|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Namco-Bandai||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco-Bandai||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 20, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
And although this game goes through its ups and downs, there is one thing that I truly did enjoy, and that was the controls. Although some fighting games that have relied solely on the Wii's motion sensing controls have not been very successful, I think this one more or less gets it right. The basic controls make sense and have you doing basic sword slashing movements that are replicated on-screen. But the real key here is in the sensitivity of the controls. They don't require broad hack 'n slash movements, and respond very well to the different directions in which you move. The game's control also features a range of special attacks that can be performed by various button-mash-and-swing-Wii-mote combinations. These special attacks, much like those in the original SoulCalibur series, are somewhat difficult to initiate, but well worth it in the end.
In addition to the story mode, there's also a multiplayer mode. This mode, called "party mode" in the main menu, features three different types of multiplayer modes. First up is the traditional Vs. mode. One interesting thing about the Vs. mode in SoulCalibur Legends is that it features a split screen instead of a single screen battlefield view like in the original series. I don't really know if this hinders the gameplay or not, as it has worked to my advantage and disadvantage in past matches. The second type of multiplayer mode in SoulCalibur Legends is competitive mode. This mode is also split-screen and challenges you and your opponent to run through different stages of the story mode while accomplishing different goals. These goals might include killing a certain number of badies or collecting a high number of items. This mode was probably my favorite playing through, just because it was so different then other multiplayer modes that I've experienced in the SoulCalibur franchise. It really incorporates the platforming element of the story mode and adds a perfect amount of competition to it. The third mode is Co-Op mode and this mode is for all intents and purposes exactly what you might think it would be. You run through specific levels of the SoulCalibur Legends story mode with a buddy and try to get a good score.
While the single player modes were very engaging and the multiplayer modes were very fun, there were still some underlying issues that I had with SoulCalibur Legends. First of all, the customization options that made SoulCalibur III so playable for so long are completely gone. This is a real disappointment because it requires minimal investment from the player into the characters and severely hinders replay value. Another big issue I had with SoulCalibur was the extremely limited amount of characters to choose from. Playing through most of it with only seven playable characters even in multiplayer mode seems pretty extreme to me, even for a "Legends" game.
But faults aside, SoulCalibur Legends was a fun game to play. Although it wasn't the most complete SoulCalibur game I've ever played, the Wii controls, the multiplayer modes, and the storyline make it worth playing for fans of the series. If you are among the uninitiated, I would recommend SoulCalibur III as probably the best in the series right now. But to its credit, SoulCalibur Legends stands well on its own, and is a definitely a title to look into for both arcade fighting and platform aficionados.
CCC Freelance Writer