The Sega Dreamcast is a prime example of the world simply being blind to greatness. To my everlasting shame, I, too, failed to give this system a try until it was too late. In fact, I didn’t buy a Dreamcast until a year or so into the Xbox 360/PS3/Wii generation. Oh, how quickly I learned the error of my ways. Soul Calibur was the second game I experienced on this system, and it still rests in my Dreamcast to this day.
The strangest part about its permanent spot is the fact that I don’t enjoy fighting games. Oh, but Soul Calibur is so much more than just “a fighting game.” The controls are so responsive and the balance so perfect that this trancends the generic offerings of fighting games and exists as an experience that pits two human beings in bitter conflict that will last long after the system has been turned off. Yes, this game is so easy to learn and so difficult to master that it’s capable of breaking up even the strongest of marriages, but unlike your spouse, you’ll always end up coming back for more.
Sadly, the rest of the games in this series began spiraling into the pitfall of focusing on appearance over gameplay. Bust sizes ballooned to the edge of ridiculousness, and gameplay balance shifted to favor certain characters. That’s why the original Soul Calibur is the one to get. It has all of the fun, with none of the awkwardness of explaining to passers-by why you’re beating a woman wearing nothing but floss and spandex to death.
Graphics are usually a detail that borders on being virtually meaningless, but it’s worth noting that the graphical quality here rivals that of its two immediate sequels, and combat surpasses both in terms of fluidity.
The characters are a shining point of the series, in my opinion. Everyone seems to gravitate toward a different character at first, and there are plenty of choices when it comes time to choose. Each character plays in a distinctly different way, though those with similar weapons have similar (but not identical) moves. My personal favorite is Seung Mina, because she can wreak carnage on any and all opponents with her pointy spear of spinning mayhem and most-awesome death-making. I don’t know much about the names of weapons.
In short, Soul Calibur is beautiful, smooth, and worth enjoying at least once, kind of like the sensation of pimp-slapping a baby. It’s a beautiful thing.
Here’s what you should do: