Innovation & Design


Nine years after its Sega Dreamcast debut, Namco Bandai's weapons-based fighting game, SoulCalibur, hits Xbox Live Arcade. This port doesn't feature online play, only offline two-player versus action. It also lacks a Mission mode, with its pre-set rules that made each fight more interesting. Furthermore, all of its artwork and costumes are immediately available. Past that, the game is brutal, addictive and pretty, as Taki, Mitsurugi and Kilik (among others) flip around gorgeous arenas and swing swords, staffs and even nunchucks. The controls are great, as you can chain together Soul Charges and attacks without difficulty. Its graphics, despite a lack of widescreen support, look excellent. At a cost of only $10, this will keep you busy until SoulCalibur IV arrives July 29.

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