If the world was a fair place then the name of SoulCalibur--peculiar spelling mistake and all--would be the most famous in beat-'em-up history. Unfortunately, though, the original arcade game was only converted to the Dreamcast (despite the prequel, Soul Blade, being on the PSone), thus dooming it to relative obscurity. SoulCalibur's brilliance is not due to any particularly innovative features--it could legitimately be described as simply Tekken with weapons. It's just that it does everything with more panache and imagination than the rest. Instead of awkward, staccato moves, SoulCalibur offers gloriously flowing, instinctive combos that often leaves you gasping at your own character's athleticism. Of course beat-'em-ups aren't known for their innovation and SoulCalibur II doesn't really deviate too far from its original premise of 16th century men and women hitting each other with a variety of swords, sticks and other meleé weapons. The whole tactical nature of the battles has been altered, though, to create a deeper game with blocks and counters now far more important and the glorious new animation system able to adapt each move depending on the direction and speed you're moving in. One point of true innovation in the original game was its unusually complex and rewarding single-player mode and this has been expanded for the sequel as you compete under a variety of different conditions to earn money and buy new weapons, costumes and extras. --David Jenkins
- After the ancient sword called Soul Edge was broken to pieces, the shards were scattered across the world. The mighty weapon that destroyed it, Soul Calibur, has since disappeared -- and the evil magic of the sword has begun reasserting itself.
- Become any of the warriors from the original monster hit, or two new characters, as you seek the fragments of Soul Edge and the secret of Soul Calibur's disappearance
- Face the greatest hand-to-hand fighters in the world and use your combos and techniques to eliminate them from the playing field
- Battle your way up the ranks as you follow the fascinating storylines of each character