Namco Hometek, the US consumer division of Namco USA, has finally offered some insights into the quality of its upcoming Dreamcast edition of SoulCalibur.
According to a press release, the Dreamcast version of SoulCalibur "will be a conversion from the same game that appeared in the arcades in July1998. This game, which shook the industry with its outstandingly high quality at the time of its arcade release, is now being converted for the home. Surprisingly, it is not merely a straight conversion--it will appear with graphical improvements, higher accuracy of natural motions, and special features for the DC. It will literally be superior to the arcade version. You will be amazed to see the charming characters, solemn and bravura, sound and smoothly pleasant playability, which have already made this game far more advanced and unmatched by the competition. No doubt it will prove to be a great title."
Broad generalizations aside, Namco also noted some of the specific improvements that were being coded. Among the features in development were "superior graphical quality and character models and stages (that were being) re-created to exploit the performance of the DC to its limits. Therefore, the graphics--reputed to be the best in the industry--can now be further improved upon with smoother silhouettes for the characters, distinguished 3D stage structure, and finer and more-realistic texturing, which all aims for providing an even higher level of visual quality." Powered-up character motions were also said to be implemented. "Further detailed motions have been achieved by using a floating-point scale. Enjoy delicate and lively motions of characters, made by one of the best motion-capture teams in the industry."
Lastly, gamers familiar with Namco (and who isn't?) will most likely look forward to the Dreamcast-exclusive features (quest mode, secret characters, weapons, extra modes) that the developer is famous for. In regard to this, Namco states, "Let us repeat that the conversion itself is a terrific thing. Yet this time we will do it again. Namco's specialty is to surprise one who thinks, "What else can be done?" That is a plus for a conversion. SoulCalibur will be no exception to this, as each mode is planned to be improved for the DC version."
Finally, after years of seeing the best home conversions in the industry going straight to the PlayStation, Sega can finally enjoy the benefits of having arcade-rival Namco concentrating its efforts into bringing an A+ game to its flagship system in beyond-arcade-perfect form. Let's hope Sega will pick up a few pointers from Namco and apply them to its own home conversions (Virtua Fighter 3tb anyone?). SoulCalibur for the Dreamcast is scheduled for release in Japan early this summer, while the American release is tentatively planned for mid-October.