant war hammer.
These weapons, in addition to kick, throw, and punch combinations, can be used at any time during the fight. Like the Tekken series, Soul Calibur features an in-game maneuver list that thoroughly details each move and button combination (broken down into separate lists for each attack possibility). In addition to weapon and other forms of attacks, players have the ability to execute air juggles, a defensive parry, and the deadly Soul Charge.
The Soul Charge summons power within a character's weapon that is then used to unleash a fury of powerful attacks. Some moves found within the combination lists require the use of the Soul Charge -- certain moves that were unblockable are now blocked and vise versa.
As is the tradition with Namco home conversions, Soul Calibur comes with a wide variety of gameplay options including Arcade, Vs. Battle, Team Battle, Time Attack, Survival, Mission Battle, Practice, and Museum modes. The Arcade mode is simply the Arcade version of the game with a slight difference -- as you finish the game with each character, new characters and/or fighting arenas become unlocked (including Yoshimitsu from Tekken fame and a cave level).
In the Time Attack mode, players race against the clock to finish the game as fast as possible. Records are kept of your statistics and the pause feature is disabled (meaning you cannot access the moves list) to give an adrenaline charged experience. The Team Battle mode is a series of fights between two randomly or player picked teams -- whoever is left standing at the end wins.
Like the original SoulBlade, Soul Calibur comes with a Mission Battle mode -- a storybook quest that offers plenty of history about the selected character and tests a player's skills on the basics of fighting (blocking, throwing, etc). In the original game, the idea was to complete each mission to earn new weapons for each fighter -- this isn't the case here. As players finish each mission, art cards -- pieces of rendered art found within the game as well as new renderings -- are obtained.
Each card is viewable in the Art Gallery located on the main menu. In addition to winning them, cards can be purchased depending on how far a player has gotten in the Mission Battle mode. There are options to zoom each card in and out as well as move them around. In addition to artwork, the Museum mode has a wide variety of uses (more become available with extended play of Soul Calibur). One feature called Battle Theater allows players to watch actual game fights.
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