If that wasn’t enough of a pleasant surprise, the conversion has cut
nothing out. You unlock characters just like you used to, watch museum
mode profiles like you used to and--best of all--embark on a
full-fledged single-player mission mode. Yep, just like you used to.
This single-player campaign impressively augments the one-on-one
experience by adding new rules and win states which gives the game more
meat than the short-burst, arcade-friendly gameplay of story mode.
a wonderful world in which to immerse yourself. This is SoulCalibur
from a time when the primary design brief from the original Soul Edge
could still be seen. It’s a world of pirate galleons, libraries full of
dusty tomes, and underground caverns lit by flaming torches. The effect
is exacerbated by beautiful fonts that display best clear times over a
slowly rotating arena. It is probably how you remember SoulCalibur 2
looking on PS2, not how it actually looks today.
But if anything, it’s better than the original. Not only does it look sharper, it sounds better too. Maybe we’re just playing on better set-ups than our old CRT TVs in the early 2000s, but the orchestral score absolutely sparkles, with grandeur and drama that never feels cheesy or over-egged.
want more? Well, it’s now online too, with both non-competitive and
ranked matches. As a result, the package is every bit as fulfilling and
meaty as a modern-day release. I just hope the game’s community comes
out of the woodwork to keep the lobbies populated. It certainly deserves
This doesn’t feel like a modern game. It isn’t bloated or gimmick-ridden. Instead, it’s all about the artistry in the animations, the flourish of a sword, the split-second timing of a perfectly-executed parry. For me it’s a toss-up between SoulCalibur and this sequel as to which SoulCalibur is ‘best’, as both share the same vision and flawless execution. But in terms of the HD conversions, there is no contest. SoulCalibur 2 HD Online is everything SoulCalibur HD should have been.
But that’s OK. At least this exists. And the gaming world, while understandably distracted and looking forward instead of backwards at this moment in time, is all the richer for its existence.