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Review SoulCalibur III Review

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As I mentioned in my previous Tekken 5 review that I preferred Soulcalibur over Tekken, and not to mention, Soulcalibur III over Tekken 5, I thought it would be justifiable to explain as to why I like it more.

When I first got this, I was expecting a lot of fun out of it (other than knowing that it really split people's opinions on it), and expecting that this would be something to experience, after having had seen video of it being played, it looked like a lot of fun. I bought it, and I really enjoyed it when I first played it. Not to mention that I started with the tutorial since at that time, I wasn't very good at 1 v 1 fighting games, so I learned some basic commands that I soon forgot.

This game as a whole is pretty big.

Graphically, this game is astounding. It looks vibrant and colorful and it shows the graphical capabilities of the PS2. It does support Progressive Scan (525p). The game all around looks very nice and shows that a lot of time and effort went into this, but a huge programming error completely turns this amazing game into a mess, I'll get into that later. The character models in-game look good, and the textures never looked flat. There might have been a bit of hair clipping through bodies here and there, but that's something to come to expect. The cutscenes (including the ones with QTEs) look really nice too, and the in-game engine does well rendering the cutscenes as they play. The game all around is a feast to the eyes.

Sound wise, the game also sounds amazing. A fully orchestrated soundtrack that helps fit the mood when the game is being played surely helps the game in a good way. There was a soundtrack released for the game as well. This game also allows for changing the language of the voice acting, which really helps since I found the english voice acting to not really fit sometimes and a little cheesy other times. I recommend playing this with a surround sound stereo.

Gameplay wise, it's Soulcalibur as you'd remember it from II. It plays the same, and fortunately there wasn't much changed in the way of gameplay, except maybe the controller, since this is a PS2 exclusive. It has all the moves that you'd remember from past Soulcalibur games, so fortunately there isn't much changed from II. There is now a "Tales of Souls" mode in place of the arcade mode wherein you play the story of one of the characters, and it has multiple choices to progress through the story. This mode also allows you to unlock other characters and stages, too. There is also the Chronicles of the Sword mode where you play a Tactical RPG and encounters are fights with the CPU. I never got that far into it since it wasn't very interesting to me, but people that enjoy this game enjoy the CoTS mode. I've just not really been a person to play these kinds of games, and characters from other modes will come in to beat your team up unless you're really good with how you play the fighting part.

Control wise, it's very responsive, but I have some issues with this statement. Sometimes when you're trapped against a wall and another character is beating you up, the game won't take any inputs, so you can't really defend yourself or hit them. It controls the same as it has before, (except for that part where you can't control) and all around plays nice with the DS2, but I'd say use an arcade joystick if you can.

Now, to talk about the game in general.

It has a store where you can buy your items such as other weapons, more armor, and even bonus artwork and arguably the most expensive of all of it, the E3 movie.

It's useful to get weapons for CoTS, and that's what it's mostly used for. You can buy weapons for other characters, but it's mostly for the CoTS mode I found. You also have a tournament mode where you go up against the CPU, and it's the closest you'll get to a non-preset layout of CPU characters. There's missions to play through too, and they're ok, not much other than just "Collect a lot of coins" and "defeat these characters", but they aren't much unless you like that kind of gameplay. One more thing I'm going to get to before I get to the thing that kills the game for most is a little bit of interesting information.

But the thing that killed the game for most is known as the SCIII save glitch. It will do one of three things:
1. Corrupt the CoTS save
2. Corrupt the WHOLE save
3. (on rare occasions) Corrupt the WHOLE memory card.

The real reason behind this is not completely known. What is known is that it all depends on the saves on the card.

When something happens to a save such as a save being moved, a save being deleted, or a save file increased in size. Namco wanted to meet deadlines, and they just didn't want to extend the time on development (they're not Sega, but you gotta meet deadlines), so they just didn't. It's odd that they didn't want to fix it in any other translated releases or do was the US Greatest Hits version of Jak X did and fix the bug, but they still put out an amazing game. It's just too bad that it was bogged down by such a bug. It's very severe, and if you look on GameFAQs for an FAQ about it, you'll see more info about it. There is a V2 of this game in Japan which contains bugfixes, but which bugfixes are present are not completely known.

This is one of the few games in the 6th generation of video game consoles, and that was that some games got certification from THX. EA first introduced the certification process for video games in around '03 I believe, and it was something that was sort of interesting to add, especially since this was the most unique of THX logos, mostly because it was intertwined with a video game and not even tied into a movie.

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This doesn't look like galaga...

This one is unique in that it looks like no other. It's different to every one that exists, and the only other times that i can say that there are more unique ones are those three THXes from France that were only on one version of the movie, released only on those pressings. Seeing this one use Galaga in a bit of an odd way. Strangely enough, this one, instead of the French ones, was included on the THX Demo Disc II, but the framerate is very choppy in comparison to the original. For those of you that are curious to go find it, use PuyoTools or AFS Extractor and find the file titled "now". There is no extension inside of the AFS file, but the extension for all of the movies in this game is .sfd, as they were muxed into sofdec video. There is an ADX track in stereo and an AC3 track in 5.1, at the usual Dolby Digital bitrate of 448kbps.

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This and the initial chiptune version are a nice touch, if you're not scared of it.

Otherwise, the game is something to be experienced. It's something you should play if you have a PS2, but for a remedy on the save bug, if you have the PS2 HDD, make a save folder just for SCIII and update your save so if you have to delete a save, then you can without worry. If you don't have the money to dump, just get another memory card and save only to that one, and don't use it for other games. If the save was created before you played SCIII, then you can just move it or delete it.

The game looks and sounds amazing. It truly is a sight to behold, and with a complete surround stereo, it sounds amazing too. If you like fighting games, I recommend that you should get it. It might not be something that everyone can pick up, but I at least recommend giving it a try, since it is an amazing game all around.

-Gameboi64
 
Gameboi64

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