I went to download a new game to start on, only for my internet to decide that it didn’t feel like playing ball. Long story short, the download went slow enough that I had no time to actually play through it any if I was going to have something to post today, so I pulled out my PS2 and started playing Soul Calibur 2 instead. The original Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast is one of the greatest fighting games ever made, full stop, and I have a fondness for the third game despite its shortcomings, but the second game is in that awkward space between being a lesser experience than the original and failing to provide all of the distractions later entries included to make up for that. Still, it’s entirely possible that my distaste for the second game boils down to the fact that I played the third game first, so I resolved to unlock my go-to character, Seong Mi-na, and give this game a real chance for once.
Googling would have been the smart move
Instead of looking up how to actually unlock the game’s characters, however, I blindly started playing through arcade mode. This didn’t do much good because most (maybe all?) characters are unlocked by playing the “weapon master” mode instead. Still, I really wanted to get through arcade mode with Xianghua, who’s the only other character I feel remotely comfortable using. Mostly because of a move she has where running toward the enemy and hitting square and triangle together causes her to leap to the side and then knock her opponent back. This is great for pushing people off of ledges for a Ring Out victory, though it also does decent damage and is hard for enemies to avoid (because of how quick it is to pull off, as well as the dodge to the side that avoids many attacks while she gets close).
What sucks is that I almost got through arcade mode without having to use a continue, but the final boss got me right at the end. Sigh. Maybe next time.
Weapon master mode is the king of gimmicks
Okay, credit where it’s due, I kind of like earning money and experience (though I have no idea what experience does yet) and buying new weapons. What I don’t like are the stages with stupid conditions like pushing an enemy off of a ledge while everyone’s movement is being screwed around with by wind. Things like this feel like they come down to luck more than anything, and that’s just groan-inducing.
Anyway, I made decent progress and unlocked some new characters and weapons, which is a good start. Looking it up online, it seems that Seong Mi-na doesn’t unlock until quite a bit deeper into this mode, but the story and background information in Soul Calibur games is meaningless enough that I’ll be able to reload my weapon master save later on without having to worry about being lost in some complex story. That might technically be a bad thing, but it also helps this be one of those helpful games that I can jump into and drop until later whenever something else comes up.
Xianghua’s dance moves
Unlocking character profiles is worth the trouble because you can listen to all of their dialogue and rotate them, and the great thing about rotating them is that they make hilariously awkward 90 degree turns. Obviously I had to turn this into a dance.