Soul Calibur III is a remarkably well-tuned fighting game, but lack of originality hurts the game substantially...
ControllerFreek wrote this review on .
Once again, NAMCO has used the PS2's processing power to the limits and has created a stunning game world with rich animation. Every move flows from the last, and the visual effects, combined with superb character design, escalate the game above the rest of the fighting mold. The only problem is that collision detection is an issue especiallt present in the create-a-characters.
While the musical score is still fairly good, the voice acting is still horrible as ever. It seemed like whether I was listening to the English translation or the original Japanese language, I couldn't help but laugh. The overblown announcer also returns, and with him comes the usual soul calibur jargon.
The fighting has been left basically unchanged from the other game with a few minor tweaks. Every character from the first two games return along with three n00bs. However, all three are surprisingly unique and, even more surprisingly, fun to play. The original characters have been tweaked slightly to balance some issues and differentiate from their all too similar playing counterparts. The new additions include breakable floors and breakable walls, but this is in no way retribution for no multi-tiered levels and no online play. Dead or Alive would be completely out of business if these things were included.
So the fighting is still the most amazing and balanced of its time, but there are some serious issues. The AI loves to cheat its way to victory in all single player modes, and it does this by reading your commands like a book and guard breaking accordingly. Also the new modes Chronicles of the Sword and Tales of Souls (the primary single player stuff) feel slapped on, though they are still interesting ideas I would like to see expanded upon in other installments.
Create-a-character is actually quite deep surprisingly, but in order to access the deepness you will have to fight your way through cheap AI to unlock new parts. Soul Arena was a pleasant surpise with its cool little minigames and wonderfully executed tournament battles. If you get SC games for multiplayer, I whole-heartedly suggest picking this one up, since the cool characters, moves, stages, and options really set it apart from the fray. There are still more unlockables than you can possibly count like secret characters, new parts for creation, illustrations, movies, etc.
So definitely pick up SCIII if you love to have fun fighting your friends, and hardcore players will love it too, though you probably already own this game anyway. But if you are on the fence, the best option would be checking it out first to see if it is your cup of tea.