Transcending history and the world, a tale of soul and swords – eternally retold

If you don’t get it, you never will. If you’re old enough to be reading this, then you’re too old to form the sort of childish attachment that gives these sort of old videos their nostalgic punch; if you are actually ten then 1) turn off your computer and go play outside and 2) you’re probably used to much slicker fare than SOUL BLADE ever managed.

This was probably the only fighting game I ever really liked – it’s just not my genre, truth be told. The controls are, so I’m assured by my brother who is quite into fighting games, awfully ganky. It was twitchy, unbalanced, and magic. The one feature it had that I haven’t seen since (though, again, I haven’t really been looking) is that the weapons the characters use get damaged through the fight, so if you block too much your sword will eventually snap.

But enough of that. Watch the video. Listen to that music. Look at the sailing ship floating through the air as a mountain collapses behind it and the captain pulls of his face and his skull sets on fire. Yeah, it’s got some well dodgy shit in the middle, with all the female characters acting all demure and sexy, but twenty seconds later one of them explodes some sort of demon, and it’s nothing compared to the exponentially-increasing creepiness of the various sequels and maybe I should just stop making excuses for it huh.

The central object of the game’s world is Soul Edge – an evil magic sword that instantly corrupts anyone who touches it. This is not exactly groundbreaking stuff, but for me, at the time I was playing it… well, let’s just say that whenever I read any Lovecraft-type stuff, I’m always thinking ‘well all this crippling terror of ancient horrors from before the formation of stars junk is OK, but when is Seong Mi-na going to come and kick a pirate zombie in the face?’

There’s an Arcade Mode, of course – with cutscenes featuring quick-time events (can you dodge all the gunshots and have Mitsurugi defeat the power of the rifle? Can Hwang resist the call of Soul Edge?). There’s also a story mode which has you move your chosen fighter from place to place, with about three paragraphs of description before each fight. It doesn’t sound like much, but compared to most games of this type it’s pretty much War & Peace. It’s enough to get you to care about the characters, anyway.

Shit, I don’t know.


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