Soul Calibur III smackin' Japanese arcades

Namco's previously PlayStation 2-exclusive fighting game will hit up arcade-goers across the Pacific.


SoulCalibur III

Namco's Soul Calibur fighting series has traditionally been released in arcades before hitting home consoles. However, its latest installment, Soul Calibur III, debuted as a PlayStation 2-exclusive title, and Namco had been unclear whether the game would appear in arcades.

Namco has now confirmed in the latest issue of Arcadia magazine that it will release an arcade version with the not-so-cryptic title Soul Calibur III: Arcade Edition. The game is slated for release during the fall in Japan, and it will run on System 246 and System 256 arcade boards.

Soul Calibur III: Arcade Edition will feature more types of multiplayer bouts than the home version. It will feature a standard mode that plays like the traditional arcade mode, and a legend mode, which allows for only a single fight but lets players customize their characters. Series producer Hiroaki Yotoriyama told Arcadia that Soul Calibur III: Arcade Edition will feature balance adjustments and new moves. The game will include all 27 characters from the home console version, along with redesigned versions of the three bonus characters from that version: Amy, Li Long, and Hwang Seong-Gyeong.

Yotoriyama revealed that an arcade release of Soul Calibur III was being considered while the home console edition was being developed. According to Yotoriyama, it was online petitions by fans of the series that pushed the development team to create the arcade version.

When a player finishes a game of Soul Calibur III: Arcade Edition, the screen will display a barcode symbol and a password. This will be used to join an online-mobile-phone-based Soul Calibur III game called Mobile Conquest Mode. By taking a snapshot of the barcode symbol with a mobile phone's camera and using the password, players can register their characters and challenge other players throughout the country via the Soul Calibur III mobile phone Web site. Namco will offer other mobile phone Web site services for Soul Calibur III: Arcade Edition as well, such as move lists and player rankings.

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