Fun but no longtime Hook.
Soul Caliber for the Xbox 360 is a wonderful port of a truly amazing game. Even after almost a decade the graphics have a nice charm and look better than most other XBLA games and the gameplay still holds up against modern fighter.
Soul Caliber is weapon based 3d fighting game, if youve played any other Soul Caliber (though not Soul Edge) title you'll know exactly where you sit with this game. In fact, if you have played almost any decent fighting game in a decade it wont take much to get accustomed to Soul Caliber's wonderful finetuned and exciting combat.
You mainly use the four face buttons and one analogue stick. The stick is for movement as you would expect and the face buttons corrospond to an action. A blocks, B kicks, X horizontally attacks and Y vertically attacks.
With around 20 characters you may seem spoiled for choice though its actually more like 14 since two characters randomely choose a move set from each of the other characters for each round and four characters are almost one-to-one pallet swaps with only a few unuiqe moves. Each of the other characters is interesting and unuiqe in there own right, with a diffrent weapon type and fighting style that is not only interesting but helps diffrent playing styles.
Ultimately this is where the almost perfect port is lacking, the dreamcast release added unlockable costumes, weapons and stages and tied them too a mission where you had to complete match's with unuiqe properties such as time limit or quick sand. This is lacking in this version and instead you have everything unlockable unlocked from the beginning.
What your left with is Arcade mode, Versus, Team Battle, Survival, Extra Survival and Practice.
- Arcade mode is where you complete a series of more difficult matches culminating in a fight with Inferno, the end boss, and a cut scene to tell you the chosen characters story
- Versus is one-on-one fights between to players.
- Team Battle is similer to Versus except when one character dies they are replaced by another pre-chosen character until all characters on one team are defeated.
- Survival tasks you with completing as many match's as possible without dying.
- Extra Survival is the same as Survival except that its sudden death, one hit kills.
- And finally Practice is a mode to train yourself in the diffrent moves and techniques against a dummy character.
Ther is also a Museum mode to look at character art and watch the computer fight against itself.
Graphically this looks slightly better than the dreamcast release and much better than most XBLA games ive personally played. From a person note I thought some animations looked like they were cut off early but I dont know if thats a port issue or simply the way it was designed.
Each character has a really nice look, though some characters look rougher than others from age. Rock's alternate outfit, a large skull headress, looks rather blocky and shary lined wheares the Standard Hwang model looks remarkably clean and smooth.
Overall nothing to complain about, though nothing to write home about either.
Due to the removal of some extra modes and a jarring lack of Online play the longevity of this title stands alone with purely a 2-player Versus experience. In which case if you have another fighting game fan to play with regularly this is great fun and great value however for single player fanatics or those with no like minded friends then this is one best to avoid except for Nostalgia reasons.
The 200 point's of Achievements in this game run the Gamut from easy, play as 3 characters, to the very hard, perform 25 consecutive bursts with Freestyle set to Guard Impact in Practice Mode. As this is the only reason for single players to play the game its good ther is difficult to get acheivments though it isnt really enough.
I enjoyed my time with this game though I only managed to get a few versus games in the first week but ultimately I have no real need to play it after the first few hours. Yes its a fantastic playing fighting game, yes it has a really nice look but do I feel hooked in any way? No, I dont. If you looking at this game then make sure you have a like minded(s) friend otherwise you will be sorely dissapointed.