Most people I’ve asked seem to think Soul Calibur peaked with the second entry. Don’t get me wrong: Bandai Namco’s iconic series of 3D fighting games – where every combatant in the one-on-one duels wields a distinct weapon and can run in eight directions – has always been rock solid. But there was just something about Soul Calibur 2 that made it a mainstream hit which the series hasn’t seemed to replicate since. Maybe it was the expansive single-player journey of Weapon Master mode, or the ingenious guest characters exclusive to each platform (Link on GameCube – my system of choice at the time – with Tekken’s Heihachi on PS2 and Todd McFarlane’s Spawn on Xbox). But I think the primary reason SC2 shines so brightly in our minds is the quickness and accessibility of its pick-up-and-play bouts. And after some extensive hands-on with the latest build of Soul Calibur 6, it already feels like the Project Soul development team has recaptured the magic of that timeless 2002 fighter.

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