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July 15, 2003
Soul Calibur II - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
19/9/2003EA GamesNamco1-2$99.95

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The new character Necrid.
Namco really have became the fighting specialists since the early days of the Playstation mostly due to the massive graphical and gameplay leaps with the Tekken series, which sold in huge numbers around the world. Soon after the release of Tekken 2 Namco stunned the world with Soul Blade (or Sould Edge as it was also known), the prequel to Soul Calibur. This was a truly breathtaking fighting game with weapons based combat and visuals that remained unrivaled. A couple of years later and Namco unleash the sequel Soul Calibur on the Playstation based System 12 board in the arcades.

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Voldo makes a return.
More characters, more moves and more depth including 3D movement made it an engrossing title. Soon after the company announced a Dreamcast port of the arcade game but rather then just port the title the company included improved visuals and many more game modes including a sensational Mission Battle mode and Museum.

While there have been many rumours about a sequel to Soul Calibur ever since the Dreamcast game arrived in late 1999. Soul Calibur II wasn't officially announced by Namco until 2002. To hit the arcades first the game is also slated to hit all three major consoles on the market today.
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The lighting effects are great.
Rather then identical ports between each system Namco have confirmed the inclusion of an exclusive character on each system. XBox owners get Todd McFarlane's Spawn character while Gamecube owners get to battle with Link. Playstation 2 owners get the best of the lot however with Heihachi from the Tekken games making and appearance. Before you sigh just think. He will be the only character in Soul Calibur II that gets to use his fists rather then weapons. It could make for some interesting battles.

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Check out the detail on the body.
As for the character list beside Heihachi the Playstation 2 game will include Ivy, Mitsuragi, Astoroth, Maxi, Cassandra, Kilik, Xianghua, Nightmare, Taki, Voldo, Yunsung, Raphael, Talim and Necrid an all new character designed by Todd McFarlane. Raphael is one of the new characters who originates from Europe and uses a fencing technique with thin bladed weapon. Another of the newcomers is Talim, a young lady from Asia who uses twin blades as weapons. Two characters have also been replaced with virtually identically fighting styled characters. Sophitia's sister Cassandra has taken her sisters place while Hwang's understudy, Yunsung, has taken his place.

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Taki slashes away.
Soul Calibur II includes 7 exciting modes of play including Arcade, Vs, Time Attack, Survival, Team Battle, Practice, and Weapon Master. Once again the brilliant Weapon Master mode is returning where you can unlock over 200 different weapons for use by the characters in any of the game modes including Arcade or Vs Battle. As for the actual gameplay Namco have stated that the game will be slightly faster but that they aren't going to be making any dramatic changes to previous games. Why would they? The original Soul Calibur is still regarded by many as the best fighting game ever.

Electronic Arts signed up for the games publishing duties in PAL territories but unlike almost every other game they release the early word is that they will be retaining a 60Hz mode. The game is currently expected to be released in late September. Trust me - the wait will be worth it.