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Soulcalibur II
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco
Designer(s) Hiroaki Yotoriyama
Masaki Hoshino (HD Online)
Picture format 1080p (HDTV) (HD Online)
720p (HDTV) (Xbox)
480p (EDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Platform(s) Arcade
GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox
PlayStation 3 (HD Online)
Xbox 360 (HD Online)
Released Arcade
July 10, 2002[1]
Consoles
JP March 27, 2003
NA August 27, 2003
EU September 26, 2003
HD Online
November 20, 2013
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Input methods 8-way joystick, 6 buttons (arcade)
DualShock Controller (PS2)
Gamecube Controller (GCN)
XBOX Controller (Xbox)
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Namco System 246
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Soulcalibur II (ソウルキャリバーII Souru Kyaribā Tsū?) is a fighting game developed and published by Namco and the third installment in the Soul series. Soul Calibur is the name of the holy sword, created to battle the evil sword Soul Edge, which the game's storyline revolves around. Compared to Soulcalibur, Soulcalibur II boasts improved graphics, and it introduces new characters, stages and music. It is also the first game in the series to include guest characters from other series. It is the beginning of the 1590 A.D. Trilogy storyline.

Gameplay

Modes and features

Modes and other features added to the Home Versions:

  • The home console versions of Soulcalibur II feature a unique character, Necrid, who does not appear in the arcade version, nor in any subsequent games.
  • Soulcalibur II includes the same modes of play as most fighting games: Arcade, Versus Battle, Team Battle (similar to Arcade, but with teams of up to 3 characters and without cutscenes or endings), Versus Team Battle (with teams of up to 8 characters), Time Attack (where the player has to race against the clock to set records), Survival and Practice. There are also "Extra" versions of these modes, intended to allow the use of Extra Weapons and unlockable stages. A point worth mentioning is that the 7th battle in Arcade Mode is called a "Destined Battle", which is a predefined battle that never changes. Each character has one according to their story, and all Destined Battles are shared by groups of two characters (for example, Mitsurugi→Taki and Taki→Mitsurugi) with the exceptions of the home console-exclusive characters.
  • A returning feature from Soul Blade that was absent from the first Soulcalibur is the inclusion of Extra Weapons. Instead of the many stats used in Soul Blade, this one uses only three stats: attack, defense and special abilities (such as draining energy, passing through defense, etc.). Each character has 12 different weapons, from the standard (basic) weapons for 1P and 2P to the powerful "Ultimate Weapon". Also, each character is granted a Soul Edge version of their weapon, as well as a "Joke Weapon" with bad stats and effects, and with unique and funny hit sounds. Each weapon is given a backstory in the "Weapon Gallery".
  • The Arcade version has a unique mode called "Conquest Mode". This mode, which uses a name and password system to save data, allows the player to select one army among four. The player then fights against enemies in a series of eight 1-round battles, win or lose (the first seven are based on the player's rank, and the eighth is chosen by the player – this can only be interrupted by a Versus challenger.) After each round, the player earns EXP and can be promoted, and the game also rates the player in four categories: Soul, Power, Wisdom and Skill. The game also keeps track of which moves the player knows and uses most often. After the eight battles, territory control is updated and the player has the option to fight a bonus round against their character played by the AI.
  • "Weapon Master Mode", made in a similar fashion to Soul Blade's "Edge Master Mode" and Soulcalibur's "Mission Mode", takes the core system from "Conquest Mode" and expands upon it. It introduces a story set in an alternate world, in which the player moves in a map divided into "regions" (named after stars) and fights enemies to gain experience points (which raise the "rank" of the character) and money (which can be used to buy weapons, art, costumes and videos). The mode has 10 normal chapters, four sub-chapters and two extra-chapters as well as Extra-Missions (alternate versions of normal missions). The player endorses the role of a swordsman searching for Soul Edge, who is confronted by a powerful, mad knight named Veral, seeking Soul Edge for his own desires.
  • As in Soulcalibur, there is a "Museum" containing character artwork and various videos (like the Arcade Mode's intro or the Weapon Master Mode's intro and Ending) and an "Exhibition Theater" (where "katas" can be viewed). There is also a "Profile Viewer" (to read about character's stories) and a "Battle Theater" (to watch CPU vs CPU battles).
  • Like before, some characters possess a third costume, which is purchased in Weapon Master Mode. Out of the 25 selectable characters, 13 of them are granted a third costume: Astaroth, Cassandra, Ivy, Mitsurugi, Nightmare, Raphael, Seong Mi-na, Sophitia, Taki, Talim, Voldo and Xianghua.
  • The GameCube version's guest character Link has four costumes (green, red, blue and lavender, the same as in Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64) while Assassin, Berserker and Lizardman each have six different costumes (three color edits of their two standard costumes).
  • It is the first game in the Soul series to feature the option to choose between Japanese and English voices.

Story

The game is set in the year 1590 AD, four years after the events of Soulcalibur.

The wave of slaughters that terrorized Europe reached a sudden end. The knight in azure armor, Nightmare, and his followers were successful in collecting enough souls and were about to start the restoration ceremony on the ruins of the once-proud Osthreinsburg Castle. But just as the ceremony was about to start, three young warriors assaulted the castle. In a matter of time, the cult was defeated, and Nightmare stood in front of the young warriors while wielding Soul Edge. After an intense battle, Nightmare fell, but then the evil soul inside Soul Edge sent the young warriors into a vortex of hellfire and stood to confront them. As a result of Soul Edge's evil aura, Krita-Yuga revealed its true form: that of the Holy Sword, Soul Calibur.

The intense battle ended with the victory of the holy sword, but when the vortex of Inferno collapsed, both swords along with the Azure Knight Nightmare were sucked into the void and expelled to another place. Siegfried Schtauffen, who was until a moment before the Azure Knight, reclaimed his own mind. Recognizing his sins, he set on a journey of atonement. Still, the blade held a strong bond, and every night, it took control of his body and absorbed souls of those nearby. The efforts made by the young knight were fruitless, and four years later the Azure Knight returned.

Around those times, various warriors came into contact with the blade's remaining fragments, revealing Soul Edge's ultimate survival. After its defeat, the fragments began causing chaos and evil to grow in the world. Driven by the need to either possess or destroy the evil sword, each warrior embarks on a new journey, while Nightmare starts his rampage anew, seeking souls to gain the power to restore Soul Edge once again...

Characters

Gamecube ver. Character Select

A number of new characters are introduced in Soulcalibur II, along with most of the characters from the previous game. Raphael and Talim's playing styles are entirely unique, while Cassandra and Yun-seong's are derived from established characters Sophitia and Hwang, respectively. Charade, like its predecessors Edge Master and Inferno, switches its style to those of random existing characters with each individual round of fighting. All three home console versions also include Necrid, who was not included in the arcade version. Necrid, like Spawn, was personally designed by comic book artist Todd McFarlane. Characters in bold must be unlocked.

Returning Characters

New Characters

Guest Characters

  • Heihachi Mishima - Gauntlets and Karate-style moves [PlayStation 2 and HD Online versions only]
  • Spawn - Spawn's Axe, Agony [Xbox and HD Online versions only]
  • Link - Master Sword and Hylian Shield [Nintendo GameCube version only]

Other Characters

The North American and PAL home console versions also contain three unlockable characters loosely based on characters from Soulcalibur. These are considered bonus characters and, as such, do not have any Extra Weapons. They can only be selected in Versus Battle Mode, Team Battle Mode, Versus Team Battle Mode and Practice Mode, along with the "Extra" versions of these modes, as well as in Battle Theater. They are also playable during certain portions of Weapon Master Mode in all regional home console versions of the game:

Action Replay Characters

From the Soulcalibur character roster, the ones that do not return for Soulcalibur II as characters themselves are Hwang Seong-gyeong, Nathaniel "Rock" Adams, Lizardman (as the lizardmen in this game are not Aeon Calcos, who became the first such monster), Siegfried Schtauffen and Edge Master (when playing in Weapon Master mode, Edge Master's name can be referenced in the character classes while leveling up, such as "Iron Edgemaster", "Bronze Edgemaster", etc.). Inferno is the game's main boss, but is no longer a playable character. While Siegfried is not playable as a separate character, he makes an appearance as the third costume of his alter ego, Nightmare.

Soulcalibur II HD Online

A high-definition version of the game, titled Soulcalibur II HD Online, was released digitally for the PlayStation 3 through PlayStation Network and for the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live in North America and Europe on November 19 and 20, 2013, respectively, and in Japan on February 20, 2014. It includes all game modes from the original releases, as well as support for online-only gameplay via PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game include Heihachi and Spawn. Link is missing, however, because of copyright reasons.

Reception

Soulcalibur II was rated the 18th best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Powers Top 200 Games list.[3] Media reviews of Soulcalibur II were favorable, as the game earned over 91% for all versions on Gamerankings.com, and the game sold well commercially. It has also earned a 9.2/10 from IGN.

The game also did well in the competitive gaming scene, both in the US and abroad, where it was featured in many tournaments for years after it came out. The game was particularly noted for its balance, as many different characters placed in top levels in tournaments.

After repeated high-level play, however, criticisms arose, most notably in some potentially game-breaking bugs which were found, including the 2G bug (which allowed players to block immediately after being Guard Impacted) and G-Step (which allowed players to sidestep vertical attacks and immediately cancel their sidestep, allowing for instant punishment). Many moves in Soulcalibur II are also safe (meaning that if they are guarded, their user will recover to a neutral state before the opponent can retaliate), and characters such as Astaroth benefit more from the Guard Impact system than others. Also, certain characters such as Xianghua and Ivy have many unfair advantages over most of the cast.

Game Rankings currently scores it 90.6% for the PlayStation 2, 92.9% for the GameCube and 90.8% for the Xbox.

Awards

  • E3 2003 Game Critics Awards: Best Fighting Game
  • X-Play - 10th best GameCube game of all time
  • Screwattack.com - 8th best GameCube game

Also, Soulcalibur II is often cited as one of the best fighting games of all time. The Gamecube version received the highest reviews. Its overall score for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and Gamecube is 9.2 out of 10.

Ports

Soulcalibur II was ported to the Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2. Each of these home console versions has a unique character exclusive to that version:

  • Heihachi Mishima (from the Tekken game series; appears in the PlayStation 2 and HD Online versions) - Gauntlets.
  • Link (from The Legend of Zelda series; appears in the GameCube version) - Master Sword and Hylian Shield.
  • Spawn (from Todd McFarlane's comic book series of the same name; appears in the Xbox and HD Online versions) -A massive axe formed from his cape.

Gallery

Screenshots

Box Art

Artwork

Soulcalibur II HD Online

The Art Of SoulCalibur II

Videos

Trivia

  • Johan Dürer appears in the opening sequence of Weapon Master Mode.
  • Algol also appears in the opening sequence of Weapon Master Mode. There is also a city in this mode named after him.
  • Characters from previous games that do not form part of the roster, namely Hwang, Li Long, Arthur, Rock and Edge Master, appear in the opening sequence of Weapon Master Mode as well.
  • The game marks Amy's first appearance, as she is seen in the game's opening sequence.
  • The game is #29 in IGN's Top 100 PS2 games.
  • Necrid, Sophitia and Seong-Mina are not featured in the Arcade version, but were added as unlockable characters in the home console versions.
  • In the Japanese home console versions, Assassin, Berserker and Lizardman are only playable during certain portions of Weapon Master Mode, like in the other versions, but cannot be selected by the player in any other mode.
  • In the North American and PAL home console versions, all three variations of the unlockable stage "Egyptian Ruins" have special properties in Extra Versus Battle Mode and Extra Versus Team Battle Mode: the "Sand" variation has a pool of quicksand covering most of the arena that makes characters sink and move more slowly when they stand still, the "Fire" variation has the arena surrounded by a ring of lava that inflicts damage to the characters by making them burst into flames when they stand on it for too long, and the "Ice" variation has a slippery surface that increases the characters' momentum when they move in one direction.
  • Cassandra's weapons & third costume are the most expensive of all the characters.
  • Soulcalibur II was the first game in the series to be a sponsor of a wrestling event, namely WWE Unforgiven, back in September 2003.
  • HD Online marks the first time two guest characters (Heihachi Mishima and Spawn) from two different franchises are playable in the same game.
  • For reasons unknown, Japanese voices are not available in the English version of HD Online. The Japanese version does include both languages, however.
  • The PlayStation 2 box art features Soul Calibur (Evil).
  • The GameCube box art features Soul Calibur.
  • The Xbox box art features Soul Edge.
  • From Feb. 20th 2014 to May 20th 2014, people who purchased Soulcalibur II HD from the Japanese PSN store received a 3-piece set to use in Soulcalibur: Lost Swords (applicable only for the Japanese version). This set includes:
    • One AP recovery potion
    • One continue ticket
    • A female-only CAS item, a triangle bikini
  • Soulcalibur II is set in the year 1590, four years after the events of Soulcalibur and seven years after the events of Soul Edge.
  • Square Enix’s (formerly Square Soft) Final Fantasy character Cloud Strife was originally intended to fill Heihachi's spot on the PlayStation 2 version, but the licensing deal fell through at the last moment.[4]
  • Subtitles in gameplay may vary depending on the language character voices are set to. If the voices are set to English, the subtitles will match exactly what the characters are saying. If the voices are set to Japanese, the subtitles will sometimes translate differently to adapt to said language.
    • This same translation method would later be re-used in the Sega video game, Judgment.

External links

References

Soul series
Main Series
Soul Edge (Blade)SoulcaliburSoulcalibur II (HD Online)Soulcalibur III (Arcade Edition)Soulcalibur IV (Broken Destiny)Soulcalibur VSoulcalibur VI
Other Games
Soulcalibur LegendsSoulcalibur MobileSoulcalibur: Lost SwordsSoulcalibur: Unbreakable SoulSoulcalibur Pachislot
Media
Soulcalibur (film)Soulcalibur: Spirit SwordSoulcalibur (Chinese Manhua)Exciting! Soulcalibur DojoSoulcalibur IV (DC Comics)The Making of Soulcalibur V • Soulcalibur: Put your Soul Under Blade
Artbooks
Soul Edge Official Fanbook ~Chronicle~Legend of SoulcaliburThe Art of Soulcalibur II • The Art of Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny • The Art of Soulcalibur VNew Legends of Project Soul • The Art of Soulcalibur VI
Soundtracks
Super Battle Sound Attack Soul EdgeSoul Edge Khan Super SessionSoulcalibur Original SoundtrackSoulcalibur II Original SoundtrackSoulcalibur III Original Soundtrack - Legend of SoundsSoulcalibur IV Original SoundtrackSoulcalibur V Original SoundtrackProject Soul the Primary Sound Box
Soulcalibur II
Soulcalibur II (HD Online)The Art of Soulcalibur IIUnlockablesSoulcalibur II Original SoundtrackWeapon Master
Characters
AssassinAstarothBerserkerCassandraCervantesCharadeHeihachiInfernoIvyKilikLinkLizardmanMaxiMitsurugiNightmareNecridRaphaelSeong Mi-naSiegfriedSophitiaSpawnTakiTalimVoldoXianghuaYoshimitsuYun-seong
Stages
Egyptian CryptEgyptian RuinsEurydice Shrine GalleryHwangseo Palace - Phoenix CourtImperial Capital AyutthayaKaminoi Castle - Sakura-Dai GateLabyrinthLakeside ColiseumMoney Pit - Top TierOstrheinsburg ChapelPalgaea Shrine - Lowest LevelPirate's AlcoveSouth France Mansion - LibraryTartarosVillage of the Wind
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