Soul Calibur III

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Content at a glance:


Computer Platform: PlayStation 2 (Sony)
Produced by: Namco
Price Range: $11-20
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Teens
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Reviewed By: Theophilus

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆
Genre: Fighting
Rating: 3 of 5 (average)
Gameplay: 5 of 5 (excellent)
Violence: 3 of 5 (mild)
Adult Content: 3 of 5 (mild)

Soul Calibur III.  Illustration copyrighted.

Soul Calibur III continues the popular Soul Calibur series, well known for its weapons-based fighting, good “pick up and play” controls, and overall production values. This installment includes many additions, like new characters, fighting arenas, game modes, graphical touches, and more.

Basically the plot of the series is that there is a bad sword that possesses people and leads to their (and others’) destruction. This sword, named “Soul Edge”, gives its holder a great deal of destructive power. There’s also a good weapon, called “Soul Calibur”, that can be used to help combat the evil force of Soul Edge.


It’s basically a typical fantasy plot of “Good Vs. Evil”. Some of the fighting characters are good and seek the destruction of Soul Edge, while some are bad and seek to use the sword for their evil plans. A few start out good but get possessed by the evil force of the sword, while a few seek redemption after being possessed by it. The majority however are good-natured and stay that way throughout the game.

The game plot is mainly revealed through the “Tales of the Souls” mode.

You chose to be one of many fighters in a variety of game modes. If you’ve never played it before you can run through a fighting tutorial/practice mode and practice up on your moves as long as you like. Or you can head straight into “Quick Play”, “Versus”, “Tales of the Soul”, and other modes. As stated earlier the controls are well laid out and are easy to pick up on. However if you want to be a really good fighter and make it far in the game you’ll usually have to do more than button mashing. Just like any other fighting game you have to learn moves, as well as know when to strike and when to hold back and guard/evade. Soul Calibur III puts a lot of emphasis on the latter but also balances this by including throw moves that are fairly easy to execute and which come in handy if your opponent is constantly blocking everything you throw at him/her.


Soul Calibur III includes new modes, like “Character Creation” and “Chronicles of the Sword”. “Character Creation” allows you to make a fighter and change his/her appearance. It’s not the deepest character creation mode out there but it’s still a fun little diversion. “Chronicles of the Sword” is a rather weak strategy-game-meets-fighting-game mode. Initially it seems like a novel idea but after a while it gets to be fairly old. It requires that the fighters you use in it be user-created fighters only, and these really aren’t as deep or fun as the standard fighters. I guess they put this mode in the game since you can’t use user-created fighters in the “Tales of the Souls mode”, and so this gives them a story to live out. In either case these new modes are there and while not being great they don’t damage the core gameplay.

There’s plenty of things to unlock while playing the game. When you first pop the game in a good amount of fighters will be available while a decent amount will need to be unlocked. The same can be said with stages, as well as weapons and other items. One unlockable character is Yoshimitsu, a comical, Robin Hood-like character who is a standard fighter in Namco’s Tekken series. Yoshimitsu, while being a generally good character, still unfortunately retains his notorious suicide move. However it rarely ever comes into play, as it obviously is the most risky move in the game.


Note: Soul Calibur III has support for Progressive Scan.

As previously stated the Soul Calibur series has always been known for it’s great production values. Soul Calibur III is no different. Arguably the most impressive looking/sounding Soul Calibur in the series, it really is a sight to see. Characters, settings, etc. all look great. Everything seems lively due to the great animation. Water flows. Windmills turn. Floors spin. When you throw/hit your opponent into the ground it cause the floor to crack; in stages where there are paintings you can knock them down while fighting. I didn’t notice this much attention to the setting in the previous Soul Caliburs, much less in any fighting game I’ve played.
Also, the music is epic and very fitting. The sound effects are excellent as well. Overall, the production values really enhance the enjoyment you’ll get out of this game.


–Objectionable Material–

Suggestive Themes:
While not being as blatant as the “Dead or Alive” games there’s still some suggestive themes in this game. Tira, an Assassin character who is new to the series, often wears a sort of leafy camouflage outfit that is quite revealing. Her other outfit though is decent. A couple other female fighters could have been dressed better as well.

There’s some swearing in the game, as well as talk about killing the opponent. The D and H words are used, but since they are used in the context of good vs. evil they really don’t seem to be that vulgar.


You use swords and other weapons in the game. However you’re seeking KOs (knock outs) and not deaths. So while there’s talk of killing someone the only thing that really kills in the game is Soul Edge, the evil sword. There’s no blood or gore to speak of, and if you get jousted there’s just this weird electricity thing that shows you’re taking damage.

Soulcalibur-6 Soulcalibur-8
Soulcalibur-3 Soulcalibur-10

Soul Calibur III is an exceptional fighting game. Even though it contains some objectionable elements I would still recommend this to a gamer of about the age of 13 or older.

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Year of Release — 2005

[tags] 3.5 stars, Fighting, PlayStation 2 (Sony), T (Teen), Namco [/tags]

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

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