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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: Namco Bandai
Developed by: Namco Bandai
Genre: Action
Players: 1-2
Rated: T (Teen
Release Date: November 20, 2007
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

Soul Calibur has been a staple fighting franchise for Namco since its first release back on the Sega Dreamcast. At that time, there was no other fighting game that boast impressive 3D visuals, while at the same time all players to pull off insane moves and combos yielding a variety of weapons. When Soul Calibur 2 and 3 made their debut last generation, the action intensified, while beefing up the character roster, battle arena selections, and a in-depth character creation option. With Soul Calibur IV heading to the PS3 and Xbox 360, the only thing left was a sub-par adventure game set in the Soul Calibur universe, which was released for the Nintendo Wii.

Not taking anything away from the Wii, the only reason why this title was made for the console is because Namco Bandai was looking for a quick buck, while working on the true sequel (Capcom anyone?). Soul Calibur has always been about two powerful swords, so why not try to re-create the same intensity of SC via the Nintendo sword, the Wiimote. If we look at the Wii's version of Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles and its gun attachment, it makes me wonder why didn't Namco Bandai release a sword attachment for Soul Calibur Legends to make us gamers feel more at home with this title. We all know this would of made a crazy action adventure title if it was released on the powerhouse Xbox 360 and PS3, but Namco Bandai wasn't looking to alienate the mighty Wii.

Getting it out of the way, the greatest aspect of SCL is the character models. Namco Bandai wanted to make sure the models looked as good as they could possibly be, even at the sacrifice of the levels, which are of a poor quality. This holds true for the heroes and enemies; even to the point that boss fighting is seen as a highlight to the bland state of the level designs. The character roster is another nice addition to the game. Players will be able to choose between Siegfried, Ivy, Mitsurugi, Sophita, Taki, Astaroth and Lloyd, as they advance through the game. If not for the character detail, this is really the only reason to press forward in the game. However, the graphics of the character models and framerate suffer a hit when gamers are taking advantage of the two-player split-screen co-op and versus modes. Beyond that, the game runs a blistering 60 frames-per-second.

The gameplay of SCL is like many sub-par action adventure titles to have been created. Whatever character you are using, you would pretty much go from room-to-room clearing out hoards of enemies in order to clear the barriers that keep you from running all the way to the boss. While along the way, you will come across various traps and insane puzzles, which can be time consuming to clear. In between levels, the story is depicted through hand-drawn, flash animated dioramas and traditional text-driven cinemas using static hand-drawn characters. Not something I expected to see in a console title, but for what it is worth, Namco Bandai did I nice job with the storyboard scenes.

As you progress through the game, you will come across new weapons and upgrades, as well as the ability to choose multiple fighters. The ability to switch fighters on the fly reminds myself of X-Men vs. Street Fighter, which is a nice subtle touch, especially considering there are times where you want to take advantage of an enemy’s weakness, which can only be done by a certain fighter. But it is not enough to save this title from falling into the rental category only for those who love Soul Calibur.

For those who could not get enough of Red Steel, they will like the heavy use of slashing and thrusting of the Wiimote to recreate the actions with your respective character. For blocking, parrying, dodging and/or utilizing your Spirit Break, this will be left up to the Nunchuk. Jumping is done with the B button, and to lock on and off enemies, simply press the A button. Therefore, everyone knows, you cannot walk in this game. There is some type of mental block within the characters where the only word that flashes in their heads is "run".

When the smoke as cleared, I cannot say how Soul Calibur fans will welcome this title into the world. My little brother actually enjoyed the game, despite the dumb down visuals (compared to Soul Calibur 2 and 3) and the lack of depth. This game isn't a hard title to pick up and play, and I'm sure any and everyone can clear the game within a few hours. Looking over the rating of T (Teen), there is no real reason for the game to warrant that high of a rating, but then again Ivy is running around half-naked.

Overall, there is a lot of potential in this title of Namco Bandai is willing to spend the time to create a solid all around title. If you are a die-hard Soul Calibur fan, you will find some enjoyment in the game while waiting for Soul Calibur IV to release next year for the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles.


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