Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Soul Calibur is the classic version of the arcade game, and is only available on the Dreamcast. For many, it's the main reason to buy a Dreamcast!
You get a nice selection of characters, both male and female, young and old. If there's a complaint about the characters, it's that the females tend to have VERY skimpy outfits that mostly show off jiggly breasts and lots of underwear. The guys tend to have fully covered bodies. Something's not quite even here.
There are a number of modes, between simple arcade mode, one on one combat, training demos, and more. As you play through the game you earn points, which let you unlock more secrets. It encourages you to go through the game as each character, learning their best moves and techniques. Each character has his or her own favorite weapons and combat style.
As with all fighting games, you have to get used to the violence. The characters are bashing each other with some rather nasty moves - and it doesn't necessarily stop when one person is defeated. I've seen my character kicked to the ground, the game announce my defeat, and then the enemy throw in a final, gratuitous kick. It's very discouraging.
The different levels are fun, with their atmosphere and backgrounds. The music is on the generic side and doesn't go themed with the world you're in, as more modern fighters tend to do. Also it is sometimes fairly easy to simply knock your opponent out of the ring and be done with it.
Also, on the sounds angle, there are only a limited number of things that the announcer says. So if you play a given character through an 8 round series of fights, you are going to hear the same thing over and over again.
That all being said, this is a true classic of a game and many people have become quite fond of the sequels. So if you're into inexpensive fighters, or if you're a Soul Calibur fan who wants to see where it all began, this is a must have!
Buy Soul Calibur from Amazon.com