Soul Calibur 2
is set four years after the end of Soul Calibur, which based on calculations
puts the game's story in the year 1591. 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
restoring ceremony on the ruins of the once-proud Ostreinsburg Castle. But just
as the ceremony was to start, three young warriors assaulted the castle. 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 at the collapse of the vortex of Inferno, both swords, along
with the azure Nightmare, were sucked in a void and expelled in another place.
Siegfried, recognizing his sins, set out on a journey of atonement. Still, the
blade held a strong bond, and every night it took control of the body and took
souls of those nearby. The efforts made by the young knight were fruitless, and
four years later the Azure Knight Nightmare returned. Around those times various warriors came into
contact with the blade's remaining fragments, revealing Soul Edge's ultimate
survival after its defeat. Driven either to possess or destroy it, they join a
new journey, while Nightmare begins his rampage, seeking souls to restore Soul
Edge once again.
has one of
the most amazing & fluid fighting styles ever created.
Calibur 2 built upon the solid foundation of the arcade / Dreamcast smash
Calibur. Soul 2 not only managed to live up to the original,
but the enhanced gameplay systems and character updates took the series even
further than previously imaginable. Gameplay engine improvements, include: tons
of new moves / stances per character, more effective "sidestep" and "avoid"
systems (allowing fighters to evade vertical & linear attacks more effectively), new stages featuring walls (and
wall specific moves), the Clash System (occurring when two similar attacks impact at the same
time, resulting in no damage to either opponent), and finally,
an update to the Soul Charge system - with many attacks receiving new properties
and/or additional moves after Soul Charge is activated.
Several new fighters have joined the ranks, including: Talim, Raphael, Yunsung
& Cassandra. Each of the newcomers proudly display their own unique weapon style in unprecedented detail, making the
overall SC experience even
more diverse and well-rounded. The new battlegrounds of SC2 are full of
detail, with more "open" and realistic environments this time around, differing from the
traditional water-surrounded rings of past installments. The home versions of SC2
include the new Weapon Master
mode (based on the original mode from the PS1
version of Soul Blade). SC2's Weapon Master mode is an entertaining
play-through, featuring a number of weapons to collect per character and some highly
entertaining missions. At the time of its debut, Weapon Master was easily one of the best
modes to appear in a fighting game.
Yunsung may look like
Hwang... but he actually has a completely new moveset.
Like its predecessors, SC2 stands out visually due to the expertly
capture animation. The authentic and innovative weapon styles
are dead-on and really allows each individual character to stand out.
The samurai, Mitsurugi, can look like
a true Japanese swordsman in the hands of a skilled player, while the giant axe-wielding
Astaroth, moves slowly but unleashes devastatingly gruesome attacks that
always make you cringe.
The amazing visuals are complimented by superb voice acting and crisp sound
effects. SC2 is one of the few games where I can say I enjoy both the
Japanese and the English voices. Some of the one-liners eventually get kind of old,
of course, but it's hard to complain when the characters of SC2 speak eons more dialogue
than fighters from other games.
SC2's animation was no doubt at the top of its class in 2002-2003 (and still is pretty damn good to this day). On a side note, if you
ever get the chance to watch SC2 in slow motion, you can appreciate the animation
in even greater detail. (Seriously, if you haven't watched a good
tournament-style match in slow motion, you're missing out on serious ouch
Namco did an amazing job with some of the "finer details" of the
animation, especially collision detection. Those extra
animations Namco spent time on truly make attacks and throws look convincingly painful (in a beautiful
Following the footsteps of 3 solid prequels (Soul Edge, Soul Blade & Soul
Calibur), Soul Calibur 2 presents some of the most dynamic and solid 3D
fighting mechanics of all
time. Returning from the first Soul Calibur, the 8-Way-Run allows players to quickly move in
any direction, now offering even faster and more fluid movement
strategies. Due to the excellent movement speed,
level matches can become intense and incredibly fast-paced in the blink of an
eye. The addition of walls adds an interesting new dynamic to the gameplay; the
wall game is actually very solid and fun once you learn the ropes. To counter
the crazy new combo possibilities, the "air control" system can help
players slip out of combos and reposition themselves on stage strategically.
Finally, Guard Impacting (parrying) is
still one of the game's most dynamic and skill-demanding defensive mechanics,
and the system feels noticeably smoother and is more rewarding in this installment.
With the exception
of only a few moves, almost every offensive technique can be parried if
the defending player can see the move coming and taps "Guard + Forward"
or "Guard + Back" at the correct time. Whether you want to shift your
opponent's weight backward
or forward is an awesome strategic element, unique to the Soul
series, and really completes SC2's dynamic gameplay mechanics. Guard
Impacting not only balances the game and adds incredibly tension to high-level
matches, but it drastically separates the
skilled players from casual players (and those shameless button mashers). Soul
Calibur 2 is one of those games where "Button mashing noobs" have absolutely
zero chance at winning against a practiced player... especially since there are so many options available to
dismantle opponents (with style and finesse).
That's what makes a great fighting game in my book. Seriously, anyone who would
be dull enough to spam the same 10 moves in SC2 are
not only insulting the deepness of the game, they are also very easy to beat... GI that shit.
Time to learn how to guard
impact... it pays off.
of Soul Calibur 2 aren't only cool character designs visually, they're actually
some of the most elaborate fighters in terms of their movesets and playstyles. Unlike some fighting game
characters out there, SC2's characters have incredibly deep, complex movesets and
demand countless hours of practice (and sharp reflexes) to truly master. It's not all about
blocking and attacking in Soul Calibur 2; it's really about tricking your
opponent (AKA mix-up). You can cancel most standard
by tapping "block" immediately after the attack, and you can even mix up the timing
of cancels. A variety of attacks also have special cancels, offering so
much room to be creative.
As in the original Soul Calibur, most characters have the ability
to change their "stance," which greatly alters their moveset for the moment.
This allows for a variety of transitions and gives each character the potential
to be used exactly how the player wants. For example, no two high-level Raphael players
are alike... and no two high-level Ivy players are alike. SC2 really gives you the
freedom to create your own style of fighting, using your chosen character (or
characters) as a base. And as previously stated, players who play "predictably" and
spam the same old moves will always become easy prey for a practiced player. On
that note, I personally love "styling" on opponents with Guard
Impacts and obscure mix-ups... it's one of the most satisfying fighting games
for someone who enjoys to killing opponents in different ways.
The polar opposite of that concept would be sticking to the same 4 or 5 special
moves and using a "flowchart" (which is completely and utterly BORING
if you ask me).
If you truly learn how to use a SC2 character properly, you will feel completely in control
and confident with them at all times. Furthermore, a true Soul Calibur 2 master
can even use their character in a variety
of different styles, mixing up their strategies as they see fit. For example: Ryu from Street Fighter will always
perform the same
Hadokens, Shoryukens, and Hurricane kicks on top of his priority moves... but in
comparison, a Soul Calibur 2 character has about 20 times the abilities
and mix-ups of a Street Fighter character. Yeah, SC2's characters are that
but you have to practice a lot to get to that point. It may take some time, but
once you master the control of your character and discover all the options (because
they're not all listed in the movelists), SC2 almost becomes an entirely new game
from when you first started playing it. Soul Calibur 2 is that damn good.
The Gamecube version's exclusive
character... Nintendo's own Link!
sleek menus, a respectable amount of modes, and the lengthy "Weapon
Master" mode, the home version of SC2 is an awesome package.
Exclusive to the home version are 3 characters not
seen in arcades: Necrid, Assassin & Berserker. Necrid is an interesting but strange
combatant (designed by Todd McFarlane of Spawn fame), using moves from many different
characters. Assassin's moveset is based on Hwang's previous fighting style while
Berserker's is based on
Rock's. Those two are more "dull" compared to their predecessors, but
they're not bad "filler" characters. Furthermore, each home console also received its own exclusive
character... Heihachi (PS2 version), Spawn (Xbox version) and Link (Gamecube
version). The idea of "Guest Characters" was a groundbreaking new idea
by Namco... and something the fighting genre never
saw until Soul Calibur 2. My personal favorite guest character in SC2 would have to be
playing "Tekken style" in Soul Calibur
is surprisingly fun (and a true love letter to TEKKEN fans)!
Museum Mode also returns from the first game and includes all of the awesome content you'd
quality artwork/endings, Exhibition Theater (where you can view the awesome
character katas) and Character Profiles - which allows you to read each
character's full bio and also listen to every single line of spoken dialogue
in the game (upwards of 100 different phrases per character, and in both
...Once again, Namco really went all out for console and delivered an awesome
package. SC2 also had some innovative options at the time, including the ability to toggle between English
and Japanese voices (which wasn't a staple option for fighting games back then).
In closing, Soul Calibur 2 was ahead of its time in so many ways.
Kawano, Aya Takemura
|| Arcade, PS2,
PS3, Gamecube, Xbox, Xbox 360
|| July 30th, 2002
Mar. 27th, 2003
Aug. 27th, 2003
Nov. 19th, 2013
As Soul Calibur II: HD Online)
Nov. 20th, 2013
As Soul Calibur II: HD Online)
Mina, Sophitia, Cervantes,
Calibur 2: HD Online, Soul
Edge, Soul Calibur, Soul
Calibur 3, Soul Calibur 3: AE, Soul Calibur 4,
Calibur: Broken Destiny, Soul Calibur 5, Soul
Calibur: Lost Swords, Soul Calibur
Legends, Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution, Mortal
Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Bloody Roar 4, Tekken
10 / 10
9.5 / 10
9.5 / 10
10 / 10
/ Sound Effects
10 / 10
10 / 10
10 / 10
8.0 / 10
Options / Extras
9.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation
8.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun
10 / 10
9.5 / 10
10 / 10
Review based on PS2
Soul Calibur 2 is a superb game for both casual and high level
players. The gameplay system is stellar, and once you master a few character
movesets and experience all of the gameplay ins & outs, you'll discover
incredible depth. Every character can be used effectively, and besides some "cheap"
guaranteed combos that top players can abuse, SC2 is considerably balanced... and most importantly, fun!
One of my favorite qualities of Soul Calibur 2 is
the speed... SC2 is considerably faster than SC1, SC3, SC4
and SC5. The speed and the dynamic movesets make SC2 feel a
completely original game, standing out above all other titles in the series. And
for that reason, it's my personal
favorite of the series, still to this day. For the record, even though the original Soul Calibur
scored a perfect 10 on TFG... I consider SC2 to be the superior game
in terms of gameplay.
When SC2 first arrived,
I was hoping to see a few more "new" fighting styles/characters.
At first glance, the presentation didn't seem quite as polished as SC1...
but after experiencing the character & system updates, there was no going
back to SC1 for me. Namco redefined all of the returning characters' styles, making them
seem completely new. In my opinion, the stages could've been designed
a tad better and could've benefited from some "environmental
interaction". However, the wall game added an
exceptionally fun and strategic element to the gameplay (not to mention wall
I have about SC2: First, it always
bothered me that the characters always have the same set of quotes during their intros / win poses
in the Versus mode, but if you play through the 1-player Arcade mode, characters
say different things after
nearly EVERY battle. Why didn't that awesomeness crossover into the VS
That small detail would've made VS mode less repetitive, but
that certainly didn't stop me from putting 100's of hours into SC2. Lastly,
the boss of the game (Inferno) isn't that exciting (since he was reused from the
first game), and the character endings are pretty sleepy. That said, SC2
could've had a slightly better presentation for casual players... but this
game honestly wasn't made for casual players.
Alongside its beauty and epicness, SC2
has its fare share of funny quirks, "silly physics" moments, and other
seemingly unintended humor that make it memorable and timeless. Even after all the sequels, something about
SC2 still stands out and just feels "better" to play. At the end of
the day, Soul Calibur 2 is one of the finest fighting games of
all time. For the time, Soul Calibur 2 had it all: Brilliant character
designs, incredibly deep movesets, authentic martial arts, amazing art direction by Takuji Kawano,
innovative gameplay requiring years to master (yet still fun for casual
players), memorable music, a solid single-player experience... I can go on and on.
Over 15 years later,
and Soul Calibur 2 is still a completely unique fighting game experience
and very competitive fighting game (deserving of a better
remastered version than SC2: HD Online.
(But hey, it's better than nothing.) That said, you can also check out my
Soul Calibur 2: HD Online for a look at the PS3/360 enhancement from 2013.