Being a big fan of soul edge and soul calibur i got this game hoping that it was going to live up to its brothers. Needless to say I was NOT dissapointed. This game is not as great as soul calibur, but it is most definetly a fantastic fighter.
Visually this game has greatly improved upon the foundation set by soul calibur. The back grounds are very detailed and the fighters are detailed to the extreme. The fighting system is very fluid, and the transition from each charecters fighting style is very smooth. The basic learning curve is about 30 min. or less. Anyone who has exp. in Soul Edge or Calibur will be jolly stomping their opponenets right off the bat, because the game literally fits like a glove. The fighting engine, though slightly tweeked, plays just like Calibur but even better. It is evident that Namco wanted this game to speak for itself, and it does just that. In fact, untill you turn the xbox off it never shuts up.
Story wise the game is like Calibur. You have to complete it with a charecter to find out what is going on with them. You are kind of given little tid-bits on what is going on, but the whole thing is revealed at each charecters "slide show". Luckily the game is not based around its "enthralling" story.
As far as replay goes this game most definetly will have the player comming back again and again. The rewards earned throughout the game are very worth the trouble spent earning them. The game offers a wide variety of charecters to choose from right off the bat, and it even offers a special charecter depending on what platform the game is bought for. (Spawn for xbox, Link for Game Cube and Heihachi (sp?) for PS2). On top of that many old charecters make their triumphant return alongside some new fav's. Even though the Weapon master bonus game is not as interesting as the original soul calibur's, and a little to long, players will still find themselves giving up many hours of their life to it.
The only real gripe i have about the game is the fact that on no matter what difficulty you play the A.I. is either oddly "retarded" or insainly violent. It really has no "middle of the road" setting.
My final verdict on this game is that it is worth every penny spent on it. The game plays as fast or as slow as the player wants it to, and it looks as great as it plays. The only thing i did not like about the game was that they downgraded kilik's ability to own.