- Original release year: 1998
- Consoles: Arcade, Dreamcast (later released on XB360, iOS, Android)
There are three distinctive times I remember being blown away by the Dreamcast. The first was with Sonic Adventure, with its glorious 3D visuals and semi-successful transition (to be fair, Mario 64, it was not, but it didn’t stop me from loving it) of Sonic into the third dimension. The second, was with this very game; Soul Calibur. Sega promised that the Dreamcast would have arcade perfect ports, which were something home consoles never had before, but this was also a rare instance when the console port wasn’t just perfect, it actually surpassed the arcade original in both gameplay and graphics.
I had always been a fan of fighting games and beat-em-ups, but Soul Calibur was the first to really grip me. I seem to remember that for the first year I owned this game, it rarely left the Dreamcast’s disc drive. My friends and I put hours and hours into this game, but even when playing solo, I still couldn’t put it down. Everything about it, at the time, was so perfect. It was, and perhaps still is, the greatest 3D fighter ever.
The combat system was perfect, being accessible for newcomers, yet full of depth for veterans to master. The visuals were mind blowing and it had a ton of unlockables and various modes to keep people playing. Beyond these two areas though, Soul Calibur also had something that a lot of fighting games lacked: Longevity. The mission mode was exactly what a fighting game needed to add longevity to the genre, with it providing hours and hours of gameplay.
16 years after its release on the Dreamcast, Soul Calibur is still the closest to perfection the fighting genre has ever got. It’s a masterpiece that should be in every gamer’s collection.