Namco Fires SOULCALIBUR II to Retailers

Fans of the popular weapons-based fighting game SOULCALIBUR will be happy to know that Namco Ltd. has shipped the sequel to stores nationwide. The highly anticipated SOULCALIBUR II is now available for PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox.

Featuring more than 15 characters from the original game, SOULCALIBUR II introduces Necrid, a Todd McFarlane Prods. character created exclusively for the series. Each video game system also boasts its own unique guest fighter: Nintendo’s Link brings his chivalry to the Nintendo GameCube, McFarlane’s comic book hero Spawn brings his powers to Xbox and Namco’s own Heihachi of Tekken fame brings his melee skills to the PlayStation 2.

Explaining his involvement with the game, McFarlane tells Animation Magazine Online, “We had just done the deal for the Spawn game and were throwing ideas back and forth about how we can get some momentum going and do some of the marketing things. Then I said, ‘I make toys. Why don’t I make the SOULCALUBUR II toys?’ Then somebody on their end came back saying, ‘we’ve got these sort of hidden characters. Why don’t we make Spawn one of [them]?’ Then they suggested we make him a bigger character in the Xbox version. So we were just throwing the ping-pong back and forth to each other to the point where all of the sudden, God bless them, they were asking if they could put Spawn’s face on the cover. Then they got me to design a character that was specific to the game, this Necrid character. Again, more sort of freelance work. We ended up doing a toy of that guy, too.”

Exclusive to the U.S. and European versions of SOULCALIBUR II are the playable characters Assassin, Berserker and Lizardman. Originally included as non-playable characters in the Japanese version, all three are now playable in the following modes: VS Battle, Extra VS Battle, Team Battle, Extra Team Battle, VS Team Battle, Extra VS Team Battle, Practice and Extra Practice.

SOULCALIBUR II recently took top honors as Best Fighting Game at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, and Namco is confident that it will take home even more awards by year’s end. The title is rated T for Teen.

Read more of our interview with Todd McFarlane in the November issue of Animation Magazine as we take a look at the eagerly awaited Namco tilte Spawn.