Soul Edge

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Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

If you’ve been invested in fighting games for any length of time, you’re likely familiar with the Soul Calibur series. One of the highest rated games for the Dreamcast, Soul Calibur set a new standard for what a fighting game could be. Many believed, at the time, that Soul Calibur came from nowhere but actually, there was a game that came before it. This is the first game in the original Soul series. Today’s game is Soul Edge, developed by Project Soul and released in arcades and on the Sony Playstation in 1996.

Soul Edge is lacking many of the later features that defined Soul Calibur but it still has a number of unique features for the time. The fighting system is based around three main attacks, horizontal attacks, vertical attacks and kicks, as well as an active block button. The game plays primarily on a 2D plane similar to Street Fighter or Tekken, but characters can sidestep into the foreground or background to dodge attacks and change the angle of the arena.

One of the unique aspects of Soul Edge is the weapon life meter. Each character uses their own weapon and those weapons can be destroyed if the player blocks too often. Each attack that lands on a blocking character diminishes this weapon life bar. If it hits 0, the character’s weapon is destroyed and they must fight unarmed for the rest of the battle, 

The Soul Calibur series is known for its ongoing story regarding the demonic sword Soul Edge and the angelic sword Soul Calibur. In Soul Edge, the story takes place in 1583 with the characters all hunting for the Soul Edge, currently in the hands of the dread pirate Cervantes de Leon. Many of the staple characters of the series are here such as Siegfried, Taki, and Voldo, each looking for the sword for their own reasons.

When Soul Edge made its way to the Sony Playstation, it added several extra modes, including a story mode called Edge Master. This mode had players choose their character and move freely through a map with different fights often having special modifiers such as not being able to jump or requiring a win via ring out. This mode would award different weapons for each chapter completed, with each character having eight different styles of weapon that could be used.

Soul Edge received critical acclaim for its fleshed out single-player, a rarity in fighting games at the time, as well as the fun weapon-based combat. However, despite the praise, Soul Edge sold quite poorly in both the arcades and the home version. The series wouldn’t see commercial success until four years later with the release of Soul Calibur on the Sega Dreamcast.

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Devin "Katosepe" Sloane is a long time gamer and host of the show Video Game of the Day. He firmly believes Darklands is the pinnacle of gaming achievement and this is a hill he will die upon. Where his nickname came from is a secret to everybody.