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Soulcalibur III (PlayStation 2) artwork

Soulcalibur III (PlayStation 2) review


Nobody likes pansies. Yeah, everyone knows a few; always whining about every little thing, pissing and dissing and moaning and groaning the minute things get tough. They have their little pansy gatherings, they whine on pansy message boards, they even have pussy sayings:

“I couldn’t beat story mode without continuing. This game blows! Let’s go play Smash Brothers.”

Soul Calibur III is like a freaking pussy-generator. It was so hyped when it came out, people were so anxious to get their hands on it, but what did some of those same people do the minute they found out you couldn’t adjust the difficulty level in story mode? Whine.

Heaven forbid they lose a few matches. Heaven forbid the AI doesn’t just roll over and let you spank its ironclad pants off. Heaven forbid you actually have to take some time with the game, maybe master a few moves, maybe learn a few combos.

Pansies, the lot of them. Pansies and eunuchs!

So you can’t pimp out the moves anymore, you can’t use your little cheap tricks and your bloody button mashing. Man up; cope with it. The world doesn’t have difficulty settings; you can’t always expect games to.

Besides, who the hell plays a fighting game for the story mode? So much more here.

We’ve got three new characters to screw around with; not the least of which is my main man Zasalamel. I could tell you about how he’s the driving force behind the entire drama of Soul Calibur III. I could tell you how about the badassing way he wields that scythe of his, whipping it around like a dervish from hell. But, really, I’m just glad that he’s a black guy in a fighting game that doesn’t play basketball, speak in rhymes, or fight like the original Black Power Ranger.

You remember. The one that danced all the time.

We’ve got Tira, who pretty much looks like the sixteenth-century version of a goth chick. Pale skin, skimpy clothes, a bladed hula-hoop of death, and a strange, possibly sexual attraction towards crows. Not my sort of woman, but I could see how some guys could fit her into their fancy. If you’re into the psycho-killer sort of girl.

Now, Setsuka, there’s a woman worth pining after. Those broad shoulders, those thick ankles, those beefy arms…oh yes, she’s manly. And with Ivy’s new outfit looking amazingly unsexy and her new voice sounding less British and more like someone trying to be British, I do believe the Soul Calibur III series has a new star starlet. If the looks don’t woo you, her moves will; Setsuka swings her sword with a dominating style, pressing forward with an intricate string of slashes that’ll knock you right out the ring if you don’t watch it. She goes into a deadly dance when you play her right, each move chaining off to the next, devastating, dominating…beautiful.

There are some other new characters, hidden, but I won’t say a thing about them. No spoiling, now. I will tell you that the process to get them is a pain in the ass: Chronicles of the Sword.

I’m not sure whose idea it was to stick a strategy simulation into a fighting game, but I question whether said person was under the influence of something toxic when he came up with said idea. The execution’s not poor, I’ll give it that; you move your characters around on a map…just like a strategy game. You engage them with other units and take over forts…just like a strategy game. You fight in real-time, in stages with the same rules as the normal game…not at all like a strategy game. More like a fighting game with a strategy game tacked on, or a strategy game with a fighting game tacked on…either way, it’s a boring drudge.

You move your units around the board, engaging in sporadic fights, occasionally advancing some weak story about three kingdoms at war, and it all takes so long. The average battle lasts about thirty minutes. Thirty minutes of running around with a bunch of lame, one-note characters over generic countrysides. Every once in a while you’ll come across some characters from the main game, but they don’t have anything to do with Chronicle of the Sword’s plot, cool as that would be. They’re just random soldiers, one more face for you to fight.

The shame’s that you have to play Chronicle of the Sword; every mission won gives you gobs and gobs of gold. You need to the gold to buy to clothes to get the most out of Create-A-Soul mode.

Right, Create-A-Soul mode, nearly forgot about that one. Best damn addition in the game, you ask me.

Ignoring the fact that it let me conjure up a miniature army of manly women, the possibilities with Create-A-Soul are nigh infinite. Just takes a little imagination, that’s all.

I have a little craving for I-No, a shade of Guilty Gear. What do I do? Take the witch’s hat, a simple skirt, some extra long boots, all shaded red, of course. Only thing missing is the guitar.

How about everyone’s favorite sword-swinging badass, Guts? We’ve got tattered clothes, we’ve got the hairstyle, and Nightmare’s fighting style tops things off nicely.

Hell, Soul Calibur III even has you covered if you happen to be a fifteen-year-old girl with a crush on Sephiroth. Easily done my friend, easily done.

I could go on about how Soul Calibur III is this amazing visual experience, how the levels have a life of their own, about how the colors shimmer and shine and give everything this vibrant feel, alive. About how every little detail is accounted for, how the air wavers in the smoldering fire, how you can see the fighters breath frozen breath in the mountains. Truth be told, though, I don’t give much of a damn about the graphics, nice as they are. Soul Calibur III is fun to play, it’s a challenge, and its got enough reasons to keep me playing for weeks on end, well worth the purchase. All I asked for.



lasthero's avatar
Staff review by Zack Little (December 30, 2005)

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