Soul Calibur III: Arcade Edition


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 Versus Power. 

REVIEWNever 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.

Tooooooo slow!


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).


Beware 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 if you're any player worth your salt), Namco has delivered! 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.


Page Updated: February 6th, 2020
Developer(s): Namco (Project Soul)
Publisher(s): Namco
Designer(s): Hiroaki Yotoriyama     Producer
Tetsuya Akatsuka
Makoto Kiyokawa
Ryouji Ichikari
Artwork By: Arcade
Platform(s): Arcade
Release Date(s): April 3rd, 2006
Characters Mitsurugi, Cassandra, Taki, Voldo, Ivy, Kilik, Nightmare, Siegfried, Astaroth, TalimYoshimitsu, Rock, Lizard Man, Maxi, Seong-Mina, Yun-seong, Xianghua, Zasalamel, Tira, Setsuka, Olcadan, Raphael, Amy, Li Long, Hwang, Inferno, Abyss

Featured Video:

Related Games: Soul Calibur 3, Soul Edge, Soul Calibur, Soul Calibur 2, Soul Calibur 2: HD Online, Soul Calibur 4, Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny, Soul Calibur 5, Soul Calibur 6, Soul Calibur: Lost Swords, Soul Calibur Legends, TEKKEN 5

Gameplay Engine  8.5 / 10
Story / Theme  8.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  9.0 / 10
Animation  9.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  9.0 / 10
Innovation  8.0 / 10
Art Direction  8.5 / 10
Customization  6.5 / 10
Options / Extras  6.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  7.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  9.5 / 10
Characters  9.0 / 10

 8.5 / 10



Final Words: Soul Calibur III: Arcade Edition was an improvement over the PS2 version in terms of gameplay, balance, and even character roster. I think Namco was smart to remove all of those "goofy/unrealistic" fighting styles of creation characters from the home version... possibly one of the original game's biggest quirks. 

Unfortunately, the SCIII arcade cabinet doesn't include PS2 controller ports like the shiny TEKKEN 5 cabinet did (which us DualShock players would've greatly appreciated). Also, there are no detailed character customization options like in the home version of SCIII... which would've been kinda cool to see in an arcade fighting game (again like TEKKEN 5), but ohh well.

If you were in any way disappointed by the minor quirks of the home version, you might find a more enjoyable and straight forward game of Soul Calibur III at the arcades (if you're lucky). Although, I have to say I still prefer Soul Calibur 2's gameplay any day of the week. Even so, I gotta hand it to Namco for the effort they put into this title, especially when other fighting game companies seem to have "given up" releasing arcade fighting games in recent times. Good shit Namco. 

~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen


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