The axe-swinging Astaroth, nunchuk-flinging Maxi, sword-slashing Mitsurugi, whip-wielding Ivy…the list of Soul Calibur combatants contains some of the toughest characters to grace a video game screen. And now it’s time for a familiar face to take on the challenge of seeking the Soul Edge sword – the Hero of Time himself, Link.
Soul Calibur II – the sequel to the arcade smash hit – comes to Nintendo GameCube in an coin-op perfect conversion that features The Legend of Zelda star as an exclusive playable character. The story (yes, this is no ordinary beat ’em up) goes something like this. Four years have passed since the pieces of the Soul Edge sword were scattered across the globe. Now, its evil influence is gaining strength once again. Soul Calibur II follows the fighting adventures of the warriors who seek the sword – for fair reasons or foul.
As well as Link, 13 warriors from the original Soul Calibur return to the ring. Plus there are many more secret characters to unlock, plus newcomers such as Raphael, Talim and the mysterious Charade. As befits any beat ’em up, Soul Calibur II is packed with modes. You can put your sword skills to the test in the standard Arcade mode, try to beat the game as fast as you can in Time Attack, defeat as many enemies as possible without losing a life in Survival mode, and join forces with a friend in Team Battle mode.
And it doesn’t end there. Like the original Soul Calibur, there’s a lengthy story mode called Weapons Master in which you follow your chosen character across the world, earning gold and using it to buy new items and weapons along the way. Link, for instance, can find many familiar items from The Legend of Zelda history such as the Master Sword, Hylian Shield, Megaton hammer, Biggoron Sword and even a bug catching net! Collecting each character’s items and learning all their moves (and there are a lot of them) is where Soul Calibur II really excels. Plus, the two player mode will keep you and a friend battling for months to come, thanks to the huge variety of well-balanced characters.
Arcade game purists needn’t worry about playing Soul Calibur II with a control pad, as Namco have done a perfect job of translating joystick moves to the GCN controller. Plus, every option is changeable if it doesn’t suit your requirements. So, if you’re thirsting for some sword-clashing action on your Nintendo GameCube, or you just want to see adult Link take on Astaroth, then Soul Calibur II is a must.