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Soulcalibur Review (XBLA)

“Welcome back to the stage of history.” Soulcalibur has come to the Xbox Live Arcade and it’s oh so sweet. Even now, the original Soulcalibur still manages to be one of the best fighting games around. It first came around on arcades in 1998 and on the Dreamcast in 1999. The XBLA version is very similar to the Dreamcast version, but it lacks Battle mode and online play, which is a big disappointment.

If you’ve played Soulcalibur before, you’ll notice right away that there isn’t anything new to see in this XBLA version. All characters are unlocked, everything in the museum is available; the only thing to do is fight. As weird as this is, everything is unlocked from the start. It seems like they would want to have some locked characters or even some unlockable art to keep you coming back.

The gameplay is exactly how you remember it — spectacular. The characters still move fluidly and the animations flow nicely from one to the other. The actual presentation of the game on an HDTV is a bit disappointing, since there’s no widescreen support, but even then it still looks great for being 10 years old.

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The gameplay options are what you’d expect from a fighting game. Aracde mode, survival, team battle, etc. The most interesting mode is Extra Survival mode. It’s the same concept as regular survival mode, but every round is sudden death. They are all fun to play, but the complete lack of online play seems crazy. While the game itself is amazing, not having any online play brings it down with today’s standards. However, there are online leaderboards so you can see how you stack up against other players.

With a total of 19 characters to choose from, it should take a while to get bored with the different fighting styles. Obviously you have the fast and slow characters, but it’s their weapons that make them unique. From regular swords to big battle axes, knives, and staves, the variety will keep you coming back to see what the other styles are like.

With this version of Soulcalibur on XBLA only costing 800 points ($10) it’s well worth it. With few flaws present, the lack of online play and Battle mode makes this version not as great as its Dreamcast counterpart, but it’s still a great game for a great price.

8/10

Originally posted on Endsights, July 13, 2008

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March 5, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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