Soul Calibur III

Soul Calibur III
Soul Calibur III is the latest release in a great line of fighting games. The graphics are really impressive, and the character customization adds a great new dimension to fighting gameplay.

There are whole complex back-stories to all of the characters, developed over the game series. You can go into the 'museum' in this game to learn all about that, if you haven't been keeping up with the series. That will help you really understand the interactions between the characters. It's like being a part of a complex, epic story.

The graphics are simply gorgeous. There are pirate ships, where the floor moves and sways beneath you. There are elegant Chinese temples with mosaic tile floors and lovely mountains in the background. You've got renaissance mansions in flames, cages in grimy port towns, and much more. Each environment has moving elements to add to the realism.

The sounds are pretty traditional. Most of it is BASH - SMASH - YAAAAH! along with the background music, themed to match the environment. I do love this kind of background music far better than games that have rock music.

Gameplay itself has good and bad points. On the good side, there are a GREAT combinations you can learn for your character, so if you are diligent you can come up with awesome fighting sequences. You can learn which combos match well against your enemy's weaknesses and exploit them. On the other hand, if you're more the type that likes to button mash, you can have a fair amount of success with that, although you will get frustrated in the higher level battles.

The game is marked for teens, although it's far more tame than other fighting games I've seen. Many of the females *gasp* actually wear clothing. There really isn't any blood involved in the combat, although some parents argue that little tykes shouldn't see swinging swords and flails at all. There's no swearing.

That being said, the game is fairly challenging, and unlike the previous game, there's no way to set the difficulty up or down. If you play one on one you can adjust the difficulty so the younger person can have an easier time, but for regular gameplay you're stuck with "hard". I find this to be a shame. While experienced players will get along OK, it really would've been nice for new players to have an 'easy' option to go through the game in, to learn the game and have fun. They could always have upgraded through 'normal' and 'hard' later on.

With the customizeable characters and multitude of opponents, you can really replay this game for months without getting bored with it. There are always new combinations to learn and perfect. Well recommended!

Rating: 4.5/5

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