my soul still burns!

On one hand, I wasn’t too enthused about Soul Calibur 2. I’m not very good at fighting games. The GCN controller is great, but its d-pad is too tiny for anything but marginal use. I already have Soul Calibur for Dreamcast, and anything else is going to be a pale imitation. Having Soul Calibur 2 would distract me from finishing my quests in Soul Calibur 1.

On the other hand, OMFG SOUL CALIBUR 2! More Voldo, probably with new moves and a new look and more slicing and dicing. And, better yet, it’s got Link. I can kick Ivy’s ass with the Master Sword. I acted like I wasn’t going to get this game as soon as it came out. I didn’t. I waited two days.

My first impression has been OMFG SOUL CALIBUR 2! so I’m getting what I expected. There are other parts to my impression, though, both good and bad.

For one thing, I’m just not very good at fighting games. I don’t like having to read manuals, and I think you pretty much have to, unless you’re part of some kind of real-life video game clique that will inform you how to play via its oral tradition. I’m part of a video game clique, but it’s mostly confined to online (ergo non-real) life. I have to read the manual, look at the pause menu’s command list, and sit in practice mode learning three or four moves at a time. Then I go into Weapons Master or Arcade mode and use them until I start getting my ass handed to me again.

The problem I find is that by the time I’ve picked up twenty moves, I start forgetting the early ones. I know I could probably do better if I’d devote a few hours a day to the game, but… I’m not a professional video game player. Until I get a job as one, I need to limit my input.

Still, the game is awesome for just messing around. I didn’t know if the current generation of consoles would top the awesome look of Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast. Sure, the game is old, but it just looks perfect. Soul Calibur 2 does exactly what it should: it looks the same, but just a little better in all respects. The sound and music is better, too. One thing that hasn’t changed is the announcer telling me that “Though Link was defeated, his soul still burns!” I’m pretty sure it’s the same announcer, in fact. That makes me happy. He even introduces the fighters now: “Maxi: His soul thirsts for revenge!”

A friend of mine was over recently and played Soul Calibur for a while and said, “I remember I liked this game because you can do impressive moves so easily.” I’m with her: even though I’m not very /good/ at the game, I can look pretty skilled. I mash some buttons and Link leaps forward, slashes Nightmare a few times, kicks him in the side, leaps backward, and fires an arrow into his chest. I look awesome, and have no idea what I did.

That’s what I like about Soul Calibur. Even when I’m totally confused as to what I’m doing, I look good doing it. My goal is to like it because I know how to do exactly what I want; surely, this will make me look incredibly awesome doing it!

We’ll see how that goes…

Written on August 30, 2003
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