Soul Calibur III: Arcade Edition
Last Updated: 2/20/2013 Developer(s): Namco Publisher(s): Namco Designer(s): Hiroaki Yotoriyama Platform(s): Arcade Release Date(s): Summer 2006 Characters: Mitsurugi, Cassandra, Taki, Voldo, Ivy, Kilik, Nightmare, Siegfried, Astaroth, Talim, Yoshimitsu, Rock, Lizard Man, Maxi, Seong-Mina, Yun-seong, Xianghua, Zasalamel, Tira, Setsuka, Olcadon, Raphael, Amy, Li Long, Hwang, Inferno, Abyss
Related Games: Soul Edge, Soul Calibur, Soul Calibur 2, Soul Calibur 3: Arcade Edition, Soul Calibur 4, Soul Calibur 5, Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny, Soul Calibur Legends, Tekken 5
Gameplay Engine 8.5 / 10 Story / Theme 8 / 10 Overall Graphics 9 / 10 Animation 9 / 10 Music / Sound Effects 9 / 10 Innovation 8 / 10 Art Direction 8.5 / 10 Customization 6.5 / 10 Options / Extras 6 / 10 Intro / Presentation 8 / 10 Replayability / Fun 7.5 / 10 "Ouch" Factor 9.5 / 10 Characters 9 / 10 BOTTOM LINE
8.5 / 10
Final Words: Arcade Edition is an improvement over the PS2 version in terms of gameplay, balance, and even character roster... I'm glad they eliminated all of those "goofy/unrealistic" fighting styles found in the home version. Unfortunately the SC III cabinet doesn't include PS2 controller ports like the Tekken 5 arcade cabinet did (which us Dual Shock players would've appreciated); and also there are no detailed customization options like in the home version of SC III... which also would have been nice.
If you were in any way disappointed with the home version, or thought some of the Create-a-character styles were "too far fetched," you might find a much more enjoyable and straight forward game of Soul Calibur III in the arcade... Although, I still prefer Soul Calibur 2 any day of the week (sorry, had to say it). ~TFG Webmaster
STORY: The wicked Soul Edge survived its fated encounter with the wielder of Soulcalibur, Xianghua, and restored its control over the body of Siegfried Schtauffen, turning him back into the Azure Knight Nightmare. Four years later, Nightmare was about to restore Soul Edge, when suddenly a man named Raphael who wielded a thin rapier appeared, intending on taking Soul Edge. Nightmare defeated the attacker, but was distracted by Siegfried's latent will trying to restore his body. Using the distraction, Raphael pierced Soul Edge's eye, giving Siegfried the edge he needed to break free from Soul Edge's control once again.
After waking up, Siegfried found the holy sword, free from its entrapment within the wicked sword, and out of instinct used it to pierce Soul Edge. The result led to both swords sealed together in a fateful embrace, an Embrace of Souls. Siegfried took both weapons and started a quest to find a definitive way of sealing Soul Edge, but memories of his slaughters, plus the attacks of those resentful of the Azure Knight, drove his mind towards insanity. Unbeknownst to him, the evil soul of the blade escaped and obtained a temporary shell, starting a new killing spree to strengthen himself while seeking its body, Soul Edge. What neither of the two warriors knows is that a man behind the scenes is controlling their steps, searching to end an everlasting curse. And that many other warriors ventured in search of the blade as well.
Speed VS Power.
REVIEW: Never before has a Namco fighting game been on a home console first, and then brought to the arcade. Soul Calibur III hit the arcade scene nearly 6 months after the home release, and brings a decent amount of new content with it (while taking some stuff away). Firstly, all of the glitches that were found in the console version have been fixed. The overall balance of many moves were re-turned and Amy, Hwang and Li Long are re-introduced with distinctive new move sets, expanding the Soul Calibur III roster!
Zasalamel's scythe has awesome range.
The character selection screen has changed quite a bit from the console version. All characters now have six selectable outfit colors (3 colors for each of the 2 costumes)... but no alternate weapons unfortunately. Obviously, there's no more selection box for your create-a-characters or random creations. The "Bonus" character box is also gone, along with most of the bonus characters. The only returning "bonus" characters are Li Long, Hwang, and Amy; whom now have their own spots on the selection screen.
Some returning characters get a few new moves and even a few move commands have changed. Some move animations have also changed, some slower and others having different hit effects. PS2 Soul Calibur III players also will notice many characters have definitely been "toned down," which is definitely a good thing and makes for a more balanced game.
Arcade Edition features several different modes, which is a rarity for an arcade fighting game. The modes include: Legend Mode, Standard Arcade Mode, and even Practice Mode! The Legend Mode allows you pick a character and power them up, leveling up their strength, dexterity, vitality, and luck after beating opponents within the mode. You can acquire all types of "bonus points" which pop up on the screen in a sharp white font (and make you feel quite good inside).
You pretty much get a bonus for everything... guard impact bonus, just impact bonus, guard break bonus, overkill bonus () and so on. The points you acquire in each round will effect the number of points you'll have to distribute to your characters attributes at the end of Legend mode; and finally, your character's level will ascend by a few points. The only way your level can go down is if another player challenges your legend (while you're away from the arcade cabinet) and defeats your character (which really isn't hard at all if you're skilled with ring-outs, even against very high leveled characters).
Watch out for Tira's hula-hoop of death.
Each of the characters in Legend Mode eventually pick up an alias, made by the player. You can challenge these "Legends" and if you defeat them, you can lower their stats, or ultimately, take their place as the new legend by defeating them. Heh! You can become the #1 legend character if your character has the highest level on the roster, and you receive the honor of having your name on the mode selection screen. It's definitely a cool little mode for an arcade game, but some further customization options wouldn't have hurt. At least you can pick one of the 6 colors for your legend character, and they did a pretty good job on the color schemes of the extra color edits!
If you had serious complaints about the balance or glitches in the home version of SCIII (and you should have), Namco has answered. Besides the tweaks to the core gameplay, there's also a new stage and several stages have some new (subtle) graphical effects here or there. Generally, the game still looks impressive, and may even be a tad more polished in some areas. The boss from Soul Calibur II, Inferno, also returns as a sub boss before fighting Abyss. Of course, there are no endings in the arcade version, as usual... but the enhanced gameplay mechanics and new characters are enough to bring players back to the arcade yet again.