January 24th, 2012, 01:10 Posted By: wraggster
Soul Calibur has always been the everyman fighter. Of all the major fighting game series on the market, Soul Calibur is the game that you would probably feel most comfortable playing with your non-gaming friends or significant other. And a lot of that has to do with the weapons.
The Soul series wasn't the first fighting game to feature weapons, of course. In the early days of the genre, Samurai Shodown distinguished itself with its detailed sprites, gore, and katanas. Battle Arena Toshinden, meanwhile, distinguished itself as the first 3D weapons fighter, close to a year before the original Soul Edge hit the arcades.
Soul Edge, for its part, was Namco's way of testing uncharted waters. It was positioned as an alternative to Tekken and Virtua Fighter, which dominated 3D fighting at that time, and its weapons were a big part of its appeal. Apart from feeling smoother than the stiff Tekken, the strategic concept of weapon range was more intuitive than the combo-heavy 3D fighters that had preceded it.
The reason it's so easy to understand is that the concept is built into the visual vocabulary of the game. When you look at Siegfried, you see a large knight with a gigantic blade. It's instantly apparent that he has longer reach than, say, the lightweight ninja Taki. And a good player knows how to put that advantage to good use, or to minimize it in its turn.
Today, Soul Edge is largely forgotten outside of a small cadre of dedicated fans, but it did its part to lay down the foundation for the series by introducing the story as well as familiar characters like Mitsurugi. Soulcalibur V director Daishi Odashima certainly seems to have some affection for the original game. He even argued in favor of naming the upcoming sequel "Soul Edge 2," but was overruled.
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