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The third installment of the popular one-on-one fighting game, “Soul Calibur,” is edgier and more visually colorful than previous versions.
The newest release should continue to please the huge following the series has attracted. The battle to find the sealed unholy sword has resumed with the resurrection of the cursed knight, Nightmare.
Even those playing the game for the first time might find it enticing.
The moves are faster and bolder with lightening fast strikes while the graphics are far better than in previous versions.
The beloved characters are back with more refined looks. But the techniques are similar to previous games in the series, making it easy for those who enjoyed it in the past to jump back in.
In addition to the 20 classic characters, a few more have been added. Three new basic characters are Zasalamel, Tira and Setsuka. Zasalamel uses a weapon similar to a long-handled scythe and Tira uses two sets of circular hula-hoop like blades. Setsuka, who wears a kimono, attacks with a sword hidden in an umbrella. But don’t be fooled by the appearance of the umbrella ―her swift attacks are somewhat difficult to parry.
Another interesting feature is that players can create their own characters. But many players may be dismayed when they try putting it to use because the characters created by the game developer are already interesting enough while custom-made characters are less attractive.
However, the frustration of playing “Soul Calibur III” builds up when it becomes difficult to unlock additional characters. Usually, in similar games where additional characters are hidden, they can be unlocked when a player completes a story with the existing characters.
In “Tekken,” another popular game developed by Namco, each hidden characters pops up at the end of story mode. “Soul Calibur” also unlocks its characters in its story-mode. However, ending each story does not, unfortunately, unlock the hidden character. There are certain requirements for a player to accomplish the unlocking.
Another boring aspect of the game is that in story mode some of the visuals are recycled with every character. There’s only a limited variation in the scenes before encountering the final stage, called “Abyss.” Since it is impossible to skip such scenes, the players might find it more than frustrating listening to the same dialogue and movements.
In the story mode there are a few interesting moments where players get to encounter other characters that are not on the list as well as perform various unusual challenges.
One would be fighting against two to three ninja assassins or twenty Lizard Men. These special events do not affect the game if the player loses, but rewards are given sometimes when players win these confrontations.
Battle mode, which allows players to fight opponents without any intervention of story telling, is the most exciting feature in the game. Even the world championship tournament is stimulating.
Verdict: There are surely frustrating moments while playing the game but all in all it is definitely worth a shot. Namco has done an outstanding job of continuing its legend of the cursed swords.

by Lee Ho-jeong
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