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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 91% (based on 73 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 180 ratings with 6 reviews)

Hands down - the best console fighting game money can buy.

The Good
Have you been looking at used Dreamcasts piling up in resale stores and wondering why Sega bothered? Look no farther than this little gem, unfortunately released for an almost stillborn system. Seriously, if you do not own a Dreamcast, and you are a fan of fighting games, you NEED to pick up both of them. Trust me.

Soul Calibur was an epiphany for me. It showed me that 3D and fighting CAN go together in perfect harmony. Every character, even the ones who I'm not so fond of (Seung Mina, Rock), are perfectly capable of defeating any other character provided you have the skill to use them. This is, in my estimation, a perfectly balanced game, and I've never experienced its like since.

Soul Calibur was released in 1999 - I'm STILL whomping on my friends with it almost every day. For the uninitated, Soul Calibur can seem sticky, imprecise, a button-masher's game - but once you delve deeper and discover the true art of the game, there is absolutely no turning back. Ever. Needless to say, I am anxiously awaiting its sequel.

The Bad
Nothing major, really. I'm hoping that Soul Calibur 2 will reduce the number of near "palette swap" characters to a bare minimum (hence, begone, Rock!).

The Bottom Line
Genius. Fighting game genius.

Dreamcast · by Lucas Schippers (57) · 2002

Pure arcade fun

The Good
Soul Calibur does a lot of things right and very little wrong. Every character has its strengths and weaknesses, although some characters are pretty balanced in both. It's got plenty of environments, and being able to toss opponents out of the ring makes for some hectic battles, at times. The most ingenious touch are the weapons, exclusive weapon for each character, and the special moves. Instead of the magical, yet superficial, super moves of its genre brethren you now have intricate, and mostly believable, martial arts moves and tricks with each weapon. There's also a handful of things to play, including a huge quest mode where you finish missions in exchange for money, that buys you concept art mostly. Of course, the meatiest part of the game is its multiplayer portion, where you go up against one of your mates and either fight to the last drop of blood or knock your opponent out of the ring. Skills will rule against button-bashing, in most cases, so be prepared to practice a lot.

The Bad
Despite its many different modes and options, I guess the thought of letting players turn off the "Out of the Ring" gameplay feature never crossed the developers mind. It should definitely be an option for those tired of short battles. Aside from that there's not much fault in the game. It does what it sets out to do very well, and perhaps its only fault is not having more incentive for finishing some of the extra modes. You'll stick mostly to multiplayer head-to-head battles on this one.

The Bottom Line
If you're in the position to actually own this game, then by all means get it. It's a worthwhile gem, just waiting to be rediscovered.

Dreamcast · by BigJKO (64) · 2005

A beautiful, complex and realistic fighting game for Dreamcast - probably the best one

The Good
Soul Calibur is undoubtely the best fighting game for Dreamcast and arguably the best game ever released for Dreamcast. This follow-up to Soul Blade/Edge is a really great 3D fighting game and features many improvements.

First, anyone can note the beautifully elaborated graphics. They are really impressive, even for Playstation 2 parameters. Soul Calibur was one of the first games released for Dreamcast and featured the best 3D graphics ever seen on a console. It was patent the power of the console was much greater than Playstation or Nintendo 64. Sega claims Dreamcast can process 3 million polygons per second; if one single game made use of that capacity it was Soul Calibur. The sprites were very detailed and the backgrounds were really great. The level of detail was fantastic: you can see the cold breath of the characters in the snowy stages and rats running behind you. The lighting effects were particularly amazing. Plus, anti-alias smoothed the edges of the graphics, so they were not sharp as in Tekken 3.

As in Tekken series (another one from Namco), the movement of the characters was as natural as it could be. In other words, the animation was incredible. Of course, as characters used weapons in Soul Calibur and some of them were supernatural, there was not so much compromise with reality. But that made the game even funnier.

In comparison, Soul Calibur main competitors in 3D fighting, Virtua Fighter 3 and Dead Or Alive 2, both for Dreamcast, had much less detailed graphics and the animation was not so fluid. In fact, it is unfair to compare any other Dreamcast game to Soul Calibur, as it has the best graphics ever seen on this console.

The sound effects were also very nice, with digitised voices. The music was perfectly adequate and, although not memorable, provided a nice background for the action.

Oh, the action! The best part! The action is fast, very fast. The backgrounds rotate and the zoom comes in and out, giving the impression of a 3D fighting game. Not just the impression. As the characters can walk to all directions, it is a real 3D fighting game.

The controls are adequate for the game. There are two weapon attacks, a kick, a defense and a charge for a special move. OK, the charge could have been substituted for another kick or so, but it doesn't spoil the gameplay. Controls are easy and respond well.

There are lots and lots of different moves to learn. It is really difficult to remember all of them and it requires lots of training to do them all. Someone may complain it is too hard to take full advantage of all the moves, but there is no other way. The gameplay is very complex and that makes the game very funny and realistic. It is much better to have 30 different moves, even if some are very hard to perform, than just two easy ones. You must have in mind Soul Calibur brings fighting games to a new level of reality, just like Tekken does. Gameplay is a great, great experience in this game.

Plus, there are lots of extras. Namco gave much more than players were expecting from the game. The game includes even artwork. Well, let's seen the main ones.

First, as already said, there were lots and lots of moves. You could spend days learning and trying to remember all the moves of a single character.

Second, there are 10 standard characters and 10 hidden ones. Most of the hidden characters are variations of the standard ones, but they have their own personality, as well as own moves. So, there is a total of 20 characters and half of them are discovered as you play the game.

Third, there are hidden stages and hidden variations of the standard stages (a different weather for the same stage, for example). The existence of so many scenarios shows the absurd level of detail this game reaches.

Fourth, there are different game modes. If you are tired of playing the Arcade version of Soul Calibur, you can call a friend to join you in the Versus mode. Or you can opt for Mission mode, for example, to face new challenges.

To sum it up, Soul Calibur was a really well developed fighting game. It has wonderful graphics, sound and gameplay. Even the story is nice (stories are never nice in fighting games). Although easy to play, it is also very complex and is definitely not the kind of game you put aside after playing for a while. It is really worth a try.

The Bad
The game is really nice, but some improvements could be made. Nothing to complain about the graphics, but...

Well, the game is too easy in Arcade mode. The computer doesn't have half the skills it could and the challenge is not so great as it should be. It is also short, as you fight only with 8 characters before the ending.

Some of the hidden stuff is very difficult to reveal and, sometimes, they are not worth it. To finish a mission just to get a new artwork may sound disappointing. And some of the hidden characters are not a big deal, as they are similar to the standard ones.

The Bottom Line
Soul Calibur is undoubtely the best fighting game for Dreamcast. It is worth a try even for those who are not into Street Fighter or similar games, as it provides an incredible gaming experience. Plus, it won't take much of your time, as the action is very fast and the controls doesn't require a long learning (as much of Dreamcast games do). A real pity it was developed exclusively for Dreamcast.

Dreamcast · by Mumm-Ra (393) · 2003

Amazing, if you can get past the gameplay

The Good
This game has more extras than any other game I know of, starting with a plethora of game modes and over 200 pieces of CG art, concept sketches, and even fanart. The graphics blow the rest of the fighting genre away completely. The moves are amazingly easy to execute, all the way up to 2-button parries. Even the voices are well-done.

The Bad
Almost half the characters are remakes of the other half, forcing you to unlock, say, a faster and weaker version of your previous character with maybe 5 new moves. Button-mashing is almost encouraged (the difference between an intermediate player and a newbie is that one of them knows when to hit the guard button). The music is just like every other fighting game: out of place sometimes, too heavy at others.

The Bottom Line
Those of you who would rather jump into a game than spend a week reading strategy guides will love Soul Calibur for its great presentation and better graphics. If you're looking for intricate gameplay, don't waste your money, but if you just want to knock someone 10 feet up with a giant demon blade, this game is right up your alley.

Dreamcast · by Robyrt (46) · 2001

Perfect mechanics, beautiful graphics, clunky story.

The Good
Soul Calibur is easily the most balanced fighting game series, and it was in many ways at its peak with the original Dreamcast version. This is a game that nearly any gamer can pick up and play, while enjoying themselves and being competitive even against a much more experienced player.

The graphics were stunning at the time of the game's release and still are beautiful. The effects are all very well done in the game and the characters are varied and well-detailed. The multiple costumes are all interesting and creative, even if the tendency is to clothe many of the female characters in an unusual manner.

The Bad
Soul Calibur contains a rather odd story mode, which is essentially an overblown epic story which serves only to link together various individual fighting encounters. The fights themselves are very interesting and frequently contain some scenario such as one-hit kills or survival mode to keep the variety going, yet the story is largely peripheral and I found myself frequently skipping over the painfully long text passages.

Also, the story carries over into the unintentionally comical one-liners the characters tend to utter before and after the fight. Sometimes the fighters will call each other out, but at other times they will shout something related to their backstory, which is sometimes comical, especially Rock, who will sometimes shout "Bangoo, this one's for you!" I found these moments funny, but that was not the designer's intention.

The Bottom Line
This is the finest fighting game ever made, and is well worth playing or finding a copy. This game alone makes the purchase of a Dreamcast worthwhile.

Dreamcast · by kyuzo (18) · 2007

The best fighting game EVER!

The Good
The fighting style and button configurations are perfectly balanced for this genre of game. Well balanced characters and amazing graphics make is one of the most playable fighting games.

The Bad
It is slightly too easy and short and of course there was no 2nd one on Dreamcast.

The Bottom Line
Think of Tekken with weapons and better graphics and gameplay and thats Soul Calibur.

Dreamcast · by Baza (1877) · 2002

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Joel Segerb├Ąck, Alex Fest, RhYnoECfnW, Patrick Bregger, firefang9212, Tim Janssen, jumpropeman, Alsy, Riamus, Flu, Riemann80, Mike G, lights out party, Big John WV, Wizo, Kohler 86, vedder, jean-louis, Jeanne, Parf, kurama, Tracy Poff, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), mikewwm8, Scaryfun, chirinea, Cantillon, Alaka.