Category: Action, Fighting
ESRB Rating: Teen Release Date: September 1999
4 Stars out of 4
Review by Tom Allen
4 Stars out of 4
Soul Calibur is clearly the fighting game of the year. Graphics, control, and character
animation are outstanding. Some of the backgrounds are so beautiful that the fighting
feels exotic. The controls are so smooth and quick to respond that you'll feel as if no
other fighting game has been like this. Pause the game at any time to access the
endless list of special moves. No more looking down from the game to peruse the
instruction booklet! With Arcade, Versus, Team Battle, Survival, Time Attack, and
Mission Battle modes, this game will keep you busy for quite a while.
We first beat the game with Kilik. As a result, a new character called Hwang became
available. Then we beat the game with him to introduce Yoshimitsu as a new player.
The next hidden character we found was Lizardman. If you beat the game with all
characters in all modes, who knows what will happen? The only bad thing about Soul
Calibur is the lack of movie endings. All endings are composed of (still) illustrations and
text. If we wanted these kinds of endings, we'd play Street Fighter, but for a Dreamcast
game, the lack of any satisfying CG endings is a real pooper.
The control scheme is as follows. The A button invokes a defensive guard stance. The
B button (right button) is a kick attack, while X and Y are for horizontal and vertical
attacks, respectively. Pro players will find themselves dealing with an art gallery,
museum mode, eight-way run, throw moves, throw escapes, stagger recovery, mid-air
control, mid-air juggle combos, guard impact, counter guards, quick rolls, unblockable
moves, soul charges, and a host of other techniques.
Ten characters are initially available, four of which are female. The options menu
controls the difficulty level, number of rounds, round time, life bar size, and more. You
can set the game to let you pick another fighter after you lose a fight. Namco even
included an option to display the command lists in terms of the standard Dreamcast
controller or the more popular arcade stick controller. This controller should be
available in stores for the Dreamcast while supplies last.
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