I have been a fan of this series every since Soul Calibur 2 was released on all three major platforms. I had the Xbox version and the Gamecube version. I fell away from PS2 for a little while, I apologize. SC2 was an amazing game for it's time, and it still stands pretty firmly. Spawn was a great character, and so was Link. You could unlock an alternate costume for every character in the game, and you could unlock different weapons. The weapons had different abilities too! That combined with Weapon Master mode and the ability to fight with them in Arcade made this game one of my personal favorite fighting games of all time. Then...they dropped it.
Didn't play the third game. Didn't like the fourth, despite the Star Wars characters. A note to the developers by the way: bring back the Star Wars characters. Or, use my idea: Lord of the Rings. 'Nuff said.
The fighting in this one is the best yet, and mainly because of the Edge attacks. It's basically a super move. They do a lot of damage and can really turn a match around. However, characters like Nightmare, Sigreid, and Cervantes feel overpowered WITHOUT using their supers. There are some definite "wtf" moments.
It's not a bad story. It's just that it's told very...very...boring like. Most of it isn't even cutscenes. It's just pencil sketches with voice over. LAAAAAME. The story is actually pretty cool though. When you learn to see it in a more dramatic fashion, it's pretty epic.
Crisp. Clean. Sensual. There is plenty of buttcrack, beard hair, and cleavage all over this game. And none of it is pixely, blocky, or outdated looking. Very nice.
On a final note, the create-a-character mode is amazing. I've created just about every one of my favorite fictional characters ever. Good job!