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Hands-on: Soul Calibur Legends


Soul Calibur Legends is an affront to the games industry. The horrendous gameplay and horrible graphics not only shame the Wii as a platform, but lower the reputation of a remarkable franchise. Wii fans should be appalled at Namco's clear lack of concern with the title, and should expect more.

Graphically speaking, Legends is nothing short of unacceptable. If the game could look even remotely like Soul Calibur 2 on Gamecube, we'd be, at the very least, satiated. Instead, what we saw were blocky recreations of our Soul Calibur favorites trapped in boring, poorly textured environments that make the Dreamcast original look like a modern technical achievement. There is absolutely nothing to praise about the visuals in Legends: the art is generic, and the characters are stiff and lifeless. The screenshots that have been released are poor representations on how this game really looks.

The gameplay doesn't fare any better. Legends is a mindless hack and slash with poor controls. Enemies stand around, dumbfounded, as you hack away at them by shaking the Wiimote. The combat is imprecise, and simply not fun. We did appreciate the dodge: shaking the Nunchuck will allow players to make a quick dash. There was no challenge or depth to the battles. Ultimately, each encounter was reduced to wild waggle sessions. Wii owners deserve a lot better than this -- Namco, we'd point to Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess as an example on how to properly implement sword attacks in an adventure game (and please learn how to create a proper lock-on!)

If we had to give an award for most underwhelming disappointment of the show, Soul Calibur Legends is an easy candidate. Unless this game undergoes a serious redesign, don't expect the first Soul Calibur game on Wii to be anything more than a complete disaster.


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