During 1995 Namco unleashed upon an unsuspecting public the gaming monster that was Soul Blade. Later to become Soul Calibur on Dreamcast. The move into smooth flowing weapon based combat was something fight fanatics had been dreaming of for many a year and now it seemed we would finally get a game to meet expectations.
Following the quest of ten fighters to find the elusive Soul Blade, the game comes in two main parts. In the arcade
mode you follow the normal procedure of beating one opponent after another,
until you fight the big bad guy at the end. No prizes here for originality, but even this
however is given a nice twist with each character having different endings. One ending showing them taken over by the evil sword and a second ending where they
either leave it or go on to turn it to a good use.
Aside from the arcade aspect, the game offers an ‘Edge master mode’. This has your chosen
character searching different lands around the world for sacred weapons. Each character takes
their own unique journey around the map with some interlinking at certain sections and others avoiding characters completely. The conditions for victory also changes
with each fight. For instance, on one stage you may find your character has been
poisoned, while on another you must defeat your opponent before the next ship
leaves for the mainland. It proves to be an excellent addition to an already sublime game.
combat itself is just about perfect and shows a level of fluidity to equal its Dreamcast sequel. This allows anyone to be able to pick up and
get to grips with the basic concept of the game almost straight away. While
more experienced players can go on practicing to find numerous combinations of
moves to destroy all that stand before them. With the ease of the control
system comes the games only real fault - that being you can hammer away at the
buttons and you're more or less guaranteed something spectacular will come out of
it. However, this is just a minor gripe as once you get to know what you are
doing any such shenanigans from other players can be quickly countered and
turned to your own advantage.
Something Soul Blade has over Soul Calibur is the variations of weapons that each
character can wield, eight for each character, as opposed to the single weapon
characters of the sequel. This allows for much more flexibility in the way that
you play. Are you the type of player who hides out waiting for people to make
mistakes? Then use a quick weapon. Or do you prefer to wade in all guns
blazing? Then use a stronger, slower weapon. A brilliant idea that works
It feels a little slow now but still holds together well and much better than the early Tekken games. The graphics still look solid, and the introduction is as jaw droopingly fantastic as it always was. Yes, it has aged but fans wills till find plenty to get excited about.
Watch our Soul Blade video review.