HD remakes have been becoming more and more of a trend lately and I personally love it. They may be a win-win for both gamers and the people who make the games. We as gamers get a reason to go back and replay older games we loved and, for developers/publishers, it is easier (and cheaper) to make an existing game prettier and add a few new features than to make a whole new game. Recently it was announced that Soul Calibur 2 would be getting an HD remake with added online multiplayer with the release of Soul Calibur 2 HD Online for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this fall. Although Soul Calibur 2 isn’t a game I wanted re-released (the thought had never even occurred to me) and I could name many other games I’d like brought back first, I am very happy this is happening.
I’m pretty sure that I’ve spent more time playing Soul Calibur 2 than every other fighting game combined. The only reason this game even appeared on my radar was because Link was in the GameCube version. As a Zelda fan, I just had to have a fighting game that had Link in it. The other console-exclusive characters were pretty cool, too. The PlayStation 2 got Heihachi from Tekken and the Xbox got Spawn. Although it was Link that initially got my attention, the characters of the Soul Calibur 2 universe quickly grew on me. Mitsurugi, Rapheal and Cervantes eventually became my main characters, with my beloved Link being almost ignored except for when I wanted a cheap ring out in multiplayer.
This was the only fighting game I’ve ever played to completion. I just had to beat arcade mode as every single character, no matter how annoying. I fully completed Weapon Master mode, I got pointlessly good records in survival and time attack modes, and don’t even get me started on the hours of split screen multiplayer. After I was done beating everything in the GameCube version, I even went out and bought the PlayStation 2 version to play through it all again. I might have played too much of this game.
What it all came down to is the simple fact that Soul Calibur 2 was a lot of fun. Every character having a different weapon and a completely different move set to go along with it made the combat really varied. If you’re playing against Asteroth, you can run up to him and keep attacking so he can’t hit you with his huge ax, but if you’re playing against a faster opponent like Maxi, you need to keep your distance and pick your shots more carefully to avoid his quick nunchucks. None of the characters played alike and that made the game great.
This game also has such a low barrier to entry. I wouldn’t say it is a button masher, but it is easy to pick up a controller for the first time and feel like you did okay in Soul Calibur 2. But at the same time, an accomplished player can quickly tell when a player doesn’t know what he/she is doing. I can’t wait to play this online.
Soul Calibur 2 was also the first game where I actually got involved with the community online, which was a doorway to talking about games online in general. I essentially spent my summer of 2003 on the soulcalibur2.com forums, and if it wasn’t for some of the great/awful experiences I had with people there, I probably wouldn’t be talking about games right now. So, because of this, I might always have a soft spot for Soul Calibur 2.
Although I never would have asked for a Soul Calibur 2 remake, I am very happy it is happening. I don’t care how much it costs, what else comes out at the same time or any other factors. I just can’t wait for this game.