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CVG
4 Reviews

Soul Calibur Legends (Import)

It has no soul, or even the leg-end of one

Remember Soul Calibur, that great beat-'em-up that had Link in it? Despite the name, this is nothing like it.

"This is pointless!" shouts lead character Siegfried after you've completed yet another trudge through yet another of Soul Calibur Legend's many near-identical levels.

Yes, yes it is, Siegfried. It's pointless when there are other games available, there's something on the telly, or even when the weather's half-decent and you can go outside.

I've only got a little soul

"Hold on," you're thinking, seeing the screenshots which seem to show some level of graphical competence.

Zoom

"Is Soul Calibur Legends really that bad?" Well, yes and no: it's simply the most beige shade of average you could possibly imagine.

If it was a person, it would be a balding, single accountant in his mid-forties, who wears a grey suit every day and has corned beef sandwiches for lunch.

The type of person that talks about the value of their mortgage, and has a name like Norman.

Now, that person may seem perfectly fine on first glance, but after a few minutes of conversation you realise you're trapped, and have to sit there for longer and quite possibly die of boredom. This is Soul Calibur Legends.

Here's the problem: you basically move through the same environments and fight the same enemies throughout the entire game, over and over again.

Sure, occasionally they're a mummy rather than a skeleton, or a blue warrior rather than a red warrior, but there are perhaps only four truly distinct types of opponent in the game outside of the bosses.

To be fair to Soul Calibur Legends, swishing the remote and seeing your actions translated into sword strokes on-screen is enjoyable for a few minutes.

There's also the ability to parry attacks (though it's never needed), and switching between targets works reasonably well.

It just gets a little tedious doing it in the same way in the same places. And special mention has to go to the bizarre instructions that appear occasionally but explain nothing, the remote and nunchuk furiously crossing over each other repeatedly like drunken weasels.

Again and again...

The repetition isn't just reserved for the controls and minor baddies. One of the first bosses you'll face is a dragon.

He lands in front of you, looking pretty swish, and you have a battle. After he flies away in fear, you move onwards.

Then he turns up again in a few levels' time. This time, you finish him off using a 'dragon slayer' invented by Leonardo.

Zoom

Fair enough. Then, a few levels later, he turns up again, only this time he's a different colour. And that happens again. And again.

And again. It appears that all of the development money for Soul Calibur Legends went on creating this dragon that reappears constantly throughout the game, occasionally with a different colour scheme, with exactly the same attack pattern and health every time.

Similarly, the levels are four or five basic textures worked over a repeated pattern of square rooms and corridors, and despite appearances the design is exactly the same in the outdoor environments.

There's even some shockingly lazy re-use of exactly the same layouts with a new skin, as if playing through the same rooms with wallpaper instead of ice patterns makes a difference.

The story surrounding all this tiresome travelling is one of the oddest aspects of the game, moving wildly between sorrowful lines and sheer laugh-out-loud nonsense:

"His majesty always goes down to the city after a battle; he talks to the orphaned children." Yeah, and he also does children's parties and Bar Mitzvahs.

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