We recently had a chance to check out the GameCube, Xbox, and PlayStation 2 versions of Soul Calibur II. It appears that Namco has done a good job in integrating the console exclusive characters in with the pre-existing Soul Calibur II characters. Link, who is featured in the GameCube version of the game, has a wide variety of attacks tied to some of the skills used in many of The Legend of Zelda games, including the downward thrust as well as bomb, arrow, and boomerang attacks. Heihachi, who is found in the PlayStation 2 version of Soul Calibur, plays much like his Tekken counterpart and surprisingly that particular fighting style seems to have translated over quite well to the Soul Calibur universe. Many Heihachi's combos from the Tekken games are present in Soul Calibur II. The Xbox version of Soul Calibur II features the comic book character Spawn, who has his own array of impressive attacks such as a fireball and a maneuver that enables him to float in the air for a few seconds. He also has a particularly cool move in which he throws his axe into the air, only to slice his enemy while catching it on the way down. A new character found in all three versions of the game, Necrid, appears to be taking the place of the Edge Master character with his ability to use various moves from most of the characters in the game, though it's worth noting that he appears to have some of his own unique moves as well.
Visually, all three versions look as good as the arcade version and, for the most part, they look nearly identical to each other, with the Xbox nearly edging out the other two versions. Interestingly, there appear to be small little bouts of slowdown at various points in all three versions of the game, and while it doesn't affect gameplay by any means, it's certainly still noticeable. We'll have a much more detailed look at all three versions of Soul Calibur II tomorrow, but in the meantime, check out new screenshots and video from the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube versions of the game.